Observations: A festival of real note from the BBC
Saturday 15 September 2012
If you like the piano, you'll love this autumn: the BBC is embarking upon a giant celebration of the instrument, lasting for six weeks. The Leeds International Piano Competition is a fine way to begin – in the past it has launched the careers of such revered musicians as Murray Perahia and Radu Lupu. The 2012 final is this weekend.
Beyond that, the capabilities of the piano and those who play it will be centre stage in many shapes and forms. There's a regrettable focus, of course, on training up novice “celebrities” to perform on the piano from scratch, and a huge presence for Lang Lang, arguably today's most recognised pianist, including a new documentary about him. But the most interesting moments could be those off the well-thumped tracks.
Monday evenings feature live recitals on BBC Radio 3; mornings offer the much-loved British pianist Peter Donohoe presenting 50 of his greatest colleagues; Radio 3's In Tune is to have an A to Z of the piano; and online there are special masterclasses for all to learn from.
Piano Season on the BBC, today until 6 November
Final Top Gear reviewTV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
- 2 People all over the world are getting semicolon tattoos to draw attention to mental health
- 3 Van driver who comforted Clark Carlisle and called 999 after suicide attempt dies age 24
- 4 James Blunt was special guest on the highest-rating Top Gear episode ever
- 5 Baby rescued 1km out to sea after parents forgot about her
Bad luck, One Direction: Paul McCartney doubts success of The Beatles will ever be matched again
This is surely the best way to watch Jaws
The Crystal Maze: Richard O’Brien confirmed to return as more details revealed about show's rebooted format
James Blunt was special guest on the highest-rating Top Gear episode ever
Guillaume Tell's gang-rape scene caused uproar at the Royal Opera House – but the portrayal of extreme sex and violence on stage is nothing new
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture