Introducing Saturday's final recital of the Birmingham International Piano Academy 2005, artistic director David Quigley told how the week-long event had attracted 17 European student pianists to the city and its Conservatoire for high-powered coaching and a series of major recitals.
The last of these was given by Peter Donohoe, concluding proceedings with an all-Russian programme perhaps reflecting his own spectacular international success as joint winner of the 1982 Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, since when he has bestrode the world.
With a tone from Donohoe as hard-edged and crystalline as a scene in a Victorian panorama, Tchaikovsky's C minorDumka was deftly sketched and pedalled with washes of colour, building up energy like Stravinsky's much later Petrushka.
One of Donohoe's calling-cards followed, the wartime Sixth Sonata of Prokofiev which seems to fit this remarkable pianist like a glove. Power ("unbelievably aggressive, like a tank" were Donohoe's words), tenderness, fantasy and irony are called for in this work, qualities displayed in abundance in this awesome, well-marshalled reading.
Clearly articulated, tellingly shaded and shaped, the music gripped and bludgeoned, and then escaped into balletic fairy-land - a wonderful experience.
Donohoe concluded with the 13 Preludes of Rachmaninov's Opus 32, one part of what he described "like some vast Mahler symphony".
He did indeed find all sorts of moods here, from the pastoral, liquid G major to the Mendelssohnian fleetness of the A minor, the festive timbres of the E major to the Prokofiev-like motor rhythms of the C major.
To give three more Rachmaninov preludes as encores to an insatiable audience was perhaps excessive, but it was good to hear ahead of this bunch Tchaikovsky's charming " November" from his rarelyencountered piano suite The Seasons.