Tag Archives: Liszt

Llŷr Williams

@ GALERI, Caernarfon

Internationally renowned pianist Llŷr Williams continues his residency concerts at Galeri as official resident pianist.

Since Llŷr first performed in Galeri back in 2005, audiences have enjoyed a variety of concerts and programmes over the years. The programme for this concert is:

CHOPIN: 6 Wals | 6 Waltzes
VERDI/LISZT: Rigoletto Paraphrase de Concert (1859)
VERDI/LISZT: Miserere du Trovatore (1860)
BEETHOVEN: Sonsata Piano rhif 29,Op.29 yn Bb ‘Hammerklavier’ | Piano Sonata no.29, in B flat major, Op.106 ‘Hammerklavier’

Llyr Williams_11.3.16

In 2005 Llŷr received the Outstanding Young Artist Award from MIDEM Classique and the International Artist Managers’ Association. Furthermore, in 2009 he was awarded the Glyndŵr Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Arts in Wales.


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Hélène Grimaud

‘Hélène Grimaud is undeniably one of the finest pianists before the public today…’ Robert Cummings

Hélène Grimaud (Ei Gwefan)

Hélène Grimaud – Photo Credit: Mat Hennek http://helenegrimaud.com


The brilliant and passionate pianist Hélène Grimaud talks about wolf conservation, musicianship, Liszt Sonata, live performance and about her synesthesia … A must see video by director and host Alexis Bloom for Quick Hits.

Now, to hear Hélène Grimaud play Liszt’s Piano Sonata in B Minor. Magnificent work!



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Jean Muller

Philharmonie Luxembourg. In concentration (http://www.pianistjm.com)

Philharmonie Luxembourg. In concentration
(http://www.pianistjm.com)The young Luxembourg-born pianist has a strong sense of drama and detail, as well as fine fingers and a big-hearted conceptual approach.









The young Luxembourg-born pianist has a strong sense of drama and detail, as well as fine fingers and a big-hearted conceptual approach.

Jessica Duchen – **** BBC MUSIC, 2012/11

“A truly superb pianist.”
-Philippe van den Bosch, Classica

“A major talent.”
​-Bryce Morrison, Gramophone

In 1999 at Bratislava, Muller was a laureate of the Tribune Internationale des Jeunes Interprètes, organized by the European Broadcasting Union on behalf of UNESCO.

In 2004, he received the first prize at three French piano competitions in Arcachon, Vanves (Jean Françaix) and Brive (Francis Poulenc).

In 2007, Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg elevated Jean Muller to the rank of Knight of the Civil and Military Order of Merit of Adolph of Nassau in gratitude for his performances during official state visits.


Interest in music …

I was born into a family of musicians, so the interest developed rather naturally. My father is a pianist and my mother plays the viola in the “Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg”. Thus I have known very early large chunks of the repertoire for piano and strings and I had the privilege to assist to countless orchestra concerts since my early childhood.

Recent work…

The main focus of my repertoire is on Beethoven, Chopin and Liszt. In 2013 I have been touring the program of my Chopin Recital CD, and last year I fulfilled one of my childhood’s dream by performing live in concert the complete set of the Transcendental Etudes by Liszt along with Horowitz’s transcription of the Mephisto-Waltz No1. I also realized a complete performance of the Beethoven-Sonatas in concert, which has been released as a live recording on the German label Bella Musica.

Future projects include the complete set of Mozart Sonatas, as well as touring a recital with a programme of Russian music and last but not least several performances of Bach’s Goldberg Variations.

What is the most difficult thing you have overcome as a pianist? 

As a concert pianist you have to face being on stage, which implies that one should be both very sensitive and totally without fear to perform. I believe this is a major difficulty for any artist, and the most difficult thing to overcome. You have to embrace your innermost deep emotions while being able to control them. It is a balance for which you have to fight every day!

Salle Cortot Chopin Recital in Paris

Salle Cortot
Chopin Recital in Paris

Which living concert pianists influence you and why?

I would like to quote 3 pianists: Radu Lupu, Maria Joao Pires and Lang Lang. Lupu for his ability to transform any hall into a temple of music, Pires for the sheer emotional authenticity she brings to the scores she performs and Lang Lang for his showmanship which never lacks of the highest musical intelligence paired with absolute command of the keyboard.

Any advice to young pianists out there who wish to pursue a career as concert pianists? 

 The same I give to my students when they ask me whether they should pursue a career as a pianist: Don’t do it! Only those who really need to become a concert pianist will get there, and they don’t need my advice.

 Your hopes for the future…

Personally I enjoy the present, because the only time you can do something is now! As for humanity: well as long that we know there is the concept of hope, not all is lost…







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Ivo Varbanov


Ivo Varbanov

Ivo Varbanov

What motivates you to play Piano?

I love music and arts in general.

Piano is simply a medium for expressing artistic values and ideas. First of all you have to be a all-round human being, then a fine musician, and finally a good pianist to express all. Of course I am fascinated by the instrument – piano, but it is less important than music itself.

Can you tell us more about your work supporting and promoting Bulgarian Art and Culture in the UK, why is this work important to you?

I am very happy that I am able to popularize the so often neglected culture of Bulgaria. I am always happy if I première a Bulgarian contemporary composer in an important concert in New York or London.

Who has influenced you as a pianist the most? (could be a teacher, friend, another pianist or family member)

 The teacher that has influenced me most is Ilonka Deckers with whom I have studied for 6 years in Milan, Italy. She was a student of Prof. István Thomán, one of Liszt favourite students.

An important figures in my life of course is my mother, who is a retired cellist, and she was my first music educator. My wife, Fiammetta Tarli, is also a pianist and she is an extremely intelligent musician and she is of great help in shaping many musical ideas.

Earliest memory involving piano playing? 

When I was 7-8, I did want to play football not the piano, so I was not very consistent with practicing at that time.

Proudest career moment / to date?  The biggest challenge you have overcome (in piano playing). 

The proudest moment of my career is my return to the big stage after a long time due to a very serious illness: Leukemia.

After spending one year in hospital and a bone marrow transplant I was very happy that I managed to recover.

In September 2012 I played an important concert in King’s Place, which was a challenge for me. A 2 hours programme including only Johannes Brahms works like the Sonata Op.1, the Scherzo Op.4, the Paganini Variations and the 6 Chorals Op.122 (transc. Busoni). It was psyco-physically very demanding.

In your opinion, what are the most important qualities in a great pianist? Any tips to young people who want to become concert pianists?

The most important qualities for a pianist are related to his human nature I believe. Most pianists are able to play the piano very well, very few are real artists that are able to understand  the full meaning of the extraordinarily rich musical language that the composers are using. I would suggest to young pianists not to be obsessed with the mechanical aspect of the piano playing, but to work in parallel the real secrets of the musical language and the piano.

What are your favourite pianos to play?

I have been playing mainly so far on Steinways, Bösendorfer, Fazioli, Yamaha and Kawai. Recently I started using Steingraeber from Bayreuth, which is a small artisan manufacturer and the instruments are amazing – incredible pleasure to play and infinite possibilities for colours and dynamics.


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