In addition to the recording of Adolf Busch’s piano works – written about in my previous post – I have also been involved in the recording of Rolf Gehlhaar’s “Grand Unified Theory of Everything” for flute, clarinet and piano together with my wonderful colleagues Karin de Fleyt and Peter Merckx, both members of the Antwerp based Hermes Ensemble. The composer, formerly assistant to Karlheinz Stockhausen, came to Leeds for the production of the recording to be released on a CD alongside contemporary flute repertoire in 2016. Watch this space for more information…
After having performed much of Adolf Busch’s piano works in recitals in Cottbus, Chemnitz and at Goldsmiths University in June I now look forward to recording his most significant work for piano solo the Sonata in C minor op 25 alongside 2 of his Intermezzi, 3 Piano Pieces op 60, 3 little Pieces in the old Style, 2 Canons and a little Fugue as well as Andante Espressivo – his last composition completed on June 9th 1952, the day of his passing. This is a project I have been excited about for a long time and I am grateful to Leeds College of Music for providing its main concert hall, the glorious Venue and one of the Steinway D’s for this recording which will take place on July 22nd and 23rd. I also look forward to working together with the recording engineer Chris Milnes. I am especially pleased that my wonderful pianist colleague and fellow lecturer at LCoM, Nico de Villiers will produce this recording. So, much to look forward to in July. Watch this space for further news on the Adolf Busch project…
I feel very privileged having been invited to perform with the Hermes Ensemble next week in Antwerp and Berlin. We will perform Karlheinz Stockhausen’s Prozession alongside The Grand Unified Theory of Everything by Rolf Gelhaar. Also on the programme will be an improvisation led by the artist Mary Bauermeister. I very much look forward to an exciting week collaborating with the musicians from this wonderful ensemble.
On March 12th 2015 Karin de Fleyt, Alfia Nakipbekova and myself launched the Trio Sonore at the International Festival for Artistic Innovation at Leeds College of Music performing works by Saariaho, Xenakis, Deborah Pritchard and the world premiere of James Hesford’s No Encryption Dictate Encryption for flute, cello, piano and percussion with Damien Harron playing marimba and snare drum. Future plans include performances of Marc Yeats’ Soft Geometry as well as collaborations with composers such as Neal Farwell, Ambrose Field and Damien Harron. Lots to look forward to…
Building up new musical partnerships and nurturing existing ones has always been at the centre of my musical endeavours. On Sunday I had the privilege to play again with the cellist and colleague at Leeds College of Music, Alfia Nakipbekova. The recital which took place at the Chelsea Arts Club featured the cello and piano sonatas by Rachmaninoff and Prokofiev.
Yesterday the violinist Sebastian Müller and myself embarked on a new partnership with a duo recital as part of the International Concert Series at Little Benslow Music Trust in Hitchin Herts. It was a true pleasure to present works by Debussy, Liszt, Milstein/Pagannini and Franck to an enthusiastic and welcoming audience.
Last but not least I look forward to performing a duo recital with the cellist Pavlos Carvalho on Saturday, February 28th. Our musical partnership goes back to 1999 and it’s always great to make music together! Our programme will consist of works by Ginastera, Franck and Rachmaninoff. For details please click on the following link: http://ensemblereza.com/events/
In anticipation of my recording of the entire piano works by Adolf Busch in July 2015 for Toccata Classics, I have given a lecture recital on the composer and his keyboard works at this year’s London International Piano Symposium held at the Royal College of Music on February 13-15. On this occasion I performed his “Andante Espressivo” – which Busch completed on the last day of his life, namely on June 9th 1952 – alongside the second movement of his piano sonata op 25 consisting of a theme and 11 variations. Apart from presenting I had the privilege to listen to many interesting lectures on piano repertoire, piano technique and music education. I would therefore like to use this space to express my gratitude to Leeds College of Music who sponsored my attendance at the above mentioned conference.
Following this presentation I will play more Adolf Busch in a recital series in Germany in April and in one of the lunchtime recitals at Munster Square. More details will follow soon…
This week will see two performances of Deborah Pritchard‘s new piano piece “Of the Sun”.
The first (world premiere!) will be on Thursday, February 5th at 1 pm at Leeds College of Music in a recital together with trumpeter Simon Desbruslais. The recital will be followed by a workshop for composers given by Deborah, Simon and myself.
The second performance (London premiere!) will be on Sunday, February 8th at 7 pm at All Saints Church in Putney as part of the Knitting Concert series founded by the pianist Robert Bridge. Alongside Deborah’s piece I am going to perform works by Mozart, Liszt and Adolf Busch.
On Thursday I had the privilege to give a master class at Birmingham Conservatoire, where I was teaching four talented students. Scriabin’s piano concerto (a work I have recently performed myself) was followed by works of Beethoven, Rachmaninoff and Busoni. The event was delightfully well attended – this is especially remarkable as this conservatoire holds piano master classes every week!
Next week will see a workshop of a different kind: on February 5th composer Deborah Pritchard, trumpeter Simon Desbruslais and myself will work with composition students at Leeds College of Music offering feedback on performance as well as compositional matters. Deborah will also talk to the students about her life and work as a composer.
Furthermore I feel very honoured to have been asked to join a group representing the music department of the University of York in Wuhan, China and it goes without saying that I look forward to giving a concert and a master class there with keen anticipation. It gives me great pleasure to hold both events together with my colleague Dr Nicky Losseff who is Senior Lecturer at York.
It is always great to play with Janet Hilton and Pavlos Carvalho. Yesterday saw a repeat performance of a programme we did last year including works by Beethoven, Ginastera, Nino Rota, Berg and Brahms. There was a good turnout in St Peter’s Church in Petersfield with the audience being very welcoming.
As always Hannah Carter, who manages the ensemble did a brilliant job organising this event! Ensemble Reza offers regular concerts for its core members, but sometimes invites guest artist such as Janet and myself. My next appearance with this organisation will be on February 28th in a duo recital with Pavlos Carvalho in Haywards Heath featuring works by Rachmaninoff and Franck. For details please click here.
After a very busy autumn with performances in London, Leeds, Cottbus and other lovely places it is now time to enjoy a nice Christmas break!
Many exciting projects are lined up for the new year and contemporary music is at the heart of my musical activities in early 2015: February will see the premiere of a new piano piece by Deborah Pritchard and in March Alfia Nakipbekova, Karin de Fleyt and myself will launch Trio Sonore performing works by Kaija Saariaho, Marc Yeats and Damien Harron at the International Festival for Innovations in Music Production and Composition in Leeds.
Furthermore I look forward to playing chamber recitals with violinist Sebastian Müller as well as with clarinettist Janet Hilton and cellist Pavlos Carvalho. Other highlights include a lecture recital on piano works by Adolf Busch at the London International Piano Symposium at the Royal College of Music in London in February and a concert tour in the state of Brandenburg/Germany in April.
I feel deeply honoured to have been asked to join the staff at the University of York, where I will start teaching in January in addition to my existing positions at Leeds College of Music and at Goldsmiths University. I also look forward to giving a master class at Birmingham Conservatoire in January.
More about all these events nearer the time, but for today a wonderful festive season and a creative and very happy New Year 2015!