25 July 2019, 19:00

New Tretyakov Gallery. Address: Krymsky val. 10


SOUND UP forte

When we hear “piano music,” we imagine the intro rumbles of Tchaikovsky’s First Concerto or delicate passagios of Chopin’s nocturnes. The virtuoso romanticism that marked the 19th century has in many ways become synonymous with piano music as a whole. However, over the last hundred and something years, this instrument has undergone a series of metamorphoses that moved it a long way from Schuman and Lizst: the 20th century composers treated piano as a percussion instrument, took great interest in its timbres, transforming it into the alternative to the Javan gamelan, “untuned” it to discover its performance capabilities in the realm of microintervals, combined it with unexpected instruments – from chimes to traditional Indian – brought the toy piano on stage, and meddled with the instrument’s mechanics, “stuffing” it with foreign objects or using both the keyboard and the grand piano’s body to makes the sounds. The 21st century offered the piano a tie-up with electronics, making its sound capabilities totally unlimited.

The SOUND UP festival of new music is launching a new format – the annual piano festival SOUND UP forte that will enable the music lovers to immerse themselves in the boundless universe of this instrument and to get acquainted with the great variety of its faces and voices. The festival will bring together the practitioners of different music genres, such as the academic, electronic, experimental, and even pop music, who treat the instrument’s capabilities in various ways – and will present the audiences with the most interesting compositions of contemporary authors. 

The first SOUND UP forte will be arranged as a dialog between the champions of the academic music scene and electronic music. 

The festival’s academic part is curated by the celebrated Russian piano player and founder of the Russian piano school for performance of contemporary and early music Alexei Lyubimov. His favorite colleagues and students Mikhail Dubov and Vladimir Ivanov-Rakievsky will give a tour of the piano music’s metamorphoses in the second half of the 20th century, performing compositions of authors from Philip Glass to Hauschka. The festival will open with the performance of the classical piece of the Russian minimalism – “Correspondence” by Vladimir Martynov and Georgs Pelēcis. Sitting at the two grand pianos will be Mikhail Dubov and the musical piece’s author himself, composer Vladimir Martynov.

The electronic part of SOUND UP forte will present three special projects by outstanding Russian producers who experiment with the synthesis of acoustic and electronic sound. St. Petersburg beatmaker Georgy “Long Arm” Kotunov who combines neo-classics with downtempo will perform a special piano set involving electronics and a chamber music ensemble. Producer and composer Azamat, known to the dance music fans as Agraba, will add a string quartet and vocals to the interchange of piano and electronics. Roman “Mujuice” Litvinov, known for dozens of his musical incarnations, will present the first concert performance of his Metamorphosis album for the piano and chamber orchestra.

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