Brisbane Festival and Griffith University present

Stalin's Piano


14 Sept | QPAC - Cremorne Theatre



By Robert Davidson and Sonya Lifschitz (AUS)

"★★★★ - 1/2 If you think piano recitals are dead, go and see ‘Stalin’s Piano’: Robert Davidson’s audio-visual epic of ten fingers against the inexorable sweep of history." LIMELIGHT MAGAZINE

A composer, a piano, a virtuoso, historical footage, and a wildly chilling – at times very funny – meeting of Joseph Stalin, Ai Wei Wei, Bertolt Brecht, Joseph Goebbels, John F. Kennedy, Maria Yudina, Gough Whitlam, Jackson Pollock, Robert Helpmann, Julia Gillard, Donald Trump, and more.

In 1953, Stalin died in his bed. Found spinning on his record player was Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 23, a recording of the often banned and exiled Russian pianist Maria Yudina. An outspoken champion of new music and artistic freedom, Yudina was famed for her vehement defiance of Stalin’s tyranny. While many of her fellow artists 'disappeared', or were purged by the KGB, Yudina outlasted Stalin and lived to tell her story.

Join the equally fearless and fierce pianist Sonya Lifschitz as she fires up Brisbane composer Robert Davidson’s electrifying new work, Stalin’s Piano. Conceived with and for the Ukranian-born virtuoso, this audio-visual treat weaves together dazzling piano music, the recorded voices of iconic figures, archival footage and Lifschitz’s spoken voice, taking us into the heart of ever-simmering conflicts.

Lifschitz is a wonderful pianist and her instrument weaves in and out of the portraits as the piece’s bedrock, at times functioning as an understated backdrop to the on-screen material, and at other times blazing beautifully to the fore.” THE ADELAIDE REVIEW




Brought to you by Brisbane Times 


Download in-theatre program

Suitable for all ages.
Image by Paul McMillan

Composed by Robert Davidson

Performed by Sonya Lifschitz




Brisbane Times Festival Conversations after event

Duration : 65 minutes

QPAC - Cremorne Theatre

Corner Grey and Melbourne Streets
Queensland Performing Arts Centre
QLD 4101

$40 - $49 + booking fee

Wheelchair accessible, assistive listening available

Paid car parks at QPAC and South Bank Parklands.

Take a bus to the Cultural Centre busway station, a train to South Brisbane train station or a ferry to South Bank ferry terminal.

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