Monday, 1 October 2012

James Bond and the Concert Pianist: Talented Pianists - Emmanuel Vass -

Piano Sage Blog loves virtuosic piano transcriptions, and is pleased to feature rising star Pianist Emmanuel Vass. Vass, a Yamaha Unsigned Artist of the Year recently featured on the BBC, and has transcribed an amazing James Bond Concert Etude, which coincides nicely with this year's 50th Anniversary of James Bond.

Pianist Emmanuel Vass
Let's get to know Manny.

Please introduce us to your readers?
 Hello! My name is Emmanuel Vass, or Manny, I’m a British pianist from Yorkshire, in the North of England, but I was originally born in the Philippines to a Filipino mother and a British father.

Your James bond transcription, I enjoyed it very much, What inspired you to transcribe this? 
I’m really glad you enjoyed my transcription! Growing up, I listened to all sorts of music across a multitude of genres, by a diverse selection of bands and artists. I think one of the most fantastic things about playing the piano is the way in which the versatility of the instrument can easily allow us to perform lots of genres of music, not just classical. As such, I really enjoy creating my own arrangements and transcriptions of popular songs, and I love to add my own creative flare to the pieces so that they combine elements of my training as a classical pianist.

Do you expect me to talk Mr. Bond? No I expect you to [play]! so here's the
Video: James Bond Concert Etude for Solo Piano  - Barry/Fleming, arr. Vass

 What has the reception been?
So far the reception has been phenomenal, audiences have so far howled, whistled and laughed after hearing me play it within recitals alongside the likes of Mozart and Rachmaninov!

Is there a sheet music version of it for our readers to download?
Thus far, no sheet music version is available – everything I transcribe I keep in my head! That said, I have had a number of requests from listeners and viewers who want to have a copy of the music, so please watch this space as I will first have to seek permission from the publishers before transcribing it onto paper.

 January and February 2012 saw Emmanuel as Yamaha's "Unsigned Artist of the Month". 
Can you tell us more about this honour? How were you discovered for this, and what was the outcome of being an Unsigned Artist of the Month?
This came as a very pleasant surprise, actually! I was invited to perform at the VIP reception of the Royal Variety Show which was taking place in The Lowry Theatre, Manchester back in December 2012. Whilst trying to arrange for a piano to be transported into the VIP reception space, I came across Yamaha who offered to help me. Retrospective of the opportunity, they announced me as their “Unsigned Artist of the Month” from January-February 2012. It was a great way to start 2012, and helped me gain important opportunities at international venues such as the Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, and BBC Broadcasting House in London, at which I performed as part of a BBC Radio 3 masterclass available to watch online.

[Video] BBC Masterclass on Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata, featuring Emmanuel Vass

Can you tell us what you are up to at the moment, any upcoming projects? 
I’ve got a lot of things going on, which I’m really thrilled and lucky to be a part of since graduating from the Royal Northern College of Music in July 2011. Soon after graduating, I performed for the Prince of Monaco, broadcast live on BBC radio and also gave a recital for the French ambassador. Since then, I have been playing regularly in venues all across England: from Chester Cathedral and the Bridgewater Hall in the North, to BBC Broadcasting House and Kensington Palace Gardens in the South. This week just gone, I have given recitals at the Marburae Art Gallery in Macclesfield, Blackburn Cathedral in Lancashire, and Hexham Abbey in Northumberland.

In terms of further upcoming projects, I am planning on producing more videos for my Youtube channel and website, and I hope to debut in London at some point in Spring/Summer 2013.

You can find out more about what Emmanuel Vass' upcoming music projects from his official website

Further reading:

Meet the Artist……Emmanuel Vass [Cross Eyed Pianist Blog]

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