3 – 7 October 2018
Kings Place, London
2018 promo video here

Katya Apekisheva | Alexandra Dariescu | Margaret Fingerhut | Ingrid Fliter | Stephen Kovacevich | Konstantin Lifschitz | Leszek Możdżer | Charles Owen | Paul Roberts

“A reminder of what a fabulous variety of sound can be conjured from two pianos”
5* The Telegraph

  • Third annual London Piano Festival at Kings Place with Co-Artistic Directors Charles Owen and Katya Apekisheva
  • Solo recitals by Konstantin Lifschitz and Ingrid Fliter, amplified jazz performance by Leszek Możdżer and lecture/recital on Debussy by Paul Roberts
  • Two-piano Marathon with Stephen Kovacevich, Margaret Fingerhut, Konstantin Lifschitz, Ingrid Fliter, Charles Owen and Katya Apekisheva which will be recorded by BBC Radio 3 for future broadcast in Radio 3 in Concert
  • Family concert of The Nutcracker and I by Alexandra Dariescu with piano soloist, ballerina and digital animation


Charles Owen and Katya Apekisheva announce the programme of their third annual London Piano Festival, taking place from 3-7 October 2018 at Kings Place, London.  This year the Co-Artistic Directors bring together seven pianists in addition to themselves for a programme of solo recitals, jazz, a family concert, lecture/recital and the highly anticipated two-piano marathon.  The theme of this year’s Festival is the centenary of the death of Claude Debussy which is seen throughout the 5-day series.  This year the London Piano Festival are bringing in a student ticket scheme, offering £5 tickets to a number of events during the 5-day Festival.

The highlight of the London Piano Festival is its Two-Piano Marathon, referred to as “altogether exemplary” by The Times (2016). In various pairings, Stephen Kovacevich, Margaret Fingerhut, Katya Apekisheva, Charles Owen, Konstantin Lifschitz and Ingrid Fliter perform a range of works by Brahms, Bax, Debussy, Adès, Stravinsky, Rachmaninov and more.  The Two-Piano Marathon will be recorded by BBC Radio 3 for future broadcast in Radio 3 in Concert.

The Festival opens with a concert by Co-Artistic Directors Charles Owen and Katya Apekisheva performing both solo and duo repertoire.  Katya opens the concert performing Schubert’s Moments Musicaux 1-3, Granados’ The Maiden and The Nightingale and Ginastera’s Three Argentinian Dances before Charles performs Ravel’s Gaspard de la nuit. The second half of the concert sees the duo perform Three Nocturnes by Debussy (arranged by Ravel), marking the composer’s centenary, and Milhaud’s Scaramouche.

“At the London Piano Festival we want to bring together a whole range of music appealing to piano lovers of all ages.  As 2018 marks the centenary of Debussy’s death, we felt it was important to mark this within our programming this year.  We also love to present contemporary music at the Festival and this year we’ll be performing an existing piece by Thomas Adès who is a great friend of Charles’.” Charles Owen and Katya Apekisheva

Both Owen and Apekisheva will be releasing solo albums to coincide with the opening concert of the London Piano Festival this year.  Katya is releasing an album of Scriabin, Chopin and Fauré impromptus on Champs Hill Records, a programme which she brought to the Festival in 2016.  Charles is releasing a double-disc of Brahms’ late piano works on Avie. This follows the recent release of their duo recording in January 2018, Rachmaninov: The two-piano suites; Six Morceaux, Op. 11 which Gramophone magazine called “a highly recommendable disc”.

The London Piano Festival features two solo recitals by pianists making their debuts at Kings Place. Russian pianist Konstantin Lifschitz performs a programme of works by Schubert, Janáček and Debussy, and Argentinian pianist Ingrid Fliter performs Beethoven Sonatas before they both join the Two-Piano Marathon.   Celebrated Polish jazz pianist Leszek Możdżer brings a night of amplified jazz to the Festival, following his sold-out show at Kings Place in 2017 which London Jazz News called “a great show that held the attention from start to finish”. 

Commemorating the centenary of Claude Debussy, concert pianist and writer Paul Roberts presents a lecture/recital in Kings Place’s Hall Two about Debussy’s Piano Music on Saturday 6 October, focussing on Debussy’s Images books I and II.  Paul Roberts is the leading authority on the music of Debussy and Ravel, having written Images: The Piano Music of Claude Debussy, Debussy: a biography and Reflections: The Piano Music of Maurice Ravel.

For this year’s family concert, Alexandra Dariescu brings her ground-breaking multi-media piece The Nutracker and I, by Alexandra Dariescu for piano soloist, ballerina and digital animation to Kings Place for the first time, following its critically-acclaimed world premiere last year.  Tchaikovsky’s beloved ballet music features throughout and includes favourites such as Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy, Arabian Dance, Chinese Dance, Pas de Deux, and the Flower Waltz in 15 virtuosic arrangements by Mikhail Pletnev, Stepan Esipoff, Percy Grainger and three brand new variations by Gavin Sutherland.  Dariescu is releasing an album of The Nutcracker and I on Signum Classics on 27 April.

Full programme

Wednesday 3 October, 19:30pm | Hall One
OPENING NIGHT – Charles Owen and Katya Apekisheva
Schubert Moments Musicaux 1-3, D.780 (KA)
Granados Maiden and the Nightingale from Goyescas, Op. 11 (KA)
Ginastera Three Argentinian Dances, Op. 2 (KA)
Ravel Gaspard de la nuit (CO)
Debussy Three Nocturnes (arr. Ravel) (KA & CO)
Milhaud Scaramouche (KA & CO)

Thursday 4 October, 19:30pm | Hall One
ON AN OVERGROWN PATH – Konstantin Lifschitz
Schubert Sonata in A minor, D 784
Janáček ‘On an Overgrown Path’ 1st series
Janáček ‘On an Overgrown Path’ 2nd series
Debussy Preludes Book I

Friday 5 October, 19:30pm | Hall One

Saturday 6 October, 14:00pm | Hall Two 

Saturday 6 October, 16:00pm | Hall One
TEMPEST – Ingrid Fliter
Beethoven Sonata No. 18 in E-flat major, Op. 31, No.3
Beethoven Sonata No. 17 in D minor ‘Tempest’, Op. 31, No. 2
Beethoven Sonata No. 22 in F major, Op. 54

Saturday 6 October, 19:00pm | Hall One
TWO PIANO MARATHON – Stephen Kovacevich, Margaret Fingerhut, Katya Apekisheva, Charles Owen, Konstantin Lifschitz, Ingrid Fliter
Brahms Variations on a Theme by Haydn, Op. 56 (KL&IF)
Bax The Poisoned Fountain and Hardanger (MF &CO)
Poulenc Élégie (MF & KA)
Poulenc Capriccio (d’après Le Bal masque) (MF & KA)
Poulenc L’embarquement pour Cythère (MF & KA)
Debussy En blanc et noir (SK & CO)
Rachmaninov Russian Rhapsody (1891) (KL & KA)
Arensky Suite No. 1, Op. 15 (IF & KA)
Thomas Adès Concert Paraphrase on Powder Her Face (CO & KA)
Stravinsky Scherzo à la russe (CO & MF)

Sunday 7 October, 14:00pm | Hall One


(source: Albion Media press release)

Harriet Harman launches ‘Venus Blazing’, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music & Dance’s campaign to celebrate music by ‘missing’ women composers


  • Trinity Laban pledges that music by women – past and present and across many genres – will make up more than half of its concert programmes in 2018/19 academic year
  • Trinity Laban will also create an online database of female composers and expand its library to ensure students have access to the wealth of musical scores by women that music history has overlooked

Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music & Dance today announces Venus Blazing, an unprecedented commitment to the music of women composers throughout the next academic year, virtually abolishing concerts which feature only music by men.

Drawing on centuries of music past and present, Trinity Laban will ensure that at least half of the music it chooses for the multitude of varied public performances it mounts on its landmark Greenwich campus and in venues across London in 2018/19 will be by women composers. This encompasses the 60+ concerts and opera performances given each year by the conservatoire’s 12 large-scale student performing groups in all the musical genres for which Trinity Laban is known, including classical music, opera, and jazz. There will be a particular focus on 20th and 21st century British composers, including Trinity Laban students, alumni and staff.

Harriet Harman MP, Chair of Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music & Dance, launched Venus Blazing to coincide with a lunchtime concert by Trinity Laban’s Chamber Choir celebrating the 90th birthday of British composer Thea Musgrave, in Greenwich today [1pm, 8 March], also marking International Women’s Day.

Harriet Harman, Chair of Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music & Dance, says:

Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music & Dance is strongly committed to diversity in all elements and it has a mission to constantly challenge the status quo. Venus Blazing is a great example of just how it can do this. It will encourage and inspire its students – many of whom will go on to shape the future of the performing arts to engage with the historic issue of gender imbalance in music by women, and ensure that it does not continue into the next generation. I welcome this bold initiative to raise awareness of the disparity that has long existed in music and shine a light on music that has so frequently been overlooked. I am also greatly looking forward to hearing some of the musical treasures by women I might not otherwise have had the chance to hear.”

Among the performance highlights of Venus Blazing is a new production of Thea Musgrave’s opera A Christmas Carol (December 2018), symphonies by Louise Farrenc and Grace Williams performed by the Trinity Laban Symphony Orchestra, an exploration of the music of Trinity Laban alumna Avril Coleridge-Taylor and much more to be announced in due course. This will include music by current Trinity Laban composition students and staff, including Soosan Lolavar, Laura Jurd and Deirdre Gribbin – whose Violin Concerto Venus Blazing has given the name to this celebration.

Alongside these performances Trinity Laban will make available an online database of works by female composers, and will expand its library resources, including scores, books and recordings. This will encourage and inspire students to discover works that they might not previously have been able to access, and will and ensure that Trinity Laban, as a modern conservatoire with a key role to play in shaping the next generation of music makers, addresses the historical gender imbalance in music so that it does not continue.

Venus Blazing is being spearheaded by two key members of Trinity Laban’s Faculty of Music: Dr Sophie Fuller, Programme Leader of Trinity Laban’s Masters programmes and acclaimed author of The Pandora Guide to Women Composers: Britain and the United States, alongside conductor and Head of Orchestra Studies, Jonathan Tilbrook, Head of Orchestral Studies.

Dr Sophie Fuller, said:

It is widely recognised that music created by women – whatever the genre – is heard much less often than music created by men. In past centuries, it was difficult for women to find a meaningful musical education or get equal access to performance opportunities, but there have always been those who leapt over any obstacles placed in their way. We at Trinity Laban want our students and their audiences to hear their often powerful work. It is our duty to celebrate women’s music, not just for one year, but to provide the structures, support and encouragement to ensure that this is a lasting legacy for all future musicians and music lovers.”


@TrinityLaban #VenusBlazing

(source: press release)


Between 20th – 23rd November this year, the brand new building at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire will be alive with the sound of chamber music, all involving the piano. An array of leading international artists will share the platform with talented young musicians in a brand new event, directed by Daniel Tong (pianist and Head of Piano Chamber Music at the Conservatoire). Musical friends will be joining Daniel from across Europe for concerts, masterclasses and also a competition for young ensembles, more about which below. Given the wealth of such events for piano or string quartet, for instance, a celebration of chamber music with piano is overdue, especially given the keyboard’s place at the heart of so many great composers’ musical personality. Mozart, Beethoven, Schumann, Mendelssohn, Brahms and many more were all musicians with consummate mastery of the piano, speaking freely through their wonderful instrument.

The festival line-up is headlined by pianists Katya Apekisheva and John Thwaites, cellists Christoph Richter and Alice Neary, violinist Esther Hoppe and violist Robin Ireland, who are lined up to take part in concerts alongside the Gould Trio and London Bridge Trio. Together they will explore the chamber music of Brahms, Schumann, Felix and Fanny Mendelssohn, and present new works by Colin Matthews and James MacMillan. Concerts take place in two magnificent new performance spaces at the Conservatoire, opened this year: the larger Concert Hall for evening events and the more intimate Recital Hall for daytime performances. The same artists will work with students from Birmingham and beyond, as well as providing the jury for the competition.

Daniel Tong says: “Chamber music is a multi-layered medium, in the wealth and depth of its repertoire as well as the skills and characteristics required to realise it. It is music for sharing, both with one’s performing colleagues and the audience, and is therefore somewhat confessional. It is open to wide-ranging interpretation, despite often being put together by composers with great intellectual rigour. A competition in this discipline may therefore seem like a paradox, which is why our festival is as collegiate and inclusive as possible. We will make music together. Each competing ensemble will give a recital and take part in masterclasses. All jury members will also perform as part of the festival programme. The Royal Birmingham Conservatoire has put chamber music at its heart with inspiring results.

The competition is set up to offer maximum benefit to the young competitors. After preliminary audition (all applicants will be heard, either live or by video if entering from outside the UK), eight ensembles will be invited to join the festival in November. Each will present their recital as part of the festival programme, take part in masterclasses, and three groups will progress to the final concert. The winning ensemble will be offered mentorship and a commercial recording with Resonus Classics, as well as engagements including London’s Wigmore Hall.

For more details about this unique and inspiring event, visit the festival website

Or email keyboard@bcu.ac.uk

Recital Hall at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire

Investec Opera Holland Park (OHP) will mark one year since the tragic Grenfell fire with a special gala on Wednesday 13 June 2018, 8pm, raising money for the Rugby Portobello Trust (www.rpt.org.uk), which supports the North Kensington community. Based just a mile from the Grenfell Tower, OHP has a long association with its community and lost a much-loved member of its own staff, Debbie Lamprell, in the disaster.

The Hope for Grenfell Memorial Gala, in memory of Debbie Lamprell and all the victims, will feature popular arias, choruses, readings and more, with a cast to be announced soon. It is hoped that over £50k will be raised for the Rugby Portobello Trust (RPT), who worked closely with victims of the tragedy and with which OHP has a long association. In 2017, a performance of Verdi’s Requiem (read more here) just a few weeks after the Grenfell fire sold out in 36 hours and raised a total of £41k for the RPT to support victims.

Funds raised by this year’s memorial concert will enable over 100 children and young people from North Kensington to attend ‘residential’ trips, week-long trips, often to the coast and countryside, which allow them to try new activities and escape the pressures of everyday life. Often the residentials are the first time that these young people will have left their immediate concrete surroundings. The impact of these trips is proven to be especially long-lasting, boosting the confidence of young people by introducing them to new skills (raft-building, rock-climbing, team-building etc), as well as fostering a safe environment in which to address any emotional issues.

OHP is extremely grateful to Hamish and Sophie Forsyth for their generous support of this performance.

Tickets for the Grenfell memorial concert will be available from Monday 19 February via www.operahollandpark.com

Investec Opera Holland Park’s 2018 season will run from 29 May to 28 July. Full details of productions at www.operahollandpark.com.

Verdi’s Requiem performed at Opera Holland Park in August 2017



(Source: Press release)

City Music Foundation (CMF) has announced the 5 musicians who are joining the CMF Artist programme as 2017 CMF Artists: Lotte Betts-Dean (mezzo-soprano), Eblana String Trio, Alex Hitchcock (jazz saxophone), Gwenllian Llyr (harp) and Rokas Valuntonis (piano).

These sensational musicians started CMF’s innovative two-year Artist Programme in October 2017 and will continue to work with the CMF as their career progresses.

Lithuanian pianist Rokas Valuntonis won First Prize at both the Nordic Piano Competition in Malmö, Sweden (2010) and the International Music Competition “Societa Umanitaria” in Milan, Italy (2013).

The mission of CMF is to turn exceptional musical talent into professional success by equipping outstanding musicians with the tools, skills, experience and networks they need to build and sustain rewarding and profitable careers.

Over the two years, CMF provides one to one business mentoring as well as tailored professional development workshops covering a range of topics including tax and financial management, networking, presentation skills, agents, PR, networking and much more. The mentoring continues with day to day access to the CMF team as well as artistic guidance from established players with international careers. On top of these professional development workshops, CMF Artists receive essential promotional tools such as websites, images and CD and video recordings, as well as help with new commissions and other projects to ensure each musician develops a unique niche and selling point.

CMF’s key position in the City means that we can use our experience, knowledge and connections within the music industry, as well as the City’s cultural network and business institutions, to provide unique and unrivalled support and education for our musicians.

A high proportion even of the most talented musicians fail to convert their great talent and extensive training into a career in music. We believe that by investing in these talented musicians early in their professional careers we can not only secure their employment, but help to ensure the future of quality music in the UK and beyond.

Previous CMF Artists have included the Foyle-Stsura Duo, pianists Cordelia Williams, and Samson Tsoy, clarinet player Joe Shiner, jazz clarinet and founding member of Kansas Smitty’s Giacomo Smith, jazz bass player Misha Mullov Abbado (now a BBC New Generation Artist) and percussionist Pedro Segundo.

(source: CMF press release)

Jubal has launched an App that enables its users to access details of classical music concerts involving specific artists, venues, music genres, and various event categories.

Named after the first musician recorded in Western culture, Jubal has been designed with classical music lovers – and promoters – in mind, although it can be used to attract an audience for any event.

The Jubal App allows users to filter events by date, location and other criteria, as well as check the availability of – and buy – tickets.

We intend Jubal to benefit event goers – especially concert goers – promoters and artists,” said Francis Hornak, a trustee for a classical music trust, who first had the idea for the App during a board meeting.

As someone who’s interested in classical music, I often found that I didn’t know when concerts were taking place,” he added. “I thought that it’d be useful to have an App that has that information readily available, easy to use – and that would send me a ‘nudge’ from time-to-time to let me know when an up-coming concert involves someone who interests me.”

So, Francis, aided by a team that includes Appy Award winners, Mobikats, created the Jubal App.

The App provides a list of concerts and other events taking place and is intended to cover the whole of the UK. Although initially focused on the country’s main concert venues, one of its most attractive features is that the App will also be able to cater for concerts in church halls, schools, pubs and other smaller venues.

Opening the App enables users to see a list of concerts, from ‘today’ onwards. There’s a ‘location search’ function that will show concerts close to the user’s location, or in any other area the user specifies.

Users can see information about a venue, its location and can get directions to it. They can also see basic details of the event’s programme; can link to iTunes to hear excerpts from the pieces being performed – and see a web link or a telephone number so that they can buy tickets for the performance.

There’s an option to send a message about an event to a contact, via text or email. Users can also share information about the concert via social media; save a shortlist of concerts, and add them to the user’s calendar.

From a user’s point of view, the App makes it easier to find concerts anywhere in the UK over any specific period,” Francis said.

Venues, performers and promoters should also find the App to be a highly cost-effective way to promote their concerts,” he added. “It will help sell more tickets, fill empty seats – and should end up costing very little.

Those wanting to promote an event via the Jubal App can enter the details of the event via Jubal’s web portal. Anyone can apply for a log-in and permission to post event details on the App – and this should be granted after a short vetting process by the App’s owners.

This is, predominantly, a classical music App,” said Francis. “and, as part of our development process of consultation and testing, we’ve consulted The Association of British Orchestras, the British Association of Concert Halls, orchestras including the CBSO, RPO, and LPO, and venues including Cadogan Hall, the Royal Albert Hall, and the Birmingham Symphony Hall.

For further details of the Jubal App, visit


About Jubal
Named after the first musician recorded in Western culture, Jubal is an App that enables users to indulge their preferences and access details of events involving specific artists, venues and/or music genres. In addition, the App provides information on other events, which can be filtered by date, location and other criteria. It allows users to check the availability of – and buy – tickets. Jubal hopes to benefit all parties including event goers, promoters, artists/groups/orchestras and venues and, ultimately, if it proves a success, Jubal’s shareholders – including the classical charitable trust for which Francis Hornak is a trustee.



(source Bob Little PR)