The Montecatini Piano Festival was founded in 2019 by Concert Pianist and Artistic Director Aisa Ijiri, with her dream of creating a Festival Academy where young talents and professional artists would all be able to come together to perform, enjoy concerts and share in the joy of music-making, while also exploring culture, arts, cuisine and scenery. The festival is held in Montecatini Terme in Tuscany, an area renowned for its stunning Italian Art Nouveau architecture, and a spa resort famed for special therapeutic water. It was subsequently visited by great artists and composers such as Verdi, Puccini, Rossini, Richard Strauss as well as fashion designer Christian Dior. 

This summer, we are delighted to launch the Montecatini Piano Concert Series (Online Edition), celebrating the winners of the 1st Montecatini International Piano Competition ; 1st Prize Wei-Ting Hsieh (Taiwan) and Arina Lazgiian (Russia) and 2nd Prize Alis An (Canada) who will all be giving a live concert from their concert platform to your home. 

It has been a very difficult year on so many different levels, and we believe that music has been a healing balm for many of us during the Pandemic. To keep the life of live music going and to support our wonderful future musicians, we would like to invite you all to join our concerts, leave us a comment live and to be part of our wonderful festival family worldwide.

We are looking forward to seeing you all soon!

ONLINE PIANO RECITAL 

Prize Winners of the 

1st Montecatini International Piano Competition 

2nd Prize Winner

I will be performing two Impromptus from Schubert’s posthumous Op. 142, D 935, and Liszt Sonata in B minor. What attracts me to these two works is that they are both so rich in content; not pieces that I will ever be “finished with learning” but rather works that I will play my entire life and still expect some head-scratching. The third Impromptu from Schubert, reminiscent of the second entr’acte of Rosamunde, offers multiple views on the same situation from different characters. The charming yet thoughtful theme undergoes a series of transformations, and we as audience are offered a narrative full of possibilities. The fourth Impromptu is a joke, a prank, a devious child — not meant to be taken too seriously. This playful yet devilish finale to the D 935 Impromptus is a perfect way to lead us to the next piece. Liszt’s B Minor Sonata is at the apex of piano repertoire, and has been written about so extensively that I struggle to find my own words to describe it. I can only say that when I play it, I remember the fight between good and evil within myself and all of humanity, the friction between the allure of the easy way and the dignity of the higher road. Thank you for coming to support me, and I hope you all enjoy the concert. 

SCHUBERT | Four Impromptus, D. 935 (Op. posth. 142), No. 3 in Bb Major
SCHUBERT | Four Impromptus, D. 935 (Op. posth. 142), No. 4 in F minor
LISZT | Sonata in B minor, S. 178

The concert will be available at the advertised time and will be available to view for 48 hours following the broadcast.

Alis An is a Canadian concert pianist and has won the Pauline Hartley Award from the Royal College of Music. She recently won the “Absolute First Prize” at the 5th Tadini International Music Competition and the Second Prize at the 2019 Montecatini International Piano Competition. She is third in the Canadian Music Competition. She is a finalist in the 2018 and 2020 Paris International Music Competitions and has performed in concerts in Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Italy and the Czech Republic. Alis was recently awarded an artist’s diploma at RCM under the guidance of Sofya Gulyak and Nigel Clayton. She is now based in Lugano and she is studying under Vsevolod Dvorkin and William Grant Naboré. She has previously studied under Gordon Fergus Thompson and Dmitri Alexeev and has received generous support from the Alberta Arts Foundation, Anne Burrows Music Foundation, Ranald and Bella Shen Memorial Foundation, and Winspear Foundation. She regularly plays as a soloist and chamber musician, and in her spare time she works with the international classical music festival and the arte solidale festival, a charitable organization, to promote young artists and help underage in need. I am supporting. The territory of Lake Como.

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1st Prize Winner

The reason I perform these works today is that I am in love with them right now. I think the important thing in life is to enjoy the process you do right now. I will be very touched if you will enjoy the music I perform tonight because the classical music is the real world’s phenomime which can warm our hearts and souls.

RAVEL | Sonatine
BACH-BUSONI | Chaconne in D minor, BWV 1004

RACHMANINOV

| Prelude in B minor, op. 32 no.10
| Prelude in F major, op.32 no.7
| Prelude in G minor, op.23 no.5

The concert will be available at the advertised time and will be available to view for 48 hours following the broadcast.

Concert pianist Arina Lazgiian was born in 1991 in Krasnoyarsk, Russia. In June 2019, she graduated from the Royal College of Music in London with an artist diploma under Professor Vanessa Tarsch. She has already earned her master’s degree from the Royal College of Music in the arena and she is backed by the Future of Russia Scholarship. Since arriving at her Royal College of Music, she has won the RCM Concerto Competition 2017, where she plays the Royal College of Music Symphony Orchestra and Saint-Saens Concerto No. 2. The arena also won the Hopkinson Gold Medal for Piano in 2017. She was a finalist in the 2017 Jack Samuel Inter-University Piano Competition at Wigmore Hall. In June 2018, Arena Lazzian was announced as the winner of the 2018/19 Benjamin Britten Piano Fellowship. She was awarded by the Royal College of Music. Named after a renowned composer and RCM graduate, this fellowship supports outstanding pianists accepted in the RCM Artist Diploma Course. That same year, the arena was selected for the final stage of the Busoni International Piano Competition in the summer of 2019 in Bolzano, Italy. In December 2018, the arena was invited by the Royal College of Music to perform at Soiredor, a large-scale funding VIP event held at the Rafael Gallery at the Victoria and Albert Museum. In March 2019, the arena appeared in the French Musique program Générations, where she lives in Paris. In July 2019, she was invited to Mallorca to perform at the international piano festival “Torre de Canyamel”, in which the famous pianist Arcadi Volodos participated. In July of the same year, the arena won third place at the “Flame Concours” held in Paris, France. She recently recorded with Margaret Williams’ dancer Dante Sonata, the musical foundation of the newly choreographed ballet film. Between 2010 and 2015, the arena enrolled in the Moscow Conservatory, where she studied under the renowned pianist Veragol Nosteiewa. Prior to that, she studied under Jelenapriashkevic at the Moscow Gunessin School of Music from 2005 to 2010. In 2005 the arena was awarded an honorary award by the Mayor of St. Petersburg. She performed in the Great Hall of the Philharmonic Society of St. Petersburg, the Academic Capella and Small Hall Glazunov in St. Petersburg, the Sarcolt and Center Spiriture Eculture Lucse in Paris. Her repertoire includes Domenico Skullatti, Bach, Haydn, Beethoven, Mozart, Brahms, Chopin, Liszt, Tchaikovsky, Dvorak, Saint-Saens, Ravel, Foret, Busoni, Mussorgsky, Lakmaninoff, Methnell, Sukliabin, Deshatnikov. Includes composition.

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1st Prize Winner

I chose all Chopin program because I admire Chopin a lot, he’s one of my favorite composers since I was a child. We can imagine his music as an opera, everything is just like singing, for me, his compositions are even like some beautiful poems. People think that Chopin’s music is always soft and sweet, but in fact, you can discover may varieties in my program. From the beginning of the program, you can hear the nocturne with beautiful melody, and then you can also find different types of dances like mazurkas and Boléro, it’s very rare for Chopin to compose a Spanish piece. In this program, we can hear not only the calmness, but also the brilliance of Chopin’s music. Hope you will enjoy them.

CHOPIN | Nocturne in C sharp minor, op.27 no.1
CHOPIN
| Mazurka in A minor, op.59 no.1
| Mazurka in A flat major, op.59 no.2
| Mazurka in F sharp minor, op.59 no.3
CHOPIN | Boléro in C major, op.19
CHOPIN | Fantasy in F minor, op.49
CHOPIN | Scherzo No.1 in B minor, op.20

The concert will be available at the advertised time and will be available to view for 48 hours following the broadcast.

Taiwanese pianist Wei-Ting Hsieh was born in 1996 and has been learning the piano since the age of four. Wei-Ting studied under Chin Chuan Chang in Taiwan. She studied under Michel Béroff, Laurent Cabasso, Maria Josepha Jude and Jonas Vito at the National Conservatory of Music in Paris. She won second place in the Ettlingen International Competition in Germany in 2014. She won first place at Concours Virtuoses du Coeur in France in 2015. She was a semi-finalist in France’s Concours Long Thibauld Crespin in 2015. She won first place. She released her debut album from KNS Classic Label Recording in 2018 at the 2017 Windsor International Piano Competition. She was selected as one of the 24 competitors at the Leeds Piano Competition 2018. She won the silver medal at the Manhattan International Music Competition in 2019. She has performed at several festivals as the 32eme Festival Chopin, the 15th Steinway Piano Festival in Hamburg, Germany. She has “Piano à portes ouvertes” in Paris, the NTUE International Piano Festival in Taiwan, the festival of L’Académie Ravel, and live French music. She played at Festival du Vexin in France and Venice in Italy. She also has recitals and chamber music concerts in France and Taiwan. She co-starred with the Orchestra Symphonique du Pays Basque this summer. She has also worked on chamber music with many grand musicians such as Maria Berusois, Itamar Golan, Michael Hentz and Francois Sarque.

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