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Alkan, the Lonely Visionary?


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Alkan enjoys a reputation as a loner, one who set himself apart, away from the glamour – and tawdriness – of the Paris scene. Yet why did this man – oft-feted as the ‘Berlioz of the Piano’ – exile himself? And what impact did this have on his music?

This concert, the second in Lutchmayer’s Alkan Circle Series, provides an insight into Alkan’s private life, the choices he made, and sets his music against that of his more illustrious and flamboyant peers – Chopin and Liszt.

Liszt, Chopin, Herz, Pixis, Thalberg, Czerny: Hexameron

Chopin Allegro de Concert

Alkan Concerto for Solo Piano Op39

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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