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Pianos and Pianists - Consultant Editor Ates Orga

Music and Vision at the Presteigne Festival


Up and coming pianists GRETEL DOWDESWELL and STEPHEN DE PLEDGE feature alongside veteran JOHN McCABE in this weekend’s crowded Presteigne Festival.

Gretel Dowdeswell. Photo copyright Jason BellGretel studied with Hamish Milne at the Royal Academy of Music, completing her training under Leon Fleisher and Jean Francois Heisser at the Academy Maurice Ravel. She spent fruitful time at the Banff Centre for the Arts, and as a solo and chamber player has taken part in masterclasses with Andras Schiff, Gyorgy Kurtag, Alfred Brendel, Menahem Pressler and Boris Berman. Former pianist of the Gould Piano Trio (with whom she won the first Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition and the 1993 Vittorio Gui Competition in Florence), she enjoys a flourishing association with the International Musicians’ Seminar Masterclasses at Prussia Cove.

Stephen De Pledge. Photo copyright Hanya Chlala‘Stunning spring-loaded virtuosity’ (Independent on Sunday). From New Zealand, Stephen studied at the School of Music in Auckland, winning the New Zealand National Piano Competition. He came to London in 1993 to work with Joan Havill at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, receiving the School’s prestigious Gold Medal three years later. Winner of the 1996 National Federation of Music Societies’ Young Concert Artists Award, he has played throughout Britain and Europe, as well as broadcasting for BBC Radio 3 and Classic FM. Next March he will be touring Australia and New Zealand.

Both artists have attracted generous support from the Countess of Munster Musical Trust.

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