Studio Series Q&A: Alex Raineri
25th January, 2024

Studio Series Q&A: Alex Raineri

We caught up with Alex Raineri ahead of his Studio Series recital, to discuss the evolution of his passion, eclectic repertoire choices, the transformative power of piano interpretations and more!

How did your passion for music develop? 

There was no particular turning point or ‘aha’ moment. I’m continually inspired by the work (music) itself.

I was a quiet and nerdy kid (and I’m not sure if much has changed…). Music was always the burning flame for me, and I’m grateful to all of the wonderful people, mentors, colleagues, and my awesome parents, that have influenced my journey thus far.

Who are some of your favourite pianists/composers and why?

Piano heroes include Radu Lupu, Grigory Sokolov, Mitsuko Uchida, Angela Hewitt, Nicolas Hodges, Lisa Moore, and so many others.

Composers, I love so much music! I tend to gravitate towards 20th century and more contemporary works but as this show demonstrates, my artistic practice covers a vast span of music.

Are there any specific memories or experiences associated with the works you’ll be performing that you’d like to share with the audience?

These are some of the best moments from the best operas (Salome and Il Tabarro are my favs!). In curating this program, I’ve created a journey from Purcell through to Strauss of reimagined dramatic and playful moments. Even without the singers or the theatre,  I feel that some original visceral qualities of the works are to be found in this one-man version!

How do you approach interpreting and bringing your own unique style to the songs you’ll be performing?

There’s a freedom in performing arrangements/transcriptions. In departing from the original context, there is already a level of rhapsody and imagination at work to render the musical material effective within its new context. ‘Speechless’ is incredibly pianistic and virtuosic. For me, the heart and soul of the music is the focus, to bring the drama and passion of the music to life on Opera Queensland’s wonderful new Kawai concert grand piano.

Can you discuss the process of selecting the repertoire for this performance? Where do you draw inspiration from?

I love opera and I work in the field a lot. It’s kind of a bummer to be so present in the stages of production, but then not actually perform in it… thus was born the idea of ‘Speechless’. There are a number of Liszt arrangements, which are quintessentially pianistic. There’s also a particular gnarly ‘Figaro Overture’, a playful teaser for OQ’s upcoming Lucia di Lammermoor production, as well as my own swirly ramble on Purcell’s ‘Dido’s Lament’.


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