Piers Lane AO is the Artistic Director of the Sydney International Piano Competition. 2016 was the first year with Piers at the creative helm, and his enthusiasm, skills and sheer musical ability bring exciting changes. He has had a long association with the event: he won the prize for the ‘Best Australian Pianist’ in the first Sydney International Piano Competition and gave the Opening Recital as a juror of the 2004 Competition too.
About Piers Lane AO
Piers, who lives in London, is one of Australia’s most renowned and engaging performers. Always in great demand worldwide as soloist and collaborative artist, recent highlights include a performance of Busoni’s mighty piano concerto at Carnegie Hall, premieres of Carl Vine’s second Piano Concerto, written specifically for him, with the Sydney Symphony and the London Philharmonic, and sold-out recitals at Wigmore Hall.
His concerto repertoire of 100 works has led to engagements with many of the world’s great orchestras, including all the BBC and ABC orchestras, the American, Bournemouth and Gothenburg Symphony Orchestras, the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Orchestre National de France, Sinfonia Varsovia, the Royal Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Czech and Warsaw Philharmonic orchestras among many others.
Five times soloist at the BBC Proms in the Royal Albert Hall, he gave the centenary performance there of Sir Arthur Bliss’s Piano Concerto, which he also played years later with the American Symphony and Leon Botstein in New York’s Avery Fisher Hall at the Lincoln Center. With the same forces he played Frank Bridge’s Phantasm at Carnegie Hall, where this year he gave the New York premiere of Ferdinand Ries’s eighth Concerto for the Carnegie Hall debut of TŌN The Orchestra Now.
Piers frequently performs at prestigious festivals such as Aldeburgh, Bard, Cheltenham, Huntington, La Roque d’Anthéron, Newport, Prague Spring, Ruhr Klavierfestival, and the Chopin festivals in Warsaw, Mallorca and Paris. He has been the Artistic Director of the Australian Festival of Chamber Music since 2007 and also directed the annual Myra Hess Day at the National Gallery in London from its inception in 2006 until 2013. From this sprang his collaboration with actress Patricia Routledge on a theatre piece devised by Nigel Hess, exploring Dame Myra’s work throughout the Second World War. This show, entitled Admission: One Shilling, has been performed more than 70 times throughout the UK and more recently throughout Australia and Belgium.
Piers Lane has recorded more than 50 CDs, including much admired recordings of rare Romantic piano concertos, the six works for piano and orchestra by Malcolm Williamson, and two Mozart Concertos; the complete Preludes and Études by Scriabin, and complete collections of concert études by Saint-Saens, Moscheles and Henselt. With the Goldner String Quartet he has recorded eight cds of Piano Quintets, the complete works for violin and piano by Schubert with Tasmin Little, and awaiting release are concertos by Walter Braunfels and the Australian composers Alfred Hill and George Boyle; a followup to the encore disc ‘Piers Goes to Town’ and further cds with the Goldner String Quartet and Tasmin Little.
Many composers have written for Piers and he has premiered works by Brett Dean, Colin Matthews, Richard Mills, Carl Vine, and Malcolm Williamson among others. He has written and presented over 100 programmes for BBC Radio 3, including the popular 54-part series, The Piano. He has received Honorary Doctorates from Griffith University and James Cook University and was recently presented with the first medal from the Laza Kostic fund for promoting Serbian culture during difficult political times in the late 90s. In 1994, he was made an Honorary Member of the Royal Academy of Music, where he was a professor from 1989 to 2007. He is President of the European Piano Teachers’ Association UK, Patron of the Australasian Piano Pedagogy Conference, the Tait Memorial Trust in London, the Youth Music Foundation of Australia, the Music Teachers’ Association and the Accompanists’ Guild in Queensland. In the Queens Diamond Jubilee Birthday Honours, he was made an Officer in the Order of Australia (AO) for distinguished services to the arts as pianist, mentor and artistic director.