During the state of emergency Latvian and foreign artists are facing unprecedented professional and financial challenges, and are inventing new ways of applying their creative and pedagogic talents. Internationally renowned musicians also show increasing interest in helping out their younger colleagues - students and upcoming performers that are the most vulnerable victims of the situation, both financially and in terms of creative motivation.
Pianist Steven Osborne, whose exceptional performance of L. van Beethoven's Piano Concerto No.4 with the Welsh National Opera Orchestra under the baton of conductor Karlo Rici was recently broadcasted by the Latvian Radio 3 "Klasika" channel, for over a month in Twitter has been generously offering opportunities for the young pianists to apply and through a random selection win a free online masterclass opportunity with him. Last week the lucky winner was the piano performance student of JVLMA Hailong Zhang - on May 7 he met Steven Osborne online via Whereby application and worked with him on the interpretation of F. Chopin's Ballade No.4, performed on a brand-new Yamaha C6X grand piano, generously provided for this event by the SIA "NPB".
The Director of the JVLMA Music Instruments Collection and Restoration Department and the co-owner of the SIA "NPB" Norberts Žugs-Divrē comments the collaboration: "During the emergency period, we have continuously worked at JVLMA on various schemes of providing instruments to students, to enable them to practice and to master new repertoire pieces, however, we are well aware that it has been next to impossible for them to practice on instruments of professional level – on the concert grands that are essential to the education process of the classical pianists. When we heard about Hailongs’ luck, we felt compelled to arrange a piano that befits Mr Osborne’s masterclass. We very much enjoyed observing online the student's virtuosic performance of Chopin's music at our new dealership of YAMAHA acoustic pianos."
According to The Observer, the Scottish pianist, guest professor of the Royal Academy of Music Steven Osborne is "always a player in absolute service to the composer"; The Guardian praises his ability to "play seeking colour and texture above display or drama, but not at their expense". Winner of the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Instrumentalist of the Year in 2013, Steven Osborne is one of Britain’s most treasured musicians, celebrated for his insightful interpretations, musicality and technique. His residencies at London’s Wigmore Hall, Antwerp’s deSingel, the Bath International Music Festival, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra are a testament to the respect with which he is held. Steven Osborne has given recitals in all the UK’s most prestigious venues as well as internationally at the Musikverein and Wiener Konzerthaus, Royal Concertgebouw, Berlin Philharmonie, Tokyo’s Suntory Hall and Carnegie Hall. In 2020, Steven Osborne will release Prokofiev’s War Sonatas marking his 30th recording for Hyperion. A label artist since 1998, Osborne’s 29 recordings have accumulated numerous awards in the UK, France, Germany and the USA including two Gramophone Awards, three Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik Awards and a clutch of Recordings of the Year from The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, The Times and The Sunday Times. Steven Osborne studied with Richard Beauchamp at St. Mary’s Music School in Edinburgh and Renna Kellaway at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. He won first prize at the prestigious Clara Haskil International Piano Competition (1991) and the Naumburg International Competition (1997), and was one of the first BBC New Generation Artists.