• Solo recital by Vadym Kholodenko, making his Festival debut

·    Katya Apekisheva and Charles Owen present works for two pianos by Rachmaninov and Eleanor Alberga

  • A celebration of Ligeti with Katya Apekisheva, Danny DriverClare Hammond and Charles Owen
  • A masterclass on Ligeti Études from Danny Driver
  • Improvised jazz set by Leszek Możdżer
  • Lucy Parham explores the life of Rachmaninov with narration by actor Tim McInnerny

Pianists and co-Artistic Directors Katya Apekisheva and Charles Owen reveal another dynamic line-up for the eighth London Piano Festival (LPF) which returns to Kings Place from 5-8 October 2023. Four days of classical and jazz piano performances – plus a masterclass – will see Festival debuts from star soloist Clare Hammond and piano master Vadym Kholodenko.Returning artists include Danny Driver, Lucy Parham and Leszek Możdżer, as well as the Festival’s Artistic Directors Katya Apekisheva and Charles Owen. Under 30s tickets are available for all concerts at a reduced price of £8.50.

Co-Artistic Directors Katya Apekisheva and Charles Owen commented, “We are delighted to return to the beautiful space at Kings Place to present our eighth edition of exceptional piano recitals and masterclasses. There is a particular focus this year on the legacy of Rachmaninov and Ligeti in honour of their respective 150- and 100-year anniversaries. We hope that this year’s programme will encourage audiences and musicians alike to engage with familiar and new music in novel ways.”

The Festival Founders Katya Apekisheva and Charles Owen open this year’s Festival with a four-hands programme celebrating their longstanding collaboration as performers and co-Artistic Directors. The recital features Rachmaninov’s Suites No. 1 and 2 for Two Pianos, his Symphonic Dances, and Eleanor Alberga’s Two-Piano Suite, written to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of Jamaica’s Independence in 1987 [5 Oct].

Ukrainian master pianist and 2013 Van Cliburn winner Vadym Kholodenko makes his Festival – and Kings Place – debut with a programme exploring music through the eras. The programme centres around three of the best-loved piano composers – Beethoven, Liszt and Haydn – alongside Thomas Adès’ magical soundscape ‘Traced Overhead’ and fellow Ukrainian Valentyn Silvestrov’s Bagatelles [6 Oct].

Internationally-renowned British pianists Danny Driver and Clare Hammond join forces with Charles Owen and Katya Apekisheva for ‘Ligeti Plus’, a programme in honour of the centenary of the composer’s birth, exploring music by Ligeti and associated composers including his star pupil Unsuk Chin, and inspiration, Conlon Nancarrow [7 Oct]. That afternoon, Danny Driver will run a dedicated masterclass focusing on Ligeti’s Études and supported by Help Musicians [7 Oct].

The London Piano Festival has often featured jazz in its line-up, and this year they welcome back the outstanding Polish pianist, composer and producer, Leszek Możdżer for a solo improvised set [7 Oct].

The Festival closes with Elégie – Rachmaninov: A Heart in Exile from British pianist Lucy Parham, which originally premiered at Kings Place in 2016. Actor Tim McInnerny narrates Rachmaninov’s trajectory from his youth in Russia to his self-imposed exile in 1917 and his death in California in 1943 with verbal content from letters and diaries alongside evocative solo piano pieces from Rachmaninov and his contemporaries [8 Oct].

The London Piano Festival was founded by pianists Katya Apekisheva and Charles Owen in 2016 and takes place every October at Kings Place, London. Previous visiting artists have included Alfred Brendel, Alexandra Dariescu, Julian Joseph, Gabriela Montero, Stephen Kovacevich, Jason Rebello and Kathryn Stott, amongst many others. The Festival has also commissioned a number of new works for two pianos, working with composers including Sally Beamish, Jonathan Dove, Elena Langer and Nico Muhly.

Full Programme

Thursday 5 October, 7.30pm | Kings Place, Hall One

Rachmaninov 150

Rachmaninov Suite No. 1 (Fantasie-Tableaux), Op. 5

Rachmaninov Suite No. 2, Op. 17


Eleanor Alberga Two-Piano Suite

Rachmaninov Symphonic Dances, Op. 45

Katya Apekisheva and Charles Owen piano
Tickets | £19.50-£44.50 + under 30s and concessions

Friday 6 October, 7:30pm | Kings Place, Hall One

Vadym Kholodenko Solo Recital

Handel Suite in Bb major, HWV 440

Haydn Sonata in C# minor, Hob XVI No. 36

Beethoven Sonata No. 29, Op. 90


Silvestrov Bagatelles Op. 1

Adès Traced Overhead

Liszt Années de pèlerinage II

  • No. 7: Après une lecture de Dante
  • No 3: Tarantella in G minor

Vadym Kholodenko piano

Tickets | £19.50-£44.50 + under 30s and concessions

Saturday 7 October, 12pm | Kings Place, Hall One
Ligeti 100: The Devil’s Staircase

Ligeti Sonatina (4-hands piano) CO/KA

Ligeti En Suspens, Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Entrelacs (CH)

Nancarrow Player Piano Study No. 6 (KA/DD)

Ligeti Fém, Galamb Borong (DD)

Chin In C, Sequenzen, Scherzo ad Libitum (CH)

Ligeti Arc-en-ciel, Autumn in Warsaw, Fanfares (DD)

Ligeti Three Wedding Dances (4-hands piano) (CO/KA)

Chin Scalen, Toccata, Grains (CH)

Ligeti Cordes-a-Vide, Davil’s Staircase (DD)

Nancarrow Player Piano Study No. 7 (CO/DD)

Danny Driver, Clare Hammond, Charles Owen and Katya Apekisheva piano
Tickets | £22.50 + under 30s and concessions

Saturday 7 October, 3pm | Kings Place, Hall Two

Ligeti Masterclass with Danny Driver
Danny Driver piano

Supported by Help Musicians
Tickets | £15 + under 30s and concessions

Saturday 7 October, 7pm | Kings Place, Hall One

Leszek Możdżer solo set
Leszek Możdżer piano
Tickets | £19.50-£39.00 + under 30s and concessions

Sunday 8 October, 11:30am | Kings Place, Hall One

Elégie – Rachmaninov: A Heart in Exile
Elégie chronicles the life of composer and pianist Sergei Rachmaninov. The narrative, scripted from letters and diaries, read by actor Tim McInnerny, follows Rachmaninov from his youth in Russia, through his subsequent self-imposed exile in 1917 and finally to California USA, where he died in 1943. The concert includes many of his best-loved works for solo piano, including a selection of Preludes, Etudes-Tableaux and Moments Musicaux, some of his own transcriptions and the haunting Elégie, as well as works by Scriabin and Tchaikovsky. 

Lucy Parham piano

Tim McInnerny narrator
Tickets | £22.50 + under 30s and concessions

Kings Place, 90 York Way, London, N1 9AG