Obsessed with names

I’m performing two recitals for Portland Piano Solo series this weekend. I don’t believe a pianist couldn’t imagine more sublime repertoire: the two concerts feature works by Beethoven and Debussy. Each concert includes a book of Préludes by Debussy and two sonatas by Beethoven, the Moonlight and the Les Adieux on the first, and the Sonata Op. 54 and the Appassionata on the second. Curiously, all of these Beethoven sonatas have titles and as for the Préludes, their titles are truly an intriguing case. Continue reading

Debussy–Bartók–Boulez

I recently completed a three-concert cycle of these composer’s works in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. By now classics, the three composers could just as well be described as modernists, although both definitions impoverish the perspective. Boulez always insisted on portraying Debussy and Bartók as torchbearers of modernism, but as early as the […]

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Orpheus

This from the midst of yet another study-period with Beethoven’s lyrical Fourth Concerto, this one in preparation for a couple performances this week with Finland’s Kymi Sinfonietta. Once again, as my my fingers have been exploring the paths laid across the Concerto’s score, my mind has wandered to the old story of Beethoven having drawn his […]

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Take-1

Volume 3. of my recording of the complete Beethoven Piano Sonatas has been released. This selection contains sonatas from the turn-of-the-century, a time when Beethoven had truly found his voice, some of them among my very favorite, e.g. the Moonlight Sonata. During the process of recording the complete 32, eight weeks of sessions spread over […]

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Farewell, two big Bs

Pierre Boulez and David Bowie passing away within less than a week from each other seems like a doleful coincidence. Neither would ever compromise in their art, and, in return, both were received with utmost dedication. Their music was available equally for people in search for an identity or just beauty.

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Piano music takeover!

The full program and concert schedule for the upcoming PianoEspoo Festival is launched! We held an opening event last weekend in Sello Hall as several of my colleagues joined me for performances previewing the “piano takeover” taking place in Espoo and Helsinki in the coming autumn.

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Sounds of the world rumbling: Schumann and Stockhausen

I recently finished a concert cycle at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (ISGM) in Boston focused on the music of Schumann and Stockhausen. Picking this (seemingly) odd couple resulted in a year of discovery and toil. Their music has tremendous depth and both composers are representative of their respective eras in Europe. Beyond obvious differences, […]

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Is it ok to embellish Beethoven’s music?

The second volume of my recording of the complete Beethoven Piano Sonatas is being released and I want to grab the chance to make known some interpretative principles I’ve set for myself. I won’t use this forum to talk about the core of the interpretation, what I’ve wanted to make the music sound like or […]

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Boulez rulez!

2015 marks the 90th anniversary of Pierre Boulez. The French composer-conductor-essayist, a musician with a capital M, is up for a big year. Among many laurels to come is a Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award which he receives on February 7th. Even more importantly, his music will be heard in many top arenas and Boulez enthusiasts […]

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