THORSON & THURBER
Founders of the Samsø Piano Festival, THORSON &THURBER are one of the most established piano duos in Northern Europe.They began their duo partnership whilst fellow-students at the Royal College of Music, and since then have explored pretty well every nook and cranny of the repertoire.
Neglected masterpieces as well as scores with the ink still wet on the page have rubbed shoulders with established works in their programmes, giving them their unique flavour .Indeed,a concert given in London in 1993 was selected as the outstanding musical event of the year by The Independent’s critic Nicholas Williams.
Their recordings include the complete duo works of Ravel and Rachmaninov (Gramophone’s Critics’ Choice)…Dvorak (“very strongly recommended”-Brilliant Classics)…Poulenc (“The Danish-based duo Thorson & Thurber are among the few who have really cracked the secrets of this music”-Classic CD)…Kim Helweg (“There is no denying the verve of the writing, nor indeed the tremendous advocacy it receives”-Gramophone)…Adrian Jack (voted album of the week by The Independent, “The music combines mercurial invention with full-dress pianistic grandeur”).
HEGHINE RAPYAN (born April 24, 1985 in Gavar, Armenia) is a young pianist of Armenian origin. She is an honours graduate (diploma with distinction) of the “Komitas” State Conservatory, Yerevan, Armenia. In 2008 she was offered a place for Postgraduate study in “Mozarteum” University in Salzburg / Austria, where she studied under the guidance of Prof. Peter Lang and latterly Prof. Rolf Plagge. In addition, since 2011, Heghine is researching on the biography of an unknown Austrian woman composer of the late 19th / early 20th century.
She has participated in Masterclasses of Alexander Banduryansky, Jerome Rose, Jura Margulis, Robert Levin, Klauss Hellwig, Ludmil Angelov and Arnulf von Arnim.
Heghine Rapyan is a dynamic piano player and since 2001 has given recitals in the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Italy, Greece, Russia, Armenia and Saudi Arabia and performed as a soloist with the Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra and Armenian National Chamber Orchestra.
She is an award winner of national and international piano competitions in Armenia, Moldavia, Greece and Italy. She is a recipient of the special prize of Kawai “most promising talent” and has received study scholarships.
Steinway Artist Natsuki Fukasawa’s music career has taken her throughout U.S. cities as well as to Europe, Scandinavia, Israel, Australia, Brazil, Japan and China, performing at such venues as Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center and Copenhagen’s Tivoli Concert Hall. Fukasawa has won many accolades and international prizes, including rave reviews in Strad and Fanfare magazines and the Best Chamber Music Recording of the Year from the Danish Music Awards. In 2012, Ms. Fukasawa was added to the distinguished roster of International Steinway Artists.
Ms. Fukasawa has recorded for the Classico and Da Capo labels and her career is noted in the World of Women in Classical Music and Who’s Who in America.
Steinway Artist Richard Cionco has performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Alice Tully Hall in New York, and almost every major U.S. city, as well as in China, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Canada, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Germany, Italy, and Denmark. He has toured with and recorded, the Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto
No. 3, and most recently he has been performing the Grieg concerto, the two Liszt concertos and Totentanze.
A graduate of the University of Maryland and The Juilliard School, where he was a scholarship and fellowship recipient, Mr. Cionco won the Helen Fay Piano Prize upon graduation for exceptional achievement and character. Each summer he teaches at the Orfeo Int’l Music Festival in the Italian Alps. Formerly a teaching fellow at Juilliard, Mr. Cionco is currently full Professor of Piano at California State University Sacramento.
Other projects include a new CD of Beethoven’s late piano music, two short films by Anders Østerballe. Several of Mr. Cionco’s original compositions and arrangements have been performed in the U.S., Italy, Germany, Switzerland, and Brazil. His first solo CD, Latin American Music for Solo Piano on Centaur Records, has received rave reviews, notably by the American Record Guide.
Christodoulos Georgiades has been involved with music since an early age. He composed as a child, but when he moved from Cyprus to study and live in Vienna at the age of fourteen, his aspirations as a composer were put on hold and he focussed all his energy into mastering the piano and its vast repertoire.
In 1969 was invited to New York by the Greek composer Manos Hadjidakis. This revelatory and invigorating experience broadened his musical horizons and led to a turning point that shaped his future career.
In 1989, after a gap of 30 years, he started composing again and to date has written over 75 works, for different forces. As a believer in the power of melody and “sophisticated tonality”, he describes tonal language like working with wool, cotton and silk, whereas to him atonality feels like constructing musical forms from nylon or plastic. He writes that the main difference being that tonality obeys natural laws, whereas atonality adheres to man-made rules.
As a solo pianist he has toured America, Europe, the Middle and Far East, and Mexico, and his output includes 5 recordings and over 80 compositions that range from children’s pieces to opera. A recent concert of his works to mark his 70th birthday in London received enthusiastic reviews.
When Luca Sestak published his first videos of him playing the piano on YouTube at age 11, he most likely didn’t expect that it would escalate: 10 Years and 16 million video views later things have moved on a lot: Playing shows all over Europe, the US at festivals and concerts with headliners like Jamie Cullum or Gregory Porter, China, and Tunisia, as well as TV performances and numerous radio broadcasts.
Boundaries, limits? There are none! Jazz, Blues, Funk, Pop and even Classical music are thrown into a pot, being mixed up and combined with each other – what comes out is his very own style as unique as indescribable. At the latest when every foot in the audience is stomping to the beat, Chopin learns how to play the Blues and „House of the Rising Sun“ gets funky, you know: This is no „piano concert“ – this guy rocks!