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Back on course

The vaccine could not have arrived a moment too soon for the world of music. Many organisations have been in complete or partial shutdown for months, their survival dependent on the largesse of governments and private donors. And while online streaming has provided a vital source of income for some, most musicians are still earning much less than a year ago.

As we turn the corner into 2021, however, there are plenty of reasons to feel optimistic. The vaccine offers huge hope that live concerts can return soon, while advances in streaming made during the pandemic will likely mean it becomes standard practice from now on. This issue of International Piano includes the positive news that British piano retailer Coach House Pianos has opened a new showroom in southwest London (see page 7). This bold move will capitalise on the upsurge in piano-playing among people who have finally found time to explore their passion for music while working from home.

It also seems likely that some level of international travel will resume in 2021 – notwithstanding the extra challenge of Brexit for UK readers. To whet your appetite, our diary of upcoming courses and summer schools on page 31 sets out a plethora of options for developing your skills in communal settings around the world.

In the meantime, for those who prefer staying at home with a good book, we’ve compiled a winter reading list of novels that feature the piano and pianists (page 21). It’s a wide-ranging selection of titles that runs the gamut from throwaway thrillers to serious literature, with something to suit every taste.

Elsewhere in this issue, we explore the extraordinary and confounding discography of free-spirited French pianist Samson François (page 25), discover a beautiful miniature by the early 20th-century Portuguese composer António Fragoso (page 45)

and delve into some rarely heard operatic transcriptions that make the piano sing (page 60). An unlikely source of good cheer can also be found in this month’s column by Charivari (page 14), who finds himself moved to tears by the power of melody.

Owen Mortimer, Editor

International Piano o�ers a rich mix of inspiration and guidance to pianists and piano fans around the world, from dedicated amateurs and students to professional pianists, teachers and a�cionados. Celebrating the piano in all its forms, including the fortepiano and digital keyboards, each edition of our magazine is packed with interviews, features, news and reviews showcasing the top artists of today and yesteryear. Practical advice for players runs the gamut from articles on technique and repertoire to learning resources and study courses, plus the latest developments in piano technology. Our goal is to draw together the fascinating strands that make the piano such a popular instrument, enhancing every reader’s knowledge and supporting those who strive to master its challenges.


EDITORIAL Phone +44 (0)20 7333 1702 Editor-in-Chief Owen Mortimer Editorial Director Ashutosh Khandekar Assistant Editor Josephine Miles Design Louise Wood Music Typesetting Beautiful Setting EDITORIAL BOARD Iain Burnside, Peter Froundjian, Adam Gatehouse, Stephen Hough, Donald Manildi Simon Markson, Charles Owen, Roberto Prosseda, Johan Sandback, Mike Spring SUBSCRIPTIONS AND BACK ISSUES Phone UK 0800 137201 Overseas +44(0)1722 716997 Email Subscriptions Manager Bethany Foy UK Subscription Rate £64

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ADVERTISING Phone +44(0)207 333 1741 Group Sales Manager Alisdair Ashman Production Controller Daniela Di Padova +44 (0)20 7333 1727

PUBLISHING Phone +44(0)20 7738 5454 Publishing Director Owen Mortimer Director of Marketing & Digital Strategy Luca Da Re Marketing Manager John Barnett Group Institutional Sales Manager Jas Atwal Production Director Richard Hamshere Circulation Director Sally Boettcher Managing Director Paul Geoghegan Chief Operating Offi cer Jon Benson Chief Executive Offi cer Ben Allen Chairman Mark Allen

International Piano, ISSN 2042-0773, (USPS 7295) is published monthly by MA Music, Leisure & Travel Ltd, St Jude’s Church, Dulwich Road, London SE24 0PB, United Kingdom. The US annual subscription price is $91.99. Airfreight and mailing in the USA by agent named WN Shipping USA, 156-15, 146th Avenue, 2nd Floor, Jamaica, NY 11434, USA. Periodicals postage paid at Jamaica NY 11431. US Postmaster: Send address changes to International Piano, WN Shipping USA, 156-15, 146th Avenue, 2nd Floor, Jamaica, NY 11434, USA Subscription records are maintained at MA Music, Leisure & Travel Ltd, Unit A, Buildings 1-5 Dinton Business Park, Catherine Ford Road, Dinton, Salisbury, Wiltshire SP3 5HZ. Air Business Ltd is acting as our mailing agent.

© MA Music, Leisure and Travel Ltd, 2021. All rights reserved. No part of International Piano may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise without prior written permission of the publishing director. The views expressed do not necessarily represent those of the editor. The presence of advertisements in International Piano implies no endorsement of the products or services o�ered. Every e�ort has been made to ensure the accuracy of statements in this magazine but we cannot accept responsibility for errors or omissions, or for matters arising from clerical or printers’ errors, or an advertiser not completing their contract. We have made every e�ort to secure permission to use copyright material. Where material has been used inadvertently or we have been unable to trace the copyright owner, acknowledgement will be made in a future issue. Please read our privacy policy by visiting This will explain how we process, use and safeguard your data. Printed in the UK by Pensord, Pontllanfraith, Blackwood, NP12 2YA Newstrade distribution by Seymour 020 7429 4000

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