Chair of Jury
Barry Douglas has established a major international career since winning the Gold Medal at the 1986 Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition, Moscow. As Artistic Director of Camerata Ireland and the Clandeboye Festival, he continues to celebrate his Irish heritage whilst also maintaining a busy international touring schedule.
Barry Douglas Picture 2015Barry opened the 17/18 season performing Tchaikovsky with the Halle Orchestra, after which he began new collaborations with both the Endellion String Quartet and the Borodin Quartet. He toured in recital in the UK and USA and performed with orchestras across the globe from Canada to Europe to China to Russia. During the 16/17 season Barry performed two full Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto cycles in Ireland with the RTE Orchestra in Dublin and the Ulster Orchestra in Belfast. He also gave performances of Tchaikovsky’s first Piano Concerto with the London Symphony Orchestra, and opened the St. Petersburg Philharmonic’s concert season, all marking the 30th anniversary of his Tchaikovsky International Competition win.
Other recent and future highlights include performances at BBC Proms in the Park with the Ulster Orchestra, a UK tour with the Russian State Symphony Orchestra, and appearances with Orchestre de Auvergne, Barcelona Symphony, Bogota Philharmonic and Vancouver Symphony orchestras. He also recently gave the premiere of Kevin Volans’ fourth piano concerto with the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, and performed in recital at the Verbier Festival.
He has previously given concerts with the BBC Scottish Symphony, London Symphony, Russian National, Cincinnati Symphony, Singapore Symphony, Berlin Radio Symphony, Staatskapelle, Halle, Orchestre National de France, Seattle Symphony, Melbourne Symphony, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and Hong Kong Philharmonic orchestras, among others. Barry regularly plays in recitals throughout the world, with recent performances in the UK, the Netherlands, Armenia, Mexico, China and the US.
Barry is an exclusive Chandos recording artist. He recently completed recording the full works for solo piano of Brahms, the six albums of which have received much critical praise. International Record Review wrote that “this is indeed Brahms playing of the utmost integrity and authority… this cycle looks set to become a benchmark version.” The interesting programming of each disc presents each album as a stand-alone recital, providing a varied and engaging listening experience. His current recording project focusses on the solo piano works of Schubert; the fourth and final disc will be released next season. Last season he also began a new series, recording Tchaikovsky solo piano music. Also with Chandos Barry is exploring Irish folk music through his own arrangements, working with ancient melodies through to pieces by contemporary song writers. The first in this series, Celtic Reflections, was released in September 2014 and was followed in 2016 by a second disc: Celtic Airs.
In 1999 Barry Douglas founded the chamber orchestra Camerata Ireland to celebrate and nurture the very best of young musicians from both Northern and the Republic of Ireland. In addition to striving for musical excellence, one of the orchestra’s aims is to further the peace process in Ireland by promoting dialogue and collaboration through its musical education programmes. Barry regularly tours with Camerata Ireland throughout the world and visited the US in the spring of 2018. Highlights of past seasons were Camerata Ireland’s debut at the BBC Proms in London and a world premiere of a new cantata commissioned by The Honourable The Irish Society, “At Sixes and Sevens”, alongside the London Symphony Orchestra to celebrate Derry-Londonderry becoming City of Culture 2013.
Barry Douglas received the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2002 New Year’s Honours List for services to music.
Among musical artists of Russia pianist Irina Plotnikova has always been in great demand. She was born in Moscow and after leaving the Central Music School enrolled in the Moscow Conservatory, where from she graduated in 1978. Irina Plotnikova has been active as a recitalist and a soloist, playing with different orchestras throughout the world. Having a wide–ranging repertoire, she has appeared in the major venues such as the Sydney Opera House, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Wigmore Hall in London, the Prince Palace in Monte Carlo. She performed practically in every major concert hall of Russia. Her tours took her to Australia, Belgium, England, France, the Netherlands, Poland, the former Yugoslavia, to New Zealand, Japan, Korea, China, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Armenia, Latvia and many others countries. She played by her own or together with her husband Yury Lisichenko. On numerous occasions, she has appeared on radio and television.
Irina Plotnikova first came to international attention as the winner at Sydney International Piano Competition, then she became a laureate at Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow in 1986. She was awarded the 2nd Prize at Ivo Pogorelich Competition in Los–Angeles in 1993, and most recently (in 1995) she became the first prize winner at Monte Carlo Piano Masters Competition.
Appointed associated professor in 1995, Irina Plotnikova is now a Full Professor of the Piano at the Moscow State Conservatory, Piano department headed by Prof. S. Dorensky. She has been teaching there from 1990, first as an assistant of Prof. G. Mirvis. Prof. I. Plotnikova held master–classes in Kazan, in South Korea, Kazakhstan, China. She also participated in the master-classes of the Charity Foundation «The New Names» and was a trainer during the Moscow Conservatory Summer School in 2006.
A great number of her former students have become laureates at different international competitions. Irina Plotnikova has been a jury member at many international competitions, including Sydney International Piano Competition (2000), S. Prokofiev International Competition (2003) and Vendome Prize International Competition (2002).
In 1994 Irina Plotnikova made a recording of the Concerto No. 2 by F. Liszt with the Moscow Symphony orchestra, directed by K. Krimets. She also cooperated with different TV and radio companies, including the BBC.
“Playful, open-hearted, a total delight” Richard Fairman, Financial Times
Sergio Tiempo is regarded as one of the most individual and thought-provoking pianists of his generation. He made his professional debut at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw aged fourteen, and soon became internationally renowned for his raw energy and musical versatility, from Brahms to Villa-Lobos and Ginastera.
Born in Caracas, Venezuela, Sergio Tiempo began his piano studies with his mother, Lyl Tiempo. Whilst at the Fondazione per il Pianoforte in Como, Italy, he worked with Dimitri Bashkirov, Fou Tsong, Murray Perahia and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau. He continues to receive frequent musical guidance and advice from Martha Argerich and Nelson Freire and performs regularly with fellow countryman and friend Gustavo Dudamel.
Orchestral collaborations include the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Brussels Philharmonic, Orquestra Nacional do Porto, Simón Bolívar Orchestra, Singapore Symphony, BBC Symphony, City of Birmingham Symphony, Royal Northern Sinfonia, St Petersburg Symphony, Auckland Philharmonia, Phoenix Symphony, Buenos Aires Philharmonic, Zurich Chamber and Stavanger Symphony Orchestras alongside eminent conductors such as Claudio Abbado, Myung Whun Chung, Thierry Fischer, Emmanuel Krivine, Ken-David Masur, Alondra de la Parra, Alexander Prior, Leonard Slatkin and Xian Zhang. He was Artist in Residence 2018 at the Queensland Symphony Orchestra.
A committed recitalist, engagements have included a sell-out recital debut at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London’s International Piano Series, the Vienna Konzerthaus, the Wigmore Hall, the Berlin Philharmonie and Edinburgh International Festival, the George Enescu Festival, and return visits to the Martha Argerich Festival in Lugano, Oslo Chamber Music Festival, Warsaw Chopin Festival, Brussels Chopin Days, Music Days in Lisbon, and recital tours in China, Korea, Italy, and South America.
Sergio Tiempo has made a number of highly distinctive and acclaimed recordings. On EMI Classics, he recorded Mussorgsky Pictures at an Exhibition, Ravel Gaspard de la Nuit and three Chopin Nocturnes for 'Martha Argerich Presents', and on Deutsche Grammophon he has recorded several discs with Mischa Maisky, including a disc of Rachmaninov which was awarded five stars by Classic FM and the BBC Music Magazine. Sergio Tiempo and sister Karin Lechner recorded Tango Rhapsody, a new work for two pianos and orchestra by Argentinean composer Federico Jusid, commissioned for the duo and the RSI Lugano, also performed with the Queensland Symphony and Alondra de la Parra. Further recordings with Karin Lechner include a disc of French music released on Avanti Classics, a label with whom Sergio Tiempo recorded his latest disc, entitled Legacy, in January 2018. Future plans include duo recordings with Martha Argerich and Nelson Freire.
Recent highlights include reinvitations by the Los Angeles Philharmonic to perform Tchaikovsky’s Concerto No. 1 and Chopin’s Concerto No. 1, his debut with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and performances with Taiwan National Symphony (Ravel), Royal Philharmonic (Grieg), Frankfurter Museumsorchester (Rachmaninoff Paganini) and Wurth Philharmonic Orchestras (Rachmaninoff 3); recitals at the Martha Argerich Festival at Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie, Brussels Chopin Days, and a duo with Karin Lechner in Amsterdam.
In 2019/20 he returned to the Los Angeles Philharmonic to give the world premiere of Esteban Benzecry’s new piano concerto ‘Universos Infinitos’ with Gustavo Dudamel at Walt Disney Concert Hall. The work was also performed at the Lincoln Center in his debut with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. His performances were lauded for his energy and virtuosity, as “a scintillating and virtuosic performance” (New York Times), “Tiempo played it with absolute commitment and an extraordinary range of touch” (Bachtrack), and “A catapulting Tiempo almost never stops…Tiempo somehow made the impossible possible” (LA Times).
Future plans include his return to the Queensland Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and Philadelphia Orchestra, Grieg’s Piano Concerto with the Orquesta Sinfónica de RTVE in Madrid and Federico Jusid, and further performances of the Benzecry concerto in Puerto Rico and Brazil. He also gives recitals in Sao Paolo and Moritzburg Festival in Dresden.