Piano Maestro to play Maleny

Internationally acclaimed pianist Piers Lane to play Chopin by candlelight

By Sonia Isaacs

IN a spectacular coup for the Maleny Arts Council, internationally acclaimed pianist Piers Lane AO will be performing all 21 of Chopin’s Nocturnes, promising a memorable concert experience for hinterland audiences.
Having performed to sold-out audiences across the globe, received standing ovations at Carnegie Hall, and boasting a wide-ranging concerto repertoire, Lane has engaged with many of the world’s greatest orchestras and musicians.
This will be the first time in over a decade that the Australian ex-pat pianist performs in Maleny
Speaking with GC&M News, Piers Lane credited his parents for instilling his love of the piano.
He recalled his early competition wins, including his teenage participation in the very first Sydney International Piano Competition, where he won the prize for best Australian.
“It’s been lovely that I went on to be the artistic director of that competition since 2015,” he said.
“And in fact, the next one will be in 2027, which will be the 50th anniversary of the first one, so a nice trajectory for me.”
Piers acknowledges that his craft has afforded him an incredibly interesting life, from his childhood in suburban Brisbane to travelling the world for up to eight months a year.
Over the years, he has held artistic stewardship of numerous high calibre events such as 11 years with the Australian Festival of Chamber Music, and has played at some of the most prestigious venues, festivals, and concert halls on the planet.
“I have to be extremely grateful,” he said.
“As a musician, you get to go everywhere from Buckingham Palace to coaching little kids in Eskimo land in Alaska and Africa, those sorts of experiences are priceless.”
From playing in the heart of Zimbabwe to giving a memorable concert in a village in Ecuador, Piers reflected, “I’ve had really treasurable experiences, and long may they continue,” he laughed.
Piers said he still tries to practise every day.
“When I was young, I would practise for hours and hours every day; now it’s probably less – but it depends on what I’ve got to do,” he explained.
“Some things I’ve played hundreds of times in my life and they don’t need as much work as things that are new.”
The Chopin Nocturnes by candlelight is a concept Piers started in 2010 for the bicentenary of Chopin’s birth.
He has just been booked to perform another 13 shows internationally, and said he is looking forward to bringing the recital to Maleny.
“It’s been one of the most popular recital programs I’ve ever had,” he said.
“To hear them all in one go is actually quite rare, to have an evening of just Chopin nocturnes.
“It’s also very special to perform it by candlelight.”
Piers said that, as well as playing, he’ll speak a little throughout the performance.
“I have always enjoyed that aspect as well, and meeting people afterwards. I think I’m a people person, really.” Piers will perform on Friday, July 19 at 7pm at the Maleny Community Centre, www.malenyartscouncil.com.