28 March 2024

In the Green Room with pianist Ariel Lanyi - 'Pinch me, I must be dreaming'

By Lark Music

A phone call after a late night out in Australia left pianist Ariel Lanyi, 26, wondering whether it was a dream that he had received the Serdang Prix, a prize of 50,000 Swiss Francs, awarded by distinguished Austrian pianist Rudolf Buchbinder

It was midnight when I had a phone call telling me I had won a major prize. I had just had quite a big dinner, and I don’t know how many glasses of wine, so I thought “Okay, I’ll go to sleep and I’ll wake up and see if this is still real”.

I woke up to find it was true and I was invited to the beautiful Villa Serdang, in Switzerland, to receive the 2023 Prix Serdang, from Rudolf Buchbinder!

This prize is awarded, not as part of a competition, but after an exploration of a musician’s artistic activities, which made it all the more special.

I was moved to hear Rudolf Buchbinder mention my Hammerklavier Sonata and the Diabelli Variations, two monumental works of Beethoven’s late period, which I have played in the last couple of years. To have been recognised by such an eminent and great artist, for performances of these two works, was very significant to me.

This year has continued on a high, being nominated as a Classic FM Rising Star, and in the summer I performed at a showcase event which was broadcast on Sky Arts. I was also one of five rising stars who played a short extract with a brilliant string ensemble at LSO St Luke’s, in London. They broadcast what I recorded that evening, the last movement of Mozart’s D minor concerto K.466.

I left the Royal Academy of Music in the summer of 2021 after studying with Hamish Milne and Ian Fountain, just as I became a prize winner in the inaugural Young Classical Artists Trust (London) and Concert Artists Guild (New York) International Auditions. The timing was very fortuitous and so much has happened since then – YCAT has opened numerous doors for me which have been tremendously valuable for my development. They have expanded my base in the UK, Europe and around the world. They have seriously taken my artistic values and tastes into consideration, paying great attention not only to what I am doing but what I could, and should, be doing in the future. Certainly, London is my base for the time being. It’s become completely clear to me that this is the place to be, and this is the place to stay.

I really feel cared for by the YCAT team, with engagements I would not have dreamed of a couple of years ago … that I’d be touring Argentina, going to Australia, playing with the CBSO. These have been milestones for me, and on the collaborative front, they have put me in touch with wonderful musicians on the YCAT roster so all of that has just expanded my scope.

About Ariel Lanyi

Ariel has appeared with various orchestras, including the Israel Philharmonic, Sinfonia Viva and City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the latter of which he will return to this season for a performance of Mozart’s Piano Concerto in C Major, K. 503.

An avid chamber musician, Ariel has collaborated with leading members of the Berliner Philharmoniker and the Concertgebouw Amsterdam. Recent highlights have included projects at the Homburg MeisterKonzert series in Germany, the Menton Festival in France, Perth Concert Hall (broadcast by BBC Radio 3) and the Brighton and Bath Festivals.

Next year Ariel will be recording with Linn Records and playing in the main series of City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO) concerts as well as performing at the Grafenegg Festival in Austria with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra.

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