London Mozart Players are delighted to have finally kicked off their
ever-popular Piano Explored series, which this week embarked on its seventh
season at St John’s Smith Square, with the first concert filmed for an
online audience and going live on Thursday 18th February. LMP’s Conductor
Laureate Howard Shelley OBE will direct all the concerts in the series from
the St John’s Smith Square Steinway piano.

One of the staples in London’s annual classical music scene, Piano Explored
has long been a firm favourite with lunchtime concert-goers: but this year
the coronavirus pandemic has intervened, so the series is being performed
under different circumstances from the usual lunch hour gatherings of the
past. The five-concert series was delayed from October 2020 to February
2021, and is now going ahead with concerts every month from February to May
(two in April). The concerts will be performed under Covid guidelines
without an audience (until audiences are permitted to attend) and will be
filmed for an online audience by Simon Weir at Classical Media, with the
films broadcast shortly after filming, except for the final concert which
may be livestreamed. The Piano Explored 2021 digital series follows on from
LMP’s much-praised online autumn 2020 online series.

The format for Piano Explored remains unchanged. In an hour-long programme,
virtuoso pianist Shelley gives an entertaining and insightful introduction
to one or two famous or not-so-famous works for piano and orchestra, before
performing them with the London Mozart Players. The programme of piano music
for the 2021 season of Piano Explored combines a couple of the best loved
virtuosic classics of Mozart and Saint-Saëns, some favourite works by
Shostakovich and Mendelssohn, and relatively unknown pieces by Hummel and
Moscheles. Howard has a reputation for showcasing rarely performed piano
works and this online series will be an excellent opportunity to expose them
to a wider audience. Whether beloved or brand new, each equally brilliant
work is a showcase for a virtuoso pianist, and Howard and LMP look forward
to bringing them to life for their audience around the world in this series
of perfectly pitched concerts for a lunch-hour, or anytime online!

Series Programme

This series of Piano Explored is supported by International Piano, the
inspirational magazine that celebrates the piano in all its forms and which
has described Piano Explored as ‘The best lunch-hour you’ve ever had’.
International Piano will feature exclusive content on its website, and there
will be sneak previews and special offers for its readers and social media

Tickets for the online concerts will be £8.00, with films available to view
for six months via LMP’s website (except for the Shostakovich concert on 13
May – 30 days only).

Howard Shelley commented: ‘The journey which the London Mozart Players and I
have taken with our audiences at St John’s Smith Square in London over the
past six seasons has been wide-ranging and exhilarating; and we have
illustrated and performed over forty piano concertos. From the time of
Mozart on, the development of the piano, and its ability to engage
dramatically and powerfully with the orchestra, has inspired composer after
composer to write some of their greatest works, and it is a true joy to
continue our exploration again this season, even if, for the time being,
this must be done online.  We very much hope, however, that this distinctive
way of presenting a treasure-trove of wonderful works will attract many more
friends and listeners from around the world, and we warmly welcome all who
join us.’

Julia Desbruslais, Executive Director of LMP said: ‘Piano Explored is the
jewel in our crown and for the players, these concerts are some of our most
enjoyable musical experiences. We know that our audience really adores this
series, whether they know everything or nothing. Howard’s insightful and
witty introductions throw fresh insights into these much-loved pieces,
paving a way in for newbies to the piano repertoire. We hope that we will
now extend our fanbase to include piano aficionados unable to come to a
lunchtime concert in London, particularly among Howard’s many fans around
the UK and beyond.’