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Piano Day 2017

Taking place on the 88th day of the year – as there are 88 keys on a piano – Piano Day is an annual worldwide event celebrating the piano and the joy of playing it.

In celebration, we’ll take you through our music programme and have a closer look at some of the incredible pianists and their recitals at this year's International Festival.

Legendary pianist Mitsuko Uchida is renowned for her interpretations of Mozart and Schumann, whose works she will perform in her Usher Hall recital. Watch the video below and hear the artist talk about her repertoire and why she wants you to come to her performance open-minded.

Leif Ove Andsnes, Pavel Kolesnikov and Dénes Várjon are just some of the many pianists featured in collaborations in The Queen’s Hall concert series. They join this programme alongside three very special piano recitals this year.

Swiss pianist Andreas Haefliger, who you may remember from his performance of Beethoven’s mighty ‘Hammerklavier’ at the 2013 International Festival, returns with a typically wide-ranging recital of Berg, Liszt, Beethoven and Musorgsky.

This year’s music programme features a rare chance to experience Mikhail Pletnev’s searching insights in an intimate piano recital. This compelling conductor, virtuoso pianist and respected musical thinker returns to his great love for the 2017 International Festival; expect to be both charmed and inspired.

Winner of the 2015 International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition, South Korean Seong-Jin Cho is just 23 years old and has already been hailed as one of pianism’s true greats. In his recital, he will perform works of Beethoven and Chopin.

Seong-Jin Cho

There are also fantastic pianists joining great orchestras and singers in the Usher Hall concerts programme. Armenian-American pianist Sergei Babayan joins BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra for Schumann’s exuberant Piano Concerto; British visionary pianist Paul Lewis gives his first performance, in two decades, of Grieg’s dazzling Piano Concerto in A minor joining Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra; Canada’s Marc-André Hamelin joins Scottish Chamber Orchestra for performances of Beethoven’s Leonore Overture No 3 and Chopin’s Second Piano Concerto; and Edinburgh-born Malcolm Martineau, pianist of choice for countless world-renowned singers, joins superstar bass baritone Bryn Terfel.

Don’t miss the extraordinary pianists and singers-songwriters in our contemporary music programme either. Chilly Gonzales, who you might have been lucky enough to see at the 2015 International Festival, presents his brand new collaboration with Jarvis Cocker in Room 29, inspired by a baby grand piano in the Chateau Marmont Hotel in Hollywood.

Benjamin Clementine won the Mercury Prize in 2015 with his debut album At Least for Now, having fallen in love with the piano when he was six and teaching himself to play. He and his piano will be joined by special guests for an evening of beautiful music across international cultures.

The 2017 International Festival gets underway on 4 August. Discover even more music in the programme here. In the meantime, enjoy this exclusive session by András Schiff performed at the 2016 Edinburgh International Festival.

Photos:
Mitsuko Uchida © Roger Mastroianni
Seong-Jin Cho © Harald Hoffmann