There is no other instrument capable of sounding so complete nor of repeatedly arousing such great delight. Whether to accompany a song or to perform the most demanding and virtuosic solo piece, the remarkable versatility of the piano makes it an instrument of almost endless potential and reinvention. As much a permanent feature in popular music as it is in classical music, the piano has been the instrument chosen by many of the most brilliant musicians in history and it is also the inspiration for the programming of the “Pianomania” series.
The fascination that the piano and its players continue to exert over audiences finds in every Gulbenkian Music season a moment of sublimation, with the greatest contemporary pianists renewing this unbreakable romance without an end in sight. The different approaches to the instrument are perfectly exemplified in the collaboration between jazz and classical shown by Mário Laginha and Pedro Burmester, whose long-standing partnership guarantees that the unpredictable can always appear in their joint performances. The celebrated Menahem Pressler’s 93 years and the 26 of Daniil Trifonov encapsulate a whole recent history of the instrument, with Mitsuko Uchida, Elisabeth Leonskaja, Beatrice Rana and Yuja Wang joining the two extremes in an exquisite selection of pianists of unsurpassed inspiration and resources that would seem unlimited. While the piano is present with such consistent regularity throughout the season, such a concentration of peaks of interest in the approach to the instrument can only go by the name of "Pianomania”.
The celebrated Menahem Pressler’s 93 years and the 26 of Daniil Trifonov encapsulate a whole recent history of the instrument, fromt he collaboration Mário Laginha and Pedro Burmester, to the exuberance of Yuja Wang and mastery of Mitsuko Uchida and Elisabeth Leonskaja. Seven concerts in an exquisite selection of pianists of unsurpassed inspiration and resources that would seem unlimited.
Complementing the performances, films and documentaries whose main subject is the piano and the performer will be screened. From the Oscar winner ‘The Pianist’ (Roman Polanski) and Jane Campion’s The Piano to short-movies about Glenn Gould and Zhu Xiao-Mei, we give you plenty of good reasons to come and get to know one of the most versatile and fascinating instruments ever invented.
Portuguese pianist Joana Gama will perform, during a period of 14 hours, Erik Satie’s ‘Vexations’. The premier of this piece was organized in 1963 by John Cage, a great admirer and promoter of Satie’s work, and lasted for about 18 hours. By then, eleven pianists played it in shifts from the beginning to the end, but today several ones have fully performed the whole piece by themselves.