It’s All About Piano returns to the Institut français, 27 – 29 March

The third edition of the music festival It’s All About Piano returns to the Institut français at the end of March, with a wide variety of piano-themed events featuring musicians and artists from all around the world.

Curated by the Institut’s Head of Classical and Contemporary Music, Françoise Clerc, It’s All About Piano is the only festival in London that’s dedicated to this, the “king of instruments”. The festival aims to give its audience a chance to become more familiar with the instrument through events that combine piano playing with art, film and theatre. The festival also allows artists from a wide variety of different disciplines to work together.

It's All About Piano 2015

The festival will open on Friday 27th March with two multimedia recitals that will fuse animated images by the Brothers Quay and Kandinsky with music by Janáček and Mussorgsky, commissioned by the Cité de la Musique in Paris and performed by Uzbekistan-born French pianist Mikhail Rudy. That same evening, French-Cypriot pianist Cyprien Katsaris will improvise to a champagne tasting given by French Bubbles co-founder Maud Fierobe; this will be followed by a recital given by British jazz pianist John Taylor. All of these events will be held at Kings Place.

On the Saturday and Sunday of the festival, events will move to the Institut français itself with recitals and readings, film screenings, a sing-along concert, a story-telling event, and free tuition for beginner piano players, plus workshops on How to Build Your Own Piano and The Art of Piano Tuning. The Institut français’ house bistro will also be turned into a ‘piano bar’ on these two days, with improvised jazz sessions being performed on both days.

It's All About Piano 2015
Pictured left to right: Angela Hewitt (credit Bernd Eberle) Cyperien Katsaris (credit Jean-Batptise Millot) François-Frédéric Guy (credit Benjamin de Diesbach) Mikhail Rudy (credit mr) Peter Donohoe (credit Sussie Ahlburg)

These weekend events will include recitals from international pianists François-Frédéric Guy and Peter Donohoe; a concert from Julien Gonzales, who is the 8-time winner of the Accordion World Championship; the London première of Messiaen’s La Fauvette Passerinette given by pianist and scholar Peter Hill who discovered the work in 2012; a collaboration between students from the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris and students of the Guildhall School of Music & Drama recorded by BBC Radio 3; a masterclass with Angela Hewitt; and ciné-concerts with improvised accompaniment to French classics created by Louis Feuillade and Max Linder.

Locals will of course know of the Institut français as a famed language centre, which today also comprises a multimedia library, cinema and French bistro. The centre also strives to contribute to London’s cultural life with many of its events that are held throughout the year – these include live broadcast screenings of the Opéra national de Paris and the Aix-en-Provence Festival; family chamber concerts organised in collaboration with the Cavatina Chamber Music Trust; and a network of contemporary classical music projects organised in partnership with the Franco-British fund for contemporary music, Diaphonique.

The full line-up of It’s All About Piano can be found at, where you can also book tickets for all events.

It’s All About Piano
27th – 29th March 2015
Institut français
17 Queensberry Place


Kings Place
90 York Way
London, N1 9AG

It’s All About Piano! returns to the Institut français, 4th to 6th April

From 4th to 6th April 2014, the Institut français in London will celebrate the king of all musical instruments with its second piano festival, It’s All About Piano! Come down to discover the infinite possibilities offered by the black & white keys, from recitals to film screenings, kids activities, workshops and much more. Rising stars and the greatest pianists – including Alexeï Lubimov, Lucy Parham, Pascal Rogé, Jacky Terrasson, Pascal Amoyel – will enchant with all styles of piano music, from the classical repertoire to harpsichord recitals and jazz performances.

It's All About Piano

There’s a full range of events on each of the three days of the festival, from a recital by Russian pianist Alexei Lubimov on the Friday; a screening of the children’s film The Magic Piano (followed by a storytelling of The Out-of-Tune Piano), and a documentary on The Making of a Steinway Piano, both on the Saturday; Musical Storytelling with award-winning storyteller Jan Blake, and recitals from Geoffroy Couteau, Kenneth Weiss and David Bismuth on the Sunday – with much more on each day as well, of course! There will also be several activities and events also taking place throughout the festival, including free piano tuition and a Build Your Own Piano workshop. And if you’d like to take things easy, why not relax in the Piano Bar where you can enjoy some music whilst sampling cocktails and piano-themed delicacies?

Each event is individually priced – please see the full It’s All About Piano guide for details and to book tickets:

You can also purchase a Piano Pass for £10, which will give you 50% off the price of all recitals during the festival!

Make sure to come down to the Institut français this April to sample the delights of the piano!

It’s All About Piano
4th – 6th April 2014
Institut français
17 Queensberry Place

Bikeminded Cycle Shorts Film Competition – Get Voting for the People’s Choice Award!

The winning film in Bikeminded’s Cycle Shorts Film Competition was announced yesterday – and what a fabulous film it is too! Entitled “Cycle of Life” and by filmmakers Ross Dolton and Gabriel Aldon, it’s a great little cycling tale that takes in some wonderful Kensington and Chelsea locations. You can watch the film here:


The Cycle Shorts People’s Choice Award is yet to be decided – and now is the time to vote! There are five fantastic films to choose from, and they can all be viewed at, where you can also vote for your favourite. The team behind the winning entry will receive £500 towards their next film.

Get voting!

Bikeminded is a campaign to encourage those that live and work in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea to get on their bikes and get cycling.

InTRANSIT Performance Arts Festival returns this July

The 6th edition of the performing arts festival InTRANSIT returns to the wonderful streets, unusual hidden spaces and leafy parks of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea this July. Since its launch in 2006 with a programme of artist-led walking tours around the area, InTRANSIT has grown year on year and next month over 25 arts events will take place during the Festival’s run (13th to 27th July), with almost all events FREE to attend.

2012’s InTRANSIT will see a number of wonderful performances and events take place. These include the Portobello Road Arts Day on 14th July, when this iconic and famous West London road will be transformed into a celebration of street theatre that will include puppet shows, cabaret, dance performances and story-tellers…not to mention unusual circuses and dragons! Famous 3D street artist Edgar Mueller will also have been on site from 9th July, transforming Portobello Square and Tavistock Road, with his creations being unveiled on 14th July as well.

Sandpit at Holland Park on 15th July will be an afternoon of new games (for adults and families alike) – based around the ideas of spectacle and movement – that have been designed by artists musicians, writers and more.

If you’ve ever wanted to experiencer Parkour in the area, try RBKC Parkour on 21st July at the Portobello Pop-Up Cinema on Acklam Road, W10. This film art installation will be an interactive first-person game that features film material shot over the rooftops of Kensington and Chelsea by freerunner Karen Palmer.

I’ve mentioned before on this blog Bikeminded’s Summer Cycling Tour Programme, and their Alice in Wonderland-themed tour (18th – 22nd July), for which they’ve teamed up with the Exquisite Folly Theatre.

Councillor Nick Paget-Brown, Cabinet  Member with responsibility for the arts, said:

“This year’s InTRANSIT Festival provides fresh experiences and encounters with some of the Royal Borough’s most recognised and hidden spaces through the work of local and international artists and performers.  The Festival is an integral part of the Borough’s on-going culture service programme and our commitment to the role arts and culture have to play in making Kensington & Chelsea one of the best places to live, work and visit.”

The Festival is programmed by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, in association with leading arts organisations such as Chelsea Theatre, Hide&Seek and ReThinking Cities.

The full line-up of InTRANSIT and details of how to register for tickets (where required) can be found on the official website at

Bikeminded’s Summer Cycling Tour Programme in Kensington & Chelsea


Bikeminded has recently announced a very exciting summer programme of cycling tours that will take place in the Kensington and Chelsea area over the next few months, and kicking off this Saturday, shop 14th April with a Film Tour.

The Bikeminded campaign is run by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea with the aim of getting more people on their bikes – as well as helping them discover hidden areas of the Borough and teaching them about its history.

The Film Tour will visit locations that have appeared on the big screen, vcialis 40mg from crime films such as the 1950s Blue Lamp to James Bond. Starting with a two and half hour tour this Saturday, there are additional tours later this month and in May.

There will also be a two-hour Music Tour (taking place on three dates May and June with two tours a day) that will re-visit the haunts of the hippies and rockers of the 1960s, the punks and reggae artists of the 1970s, the synth popstars of the 1980s and the stars of today.

Rounding off these events is an Alice in Wonderland Tour (five tours taking place on dates in July) that will also be part of the InTRANSIT Festival. The Tour will be an immersive and interactive theatre experience with the White Rabbit and Alice weaving a journey through park spaces and hidden corners of Kensington and Chelsea.

Councillor Paget-Brown, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea says:

“We are delighted to announce such an exciting and varied Bikeminded summer cycling tour programme, which we hope will appeal to people in the borough and beyond, and encourage them to join us in experiencing the pleasures of cycling.  We are lucky to live and work in such a vibrant and cultural part of London, and through these cycling tours we aim to bring our streets and their stories alive through film, music and theatre.  There’s no better way of experiencing the sights and sounds of Kensington and Chelsea than on two wheels, and this summer we want everyone to get involved.”

To book a place on any of these tours, please visit and for more information on Bikeminded, visit

Saturday 14th April – 14:30 – 17:00
Saturday 28th April – 11:00 – 13:30 and 14:30 to 17:00
Saturday 12th May – 11:00 – 13:30 and 14:30 to 17:00
Saturday 26th May – 11:00 – 13:30 and 14:30 to 17:00

Tickets cost £7 per person

Saturday 5th May – 11:00-13:00 and 14:00-16:00
Saturday 9th June  – 11:00-13:00 and 14:00-16:00
Saturday 7th July – 11:00-13:00 and 14:00-16:00

Tickets cost £7 per person

Wednesday 18th July – 19:00 – 21:00
Thursday 19th July – 19:00 – 21:00
Friday 20th July – 19:00 – 21:00
Saturday 21st July – Matinee for families – 13:00 – 15:00 and 19:00 – 21:00
Sunday 22nd July – 13:00 – 15:00

Tickets cost £8 per person