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Music Is: Singapore International Piano Festival 2020 [CANCELLED]

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The 27th edition of the annual Singapore International Piano Festival will take place from 4th to 7th June 2020, featuring a stellar line-up of pianists, all making their Singapore Piano Festival debuts.

Pianists Nelson Goerner, Mei Yi Foo, Leon McCawley and Christian Zacharias will each perform a solo recital at Victoria Concert Hall for the festival, with a broad line-up of music. With 2020 being his 250th anniversary year, expect to hear works by Beethoven, along with works by Haydn, Grieg, Messiaen, Bartók and Unsuk Chin. Mei Yi Foo and Leon McCawley will also lead masterclasses during the festival.

Says Singapore International Piano Festival Artistic Director Lim Yan: “The 27th edition of the Singapore International Piano Festival promises to be a thrilling exploration of the history and colours of the instrument. I’m delighted to welcome four of today’s top pianists to Singapore – two of whom will be making their debuts in the country – presenting varied and wide-ranging programmes with music spanning the 18th century to the present day. We also celebrate Beethoven’s 250th anniversary year, with works including his ‘Les Adieux’ Sonata and Eroica Variations.”


Nelson Goerner

Nelson Goerner is one of today’s greatest classical pianists. He has performed with many of today’s major orchestras including the Philharmonia Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie, Hallé Orchestra, Sinfonia Varsovia and NHK Symphony Orchestra, and with several of today’s leading conductors such as Vladimir Ashkenazy, Philippe Herreweghe, Neeme Järvi, Sir Mark Elder, Paavo Järvi, Vassily Sinaisky, Jonathan Nott, Fabio Luisi and Esa-Pekka Salonen.


Mei Yi Foo

Winner of the 2013 BBC Music Magazine’s Best Newcomer award, Malaysian pianist Mei Yi Foo is recognised internationally as an innovative pianist with a diverse and eclectic repertoire. A prolific concert soloist, Mei Yi has appeared with the English Chamber Orchestra, Fort Worth Symphony, Helsinki Philharmonic, Iceland Symphony, London Chamber Orchestra, Malaysian Philharmonic, National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, Remix Ensemble and the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, garnering rave reviews from The Times, The Independent, Neue Zürcher Zeitung, SRF broadcast, The Guardian and Klassik magazine.


Leon McCawley

One of Britain’s foremost pianists, Leon McCawley has forged a highly successful career since winning first prize in the 1993 International Beethoven Piano Competition in Vienna and second prize at the Leeds International Piano Competition the same year. Since then, his concert performances and extensive discography have established him as a pianist of great integrity and variety, bringing freshness and vitality to Classical, Romantic and 20th-Century repertoire.


Christian Zacharias

Christian Zacharias has established himself not only as a world-class pianist and conductor, but also as a musical thinker. Numerous acclaimed concerts with the world’s best orchestras and outstanding conductors as well as multiple honors and recordings characterize his international career. He holds the position of Principal Guest Conductor with the Orquesta y Coro de la Comunidad de Madrid and works with ensembles including the English Chamber Orchestra, the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. He performs in international music centres in Paris, Lyon, Moscow and the much-acclaimed Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg.

UPDATE: Singapore Symphony Group has announced the cancellation of the 2020 Singapore International Piano Festival, as all four pianists are unable to come to Singapore due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. 

Lim Yan, the Artistic Director of the Singapore International Piano Festival said: “Given the escalating global situation, and with the safety of musicians, staff and patrons our top priority, it is with sadness that we announce the cancellation of the 27th Singapore International Piano Festival, which would have seen performances from four world-class pianists.

We are working to find new dates to invite Nelson Goerner, Mei Yi Foo, Leon McCawley and Christian Zacharias to perform and hope to feature them in a subsequent edition of the festival.”

Refunds for ticket holders will be administered as follows: for payment via credit card/DBS PahLah!, ticket holders will receive an automatic refund issued by SISTIC within one to two months’ credit card billing cycle. For payment via cash/NETS, SISTIC will be in touch with ticket holders on the various ways to obtain the refund. Patrons will also be able to convert their tickets into a donation to the SSO. Find out more at the SSO website



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