Reviewed by: Les Reynolds, editor, ProQuest
International Piano’s audience is easily determined as those who are professional, serious pianists, or at least passionate aficionados. Others in the industry where pianos are the focus would also benefit from this publication. That being said, the magazine is readable, interesting, and at times entertaining - even for the layperson.
A British publication, IP is well-written – with a dash of British wit here and there – well-organized, and presented in an intelligent format which makes sense and assumes intelligence on the part of its readers. This is accomplished without “talking down” to its audience – although non-British persons might need to educate themselves on some of the jargon that is used and some of the organizations mentioned.
The magazine contains news items, commentaries, memoirs, features, sheet music and recording reviews, and instructional pieces. While specific content varies to provide variety and cover the necessary topics, the basic framework and general subject matter remains consistent with each issue.
A late 2014 issue, for example, included the following items:
1. A news item noting the discovery in a Hungarian library of a lost Mozart manuscript (piano sonata 11, in A major)
2. A feature about up-and-coming Chinese pianist Haochen Zhang, born in 1990. The former child prodigy is a past Van Cliburn competition winner, and had his BBC Proms debut in 2014
3. A feature about Russia-born pianist Elisabeth Leonskaja, who now lives in Vienna, Austria, yet maintains Russian culture at the core of her music
4. An article about a controversial episode at an international piano competition in Italy. Jury member Pascal Rogé was asked to apologize after resigning from his post following the semi-final. He accused the Italian judges of rigging the votes to ensure an Italian winner
5. An historical examination of piano duos
6. Advice on playing with emotion
and 7. A brief discussion and presentation of the sheet music for “Arabia; Etude-Tableaux Opus 1,” by Elena Cobb
This is by no means a comprehensive list, but merely a highlight of some of the informative and interesting content to be found in the pages of International Piano.