The fifth season of the popular Yamaha International Piano series at Malvern Theatres continues with a recital on Thursday 21stFebruary by Freddy Kempf, regarded as one of the most exciting and extraordinary pianists of the younger generation and concludes on Friday 8thMarch with one of Britain’s foremost and renowned musicians, Steven Osborne.

The fifth series coincides with Yamaha’s 125thAnniversary year of celebrations and to mark the occasion Freddy Kempf and Steven Osborne will both perform an inspiring programme of works using Yamaha’s CFX Concert Grand Piano.

Freddy Kempf is one of today’s most successful pianists, performing to sell-out audiences all over the world. Exceptionally gifted with an unusually broad repertoire, Freddy has built a unique reputation as an explosive performer not afraid to take risks as well as a serious, sensitive and profoundly musical artist. The Guardian wrote, "Kempf shaped lines with delicacy and insight, yet it was the balance with an impetuous Beethovenian fire that lifted the performance of the third concerto on to a higher level."

Steven Osborne is one of Britain’s most highly regarded pianists. His awards and prizes have included a Gramophone Award in 2009 (he was also a finalist in the BBC Music Magazine Awards in the same year), the German Schallplattenpreis (three times), and first prize at both the Naumburg International Competition in New York and the Clara Haskil Competition.

The firth Yamaha International Piano series has already included recitals by Joanna MacGregor and Marc-Andre Hamelin. Previous seasons have featured sellout concerts by internationally acclaimed pianists, HJ Lim, Steven Kovacevich, François-Frédéric Guy, Paul Lewis, Peter Donohoe, Freddy Kempf, John Lill, Noriko Ogawa, Nikolai Demidenko, Angela Hewitt, Stephen Hough, Benjamin Grosvenor, Artur Pizarro and Jean-Efflam Bavouzet.

Yamaha’s CFX Grand, played by all artists for the series, has redefined Yamaha's reputation on many prestigious concert venues throughout the world, including London’s Queen Elisabeth Hall, Paris Theatre des Champs Elysses, Warsaw Philharmonie, and was the choice of the winner of the International Chopin Piano Competition in 2010, its year of introduction.

Yamaha’s Leanne Barrell comments, “At Yamaha pianos we are absolutely thrilled to be welcoming Freddy Kempf and Steven Osborne to our partnership with Malvern Theatres. Yamaha pianos are now becoming an increasingly popular feature in the world’s concert halls and we are proud that these recitals allow us to continue to present some of the world’s finest pianists in an idyllic setting.”

Malvern Theatres marketing director Fred Moroni said, “Malvern Theatres congratulates Yamaha on its 125thanniversary is once again grateful for its support, which has helped secure a distinguished line up of internationally renowned pianists. We sincerely hope this wonderful partnership with Yamaha will continue to bring the very best pianists here for many years to come.”

Ticket prices: £14 - £21.

Starts: 7.30 pm     Venue: Forum Theatre

Recitals are now available for booking. For more information and to purchase tickets online, please visit or call the box office on 01684 892277.

Freddy Kempf’s full programme is as follows:

Beethoven: Sonata Op81a 'Les Adieux'

Liszt/Verdi Miserere from Il Trovatore.

Chopin: Ballades Nos 3 & 4.

Schumann: Kreisleriana.

Steven Osborne’s full programme is as follows:

Schubert: Impromptu D935 No.1

Schubert: Sonata in G  D894

Beethoven: 11 Bagatelles Op 119

Beethoven: Sonata Op 111


Extra notes:

Freddy Kempf was born in London in 1977, Freddy made his concerto debut with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the age of 8, and, maintaining a strong link with the orchestra ever since, joined them for his conducting debut in 2011. Last season, Freddy play/directed the ensemble in a complete cycle of Beethoven’s piano concertos, giving 11 performances in many of the UK’s most significant venues.

Freddy came to national prominence in 1992 when he won the BBC Young Musician of the Year Competition. In 1998, his award of third, rather than first, prize in the Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition in Moscow provoked protests from the audience and an outcry in the Russian press, which proclaimed him "the hero of the competition". His international career was rapidly established and his unprecedented popularity with Russian audiences has since been reflected in numerous sold-out concerts and television broadcasts.

Many international debuts followed, with collaborations including such eminent ensembles and conductors as the Philharmonia Orchestra under Sir Andrew Davis and Kurt Sanderling, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra under Daniele Gatti, Matthias Bamert and Charles Dutoit, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic/Petrenko, La Scala Philharmonic/Chailly, St Petersburg Philharmonic/Temirkanov, Russian State Symphony/Sinaisky, Dresden Symphony/Herbig, Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestra/Ivor Bolton, Seattle Symphony/Schwarz, San Francisco Symphony/Tortelier, Philadelphia Orchestra/Sawallisch, NHK Symphony/Simonov, European Union Youth Orchestra/Ashkenazy, Prague Philharmonia/Belohlavek, the Residentie Orkest/Neeme Jaarvi and Luxembourg Philharmonic/Krivine.

Recent engagements have included concerts with RTVE Symphony Orchestra Madrid under Carlos Kalmar, the Vancouver Symphony under Bramwell Tovey and a collaboration with the Australian Chamber Orchestra and violinist/director Richard Tognetti at Birmingham’s Symphony Hall. Last season also saw Freddy’s debuts with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra under Thomas Dausgaard and the Nice Philharmonic under Mikhail Jurowski.

The current season opens with a major UK tour with the St Petersburg Symphony, preceded by a concert at the Grand Hall of St Petersburg Philharmonia. Freddy also opens the season at the Prague Symphony Orchestra and returns to the Ulster Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra for a concert at London’s Royal Albert Hall. The season’s highlights also include debuts with the Helsinki and Copenhagen Philharmonic orchestras, as well as a UK tour with the Czech Philharmonic and a play/direct project with the Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra which takes Freddy to both the Budapest Spring Festival and the Menuhin Festival Gstaad. Further afield, Freddy is a favourite with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra where he returns for two major projects in the coming seasons.

A committed recitalist, Freddy has appeared on many of the world’s most important stages including, most recently, the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatoire, the Berlin Konzerthaus, Milan’s Conservatorio’s Sala Verdi, the Sociedad Filharmónica Bilbao, London’s Cadogan Hall, Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall, the ABC Southbank in Brisbane and Sydney’s City Hall. The last two seasons have seen Freddy complete extensive recital tours of Japan including Tokyo’s Suntory Hall. In the current season, Freddy gives recitals at the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall in Moscow, the City Concert Hall in Hong Kong and at the International Piano Series on London’s Southbank.

Freddy records exclusively for BIS Records. In 2010, his recording of Prokofiev’s Piano Concertos Nos. 2 & 3 with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra and Andrew Litton was nominated for the prestigious Gramophone Concerto Award and described by the associated magazine as “A masterful Prokofievian pair”. This highly successful collaboration was followed by a recording of Gershwin’s works for piano and orchestra, released in 2012 and described in the press as “beautiful, stylish, light, and elegant… magnificent”. Meanwhile Freddy’s solo recital disc of Rachmaninov, Bach/Busoni, Ravel and Stravinsky, released in 2011, was praised by BBC Music Magazine for its “wonderful delicate playing and fine sense of style”. In July 2010, Freddy took up an invitation to participate in a recording project featuring a new work ‘Genesis Symphony’ by Tolga Kashif, performed with the London Symphony Orchestra.

Steven Osborne’s international career takes him to all corners of the globe. In 1995 he made his debut tour of Japan which included a recital at Tokyo’s Suntory Hall, and he returns regularly to the city. He has developed a strong reputation in the USA, making his debut at Carnegie Hall in 2005 and most recently performing with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. In Europe he has given recitals at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Konzerthaus Vienna, Philharmonie Berlin, Palais des Beaux-Arts Brussels and Musikhalle Hamburg and has worked with orchestras including the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Danish Radio Symphony, Finnish Radio Symphony, Residentie Orkest and NDR Sinfonieorchester Hannover.

A regular soloist on the UK concert platform, Steven Osborne performs with the major British orchestras, especially with the Philharmonia, City of Birmingham and BBC Scottish Symphony orchestras. His concerts are regularly broadcast by the BBC and he performs every year at Wigmore Hall and the Edinburgh Festival and has made numerous appearances at the BBC Proms. Steven is also a committed chamber musician, and performs regularly with German cellist Alban Gerhardt.


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