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Helsingborg Piano Festival 2018 (English)

30 August – 2 September

This year, the Helsingborg Piano Festival will be presenting yet another high-class international event. We will have the opportunity to meet and listen to David Fray from France, Konstantin Scherbakov from Russia, Yekwon Sunwoo from South Korea and Alice Sara Ott, with roots from both Japan and Germany. The improvised concert this year will feature Jan Lundgren, also of international acclaim. We will also hear from music media profiles Erik Schüldt and Niklas Lindberg as well as neuroscientist Sissela Nutley. In keeping with previous years, there will be lunch concerts, public masterclasses and other top-notch events.

Frenchman David Fray was a guest at the Piano Festival in 2013. His playing style and mimicry is still just as expressive as his technique. He says his goal is to make the piano sing and we believe this will happen when David performs works by Mozart and Schubert on Thursday 30th August 19:00

29 year old Yekwon Sunwoo is from Anyang in South Korea. In 2017, he won the prestigious van Cliburn International Piano Competition in Fort Worth, Texas. Included in this prize is the opportunity to give a concert at the Helsingborg Piano Festival. Yekwon’s program on the evening of Friday 31st of August at 19:00 will include pieces by Grainger, Schubert and Brahms.

On Saturday 1st September at 19:00 we will once again listen to Russian pianist Konstantin Scherbakov, it has been two years since we last listened to him, in 2016. Schebakov has gone from five year old child prodigy to the pianist with the largest repertoire at the festival. Among other achievements, he has recorded the entire works of Tchaikovsky. Konstantin’s evening will contain music by Beethoven, Liszt and Lyapunov.

German-Japanese Alice Sara Ott is one of the world’s most sought after piano soloists, who also has an exclusive contract with Deutsche Grammophon. Her latest album is Grieg’s piano concerto performed together with Bavarian Radio’s Symphony Orchestra conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen. ”Hot-blooded” is a word that has been used to describe Alice Sara. We’ll see if there is any truth to this when we listen to her play Debussy, Chopin, Satie and Ravel on Sunday 2nd September 17:00.

A few years ago, the festival started including improvisation to the program. This year’s special guest is Jan Lundgren, who is without a doubt one of the world’s most renowned jazz pianists. Jan has worked with such stars as Bengt Hallberg, Arne Domnérus, Putte Wickman, Monica Zetterlund and Povel Ramel. He is the only Nordic jazz pianist that belongs to the exclusive “Steinway Artist” group. Jan Lundgren will blend his concert with a conversation with Per Nyrén about the art of improvisation on Saturday 1st September 12:00.

This year there will be three exciting lectures at the festival. The first speaker will be Erik Schüldt, whom we normally hear on P2’s Sunday morning program Text and Music. On TV, we last saw him as the presenter for the popular science show ”world of ideas”. Much like his Sunday program, Erik shares his personal thoughts on music, this time in conversation with Per Nyrén on Thursday 30th August 16:30.

On Friday 31st August at 16:30 there will be a lecture entitled ”Your malleable brain – skull exercise or brain exercise?” Sissela Nutley explains what goes on in our brains when we learn things. How do we turn information into knowledge? Is there a bottleneck to learning and how can we change it? Can musical exercise be a form of brain exercise? Sissela Nutley is a doctor in cognitive neuroscience and is very knowledgeable about brain development and plasticity.

As a music journalist for Swedish Radio and Swedish Television, Niklas Lindberg has for many years given classical music both a face and a voice. For a long time, he has been a speaker at Berwaldhallen in Stockholm. In addition, he devotes his time to organising trips with opera music as the theme. In reference to his long-standing contribution to music journalism, Niklas has called his program ”45 years of thoughts on how we experience music”. We will meet him on Saturday 1st September 16:30.

No festival would be complete without a family program. This year will rock a little extra when we set sail with Emma and the Jazzcrusaders in Båtjazz on Sunday 2 September 14:00. The music will flow smoothly whether it’s stormy or still waters with Emma Denward (vocals, lyrics, songwriter) Magnus Hjorth (piano, songwriter), David Andersson (double-bass) and Anders Vestergård (drums). Ola Simonsson will act as stage director and Petra Löfmarck is responsible for puppets and scenography.

As usual, the festival will include several free lunch concerts. The participating pianists this year will be Julia Isaksson, Anton Mejias, Sebastian Iivonen, Sten Ulloa Carler, Anaïs Cassiers and David Munk-Nielsen, all of whom have come a long way in their education and have performed many concerts.

Free pubic masterclasses are also a part of the festival. This year, they will be led by David Fray, Julia Mustonen and Konstantin Scherbakov.

Helsingborg Piano Festival is produced in association with Musik i Syd.

The Helsingborg Piano Festival is included in the Five Star Festival.

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