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Focus on Beatrice Rana: Poetry in every note

From her native Puglia, Beatrice Rana set out to conquer the classical music world. In 2023/24, the Musikverein will focus on the thirty-year-old pianist and dedicate her focus to her with three programmes in which she can demonstrate her stylistic confidence in a wide-ranging repertoire.

© Simon Fowler | Warner Classics

Beatrice Rana was born with a pronounced love of the piano. Born in 1993 as the daughter of two pianists, she experienced a happy childhood in a southern Italian family. Playing the piano was naturally part of the rhythm of her life. Early on, she received piano lessons from Benedetto Lupo at the Conservatorio di Musica Nino Rota in Monopoli near Lecce, her hometown. She also studied composition, and profited greatly from exploring musical worlds across the span of music history. Her comprehensive repertoire and stylistically confident handling of works from different eras are also the results of these early, prosperous years of learning. After graduating, she left her native south for the north, to continue her piano studies with Arie Vardi in Hanover, before she became a pupil of Benedetto Lupo again – now at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome, where she has lived ever since. From here, she travels as a soloist to the music centres of the world, is a guest with leading orchestras in Europe, Asia and the USA and counts conductors such as Riccardo Chailly, Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, Paavo Järvi, Zubin Mehta, Yannick Nézet-Séguin and Trevor Pinnock among her partners.

Beatrice Rana first attracted the attention of the classical music world when she won first prize and all the special prizes at the Montreal International Piano Competition at the age of eighteen. “I was so sure I wouldn’t make it to the final that I hadn’t even brought a second dress,” she recalled in an interview. “But instead…” Other prizes followed, such as the second prize at the Van Cliburn Competition, where she was also awarded the audience prize. From then on, her career took off: she received engagements with international promoters and orchestras, in 2015 she signed an exclusive record contract; in 2017 she founded her chamber music festival ‘Classiche Forme’ in Lecce; in 2020 she took over the artistic direction of the Orchestra Filarmonica di Benevento in her home country. The broad spectrum of the young artist is documented in her multi-award-winning discography, which includes Prokofiev’s Second and Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concertos as well as Bach’s “Goldberg Variations”, Bernstein’s Second Symphony “The Age of Anxiety”, works by Stravinsky and Ravel and, recently published, the piano concertos by Robert and Clara Schumann.

© Simon Fowler | Warner Classics

Robert Schumann’s concert is now also part of her focus concerts at the Musikverein. Beatrice Rana is spellbound by the “poetry in every note. The dialogues between the piano and the orchestra create so many beautiful moments…” Sir Antonio Pappano, an important companion of Rana for many years, and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe are her partners here. Mozart’s Piano Concerto K. 466 with the Wiener Symphoniker will then be conducted by another critical artist of the Musikverein season: Karina Canellakis. Beatrice Rana begins her solo recital in the Brahms Hall, with which she also makes her debut at the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde, with a composer who, in her opinion, receives far too little attention: Domenico Scarlatti, of whose many piano works a considerable number are in the archive of the Musikverein. Beatrice Rana spans the programmatic arc of Scarlatti’s B minor Fantasia, op. 28, on Castelnuovo- Tedescos Cipressi, op. 17, and a selection of Debussy Préludes to one of the most demanding compositions in piano, the B minor Sonata by Liszt.

Text by Ulrike Lampert.

Musikverein Wien, interior, Großer Musikvereinssaal, Golden Hall, architecture, organ, rows of seats, seating, ceiling painting

© Dieter Nagl

Christian Thielemann

Christian Thielemann, Vienna and the Musikverein – a success story through and through. It will be updated in 2023/24. The Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Vienna presents a Christian Thielemann cycle again this season.

Musikverein Wien, interior, Großer Musikvereinssaal, Golden Hall, architecture, organ, rows of seats, seating, ceiling painting

© Todd Rosenberg

Riccardo Muti

You would like to have been there in 1973 at the Vienna Philharmonic Ball. The opening was conducted by a not quite 32-year-old Italian, from whom miracles had already been heard: Riccardo Muti. The Musikverein was to become a home for him, a centre of his world career. Fifty years after his debut, the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Vienna is dedicating a seasonal focus to its honorary member: Riccardo Muti in direction.

Musikverein Wien, interior, Großer Musikvereinssaal, Golden Hall, architecture, organ, rows of seats, seating, ceiling painting

© Mathias Bothor

Karina Canellakis

She is well on her way to conquering the world’s concert stages: The New York conductor Karina Canellakis presents herself as an artist in focus.

Musikverein Wien, red carpet, staircase to the Großer Musikvereinssaal and Brahms Saal

© Marco Borggreve

Santtu-Matias Rouvali

Santtu-Matias Rouvali is currently in the process of taking off internationally. The Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Vienna will focus on the young Finnish conductor in 2023/24: Santtu-Matias Rouvali conducting the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra London and the Vienna Symphony Orchestra.