The distinguished Australian pianist Piers Lane AO has been appointed Artistic Director for the 2016 Sydney International Piano Competition of Australia (SIPCA).
Chairman Neville Grace welcomed Lane’s appointment noting his extensive international experience and highly regarded leadership skills would ensure the Competition continues to maintain its position as one of the most prestigious in the world. Lane has a worldwide career as performer and recording artist. He is recognised as an Artistic Director of imagination and flair and currently directs the Australian Festival of Chamber Music in Townsville. He is also a sought after adjudicator and jury member for competitions at international and national levels.
Lane has a long-standing affiliation with SIPCA, having been a competitor and winner of the prize for the Best Australian Pianist in the first SIPCA in 1977, as well as being one of its international jury members in 2004.
Commenting on his appointment Lane said, “I am absolutely delighted to be appointed Artistic Director for the 2016 SIPCA. I have had a long association with the Competition and am looking forward to contributing to its refreshment and to taking it to even greater heights. International competitions play a very significant role in the development of young pianists and their careers and also foster an interest in piano music amongst audiences, an important factor for the future of our art”.
The Competition is one of the major events of its kind with an international jury and competitors from all over the world selected by audition. Founded by the late Claire Dan AM, OBE, Director of the Cladan Cultural Exchange Institute of Australia, the Competition was inaugurated in July 1977 and was admitted as a member of the Geneva based World Federation of International Music Competitions in 1978, the first Australian competition to be accepted as a member.
From its inception SIPCA has set out to stage events that inspire pianists and audiences alike, stimulating a love of the piano and music making at the highest international level. The Competition provides a platform and showcase for outstanding young pianists from all over the world and assists in the development of their careers as concert artists. ABC FM’s comprehensive coverage of recent competitions has ensured a devoted and knowledgeable national audience and has helped establish SIPCA’s standing as one of the world’s great piano competitions.
London-based Australian pianist Piers Lane is in great demand as soloist and collaborative artist. Recent highlights include performances of Busoni’s mighty piano concerto and Frank Bridge’s Phantasm at Carnegie Hall, premières of Carl Vine’s second Piano Concerto, written for him, with the Sydney Symphony and the London Philharmonic, and sold-out recitals at Wigmore Hall.
Five times soloist at the BBC Proms in London’s Royal Albert Hall, Piers Lane’s concerto repertoire exceeds ninety works and has led to engagements with many of the world’s great orchestras including all the BBC and Australian symphony orchestras; the American, Bournemouth and Gothenburg symphony orchestras; the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Orchestre National de France, City of London Sinfonia, and the London Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and Warsaw Philharmonic orchestras among many others.
Piers Lane has recorded extensively for Hyperion Records, and for ABC Classics, BMG, Chandos, Classics for Pleasure, Decca, EMI Eminence, Lyrita and Unicorn-Khanchana labels. He was for many years a professor at the Royal Academy of Music. A popular broadcaster, he has written and presented over 100 programmes for BBC Radio 3, including the 54-part series, The Piano.
Artistic Director of the acclaimed Australian Festival of Chamber Music in Townsville since 2007, he recently launched his programme for its 25th Anniversary celebrations. Piers Lane has an Honorary Doctorate from Griffith University and was this year awarded an Honorary Doctorate from James Cook University.