Being an accomplished piano player can be a profoundly lonely experience. Take it from classical piano icon Jean-Michel Blais – the 37-year-old began his relationship with the instrument aged 9, writing his first compositions at 11, and eventually releasing a stream of piano-focused albums which earned him a Libera Award, two Polaris prize nominations, a #1 on the Billboard Classical chart and more.
To be a pianist of such eminence takes dedication and practice, spending four to six hours every day engaged in solitary dialogue with music. It’s a fantastic privilege to be so ensconced in the world of the piano. But as the pandemic took hold in 2020, Blais started to wonder if there was more to music than this, leading to a time of great catharsis that paved the way for the bold new direction of his next album, ‘aubades’.
Named after the Middle Ages notion of romantic music written for dawn and daybreak, with this new record Jean-Michel Blais has created 11 aubades for 12 musicians, all of which celebrate rebirth, a season in bloom and the expectation of a new day to come. Having spent most of his career playing, writing and performing music alone, the circumstances of life around April 2020 suddenly put this solitary way of working into stark relief.
Presented by Bristol Beacon
Unreserved seated event
Age: 14+ (Under 18s to be accompanied by an adult)
“Maximum minimalism, […] shimmering plucked strings […] and a concluding message that conveys that hope makes life worth living even in sorrowful times.”
High Res Audio
at Bristol Beacon
Our foyer space located within Bristol Beacon where we host events, performances and conferences.
Getting to the venue
Location: Bridgehouse is located within Bristol Beacon with entrances on Colston Street and Trenchard Street.
Bicycle racks can be found in front of the main entrance on Trenchard Street, Colston Street, and on the city centre promenade. Find your nearest cycle routes using Cycle Planner.
Trenchard Street multi-storey car park is 50m away directly behind Bristol Beacon.
Bristol Clean Air Zone
Bristol Beacon is inside the Bristol Clean Air Zone. Check if your vehicle will be charged and how much you’ll have to pay.
The city centre bus stop is 250m from Bristol Beacon where most bus services stop.
Bridgehouse has level access from street level with lifts to all levels. For unallocated seated performances, seats can easily be removed to accommodate wheelchairs.
Registered assistance dogs and emotional support animals are allowed in the venue.
There is an induction loop at the box office. You can use this by adjusting your hearing aid to the ‘T’ setting. There is no hearing loop facility for the foyer stage.
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