I am greatly looking forward to giving three performance workshops in April.
1) On Friday, April 22nd I will be playing a lunchtime recital at 1.15 pm at Bristol University followed by a public master class.
2) On Sunday, April 24th I will have the privilege to collaborate with my colleague Eleanor Hodgkinson on a workshop/performance on the piano duo works by Peter Gellhorn at the Royal College of Music in London. Janet Hilton will join us on the clarinet in “Thought on a Chinese Tune for clarinet and piano duet”. This event which will take place from 2-5 pm and is part of the project “Singing a Song in a Foreign Land” organised by the singer and coach Norbert Meyn.
3) On Wednesday, April 27th I as part of the Trio Sonore will be giving a workshop for composers at Leeds College of Music. Together with my colleagues Karin de Fleyt and Alfia Nakipbekova I will perform and discuss works for flute, cello and piano written by LCoM composers.
It has been a true privilege and pleasure to collaborate with the Chinese pianist Jia Zhang. We first met in Tianjin when I was giving a recital and master class there in March. In the meantime Jia has spent 6 months in York on a research project. We performed a programme of piano solo and duo works by Mozart, Scriabin, Berg and Arensky in York and in Leeds. I sincerely hope this won’t be the last time we collaborate. By the way we also discovered that we are both “grandchildren” of some of the worlds greatest pianist: Jia studied with Margareta Fiodorowa, a pupil of Heinrich Neuhaus in Moscow and I with Yonty Solomon who was one of the very few student of Myra Hess.
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.