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A pianist to mark a generation

The Pharos Arts Foundation, in collaboration with The Keyboard Charitable Trust in London, will present a piano recital by British concert pianist Mark Viner on Friday at the Shoe Factory in Nicosia.

Viner, who is recognised as one of the most exciting British concert pianists of his generation and who is becoming increasingly well-known for his bold championing of unfamiliar pianistic terrain, will perform pieces by Hungarian composer Franz Lizt, Italian composer Domenico Gaetano Maria Donizetti, French-Jewish composer Charles-Valentin Alkan, Swiss composer and one of the most famous virtuoso pianists of the 19th century Sigismond Thalberg, Polish composer and virtuoso pianist of the Romantic era Frederic Chopin and Italian composer Vincenzo Bellini.

The Pianist magazine describes Viner as being able to manage a near impossible feat of “bringing the melody to the fore with incredibly natural phrasing.”

The road towards playing with “natural phrasing” began at the age of 11, when the pianist began playing. Two years later was awarded a scholarship to enter the Purcell School of Music where he studied with Tessa Nicholson for the next five years – during which time he gave acclaimed performances at venues such as the Wigmore Hall and St John’s Smith Square in London. Another scholarship then took him to the Royal College of Music where he studied with Niel Immelman for six years, graduating in 2011 with both a first-class honours Bachelor of Music degree and winning the coveted Sarah Mundlak Memorial Prize for Piano after having gained the highest mark in the year for his final recital. Following a bursary from the Countess of Munster Musical Trust, he graduated with a distinction in Master of Performance in 2013.

After winning the First Prize at the Alkan-Zimmerman International Piano Competition in Athens, Greece in 2012, his career has flourished and he received a number of invitations in the UK and abroad – to festivals such as the ProPiano Hamburg and Raritaten der Klaviermusik, Husum in Germany, Indian Summer in Levoca, Slovakia, and the Cheltenham Music Festival and Oxford Lieder Festival in the United Kingdom. His recitals and interviews have been broadcast on Deutschlandfunk and BBC Radio Oxford amongst others. Following his affiliation with Keyboard Charitable Trust, Viner has recently embarked on two extremely successful tours of the USA and Germany.

Aside from a busy schedule of performances and teaching, he is also a published writer and his advocacy for the music of Charles-Valentin Alkan led to his election as Chairman of the Alkan Society in the United Kingdom in 2014. As a recording artist, his debut recording of music by Sigismond Thalberg on the Piano Classics label has garnered great critical acclaim while his release on the same label of the music of Franz Liszt is currently attracting similar rave reviews.

The concert is supported by the Keyboard Charitable Trust, whose mission is to help young keyboard players reduce the element of chance in building a professional musical career. The trust identifies the most talented young performers (aged 18-30) and assists their development by offering them opportunities to perform in the most important music centres in Europe and the Americas.

Mark Viner
The Pharos Foundation presents a piano recital. March 24. The Shoe Factory, Nicosia. 8.30pm. 8.30pm. €15/10. Tel: 22-663871

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