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Renowned Pianist Panos Karan Announces Bach Around the World

The National Herald

Renowned Greek-born pianist Panos Karan performing 24 Chopin Etudes presented by Keys of Change at Carnegie Hall's Weill Concert Hall in New York. (Photo: John Caruso)

SURREY, UK – Talented Greek pianist Panos Karan announced his latest project, Bach Around the World, beginning on November 13.

In a statement via email Karan said, “I turned 38 this year, but I feel it's only fair that I do not include it in my age, since 2020 has cancelled on us. I dare look at my empty calendar sometimes. Until March, this was the all-important tool to help me plan the year ahead. Last year, a six day gap allowed me a four-gig round-trip to Australia. Right now, the empty weeks and months in the calendar remind me of what didn’t happen this year, like that concert in Japan in August or the trip to Singapore in December. This year, the sense of time has taken on a completely different meaning for me. A day, a week or a month have been realigned in my mind and body.

Karan continued, “But a lot did happen this year. I adopted two beautiful cats right from the street in Athens. I spent a lot of time with family. I registered for a marathon. I travelled by car from Greece to the UK in under three days, and my hair grew longer than ever before. I also did get sick, and still get very tired most days. 

He noted, “I do miss playing the piano for others. The raw energy of the stage and the personal connection with an audience cannot be replaced by an online concert, but I do hope to find a way to reconnect with those that, like me, also miss music. So, starting on November 13, I will be posting every Friday a Prelude and Fugue by Bach, completing the first book of the Well-Tempered Clavier in 24 weeks. With each Prelude and Fugue, I will be sharing a few images and recollections from 24 of my favorite places in the world, hoping to connect as well with those that also miss travelling.”

Karan said, “From C major to B minor, from Buenos Aires to Tokyo, join me for a musical journey like no other: Bach Around the World.”

The first week’s musical journey takes us to Athens. Karan said, “Join me for the first episode of this musical journey around the world. Today we visit Athens, the city I grew up in. For most, Athens was probably a city of ancient culture, bustling traffic and invigorating night life, while for me it has always been a place of pine trees and mountains, and the city I know where to find the best souvlaki in the world. Opening Bach's first book of 24 Preludes and Fugues with C major, I had to feature the city of my childhood.”

Panos Karan is a pianist, conductor and humanitarian whose ideas are fast shaping the understanding of classical music in the 21st century. Born in Greece and educated at the Royal Academy of Music in London, Karan has taken music from the world’s top concert halls into the Amazon jungle, to the most impoverished districts of Kolkata, to prisons of war-torn Sierra Leone, and to the evacuation centers of post-tsunami Japan. Most recent performances include four solo recitals at Carnegie Hall, New York, Symphony Hall, Boston, Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, Sydney Opera House, Suntory Hall, Tokyo, and Tokyo Opera City, at the presence of Empress Michiko of Japan.

In September 2010, Karan founded the charity Keys of Change helping bring music to young people living under extraordinary circumstances around the world, and in 2014 he founded the Fukushima Youth Sinfonietta.

He has recorded Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No. 3 and recently the 24 Chopin Etudes in live recital at London’s Cadogan Hall. 

Karan has visited more than 130 countries, has lived in Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Athens, Tokyo, and currently resides in London. He speaks six languages.

Bach Around the World, Part 1: Athens is available online:

https://shoutout.wix.com/so/c3NN1iovI?cid=56cb25cd-7a0b-4a9b-b022-9fe25b93a382&region=73826c79-774a-4720-5b99-829509b2dc39#/main.