City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Swiss Ambassador’s Award Concert, St Cecilia's Hall, Review

By Barnaby Miln - Posted on 29 October 2010

Francesco Piemontesi
Show Details
Bach, Partita No 1; Schubert, Piano Sonata D664; Liszt, La Vallée d’Obermann; Tognetti, Hommage à Schumann; Schumann, Fantasie.
Francesco Piemontesi (piano)
Running time: 

Francesco Piemontesi was the winner of this year’s Swiss Ambassador’s Prize and the concert, designed to give publicity to the winner, was part of his reward. Normally just taking place in London, we were privileged to hear this year’s winner in St Cecilia’s Hall in the Cowgate. The award is given to a Swiss musician or ensemble, and its promotion forms part of the objectives of the Swiss Cultural Fund in Britain.

Francesco Piemontesi is 27 and was born in Locarno. After studying in Hanover and going on to win international prizes, his career has begun to blossom with a list of solo performances with impressive orchestras and many more in his calendar. His is now a BBC New Generation Artist.

As his concert progressed we saw more and more of the spirit in him. At first he was ever so slightly haunched over his keyboard playing with great care the Bach Partita No 1.

He really came into his own with the Andante of Schubert’s Sonata in A major. He finished the first half with a piece Liszt wrote giving his first impressions of Switzerland after eloping and settling in Geneva.

Everybody was treated to a glass of sparkling Swiss wine downstairs in the interval. Before long we were hearing Francesco Piemontesi play Fabio Tognetti’s Hommage à Schumann, written in 2009.

It might have been the wine, but no, his pages were indeed being turned by a clever small machine which had been placed on the music stand of the piano.

It was then taken away for us to hear, for me, the highlight of the evening - Schumann’s Fantasie in C major.

Although in a Swiss carrier bag, he was presented with a bottle of Scotch and some tartan after the enthusiastic applause had died down.

Let’s hope we see this young man back in Edinburgh before too long.

Event: Thursday 28 October 2010 at 7.30pm