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Many hands make light work, but for pianists Eleonora Spina and Michele Benignetti, their four hands also make compellingly beautiful music.
This talented young Italian duo, touring South Africa between 22 July and 1 August, are offering the sparkling programme ‘Fantasy and Imagination’ of works by Mozart, Schubert, Rachmaninov and Samuel Barber. Audiences in the Cape – McGregor, Hermanus, Grahamstown – in Pretoria and Johannesburg can enjoy the unusual experience of a ‘four hands’ concert. In Potchefstroom, the audience will be treated to a recital on two pianos in the Conservatory’s auditorium comprising works by Rachmaninov, Schubert, Brahms and Lutoslawsky.
Since forming their partnership in 2013 Spina and Benignetti have garnered many international prizes both as a duo and as soloists. As early as June 2014 they obtained an unanimous and prestigious Diplôme Supérieur d’Exécution at the Paris Ecole Normale de Musique.
Their recent You Tube recording at Izumi Hall,
Osaka, Japan in May 2017
Both are graduates of important European music institutions in Paris, Rotterdam, Graz, Bologna and Novara, where several renowned professors influenced the interpretation of their repertoire. Michele and Eleonora are currently studying at the Hochshule fur Musik in Graz (Austria) under Professors Gil Garburg and Sivan Silver. They both teach at the Saint Quentin and Soissons Conservatories, as well as at the Summer International Academy of Colombes in Paris.
Their recording of Brahms’s complete works for two pianos (Brilliant Classics Records, 2015) has been praised highly by audiences, critics and popular classical music magazines in Italy and France. Their latest album, Lifetime (the Sheva Collection) was released in January 2017.
South African audiences will be able to enjoy one of Mozart’s last colourful works, Fantasia K 608 in F minor; Rachmaninov’s Six Pieces op. 11, full of emotive power and variations; Schubert’s Fantasia D 940 in F minor in four connected movements and Barber’s Suite op. 28, evoking cherished memories of New York.