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176 Keys to the World

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The obvious and easy route has never been the one to take for the Piano Duo Hammel/Sanchez - their love for modern as well as classical compositions has resulted in concert programmes brimming with inner tension and their first CD placed Schubert next to Stravinsky and Ravel next to a piece by John Corigliano. While they are now busily promoting their new album entitled "176 keys to Europe", which features Rachmaninoff, Lutoslawski, D. Milhaud and M. Infante among others, good news has it that they have been invited to participate in the Murray Dranoff 2 Competition.

Founded as a tribute to her late husband, Loretta Dranoff has steadily worked on making this festival the meeting place for musicians and a an audience interested in the magic of four-hand play. The goals of the competition go far beyond the concerts, extending into education and working with young talents, which means that during the finals in Miami (scheduled for the end of this year), there will be plenty of opportunity to increase your knowledge on the subject. Dranoff has also been helpful in widening the genre's repertoire by commissioning a lot of works, which can be bought on CD for a very reasonable price at their homepage's shop.

Elena and Laura will compete against 10 duos from all over the world for a first prize of $20.000 - and a lot of honour, of course. Their magnificent playing aside, if past winners are anything to go by, their chances are rather slim - the jury has displayed a remarkable preference for mixed combinations, with more than ten out of the last 16 winning duos consisting of a male and a female partner.

Homepage: Piano Duo Hammel / Sanchez
Homepage: Murray Dranoff 2 Piano Competition

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