Portraits of some of today's greatest pianists, including Alfred Brendel, Benjamin Grosvenor and John Lill, will be on display at Turner Sims in Southampton from 25 September until 1 December 2014. American photographer Amy T Zielinski's exhibition, titled The Concert Pianist: Movements & Moments, celebrates great piano players and their struggle for perfection in performance, and will accompany the venue's 40th anniversary celebrations. We preview nine of the fantastic portraits.


1. Alfred Brendel

Austrian born pianist Alfred Brendel poses with his hands on his head near his Steinway grand at home in London. It took five years for Zielinski’s request to photograph Brendel's hands to come to fruition. He is a cultural icon whose discography is one of the most extensive of any pianist and he is the published author of several books of poetry and essays on music. Now retired from the stage and the piano, Brendel remains regarded as a serious intellectual with a mischievous sense of humour, which is captured here. (Photo: Amy T Zielinski)

2. Paul Lewis

English pianist Paul Lewis plays for a portrait at his Yamaha piano in his new home studio in Bovingdon, Hertfordshire. Zielinski first met Lewis when she photographed his hands in 2011 and he later agreed to a traditional portrait session for this exhibition. Lewis studied at Guildhall School of Music and later with Alfred Brendel. Lewis’s 'baby' Yamaha grand is his work horse, he says, which takes the beating of long hours of repetition and memorisation while he learns his latest repertoire. Lewis will be performing at Turner Sims for their 40th anniversary gala concert in November. (Photo: Amy T Zielinski)

3. Peter Donohoe

English pianist Peter Donohoe rehearses works by Scriabin, Liszt and Prokofiev before an evening solo piano recital on stage at Turner Sims. Donohoe has played here many times and recently recorded his Prokofiev Piano Sonatas album on this Steinway D grand. (Photo: Amy T Zielinski/Redferns via Getty Images)

4. Benjamin Grosvenor

English pianist Benjamin Grosvenor poses at a Steinway grand piano in Steinway Hall in London. In 2005, Grosvenor was featured in Alan Yentob’s BBC Documentary Imagine Being a Concert Pianist at the age 12 and by the age of 19 he became the youngest ever soloist at the First Night of the BBC Proms. Before he signed with Decca records and became one of the Evening Standard '1,000 Most Influential Londoners', he came with his mother to Steinway Hall to allow Zielinski to photograph his hands. He asked if she could take a few traditional portraits after that shoot, including this image in the Steinway showroom. (Photo: Amy T Zielinski)

5. Nick van Bloss

English pianist Nick van Bloss rehearses at a Steinway grand piano on stage in Cine Lumiere during the inaugural year of It's All About Piano! festival at the Institut Français in London. This iconic shot has now become the signature image for Zielinski’s exhibitions featuring classical musicians. Bloss was diagnosed with Tourette syndrome as a teenager, which makes a performance career in the silent concert halls of classical music an incredible challenge. Bloss is seen here rehearsing Bach's Goldberg Variations. (Photo: Amy T Zielinski/Redferns via Getty Images)

6. Gabriela Montero

Venezuelan pianist Gabriela Montero rehearses at a Steinway grand during the International Piano Series at the Queen Elizabeth Hall on 5 March 2014. Montero studied piano at the Royal Academy of Music with Hamish Milne and now breaks the traditional form of recitals by ending her performances with improvisational pieces on themes given by the audience. (Photo: Amy T Zielinski/Redferns via Getty Images)

7. Ingolf Wunder

Here, Austrian pianist Ingolf Wunder rehearses works by Beethoven, Chopin and Liszt before a performance as part of the International Piano Series 2013-14 at the Queen Elizabeth Hall. The second prize winner at the International Chopin Competition 2010 in Warsaw, Wunder records for Deutsche Grammophon and has recently worked with pianist and conductor Vladimir Ashkenazy. (Photo: Amy T Zielinski/Redferns via Getty Images)

8. Ulrich Gerhartz

Piano technician Ulrich Gerhartz uses a wooden plectron and lifting tool to fit individual hammers to the strings as he maintains the three resident Steinway & Sons Model D Concert Grand pianos at the Barbican Hall. Ulrich Gerhartz has worked for the piano manufacturer Steinway & Sons for over 27 years, beginning in Hamburg as a piano maker's apprentice to his current position as director of concert and artists services for the company. (Photo: Amy T Zielinski/Getty Images)

9. John Lill

Pianist John Lill, 70, poses for a portrait in front of his Steinway piano at home in London on 21 August 2014. Following studies at the Royal College of Music and with pianist Wilhelm Kempff, Lill’s career began to flourish after winning the 1970 Moscow International Tchaikovsky Competition. His prize money assisted him in acquiring the very Steinway piano he poses in front of, with which hours are spent preparing for his numerous concerts around the world. (Photo: Amy T Zielinski/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

All photos © Amy T Zielinski

Visit: www.turnersims.co.uk for further information



Review: Alfred Brendel on Music


John Ogdon: videos of an extraordinary pianist