Outstanding line-up for Piano Festival

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Following a highly successful weekend in April, programming for the Fifth annual Hebden Bridge Piano Festival, which starts on April 21, 2017 at Hebden Bridge Town Hall, is now almost complete.

As ever, the weekend will be packed with exciting and wonderful concerts, masterclasses, free gigs, and family-friendly events.

The 2016 festival’s line-up has a distinctly international flavour with performances by headline pianists from China, Russia, Poland, India and Greece.

In 2017 the festival aims to better this, with artists originally from Romania, Israel, Portugal, Scotland, Jordan, South Korea, Belgium and the USA performing at the Festival. Headlining the Festival is Lisbon-born virtuoso Artur Pizarro, whose distinguished career started when he took first prize at the 1990 Leeds International Piano Competition, along with young Romanian pianist Alexandra Dariescu who has performed at the Royal Albert Hall and New York’s Carnegie Hall.

David Greilsammer takes a break from directing the Geneva Camerata to present a concert that contrasts the Baroque style of Scarlatti with the Sonatas for prepared piano by John Cage.

Sharing the bill with these luminaries are Murray McLachlan whose lecture/recital “The Pianist as Hero” promises to be as entertaining and informative as it will be virtuosic, and the extraordinarily gifted American jazz pianist Marc Cary who will be making a rare appearance as a solo recitalist.

Jordanian pianist and RNCM graduate Iyad Sughayer presents a superb programme for his lunchtime recital, and another is given by the four-hands, two-piano partnership of Victor Lim and Ryan Drucker.

The festival continues to programme concerts given by performers of national and international repute alongside recitals and other piano-associated events which involve the local community. As always, the 2017 programme follows this well-tested formula whilst also experimenting with new ideas.

The launch of the 2017 programme takes place in Hebden Bridge Town Hall on Saturday March 11, when tickets, including great-value weekend passes, will go on sale.

lDave Nelson’s annual Family Christmas Singalong, which raises funds for Hebden Bridge Piano Festival, takes place this year at 5pm on Saturday, December 17 and will feature mince pies and mulled wine, Scottish bagpipes, carols from Wainsgate Waits and of course lots of singalong fun with Dave at the new Town Hall piano. Tickets (£10/£8/£3) go on sale on December 1 Hebden Bridge Town Hall (10am-4pm) and online at www.hebdenbridgepianofestival.com.