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'Alkan, ‘The Berlioz of the Piano’?

Language: In English

Alkan: whether regarded as a maverick loner or an unsung genius, his influence on the music of the Romantic era is undeniable. This concert, ‘Alkan, The Berlioz of the Piano?’ marks the first of Lutchmayer’s ‘Alkan Encircled’, a cycle of concerts in honour of Alkan’s bicentennial year that are programmed to offer direct and at times stark contrast between Alkan’s music and that of his more illustrious peers.

‘The Berlioz of the Piano’ is an oft quoted but seldom interrogated aphorism from Hans von Bulow that has frequently blighted the reception of Alkan’s style. This recital will compare his symphonic piano style with Liszt and Berlioz at their most phantasmagorical to see whether (and where) the label sticks.

Alkan Symphony for Solo Piano

Liszt/Berlioz ‘Ball’ [&] ‘March to the Scaffold’ from Symphonie Fantastique

Alkan/Beethoven Concerto in C minor transcribed for solo piano

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Liszt Totentanz (version for solo piano by the composer)

Karl Lutchmayer is a concert pianist, lecturer and founder of the critically-acclaimed Conversational Concerts series. He studied at the Royal College of Music under Peter Wallfisch and John Barstow and also undertook periods of study with Lev Naumov at the Moscow Conservatoire. For his Masters’ degree he conducted extensive research into performing practice in the piano music of Busoni, since when his research interests have grown to include Liszt, Alkan, Enescu, The Creative Transcription Network, reception theory, and the history of piano recital programming.

His career as a lecturer began when the prestigious Constant [&] Kit Lambert Fellowship was awarded to him by the Worshipful Company of Musicians – the first time in its history that it was awarded to an instrumentalist. Guest lectureships at leading Conservatoires followed, including a long term engagement at the Juilliard in New York. Since 2008, Karl has been Professor of Performance Practice at Trinity College of Music in London.

Karl has also been in considerable demand as a performer and recently was awarded the prestigious title of Steinway Artist. He has given recitals and concertos throughout the world, working with conductors including Lorin Maazel and Sir Andrew Davis, and performed at all the major London concert halls. He has broadcast on BBC Radio3, All India Radio and Classic FM, and is a regular chamber performer, particularly with his own ensemble, Dialogos. A passionate advocate of contemporary music, Karl has also given over 90 world premieres and had many works written especially for him.

When not traveling the world, Karl resides in Kensington, London, where he indulges his other passion – classic cars – with a collection which includes a 1968 Triumph Spitfire, and his new pride and joy, a 1965 E-Type Jaguar.

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