At this year’s Sydney Festival, pianist Tamara-Anna Cislowska will join five other pianists – Bernadette Harvey, Elena Kats-Chernin, Stephanie McCallum, Natalia Ricci and Sonya Lifschitz – in a concert curated by Sydney International Piano Competition’s Artistic Director Piers Lane that will see the six pianists perform duos, trios, quartets and a sextet on six grand pianos in the Sydney Town Hall. Cislowska tells us about the challenges and pleasures of multi-piano ensembles and reveals some of the music in store.

12 Hands 6 Grands 12 Hands 6 Grands. Photo courtesy of Sydney Festival

For you personally, what is most exciting about the 12 Hands 6 Grands concert?

Six grand pianos together is an exciting event in itself! I’ve directed a number of such concerts before with up to eight pianos on stage at one time. The thrill is in the fullness of the sound and the terrific opportunity for doubling, tripling individual lines, bringing out the contrapuntal nature of the music to its maximum. It’s a remarkably satisfying sound – rich, detailed and bright. Very intoxicating indeed!

You’ve performed four hands...