Barthel formally retired at the end of 2018, but he plans to continue working part-time.
A festive retirement concert took place in December 2018, in the Groningen Oosterpoort concert hall. The Groningen student symphony orchestra Mira, conducted by Pieter Bosma, played the Academic Fest Ouverture by Brahms, Tchaikovsky’s first piano concerto (with soloist Martin Oei) and Dvorak’s 7th symphony (picture: Elmer Spaargaren).
Peter Barthel is collaborating with Italian pianist Marco Rapetti. They have just released a filmed live performance of Scriabin’s Fourth Piano Sonata, opus 30, “illustrated” with astronomical images and video. Pianist Rapetti performs the work on Albert Einstein’s 1899 Blüthner piano which is currently housed in the astronomical observatory in Florence, Italy. Follow-up co-productions are being planned. The first short film can be viewed here.