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Piano Night on More4 - part of Mad4Music

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As part of Channel 4 Arts’ Mad4Music season More4 is airing an evening of programming dedicated to classical piano on Saturday August 3.

The programming starts at 8pm with Lisiecki Plays Chopin: From Every Angle, a piano recital filmed in a revolutionary way at the new Bristol Proms, where tradition and cutting-edge technology combine in a radical reinvention of the classical concert experience.

Teenage Canadian–Polish pianist Jan Lisiecki (18) will tackle some of the most beautiful and challenging pieces in the classical repertoire, Chopin’s Études. To get as close as possible to Jan’s performance, production company BDH are surrounding Jan’s performance with cameras. Multi-RTS Award winning and Grammy nominated director, John Durrant, will bring together multiple film cameras and position virtual cameras under Jan's fingertips using X-Box technology.

At 9.10pm Chopin Saved My Life, directed by BAFTA and Emmy award-winning director James Kent, meets Japanese teenager Momoka and Scottish music student Paul Murray to explore how Chopin’s extraordinary Ballade Number 1 transforms the lives of ordinary people and illustrates how classical music still penetrates contemporary life in unexpected and powerful ways. The film ends with acclaimed pianist Stephen Hough playing the piece in full.

James Rhodes Notes from the Inside will be shown at 10.20pm. Classical pianist and former psychiatric patient James Rhodes takes a grand piano into a psychiatric hospital to play pieces he hopes will resonate with patients.

At 11.25pm Liszt’s Piano Sonata in B Minor is the great masterpiece of 19th-century Romantic music. Stephen Hough is one of the 21st-century’s finest pianists. Hough’s virtuoso performance, exquisitely captured on multiple cameras, reveals Liszt’s extraordinary genius as a composer. Drawn from his new critically acclaimed iPad App ‘The Liszt Sonata’, this unique film will have its premiere on More4.

Throughout the evening short films (6 x 3’) featuring classical musician James Rhodes’ encounters with various famous faces who love the piano, including actor Benedict Cumberbatch and illusionist Derren Brown, will punctuate the night. James Rhodes Encounters are produced by Siren Productions and directed by Nick Walters.

Programme Information

Lisiecki Plays Chopin: From Every Angle

Combining the raucous tradition of the 18th and 19th century Proms held at Bristol Old Vic with the cutting-edge technological innovations being spearheaded in the city, Bristol Proms is a radical reinvention of the classical concert experience, led by Tom Morris, one of Britain’s most celebrated theatre directors. Now More4 audiences can watch the centrepiece of the proms, 18-year-old pianist Jan Lisiecki’s collaboration with award-winning film director John Durrant and BDH.

From All Angles has been produced to create two distinct performance experiences: one for the audience at Bristol Old Vic, and one for a second audience watching remotely at Watershed, a centre for cultural cinema and digital creativity in Bristol. The historical auditorium of Bristol Old Vic is brought to life with laser beams cutting through the air and creating a visual representation of the unique acoustics of the space. The concert will also be streamed to Watershed, where audiences will be watching a black and white immersive film, experiencing the intimate details of Lisiecki’s performance close up – from the vibrations on a glass of water to dust falling through cracks beneath the stage. Lisiecki Plays Chopin: From Every Angle is the digitally augmented cinema film of the Watershed experience, produced for More4.

Director John Durrant

Prod Co BDH

Chopin Saved My Life

This hour-long documentary, directed by BAFTA and Emmy award-winning director James Kent, meets Japanese teenager Momoka and Scottish music student Paul Murray to explore how Chopin’s extraordinary Ballade Number 1 transforms the lives of ordinary people and illustrates how classical music still penetrates contemporary life in unexpected and powerful ways.

It introduces Momoka, a 15-year-old pianist from Sendai, Japan, whose community was decimated by the 2011 tsunami and earthquakes. For Momoka, the Ballade embodies the anguish and rebellion she feels but doesn’t allow to surface.

For 22-year-old Paul from Glasgow, the piece is life-changing. Paul grew up in Bellshill, a poor, working class suburb of Glasgow. He first played piano at 15, and it opened up a whole new world for him. During his first term at uni Paul was diagnosed with a brain tumour and then MS, which both eventually caused him to lose the ability to walk and to play with his right hand. Waiting in his hospital bed in between operations over three months, he played the Ballade again and again on the iPod his dad Stephen had given him. It was that single piece’s emotional pull that Paul credits with the return of his memory.

Prod co: Oxford Film and Television

Director James Kent

Executive Producer Nicholas Kent.

The Liszt Sonata

Liszt’s Piano Sonata in B Minor is the great masterpiece of 19th-century Romantic music. Stephen Hough is one of the 21st-century’s finest pianists. Hough’s virtuoso performance, exquisitely captured on multiple cameras, reveals Liszt’s extraordinary genius as a composer. Drawn from his new critically acclaimed iPad App ‘The Liszt Sonata’, this unique film will have its premiere on More4.

Director Adam Low

Producer Martin Rosenbaum

Production Company Lone Star Productions and Touch Press

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