Ears Open! – once again

I will perform the three Piano Sonatas by Pierre Boulez (1925–2016) this coming Tuesday at the House of Nobility in Helsinki at 7 pm. The concert, Pierre Boulez in memoriam, is a part of the Key Discoveries Piano Festival, which brings to Helsinki such masters of the keyboard as Roland Pöntinen from Sweden and Alexei Lubimov from Russia, and features an excellent line of pianists from Finland including Tuija Hakkila and Risto-Matti Marin.

Following specific instructions by Boulez himself I frame his sonatas this time with a selection of Études by Claude Debussy (1862–1918). When I first met Pierre Boulez in Paris in 2001 to perform the Second Sonata for him,  Continue reading

Brahmsin pianot

Työstin erään opettajani johdolla Beethovenin neljättä pianokonserttoa ja hän neuvoi: “aina kun tulet huoneeseen jossa on piano, kävele sen ääreen ja soita neljännen konserton alku, sillä yhtä epävarmalta tuntuu kun kävelet lavalle orkesterin eteen ja joudut soittaman konserton alun koraalin.” Hän tarkoitti, että tuttukin soitin tuntuu yleisön edessä tuntemattomalta, kun konserttitilanteen transkendenssi on kunnolla päällä. […]

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Chess on the Keyboard – The Time Curve Preludes

“It’s okay to use rubato.  Think Milhaud.  As sensual as possible.  Sounds great.” Bill While preparing for a performance of some music by William Duckworth (1943–2012) in New York this coming weekend, I want to record some thoughts about the music and relate some experiences I had with the composer. I’ll be playing a selection […]

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Väyläfestival – a dream come true

For two years, we’ve been dreaming of it. Actually, even before that I was often discussing casually with friends in the north about a wish to create an arts festival in western Lapland. And since one gorgeous July evening spent with the photographer Jaakko Alatalo in Kätkäjärvi, Muonio in 2015 when the specific idea hit […]

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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 […]

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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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