About

Our mission is to foster a joy and deep appreciation of the repertoire, performance skills, and pedagogical benefits of teaching music for piano four hands and two pianos, in a creative, collegial and supportive atmosphere.

Our program encompasses music from all periods and styles, including some of the great romantic and contemporary works, premier performances of new compositions by Australian composers, improvised jazz and music for pianos with percussion and strings.

Our educational focus is aimed at creating exciting opportunities for our young musicians to develop partnerships, ensemble skills, aural awareness and enable shared performance opportunities within the local community.

Since its inception, the Australian Piano Duo Festival has brought together many professional pianists from around Australia, and international guests, to perform in concerts and to give masterly instruction to tertiary and young pianists, many of whom experience for the first time, the shared joy of piano duo partnership.


 

The Inaugural Festival in 2012 was opened by patrons Max Olding and Pamela Page, and featured the internationally renowned Silver/Garburg Duo from Berlin, performing the overture to Mendelssohn’s Midsummer Night’s Dream. The professional classical duos involved in the first festival included Max Olding/ & Pamela Page, Jenni Flemming & Brachi Tilles, Liam Viney & Anna Grinberg, Natasha Vlassenko & Oleg Stepanov, Angela Turner & Brieley Cutting, Stephen Emmerson & Sonya Lifschitz, and Jenni Flemming & Gayle Pryce-Davies. Many of these performers have continued to make regular appearances throughout the festival's history.  A jazz duo program featured Steve Newcomb & Timothy Stevens (Melbourne). Composer Graeme Denniss led a student composition workshop about writing for piano duos. A large number of piano students from the Young Conservatorium, Queensland Conservatorium performed in the finale. The inclusion of these students in the Festival led to the development of a significant education program in subsequent festivals. Concerts have been hosted in the Main Auditorium of Brisbane City Hall, with regular audiences of around 1000. A CD recording project, "Two's Company", took place in 2016, and featured student teams to great success; and in 2019, a duet video recording project featuring the AMEB's Collaborative Piano Syllabus was launched in 2020.

Thus far, three biennial Festivals have followed. Performers who played as students in the 2012 Festival returned as young professionals, including Adam McMillan, Alex Raineri, Cara Tran, Oliver She, Ben Austin and William Shi. The festivals have hosted many wonderful pianists from around Australia, including Timothy Young, Anna Carson, Stewart Kelly, Daniel Herscovitch, Clemens Leske and Suzanna Hlinka, and have expanded the roster of Brisbane-based performers, including Colin Noble and Therese Milanovic.  The Berlin-based Silver/Garburg duo has appeared in three Festivals. Music for the thrilling combination of two pianos and percussion have appeared in the 2014, 2016 and 2018 festivals, with featured percussionists Vanessa Tomlinson, Nozomi Omote and Brent Miller.  In 2018, the entire QLD Conservatorium was “taken over” with Erik Griswold's work "84", which utilised all 84 pianos in the building across three floors.  Repertoire presented has spanned five centuries of composition - from J.S. Bach to Stravinsky to Griswold; shined a spotlight upon Australian and new composition (including world and Australian premieres) by Stuart Greenbaum, Christopher Healey, Erik Griswold, Steve Reich, Peter Dart and Christopher Norton.

The music department at St Peters Lutheran College has been a valued supporter of the Festival, hosting three of the festival's opening concerts in their beautiful concert hall.  Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University has financially supported each festival.

The 2020 Festival, like countless creative activities world-wide, cannot be held because of the viral pandemic, but plans are being discussed for a 2021 Festival including regional concerts in Queensland. The philosophy of “Bringing Pianists Together” must continue.


 

Performer, teacher, adjudicator and Federal AMEB Examiner, Jenni Flemming has taught piano and pedagogy at the Queensland Conservatorium for over 20 years, and was previously Artist in Residence at the University of Queensland, recording several CD’s of contemporary music. Her teachers include well-known Australian pedagogues Max Olding and Pamela Page, and Hungarian-born Bela Siki. Jenni has performed as soloist with the Queensland, Melbourne, Canberra and Adelaide Symphony Orchestras, Queensland Philharmonic Orchestra, Queensland University Symphony Orchestra, Hobart Chamber Orchestra and the Barrier Reef Orchestra. She has given concerts in Scandinavia, South East Asia, USA and the United Kingdom.

Founding Artistic Director of the Australian Piano Duo Festival, Jenni’s passion is to promote the cross-generational and collaborative performance experience of the Piano Duo and Duet genres. Other passions include improvisation and art, and Jenni is currently working on the publication of her childhood compositions along with accompanying paintings.


 

Australian Piano Duo Festival Incorporated  
ABN 19 650 108 173

Patrons - Dr Max Olding AM and Pamela Page

President - Jenni Flemming
Treasurer - Gwyn Roberts
Secretary - Position Vacant
Members - Angela Turner; Professor Stephen Emmerson; Professor Liam Viney; Dr Anna Grinberg; Stewart Kelly

 

The Australian Piano Duo Festival is very grateful to our past sponsors for their generous and valued support. 

Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University 
Queensland Government through Arts QLD 
University of Queensland

Symphony Services
Queensland Symphony Orchestra

Theme and Variations - Steinway
Mason and Hamlin Australia
Yamaha Music Australia

St Peter’s Lutheran College, Indooroopilly
Master Performers
Boyd’s The Piano Shop
Australian Piano Warehouse
Brian Wilson Piano Care
Masson Music
Australian Yoga and Music Academy
Hal Leonard Australia

 


 

What is a piano duo?

The title piano duo can mean two pianists playing at one piano (often referred to as 'piano four hands', or 'piano duet'); or two people playing at two pianos (commonly labelled 'piano duo', 'two pianos' or 'two piano four hands').  There is also the related double piano duet: 'two pianos eight hands'.  Each scenario has unique joys and ensemble challenges.

Support the Festival

There are many ways you can support the festival. Help us continue "bringing pianists together".