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The ‘Peerless’ Piers Lane

March 16, 2012

The Peerless Piers Lane

On a balmy Melbourne Friday evening Piers Lane, Artistic Director, of the Australian Festival of Chamber Music, officially launched the 2012 AFCM’s program for the Festival – 27th July to 04 August, Townsville.

Sue Hackett, Alison and Piers LaneThe launch of this prestigious event was held in the music salon of Di Bresciani’s enchanting Toorak home. It is not often that I have experienced a concert of such passion and virtuosity. The audience was spellbound and bewitched by Piers tantalizing performance of gems from composers Scarlatti, Bach and Liszt.

In the performance of Liszt’s Tarantella I found myself falling into a deep reverie evoking 19th century Venice. I loved the wonderful extravagant flourishes you find so often in Liszt’s music – as Piers noted “Liszt couldn’t help himself – he was a show off” – but what a show off.

Portrait-of-Franz-Liszt-by-Henri-Lehmann

Piers, with his full head of hair, became the very incarnation of Liszt. I was almost tempted to extract a hair from his head as so many female fans of Liszt did with their purpose brought tweezers. His devoted fans would fall prone to ‘Lisztomania’ characterized by intense levels of hysteria. This was attributed to Liszt’s personal charisma, openness, his behavior towards his audiences and his performing style that all became part of his genial benevolence and won him fans throughout Europe. Like Liszt, Piers as a consummate performer, gave his all to his audience. Piers let’s us share his immense gift of total intoxication with the music – pure bliss.

At the launch Piers outlined the program for the 2012 Festival season which presents composers ranging from Telemann to Composer-in-Residence, Australia’s Nigel Westlake, as renowned for his film music as for his concert work.

Murray Shaw , Sue Hackett and Dr De  Villiers Smit

“The festival will follow the format that has proved so successful the past few years”. Piers will “interview artists in the morning ‘Concert Conversations’, we’ll have evening concerts of core and spicy repertoire, including a Monday night second half devoted to Tango with that master of the form, Alte Sponberg.

Certainly a festival not to be missed

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