Enrico Pieranunzi

Concert-Masterclass on Shakespeare

Hardelot, France

June 2017

Enrico Pieranunzi is widely considered to be Europe’s leading jazz pianist. Composer of more than 200 songs, author of nearly 100 CDs, he started his career playing with Chet Baker, Charlie Haden and Ennio Morricone. Erudite and well-versed in classical music (he has made notable recordings of Scarlatti, Bach and Handel, as well as adaptations of Débussy and Gershwin), he has performed and recorded with alumni of various trios of Bill Evans, about whom he has written a musician-to-musician biography.

 

He was invited to Hardelot in June 2017 as part of a carte blanche organised by Andrew Todd to mark the building’s first anniversary.  He performed a masterclass of the music of Shakespeare’s contemporaries (including Byrd, Purcell and Parnaby) illustrating the possibilities for improvisation presented by this music –an improvisation which also characterised Shakespeare’s writing method.

 

The second part of the event comprised a trio concert with Diego Imbert on double-bass and Andrew Todd on drums, performing a range of Pieranunzi’s own compositions (Ein Li Millin,The Night Gone By, Je Ne Sais Quoi and Blue Waltz), together with compositions by Jerome Kern and Charlie Haden. Of note was a special arrangement of Duke Ellington’s Sonnet For Caesar, which was first performed (as part of his ‘Such Sweet Thunder’ suite) at the Stratford Ontario Festival Theatre. The Stratford theatre –a neo-Shakespearean space designed by Tyrone Guthrie and Tanya Moiseiwitsch- is, historically, an older cousin to Hardelot.

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