Steven Osborne

Steven Osborne

The first day of the Edinburgh Festival proper had plenty to attract enthusiasts. Of particular interest to music lovers is the Queen’s Hall series of lunch time concerts, which kicked off today with a performance by the popular Linlithgow pianist Steven Osborne.


Steven has won many accolades over the years, most notably for his outstanding recording of Messiaen’s Vingt Regards sur L’enfant Jésus, for which he was nominated for a Gramophone Award and the German Schallplattenpreis. He has, of course, appeared many times at the Festival but this year performed Debussy’s Préludes Book 1 and Rachmaninov’s Prélude in C sharp minor Op 3 No 2 and Préludes Op 23 on Monday 14th August and will perform Debussy’s Préludes Book II and Rachmaninov’s Op 32 on Wednesday 23rd August.


Clearly many people were already fans. Those who weren’t before, left the hall having received a lesson from a master. Such a varied programme needed only the slightest realignment by Steven between each prelude to capture the essence of a quite different mood, pace or theme. The tenderness of Debussy’s La fille au cheveux de lin, and the towering, tumbling chimes of La Cathédrale Engloutie are captured effortlessly. And as for the Rachmaninov, well, one can only look forward to Steven recording these works too. His technique is exquisite and the interpretations serious and studied. Four curtain calls resulted in an encore and the audience were still loathe to let him go.


Should you be too late to acquire tickets for Steven Osborne, both programmes are recorded for transmission on 15th and 25th August on BBC Radio 3.


Meanwhile, the Bank of Scotland Queen’s Hall Series boasts a wealth of talented musicians.


View programme and Book tickets here

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