OPUS 3 PROUDLY WELCOMES THREE DISTINGUISHED PIANISTS

11.07.14
Sergei Babayan, Llyr Williams

The prolific master and virtuoso Sergei Babayan
Stylistically adventurous jazz and classical pianist Makoto Ozone
The lyrical and entrancing Llyr Williams

Sergei Babayan
"Technical brilliance and imaginative delight..." -London Times

Hailed for his emotional intensity, bold energy and remarkable levels of color, Sergei Babayan brings a deep understanding and insight to a stylistically diverse repertoire, which includes a performance history of 54 concertos.  Le Figaro has praised his "unequaled touch, perfectly harmonious phrasing and breathtaking virtuosity."

This season includes performances in Lugano with Martha Argerich; a return to the Verbier Festival, where he debuted in July 2014; and performances in London at Wigmore Hall, and at the Proms with Valery Gergiev and London Symphony Orchestra.

Last season, Babayan and his star student Daniil Trifonov played several concerts performing the music of Schubert, Mozart, Mendelssohn, Rachmaninov, Rimsky-Korsakov and Prokofiev.

Mr. Babayan performs with the world's foremost orchestras, including the London Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre, Warsaw Philharmonic, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre Nationale de Lille, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and the New World Symphony.  

Makoto Ozone
"Mr. Ozone showed how much classically grounded technique can expand a jazz pianist’s freedom: It opens that many more musical worlds to roam." -The New York Times

Makoto Ozone made his name as a jazz pianist and composer, though in recent years, he has been performing works from the classical music repertoire. Under internationally renowned conductors such as Alan Gilbert, Charles Dutoit, Thomas Zehetmair, Joseph Swensen, and Alexandre Rabinovitch, he has played concertos by Gershwin, Bernstein, Mozart, Beethoven, Rachmaninov and Shostakovich. He has collaborated with orchestras, including NDR Sinfonieorchester, Orchestre de chambre de Paris, Orchestre d'Auvergne, Sinfonia Varsovia, NHK Symphony Orchestra , and many more.

In 2014, he toured Asia with the New York Philharmonic under the baton of Alan Gilbert, performing Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue. The same year, Makoto made a jazz arrangement of Mozart’s piano concerto No. 9 “Jeunehomme” for Scottish National Jazz Orchestra, performing the work’s world premiere together in UK. He performed with NDR Radiophilharmonie in their May 2014 Subscription Concert and in July, he gave special concerts with San Francisco Symphony Orchestra (“Bernstein and Gershwin”, etc). 

Makoto's jazz collaborations have taken him around the world for performances with such famous jazz musicians as Gary Burton, Chick Corea, Paquito D’Rivera, Arturo Sandoval, Branford Marsalis, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Christian McBride, Dave Weckl, Mike Stern and others.

Llyr Williams
"The quality of his full and rounded piano sound is remarkable, too, with a wonderful range of colours to draw on...” -BBC Music Magazine

Williams is widely admired for his profound musical intelligence, and for the expressive and communicative nature of his interpretations.  Williams' recent album of Wagner works for the piano "Wagner Without Words" (Signum) was met with great critical claim: The Guardian wrote, "...everything has a sense of dramatic purpose, as well as power and tonal beauty; the colours Williams creates from the keyboard...are radiant and entrancing."

This season, Williams continues his three year-long project of taking on the complete Beethoven Piano Sonata Cycle. He will perform Beethoven this fall at Wigmore Hall, where he is a regular performer in the main piano series, and the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama in Cardiff. 

Llyr Williams has worked with orchestras around the world, including the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, and the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, among many others. He also appears at the BBC Proms in London and has given many remarkable performances at the Edinburgh International Festival, including a sensationally received performance of Charles Ives’ Concord Sonata in 2010. 

Williams performs regularly at the East Neuk Festival in Scotland, Handelsbeurs Concertzaal Gent, and in the Piano aux Jacobins series in Toulouse. He is currently artist in residence at Galeri Caernarfon in Wales.