The Piano Tuner Nigel Osborne

15 mins

Solos, Duos & Trios Trios •• Piano Trio

1 Piano, 1 Violin, 1 Violoncello

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piano trio

Programme note

The Piano Tuner: three preludes and five fugues for piano trio.

This piano trio was written as a sketch work for my opera The Piano Tuner. The story is set in the 1880s and concerns a piano tuner who is commissioned by the War Office to travel to the Shan states of Burma to tune the piano of an extraordinary British office who has succeeded in making peace among the warlords by the practice of music and medicine.

The piano tuner travels from London with Bach's 48 Preludes and Fugues in his luggage, across continents, from teh world of so-called equal temperament, through zones of changing intonations - maqams, ragas, tals and untempered pentatonics - to the rich resonances of gongs and the natural sounds of the forests of South East Asia, and ultimately to his own transformation as man and musician. The piece is in eight movements:

Prelude I: Tuning

Fugue I: Tetrachord, Hexachord

Prelude II: Sensations of Travel
Fugue II: Sea Bird

Fugue III: Dragonfly

Fugue IV: Tiger

Prelude III: Song of Loss

Fugue V: Fractal Counterpoint

The Piano Tuner was commissioned by the City of London Festival for the Piano Trio of Vienna and first performed by them on 23rd June 2004 at LSO St Luke's. 

Piano Trio of Vienna, City of London Festival, LSO St Lukes, Old Street, London, 23 June 2004
  • 20 Jul 2018 | 7:00pm |

    Picture Gallery, Paxton House

    Berwick upon Tweed TD15 1SZ


    Hebrides Ensemble

  • 21 Jul 2013 |



    Fidelio Trio

  • 3 Jul 2013 | 7:30pm |

    Resident at St. Patrick's College Drumcondra, Dublin


    Fidelio Trio

  • 28 Jun 2013 | 7:30pm |

    LSO St Luke's, London


    Fidelio Trio

  • 18 Feb 2011 |



    Fidelio Trio

  • 16 Feb 2011 |



    Fidelio Trio

  • 29 Oct 2009 | 7:45pm |

    Elphinstone Hall, University of Aberdeen


    Fidelio Trio

  • 20 Jun 2005 |

    St Magnus Festival, St. Magnus Cathedral, Orkney


    Alexander Janiczek (violin), William Conway (cello), Alexander Taylor (piano)

  • 4 Nov 2004 |

    Weston Gallery, Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama