Noah Zhou at St Mary’s the virtuosity and poetry of a great artist

Tuesday 29 November 3.00 pm

https://youtube.com/watch?v=EI9R5WX1hmk&feature=share

Some superb playing from Noah Zhou of great musicianship and astonishing technical prowess.
An encore of Chasse Neige where virtuosity and poetry are combined in a tone poem of delicacy and passion.It was here that all we had heard before was summed up in this the last of Liszt’s Transcendental Studies.Musicianship,control,passion and fantasy all played with natural fluid movements of ease and grace.


An encore after an astonishing performance of Liszt’s Norma Fantasy where the funabulistics that Liszt’s requires were played with sumptuous sound and astonishing ease.The drama he brought to the opening fanfare with the drum roll opened the door for one of the greatest of Liszt’s paraphrases.It was full of conflicting emotions and ravishing beauty.The final combination of the two main melodies was played at astonishing speed and with such radiance after cascades of notes had swept across they keyboard with the melodic line amazingly appearing in the middle of these streams of golden sounds.

Liszt undertook the challenge of diluting Bellini’s opera Norma into a 15 minute solo piano work in 1841. The work easily equals the dramatic impact of the original opera through Liszt’s dynamic and highly virtuosic writing. No less than seven arias dominate Liszt’s transcription of Norma which are threaded together to create a nearly continuous stream of music.It is probably for dramatic reasons that Liszt ignored the famous aria ‘Casta Diva’ (which Thalberg used as the basis for his fantasy) a triumph of understanding of Bellini’s masterpiece.The title role of Norma is often said to be one of the hardest roles for a soprano to sing, and this adds to the drama and intensity of the music. “Norma, a priestess facing battle against the Romans, secretly falls in love with a Roman commander, and together they have two illegitimate children. When he falls for another woman, she reveals the children to her people and accepts the penalty of death. The closing scenes and much of the concert fantasy reveal Norma begging her father to take care of the children and her lover admitting he was wrong.”


His musicianship had been evident from the opening notes of the Clementi sonata that he played with elegance and style with streams of notes that flowed so mellifluously from his well oiled fingers.The Presto too was played with great delicacy and rhythmic drive.

Muzio Filippo Vincenzo Francesco Saverio Clementi (23 January 1752 – 10 March 1832) was an Italian composer,pianist,teacher and conductor ,music publisher, editor, and piano manufacturer, who was mostly active in England.Encouraged to study music by his father, he was sponsored as a young composer by Sir Peter Beckford who took him to England to advance his studies. Later, he toured Europe numerous times from his long-standing base in London. It was on one of these occasions, in 1781, that he engaged in a piano competition with Mozart.On 12 January 1782, Mozart reported to his father: “Clementi plays well, as far as execution with the right-hand goes. His greatest strength lies in his passages in 3rds. Apart from that, he has not a Kreutzer’s worth of taste or feeling – in short, he is a mere mechanic.” In a subsequent letter, he wrote: “Clementi is a charlatan, like all Italians. He marks a piece presto but plays only allegro.”Clementi’s impressions of Mozart, by contrast, were enthusiastic saying of Mozart: “Until then I had never heard anyone play with such spirit and grace. I was particularly overwhelmed by an adagio and by several of his extempore variations for which the Emperor had chosen the theme, and which we were to devise alternately.”In 1810, Clementi stopped performing in order to devote his time to composition and to piano making. On 24 January 1813, together with a group of prominent professional musicians in England, he founded the “Philharmonic Society of London”.Meanwhile, his piano business had flourished, affording him an increasingly elegant lifestyle. As an inventor and skilled mechanic, he made important improvements in the construction of the piano, some of which have become standard.In 1826 he completed his collection of keyboard studies, Gradus ad Parnassum, and set off for Paris with the intention of publishing the third volume of the work simultaneously in Paris, London, and Leipzig returning to London in the autumn of 1827.He moved with his wife Emma (née Gisborne) and his family to the outskirts of Lichfield,and rented ‘Lincroft House’ on the Earl of Lichfield`s Estate from Lady Day 1828 until late 1831. He then moved to Evesham where he died on 10 March 1832, after a short illness, aged eighty. On 29 March 1832, he was buried in the cloisters of Westminster Abbey.Accompanying his body were three of his students: Johann Baptist Cramer, John Field and Ignaz Moscheles. He had five children, a son Carl by his wife Caroline (née Lehmann) who died soon after his birth and the others, Vincent, Caecilia, Caroline, and John Muzio with his wife Emma.


The Beethoven Sonata op 22 was played with an understanding of the architectural shape and style.Already there was from the first notes the differing character of the fleeting opening rhythmic comments answered by the beautifully shaped melodic line .There was a driving rhythmic insistence in the development dissolving into the opening melodic line now in the bass where there was a constant flow of notes played with a superb sense of balance .
The Adagio con molto espressione was played with aristocratic weight full of poignancy.It was this movement that a critic had said of Richters magical performance that it was inexistent but that was certainly not the case today.A beautiful cantabile on a throbbing bass making the sudden pianissimo of the central section so astonishing.There was elegance in the Menuetto and a fluidity of the trio that was in perfect harmony without any exaggeration.The gentle pastoral rondo was allowed to unfold so naturally contrasting with the drama of the central episode before the gentle fluidity of the final pages that flowed so easily from the hands of an true artist.

Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 11 in B flat major op 22was composed in 1800, and published two years later. Beethoven regarded it as the best of his early sonatas, though some of its companions in the cycle have been at least as popular with the public.Sir Donald Tovey called this work the crowning achievement and culmination of Beethoven’s early “grand” piano sonatas. (The “grand” modifier was applied by Beethoven to sonatas with four movements instead of three.) Subsequent sonatas find Beethoven experimenting more with form and concept.

Born in London, British-Chinese pianist Noah Zhou has since established himself as one of the leading talents of his generation. He began learning piano at age 5 with Tra Nguyen before moving on to study with Hilary Coates. Currently, he holds the full fees Margaret Kitchin Scholarship at the Royal Academy of Music where he studies with the Emeritus Head of Keyboard, Christopher Elton. He is also generously supported by the Eileen Rowe Musical Trust, a fund headed by Vanessa Latarche, Head of Keyboard at the Royal College of Music. In 2018, Noah was awarded the prestigious Duet Prize for Best Young Instrumentalist by the Royal Philharmonic Society of Great Britain, before going on to be awarded the top prize at the first edition of Coach House Pianos’ UK National School Piano Competition a year later. He was awarded the Third prize and Bronze medal in Kiev at the 2019 International Horowitz Piano Competition (edition XII), where he was also awarded the Jury’s Special Prize for the best interpretation of a solo Ukrainian Work. Following this, he was invited to perform live on the Ukrainian Radio Channel ‘Aristocrat’, and his performance of Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto no. 2 was featured on national Ukrainian Television. Later that same year he was also named as one of six finalists in the Manchester International Concerto Competition (edition VI). Noah frequently performs in concerts, and has appeared at many venues all over Europe, including London’s St John’s Smith Square, Southbank Royal Festival Hall, BBC Hoddinott Hall and Steinway Hall (UK), Kiev’s Philharmonia Hall (Ukraine), Gothenburg’s Operan and Konserthuset (Sweden), Budapest’s Danube Palace (Hungary) and Bayreuth’s Steingraeber Kammermusik-Saal (Germany). He was worked with many orchestras, including the National Philharmonic Orchestra of Ukraine, the Danube Symphony Orchestra and the Manchester Camerata, and similarly has performed under the batons of conductors such as Vitaliy Protasov, András Deák, Ronald Corp and Stephen Threlfall. As a growing talent, Noah has also participated in the masterclasses of many eminent figures of the musical world, including Leonel Morales, Andreas Weber, Pavel Gililov, Barbara Szczepanska, Pascal Devoyon, Craig Sheppard, Stanislav Ioudenitch, Imogen Cooper and Andreas Froehlich, to name a few.

https://christopheraxworthymusiccommentary.com/2021/01/04/noah-zhou-at-st-marys/

Hao Zi Yoh music making at its finest at St. James’s Piccadilly

https://youtube.com/watch?v=T_rethUV1Yk&feature=share

https://christopheraxworthymusiccommentary.com/2022/07/01/hao-zi-yoh-the-luminosity-and-delicacy-of-a-great-artist-at-cranleigh-arts/

I can do no more that repeat my impressions just a month ago in the mecca of pianists in Perivale.A message of simplicity and beauty from the magic hands of this young pianist .

Mozart’s Piano Sonata No. 15 in F major K. 533/494 (finished 3 January 1788)is in three movements :Allegro – Andante – Rondo: Allegretto.The Rondo was originally a stand-alone piece composed by Mozart in 1786 (Rondo No. 2, K. 494 ).In 1788, Mozart wrote the first two movements of K. 533 and incorporated a revised version of K. 494 as the finale, having lengthened it in order to provide a more substantial counterpart to the other two movements.There was clarity and a disarming simplicity to Hao Zi’s playing with crystal clear articulation and a rhythmic drive that was spellbinding from the first notes.Great elegance in the beautifully shaped Andante was played with an aristocratic sense of style.There was drama too but always within the confines of the overall shape of the movement that unlike Beethoven was just a passing cloud until returning to the serenity of the opening melodic line.The cascading arpeggios replying one to the other at the end were played with a refined delicacy that was absolutely ravishing.The purity of sound and child like simplicity gave such charm to her playing of the rondo.The ever more vivacious ornamentation just added to the rhythmic impetus with her sparkling jewel box full of kaleidoscopic colours.A coda deep in the bass in such reflective mood as the rondo theme just dissolved before our eyes with the magic that Hao Zi had recreated.

The Masques op. 34 by Szymanowski was written from 1915 to 1916.In 1914, the composer took refuge in his home village in Ukraine and remained there until the Russian Revolution. He had returned from a long stay in Europe, Sicily and North Africa, where he drew his inspiration for these years’ works. Here his style approached the Impressionism of Debussy.The Masques were written in a different chronological order than that of their publication, with Scheherazade initially completing the cycle. Tantris is a corruption of Tristan, taken from the myth of Tristan and Iseult and retold in a piece by Ernst Hardt where Tristan masquerades as a jester to meet his sweetheart.A fascinating glimpse of this still elusive composer.There were the capricious sounds of the jester alternating with passionate outpourings and a spectacular final flourish.of transcendental difficulty.Hao Zi seemed to delight in bringing such character to this very evocative piece.

Scriabin’s Piano Sonata No. 2 in G-sharp minor op.19, also titled Sonata-Fantasy) took five years for him to write. “The first section represents the quiet of a southern night on the seashore; the development is the dark agitation of the deep, deep sea. The E major middle section shows caressing moonlight coming up after the first darkness of night. The second movement represents the vast expanse of ocean in stormy agitation.”There was sumptuous beauty of the opening statement with gentle meanderings of ravishing sounds and delicacy.A melodic line embroidered in Hao Zi’s hands with streams of gold and silver.The second movement with its cascades of notes was played with such ease as they slowly shape themselves into a sumptuous melody of romantic sweep.A tumultuous climax was allowed to die away to a mere whisper before the final triumphant chord.Bringing this extraordinary recital to an exciting conclusion.

Malaysian pianist Hao Zi Yoh was born in 1995 and began her music studies at the age of 3. By the age of 12, she already performed at Carnegie Hall as a gold medallist of the Bradshaw and Buono International Piano Competition. Most recently, Hao Zi is selected as participant in the Preliminary Round of Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw 2021. In Malaysia, Hao Zi studied under Chong Lim Ng, who showed her the path into the classical music world. She explored composing and her composition “Bustling City and Peaceful Suburb” was selected to represent Malaysia at the Yamaha APJOC concert 2007. At the age of 14, she moved to Germany to study with Prof. Elza Kolodin at the Hochschule für Musik Freiburg. It was then she won top prizes in many international competitions including EPTA Belgium, Enschede, RNCM James Mottram (Manchester, 2012) and Concurso internacional de piano Rotary Club Palma Ramon LLull, Mallorca (Spain 2013). This led her to performing as soloist in festivals around Europe, USA, China, Japan and Malaysia. Besides, she also performed with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Nova Amadeus and Baleares Symphony Orchestra. In 2014, she came under the tutelage of Prof. Christopher Elton at the Royal Academy of Music, London, generously supported by Lynn Foundation, Leverhulme Trust, Countess of Munster and Craxton Memorial Trust. She received 3rdPrize at Roma International Piano Competition, the Phillip Crawshaw Memorial Prize for an Outstanding Musician from Overseas at the Royal Overseas League Competition. She was also recipient of prestigious Martin Musical Scholarship Trust Philharmonia Piano Fellowships on the Emerging Artists Programme 2017/18. During her studies, she explored her relationship with music and her interest in creating sound colours: her MMus Project 2016 involved collaborating with percussionist Daniel Gonzalez to create a version of Ravel’s Gaspard de la nuit for Piano and Percussion. In her interpretation of “A Distant Voice of the Rainforest” by Chong Lim Ng, she included improvised extended piano techniques as well as improvised singing to draw the audience into the soundworld of a rainforest. Apart from this, Hao Zi also participated in creative outreach projects led by the Open Academy for children and elderly with Dementia, where she performed in Music for Moment Concerts at the Wigmore Hall. She collaborated with author-illustrator David Litchfield and improvised to his storytelling of award-winning book “The Bear and the Piano”. Hao Zi remains in close contact with the music scene in Malaysia. She has given talks, performances and masterclasses to the students of University of Malaya, Bentley Music and Persatuan Chopin in hope to share her experiences and help the younger generation. During the Covid-19 lockdown, Hao Zi held online livestream and fundraiser for St. Nicholas’ Home for the Blind, Penang, Malaysia. A Young Steinway Artist, Hao Zi is currently based in London and has performed in venues such as Wigmore Hall, Southbank Royal Festival Hall, Salle Cortot, Steinway Hall London, St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Dewan Filharmonik Petronas (Malaysia) and Teatro Quirino (Italy). She is further developing her performing career being part of the Keyboard Trust London, Talent Unlimited. Hao Zi is also a piano tutor at King’s College London and gives masterclasses at Imperial College London. Currently she is studying with Martino Tirimo, after being awarded full scholarship to pursue an Artist Diploma at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, generously supported by the Bagri Foundation and Gladys Bratton Scholarship .She will tour Italy with the Keyboard Trust with concerts in Venice,Padua,Vicenza and Florence in January 2023

https://christopheraxworthymusiccommentary.com/2022/10/24/hao-zi-yoh-at-st-marys-the-simplicity-and-ravishing-beauty-of-a-great-artist/

https://christopheraxworthymusiccommentary.com/2022/09/14/the-gift-of-life-the-keyboard-trust-at-30/

Liszt is alive and well and today in Perivale

Saturday 26 November 12 noon – 6 pm

The Liszt Society Annual Day and Competition

https://youtube.com/watch?v=yOo2VRiXLWw&feature=share

Some superb playing from this young ‘local lad ‘.His temperament and artistry were evident from the very first notes of Schubert’s Impromptu in E flat.The streams of notes that flowed from his fingers with such ease were shaped with infinite care and with a fluidity and washes of colour that contrasted with the second episode with its driving forward movement and dramatic ending.The beautiful G flat impromptu was played with a sumptuous sense of balance that gave the melodic line great poignancy as it rode on an accompaniment of such fluidity.It was the same ease and shape that he gave to the shimmering streams of notes in the fourth impromptu.A middle episode played with passion and temperament with the deep bass notes allowed to appear and sustain with great effect.

There was beauty too in Schubert’s Standchen with the shadowing of the melodic line in Liszt’s beautiful transcription played with ravishing sound and utmost delicacy.There was much busy weaving in Liszt’s Bagatelle sans tonalità with a technical control and architectural shape that made one wonder why this work is not more often heard in the concert hall.

It led without a break into the ‘Dante’Sonata that was given a performance that was remarkable for the sense of character he gave to each of the episodes.From the dramatic imperious opening to the hauntingly beautiful central episode.He gave the work a dynamic sweep with an extraordinary technical control that conquered all Liszt’s demonic passages with such ease.A vision of the whole work that gave weight and importance to the architectural shape and drama that was being enacted.Performances of superb technical control but above all of artistry and musical intelligence allied to a temperament that was totally convinced as it was convincing .

Connor Heraghty was awarded a place to study piano performance at the Purcell School of Music sponsored by scholarships from the government’s Music and Dance Scheme and the Mackintosh Foundation. He went on to study at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama where he completed the BMus (Hons), MMus and MPerf postgraduate degrees followed by the Artist Diploma (2019-21).Concerts have included recitals at the Fazioli Concert Hall in Venice, in London at the Wigmore Hall, St Martin-in-the Fields, St James’s Church Piccadilly, Milton Court Barbican, Drapers’ Hall and Buckingham Palace in the presence of Prince Charles. During his studies at the Guildhall Connor studied with Senior Professor of Piano, Joan Havill and he has also enjoyed participation in masterclasses given by such artists as Sa Chen, Peter Frankl and Stephen Hough.His studies all through have been supported by scholarships from the Guildhall Trust, Leverhulme Arts Trust, Countess of Munster and the Alec Beecheno Bursary Award. During 2021/22 Connor is the Guildhall Artist Fellowship holder of the keyboard department and is sponsored by Talent Unlimited

https://youtube.com/watch?v=GtZYlb4MSYg&feature=share

Shuri Masuda (Japan)
Danse macabre (Saint-Saëns) S.555
Rapsodie espagnole S.254

Some remarkable performances played with a rhythmic drive and technical prowess.Sometimes her temperament took the upper hand but she brought great character to the Danse macabre and extraordinary excitement to the Spanish Rhapsody.Her small hands in no way seemed to impede her totally committed performances.

Thanh Nhat Vu (Vietnam)
Études d’exécution transcendante No.12 “Chasse-neige” S.139
Ballade No.2 in B minor S.171

A Chasse neige of extraordinary fluidity and technical control that just missed the colour and atmosphere of this miniature tone poem.It was at times deeply felt and played with passion but missing the contrast of delicacy and magic.A remarkable performance of Liszt’s epic tale of Hero and Leander with the opening chromatic ostinati representing the sea where you can perceive how the journey turns more and more difficult each time. In the fourth night he drowns and the last pages are a transfiguration.A performance of technical control and moments of heroic grandeur,but missing the idea that a story is being told.Episodes of beauty contrasting with dynamic virtuosity and energetic commitment but lacking an overall architectural shape.

Miriam Gómez-Morán (Spain)
Un sospiro S.144/3
Bénédiction de Dieu dans la solitude S.173/3

A rather robust ‘Un Sospiro’ was followed by a ravishing performance of Bénédiction of aristocratic control and sumptuous sound.A sense of balance that allowed the melodic line to sing out so naturally.Here was an artist who had a story to tell of great beauty and poetry where even the pauses between the differing episodes were pregnant with meaning.A sound that had a golden glow and gave great shape and meaning to all she did.

William Bracken (UK)
Sonetto del Petrarca 104 (from Années de pèlerinage II: Italie, S.161)
Sonetto del Petrarca 123 (from Années de pèlerinage II: Italie, S.161)
La lugubre gondola II S.200
Sposalizio (from Années de pèlerinage II: Italie, S. 161)

Some very poetic performances from an artist who has a wonderful sense of balance and colour as he dug deep into the poetic content of these beautiful pieces by Liszt.Sposalizio in particular had a control and sense of balance where even with the octave accompaniment the melodic line was allowed to shine with a radiance and subtle beauty.His rather strange stage demeanour was a little off putting as he seemed to shake his fist in the air with worrying intensity.Almost as Brendel who had put a mirror in his studio to try to curb a similar habit.However performances of great artistry showing a remarkable technical control and ravishing sense of colour.
The jury listening to the performances at the back of the hall
The distinguished jury with their host Dr Hugh Mather announcing their verdict
The four contestants with the jury receiving their prizes :
William Bracken 1st ;Miriam Gòmez -Moràn 2nd;Shuri Masada and Thanh Nhat Vu joint 3rd

https://christopheraxworthymusiccommentary.com/2021/11/27/minkyu-kim-mastery-exults-to-the-glory-of-liszt/

https://christopheraxworthymusiccommentary.wordpress.com/2019/12/01/liszt-comes-to-perivale/

https://christopheraxworthymusiccommentary.com/2022/04/18/minkyu-kim-a-pianistic-and-musical-genius-at-st-marys/

Louis Lortie takes Wimbledon by storm Exultation of the prelude ‘cradling the soul in golden dreams’

Miracles do happen even in Wimbledon especially when Louis Lortie is invited to ravish,seduce and astonish with his aristocratic authority and sensitivity.
Chopin Preludes of real weight where every one of these 24 ‘problems’ as Fou Ts’ong was won’t to say ,was given the time and shape to be moulded into gems in a crown of glorious poetic beauty.

Autograph of Chopin op 2

Schumann having famously announced the arrival of Chopin with ‘Hats off ,gentlemen ,a genius’ when he heard Chopin’s op 2 ‘La ci darem la mano ‘ variations ,strangely exclaimed of the Preludes : “they are sketches, beginnings of études, or, so to speak, ruins, individual eagle pinions, all disorder and wild confusions.” Liszt’s opinion, however, was more positive: “Chopin’s Preludes are compositions of an order entirely apart… they are poetic preludes, analogous to those of a great contemporary poet, who cradles the soul in golden dreams…” Chopin wrote them between 1835 and 1839, partly at Valldemossa in Mallorca ,where he spent a disastrous winter of 1838–39 having fled Paris with George Sand and her children to escape the damp.Chopin himself never played more than four of the preludes at any single public performance.Nor was this the practice for 25 years after his death.Nowadays it is more usual to hear the complete set than singly and Alfred Cortot in 1926 was one of the first to record them all.

Each prelude in Louis Lortie’s hands was a miniature tone poem of such poignancy and weight that this much loved worked still could take us by surprise.The grandeur and overwhelming climax to the ninth really did take me by the scruff of the neck!Largo ,legatissimo ,forte ,molto tenuto but then fortissimo to piano and yet again fortissimo at the end.Chopin’s indications are very clear but rarely followed with real poetic intent with a feeling that there is a narrative and a real story to be told.That was after the disarming simplicity of the fourth in E minor starting with barely a whisper but then gradually the melodic line more chiselled with the beating pulpitations of the left hand with jewels every so often allowed to gleam with prismatic importance.The silence too before the last three chords where Louis put his hands in his lap until with aristocratic dignity he placed them on the keyboard and allowed them to make the final poignant statement of farewell. The third too with the fleeting lightness of a gently flowing breeze on which sailed quixotically the melodic line which even drew a smile on Louis face as he too was enjoying this voyage of discovery.A voyage that he told me he had not made for fourteen years .It was this sense of discovery and recreation that was so enrapturing for all those present.There was the gentle weaving of vibrating sounds in the fifth building in intensity until finally disposed of with two impatient chords.There was red hot passion in the eighth played with burning intensity and superb control.The almost flippant jeux perlé of the tenth where the cascading notes just interrupted a sombre bass chorale.There was beautiful fluidity in the eleventh where his richness of texture gave such depth to the simple melodic contour.The twelfth played with rhythmic intensity and excitement only burning itself out with two very final fortissimo chords.I have never heard the fourteenth played with such character and red hot temperament like water boiling over at a hundred degrees ending quietly and surprisingly abruptly as though he had just had enough of that mini drama!The ravishing sound and sumptuous rubato in the middle section of the gloriously mellifluous thirteenth was quite magical as was the opening of the fifteenth ‘Raindrop’ prelude.

Chopin autograph of the ‘Raindrop’prelude

Always in Louis’ hands the richness of texture created by balance and subtle use of the pedal made the gradual appearance of the menacing central section so inevitable as it moved to dissonant clashing chords of heartrending anguish.The brilliance of the B flat minor Presto con fuoco was quite breathtaking not only for it’s control but for the washes of colour and shape he gave the endless stream of notes above the insistent left hand which was not allowed to falter for a moment until the all too final chords where in desperation he threw his arms in the air with wild abandon!The seventeenth was bathed in pedal that gave it a richness of texture where the final deep bass pedal notes allowed the melodic line to float on this wave of sound.The cadenza type prelude of number eighteen was played ‘piano’ as Chopin asks but rarely gets!In Louis hands it built in a gradual more agitated crescendo towards the tumultuous split chords and a leap from on high to the insistent bass notes hammered out with anger before complete silence of desolation and the final tumultuous fortississimo chords ………what a statement that was today!It was strange though that the nobility of the C minor twentieth prelude came in three layers each an echo of the other until the final chord that Louis hammered home with rather too much vehemence,especially considering that Chopin had indicated it to be played piano.But Louis is a human being of great temperament which on the spur of the moment can sometimes overwhelm even him!The octave prelude,number twenty two, where the melodic line was firmly planted in the bass with passionate drive and intensity before the disarmingly mellifluous penultimate prelude – jeux d’eau indeed.The final Allegro appassionato needed no prompting for our magnificent guide.Streams of notes like rockets shooting off in all directions with the throbbing insistence of the bass and the chiselled intensity of right hand octaves before the final last three bass notes.Should they be three hammered home or one note made to vibrate three times depends on the temperamenti of the artist.Here we were in no doubt that we were in the hands of a master whose every move we had to follow .A pied piper who is above all a poet with a unique story to tell-cradling the soul in golden dreams.


The subtle colours and quixotic changes of character that he brought to Scriabin’s op 11 opened a whole new sound world as Scriabin commenced his long journey in a quest to reach the stars.The 24 Preludes, Op. 11 were composed between 1888–96,being also one of Scriabin’s first published works with M.P. Belief in 1897,in Leipzig, together with his 12 Études, Op. 8 (1894–95).They were modelled after Chopin’s and they also cover the 24 major and minor keys following the same key sequence: C major, A minor, G major, E minor, D major, B minor and so on, alternating major keys with their relative minors, and following the ascending circle of fifths.Louis created a sound world out of which grew these sometimes fleetingly personal musings.A cocoon of velvet on which lay these ravishing little gems.There was also great passion in the fourteenth and hints of Chopin in the misterioso sixteenth.Great virtuosity in the Allegro agitato of number eighteen with its dynamic left hand octaves and the passionate outpouring of the twenty fourth.From the first to the last a ‘halo’ of sound was created of velvet richness that gave such architectural shape to such fragments of delicate thoughts and disturbing dreams.


What better way to celebrate Cesar Franck’s 200th anniversary than with his Prelude Chorale and Fugue when it is played with such weight and authority.A prelude bathed in mysterious colours with clouds of pedal and a chorale that was allowed to shine on high above magisterial spread chords.The bold entry of the fugue and its climax on which the sublime opening theme in this cyclic work floated into the air of St John’s ,as it must have done in St Clotilde in Paris , creating a magic that was to lead to the triumphant and nobly emphatic exultation of a true believer.

Prélude, Choral et Fugue, FWV 21 was written in 1884 by César Franck with his distinctive use of cyclic form.Franck had huge hands ,wide like the span of emotions he conveys,capable of spanning the interval of a 12th on the keyboard.This allowed him unusual flexibility in voice-leading between internal parts in fugal composition, and in the wide chords and stretches featured in much of his keyboard music.Of the famous Violin Sonata’s writing it has been said: “Franck, blissfully apt to forget that not every musician’s hands were as enormous as his own, littered the piano part (the last movement in particular) with major-tenth chords… most pianistic mortals ever since have been obliged to spread them in order to play them at all.”The key to his music may be found in his personality. His friends record that he was “a man of utmost humility, simplicity, reverence and industry.” Louis Vierne a pupil and later organist titulaire of Notre-Dame, wrote in his memoirs that Franck showed a “constant concern for the dignity of his art, for the nobility of his mission, and for the fervent sincerity of his sermon in sound… Joyous or melancholy, solemn or mystic, powerful or ethereal: Franck was all those at Sainte-Clotilde.”In his search to master new organ-playing techniques he was both challenged and stimulated by his third and last change in organ posts. On 22 January 1858, he became organist and maître de chapelle at the newly consecrated Sainte Clotilde (from 1896 the Basilique-Sainte-Clotilde), where he remained until his death. Eleven months later, the parish installed a new three-manual Cavaillé-Coll instrument,whereupon he was made titulaire.The impact of this organ on Franck’s performance and composition cannot be overestimated; together with his early pianistic experience it shaped his music-making for the remainder of his life.

Louis Lortie with artistic director Anthony Wilkinson


A standing ovation was treated to Chopin’s ‘Tristesse’ study op 10 n 3 ( having played all 24 Etudes in Paris last week )……’How sweet is your heart……,’what a question to ask after a masterly recital by one of the greatest pianists before the public today and also one of the nicest most considerate of people we at the Kew Academy are privileged to know.

Louis Lortie with Petar Dimov who had been invited to play in his masterclasses in Como and at the Kempff Academy in Positano last summer,and is a pianist in residence at the Kew Academy
The projected new concert halls in Wimbledon promoted by the indefatigable Anthony Wilkinson
With the distinguished pianist Julian Jacobson fresh from his marathon in London and in Uraguay with the 32 Beethoven Sonatas played from memory in a non stop marathon from 8am to 8 pm to celebrate his 75th birthday.

https://christopheraxworthymusiccommentary.com/2022/01/09/beethoven-la-chapelle-offers-an-ode-to-joy/

https://christopheraxworthymusiccommentary.com/2016/11/05/louis-lortie-in-rome/

https://christopheraxworthymusiccommentary.com/2018/02/28/the-fantasie-of-louis-lortie/

https://christopheraxworthymusiccommentary.com/2018/02/06/the-funambulism-of-louis-lortie-in-rome/

The beautiful presentation painted by the artistic director himself

Kirill Gernstein – Busoni is alive and well and returned to the Wigmore Hall

‘Truly Bach is the Alpha of pianoforte composition and Liszt the Omega’.— Busoni, 1900

https://wigmore-hall.org.uk/live-streams/kirill-gerstein-busoni-and-liszt

  • Ferruccio Busoni (1866-1924). Franz Liszt (1811-1886)

For so many reasons the recital by Kirill Gernstein was a remarkable event.Firstly because the performances he gave were sensational for their musical authority and technical mastery.Even the seemingly obscure works by Busoni were brought to life by someone who had entered so fully into this mysterious sound world that was described by Gernstein with a quote from 1901 :’A musical sun that set at Liszt’s death and shines again through Busoni.‘It was on this very stage known then as Bechstein Hall that was inaugurated by Busoni and Ysaye on 31st May 1901.

It was fascinating to hear Gernstein talk about Busoni as he took us on a journey from his Elégie n.1 ‘ after the turning’ where Busoni had finally freed himself from the romanticism of his early piano concerto and was reaching out to find a new musical voice.It was the voice that Liszt hints at in his late works and is a voice made of mists and colours ,music without key signatures or bar lines.Again quoting Busoni:’Music is born free and to win back it’s freedom is it’s destiny.

And so it was with the Second Sonatina of 1912 ‘senza tonalità’ where all boundaries are removed.

The mists of sound of the Berceuse – 7th Elégie which Mahler had included in the orchestral version in his last concert.Mysterious sounds out of which emerge a melodic line ,similar in many ways to the searching sound world of late Scriabin.I have not heard it played in recital since Serkin included it with the Toccata in London in the 70’s (together with works by Reger in a programme including the Schumann Carnaval and Beethoven op 111).

The sixth sonatina that followed is known as the Carmen fantasy as it was Busoni’s recreation of the opera he had seen in Paris in 1920.The ending he even marks Andante visionario which of course it is.Like Liszt’s transcriptions or paraphrases this was someone who had understood the very core of the work and was able to transmit it’s inner message more clearly and in Liszt’s case sometime improve on it by changing the order of appearance.Thomas Ades was present in the audience and a close friend from whom Gernstein had recently commissioned a piano concerto (with funds from the prestigious Gilmore Trust).He describes Busoni’s music as a ‘suitcase with a false bottom’.The last piano work that Busoni wrote was the Toccata where he prefaces it with a quote of Frescobaldi:’Not without difficulty will we come to the end” Busoni had exchanged Frescobaldi’s ‘effort’for ‘difficulty’.Busoni’s last appearance at the now renamed Wigmore Hall was in 1922 when he was already suffering from a kidney disease no doubt due to his love of Champagne – he died two year later.Greatly disturbed by the First World War exclaiming :’The uninterrupted arch of our life has been interrupted!”These were only the fascinating introductions to the works that Gernstein played with such overwhelming mastery.Playing of such extraordinary sounds where notes did not seem to exist as we moved from one shimmering atmospheric planet to another.There were moments of breathtaking virtuosity as in the opening of the Carmen Fantasy taken at a breakneck speed but with such character and clarity – bright sunlight – before the amorous and ominous clouds overtook.

The toccata too was played with extraordinary authority and technical command.But it was the overall understanding of a sound world that was so remarkable and a sense of balance that could make the musical landscape of Busoni so clear.Indeed the world that Liszt so prophetically had pointed to at the end of his life suddenly came alive with sense and reason and just underlined the opening quote between the sun setting with Liszt and rising again with Busoni.A fascinating journey of pure music where the fact that we were listening to one of the great pianists of our time was secondary to his overwhelming musical authority.I think that could also be the way of describing Busoni himself!

What seemed so remarkable and indeed visionary in the first half of the concert opened the door for Liszt’s transcendental studies.They were played with the same sense of colour and architectural shape that the feat of being able to play so many notes paled into insignificance before the musical message that was being transmitted.I remember listening to Lazar Berman play the studies in one of his first concerts in the Festival Hall in London.There was such overwhelming sound that I quickly left the hall after the third one as my ears could just not take so much continuous sound.A school of playing where every note is played right to the bottom of the key ….and beyond ………exemplified by master virtuosi such Alexander Toradze and Denis Matsueev.A school that turns the piano back into a percussion instrument whereas Liszt and Busoni had pointed us into the direction of multicoloured sounds.A world where notes were transformed into shapes and atmospheres.A magic world where a box full of hammers and strings could be turned into a kaleidoscope of sounds and emotions.Was it not Thalberg who when he played was accused of having made a pact with the devil as it seemed he had three hands,such was the illusion he was able to create by the subtle use of the pedal,balance and technical control.It was Anton Rubinstein who had said that the pedal is the ‘soul’ of the piano We seem these day to have lost what was known as the ‘Matthay touch’,where every note could have at least one hundred different gradations.I remember Rosalyn Tureck who if the lid of the piano was not left shut before a concert she would spend time brushing off the minutest particles of dust that could impede her from weighing up each key.It was this that made Kirill Gernstein’s performance today so remarkable.

We were treated to twelve miniature tone poems where Paysage became just as significant as Der Wilde Jagd because the passionate involvement and sense of line was the same .

The ravishing beauty of Ricordanza – ‘a bunch of faded love letters tied with a pink ribbon’ to quote Busoni and the incredible fleeting impression of ‘Will o’ the wisp’ Feux Follets .One of the most technically challenging of all piano pieces was played with such a haze of sounds that blew across the keyboard with a left hand that was like a jewels sparkling in the night air.

Has Vision ever sounded as noble or ‘visionary’ with such sumptuous sounds?The whole opening page played by the left hand alone before the streams of sounds where even two hands did not seem enough!

The octaves in Eroica after the quixotic opening were like vibrations of sound and we were certainly not aware that they were the notoriously difficult octaves that we all wait for.

Mazeppa too was played with astonishing energy but also a sense of balance where everything was so clear as the excitement grew to breathtaking proportions.The central episode,sumptuous tenor melody with streams of golden sounds cascading around it.Has the Fminor study ever sounded more passionately abandoned or beautifully phrased with a coda of terrifying brilliance? Harmonies du soir was played like Paysage with ravishing sounds and passionate involvement.The final left hand arpeggios so reminiscent of Busoni’s own Berceuse with just a mist of sound on which floated the melodic line.

Chasse Neige ,considered by many to be the finest of the set ,was played with an extraordinary sense of balance and forward movement building up to a breathtaking climax before dying away with swirls of sound.It died away to end this extraordinary performance with a simple bare chord.

Minutes of aching silence at the end as the audience tried to come to terms with what they had experienced and Kirill Gernstein had a moment of recovery.

The only encore possible after that could be by Bach-Busoni!It was in fact the chorale prelude ‘Nun freut euch ,Lieben Christen gemein’ played at incredible speed but with such clarity,the melodic line miraculously emerging above the joyous outpouring of brilliance.

https://christopheraxworthymusiccommentary.com/2021/03/04/kirill-gernstein-at-the-wigmore-hall/

Leif Ove Andsnes Mastery at the Wigmore Hall

His programme includes a work by the Russian composer Alexander Vustin, who died of Covid complications in 2020 at the age of 76. Unusual, too, are Dvořák’s Poetic Tone Pictures – an extended cycle of 13 pictures all with a descriptive title, composed in 1889. His younger compatriot Janáček wrote his sole piano sonata in response to the death of a young carpenter killed while demonstrating for a Czech university in Brno.

Aleksandr Vustin (1943-2020). Lamento

Leoš Janáček (1854-1928). Piano Sonata 1. X. 1905 (‘From the Street’)

Valentin Silvestrov (b.1937). Bagatelle Op. 1 No. 3

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827).Piano Sonata No. 31 in A flat Op. 110

INTERVAL

Antonín Dvořák (1841-1904). Poetic Tone Pictures Op. 85

Leif Ove Andsnes on an all too rare visit to the concert platform these days reminded us of his absolute mastery and impeccable musicianship.


We hardly dared breathe as the first part of the concert unfolded in one long line from the whispered insistent left hand lament of Aleksandr Vustin .Creating the same magic as Bartok in his ‘Night Music’ with an atmospheric haze on which arose the chiselled purity of Messianic inspired bird calls.Leading so naturally into the beautifully mellifluous outpourings of Janacek’s Sonata of 1905.
An undercurrent of menace ever present and surfacing with dramatic outbursts of foreboding.The beauty of the lament of death was with luminous sounds of great intensity ending in a mere whisper out of which grew the simplicity of Silvestrov’s innocuous little Bagatelle.
Of course this was leading to the climax of this first great arch with a performance of Beethoven’s supremely mellifluous op 110.His extraordinary mastery and masculine beauty together with a sublime sense of balance where Beethoven’s indications were revealed with scrupulous naturalness and became as if heard for the first time.
The Allegro molto was played with driving energy and the end of the treacherous trio just drifted into oblivion as the Allegro was allowed to return.The silences too between the movements were pregnant with suspense as he placed the opening notes of the Adagio with heart rending perfection.


There was an underlying menace that he brought out too in the counterpoints under the sublime arioso with the whispered return of the inverted fugue that gradually arose out of the depths to the febrile joy on high.A final flourish of such force that needed some extra Beethovenian weaving between hands to produce the sumptuous richness of sublimation desired,
Not since the early appearances of Pollini have we heard such musicianly perfection.
Mastery and perfection brought the little known 13 Poetic Tone Pictures op 85 by Dvorak vividly to life.
What a wonderful collection of pieces,each one a miniature tone poem played with such imagination and colour.
Cascades of notes just flowed from his fingers like gold dust in Night Journey and what scintillating old style virtuosity in Joking.He brought contemplation and atmosphere to the Old Castle and the flowing melodic line of the Spring Song ended with deliciously subtle charm.
The frenzy of the Peasant’s Balllad was followed by a Reverie that flowed like a Mendelssohn Song without Words with an accompaniment of supreme delicacy.
Furiant indeed were the double octaves before the music box of the Goblins.The languid melodic line of the Serenade was greeted by the whispered energy of Bacchanalia.Tittle-tattle was indeed just that with such vivid story telling and there was bleak nobility in the Hero’s grave.And finally cascades of sumptuous notes accompanied the melodic line at the holy mountain.


What a discovery with an hour of music where time stood still as he held the audience in the palm of his hand with a voyage of discovery of works I have never heard in the concert hall before.
I know that the Dvorak Piano Concerto is a notoriously difficult work that Richter with Kleiber recorded many years ago.Rudolf Firkusny made a point of delving into the works of Czech composers and he too recorded the Dvorak Concerto with George Szell even before Richter.
But never could I have expected a discovery as today.
I had looked at Pletnev’s programme this year in Perugia of Brahms Intermezzi alternating with the Dvorak op.85 and thought it to be one of the eccentricities of a pianist who is infamously unpredictable.
But listening today to these 13 beautiful pieces I certainly hope they will be included in the future programmes of other pianists not only the sometimes genial Pletnev
An encore of a savage dance by a Russian composer whose name I did not catch built up to an enormous climax of sumptuous sounds and brought the audience to their feet.

Leif’s wooden stick with the piano open more than usual


Interesting to note that he has a specially made stick to hold the piano lid up higher than usual which obviously gives more resonance to the sound.In fact it was his mastery of tone production that was so noticeable today

Gabriele Sutkuté at St Marys Refined musicianship and artistry

Tuesday 22 November 3.00 pm 

https://youtube.com/watch?v=cc8S0_Lvvl0&feature=share

Some very refined playing of great musicianship.A scintillating Haydn with ornaments that sparked and shone with such purity and freshness.An Allegro that was played with exemplary clarity and some subtle changes of register with a purity of sound and well oiled fingers.Lacking legato and shape that was obviously what Haydn had to accept on the instruments of the day but on the piano and with Gabriele’s temperament perhaps she could have allowed herself a little more pedal to add a greater sense of shape and beauty within the phrase.The Menuet was played with a touching simplicity and purity of finger legato which contrasted with the drama of the trio which again could have been helped by a touch of pedal.However it made the reappearance and the simplicity of the Menuet even more poignant.The presto was a tour de force of clarity and rhythmic energy to the last mighty statement in octaves and the two tongue in cheek final chords.An extraordinary finger technique allied to a musicianship and sense of historic style where she could discreetly added a touch of pedal to give more colour especially to the repeated notes in the Presto.Whilst rhythmically exhilarating they lacked a sense of direction due to their similarity and a more horizontal and less verticale approach would have allowed her more flexibility.However a remarkable performance where she preferred to look backwards to the harpsichord rather that forwards to the piano forte that was just on the horizon in the 1770’s.


Her beautiful lyricism in Prokofiev’s early fourth sonata was overshadowed by it’s ominous clouds and deep brooding bursting into the Poulencian joie de vivre of the finale.There were spine chilling ornaments in the opening meanderings of the Allegro molto sostenuto.Here she allowed herself full reign of the pedal and it gave a sense of colour and ease that allowed the music to unfold so naturally to the final decisive chords.There were deep bass chimes at the opening of the Andante assai that Prokofiev marks serioso before opening up to vibrating chords on which the melodic line floats so magically.She brought ravishing beauty to the tranquillo e dolce episode before the absolute dead wooden chords and a momentary respite.It contrasted so well with the return of the vibrating chords of the opening and the magic bell like sounds in the poco meno mosso before the end.The last movement just shot from her superb fingers with such ease as Prokofiev at last writes con brio in this up to now rather sombre sound world.Her playing was exhilarating and exciting with an astonishing technical ease that allowed the quixotic character of this movement to spring so easily from her fingers.

There was ravishing beauty in the Franck/Bauer with its haunting opening melody that pervades the whole work.It was played with a luminosity of sound bathed in pedal that with her very sensitive sense of balance allowed the melodic line to emerge unimpeded but sustained by rich bass harmonies.A subtle flexibility gave a moving but aristocratic shape of great sentiment but no sentimentality.Great flourishes of magical arpeggios announced the fugue that was played with simplicity and luminosity as it gradually grew in intensity.Some wondrous changes of colour building to an overwhelming climax out of which floated the opening theme on high on a cloud of quivering sonorities – a very similar moment of pure magic as in his Prelude,Chorale and Fugue written for the piano.A superb performance full of atmospheric colours and ravishing sounds.

Ravel showed off her kaleidoscopic sense of colour and considerable technical prowess.But there was also great control and sense of line and a natural musicality that turned even the astonishing glissandi into part of an architectural whole that kept us spellbound throughout her recital.Performances that showed her masterly control of sound and fearless virtuosity all with sterling musicianship and impeccable good taste.

The sonata No 32 is one of a group of six published privately in manuscript copies in 1776.The 1770s, when Haydn’s Sonata in B minor was composed, was the age of Sturm und Drang (storm and stress) in German culture, an age when aberrant emotions were all the rage in music; and what better than the minor mode to convey these emotions? It is also important to note that the 1770s was the period in which the harpsichord was gradually giving way to the new fortepiano, precursor of the modern grand, and there is much in this sonata to suggest that it still lingered eagerly on the harpsichord side of things.The kind of writing you find in the first movement, especially, is the sort that speaks well on the harpsichord. Moreover, there are no dynamic markings in the score, as you would expect in a piece that aimed to take advantage of the new instrument’s chief virtue: playing piano e forte.In his later works Haydn preferred a cheerful, major-mode resolution in his minor-keyed movements. Here, though, the recapitulations of the fiercely concentrated outer movements remain grimly in the minor .The finale, with its obsessively pounding theme—the mainspring of virtually all the musical action—and unexpected silences, is perhaps Haydn’s most violent sonata movement, culminating in the coda that thunders out the theme in stark octave unison. Amid this turbulence, the dulcet, long-spanned central minuet in B major, in place of the usual slow movement ,provides harmonic balm, with its darkly agitated B minor trio evoking the mood of the sonata as a whole.The minuet is set high in the register, sparkling with trills with melodic leaps as large as a 14th. The trio is daringly in the minor mode, set low, and grinds grimly away in constant semiquaver motion.
The Piano Sonata No. 4 in C minor, Op. 29, subtitled D’après des vieux cahiers, or After Old Notebooks, was composed in 1917 and premiered on April 17 the next year by the composer himself in Petrograd.it was dedicated to Prokofiev’s late friend Maximilian Schmidthof, whose suicide in 1913 had shocked and saddened the composer.Whether the restrained, even brooding quality of much of the Fourth Sonata relates in any direct way to Schmidthof’s death is uncertain, but it is certainly striking that the first two movements both start with brooding deep bass notes .There is less showiness in this essentially rather introvert work than in any of the other piano sonatas.
Franck was inspired to write this organ piece for the instrument at the church of Sainte-Clotilde. While it sounds majestic on the organ, it is also frequently heard in Harold Bauer’s transcription for the piano.The Prelude, Fugue and Variation, Op. 18 is one of Franck’s Six Pieces for organ, premiered by the composer at Sainte-Clotilde on 17 November 1864. They mark a decisive stage in his creative development, revealing how he was building on the post-Beethoven Germanic tradition in terms of the importance given to musical construction.
The Prelude, Fugue and Variation is dedicated to Saint-Saëns. Years earlier, when Franck published his Op. 1 trios, Liszt was among their admirers but had advised his younger colleague to write a new finale for the third of the trios and create a separate work from the original finale – this became Franck’s Fourth Piano Trio, Op. 2, dedicated to Liszt. In spring 1866, the Hungarian composer was in Paris for the French premiere of his Missa solennis for the consecration of the Basilica in Gran (Esztergom) at the Église Saint-Eustache on 15 March, a work about which Franck was enthusiastic. At the beginning of his stay, Liszt had come to listen to Franck improvising at Sainte-Clotilde and, apparently at Duparc’s instigation, a second private performance took place on 3 April. Franck wanted to play Liszt’s Prelude and Fugue on the Name BACH but the latter asked instead to hear Franck’s own Prelude, Fugue and Variation.
The piano transcription of this organ work was made by Harold Bauer (1873-1951), the British pianist who gave the world premiere of Debussy’s Children’s Corner and was the dedicatee of Ondine, the first piece in Ravel’s Gaspard de la nuit.Harold Bauer made his debut as a violinist in London in 1883, and for nine years toured England. In 1892, however, he went to Paris and studied with Paderewski for a year.In 1900, Harold Bauer made his debut in America with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, performing the U.S. premiere of Brahms’Piano Concerto No.1 in D minor. On 18 December 1908, he gave the world premiere performance of Debussy’s Children’s Corner Suite in Paris.After that he settled in the United States.He was also an influential teacher and editor, heading the Piano Department at the Manhattan School of Music . Starting in 1941, Bauer taught winter master classes at the University of Miami and served as a Visiting Professor at the University of Hartford Hartt .Students of Harold Bauer include notably Abbey Simon and Dora Zaslavsky.
Oiseaux tristes” (“Sad Birds”) is dedicated to Ricardo Vines, and is a lone bird whistling a sad tune, after which others join in. The excited middle section is offset by a cadenza which brings back the melancholy mood of the beginning.Written between 1904 and 1905 and first performed by Vines in 1906, Miroirs contains five movements, each dedicated to a fellow member of the French avant-Garde artist group ‘Les Apaches’.
The idea of La valse began first with the title “Vienne” as early as 1906, where Ravel intended to orchestrate a piece in tribute to the waltz form and to Johann Strauss.As he himself stated:’You know my intense attraction to these wonderful rhythms and that I value the joie de vivre expressed in the dance much more deeply than Franckist puritanism.Ravel completely reworked his idea of Wien into what became La valse, which was to have been written under commission from Diaghilev as a ballet. However, he never produced the ballet after hearing a two-piano reduction performed by Ravel and Marcelle Meyer saying it was a “masterpiece” but rejected Ravel’s work as “not a ballet. It’s a portrait of ballet”. Ravel, hurt by the comment, ended the relationship and when the two men met again during 1925, Ravel refused to shake Diaghilev’s hand. Diaghilev challenged Ravel to a duel, but friends persuaded Diaghilev to recant. The men never met again.Ravel described La valse with the following preface to the score:
‘Through whirling clouds, waltzing couples may be faintly distinguished. The clouds gradually scatter: one sees at letter A an immense hall peopled with a whirling crowd. The scene is gradually illuminated. The light of the chandeliers bursts forth at the fortissimo letter B. Set in an imperial court, about 1855.’

Lithuanian pianist Gabriele Sutkute has already established herself as a musician of strong temperament and “excellent precision and musicality” (Rasa Murauskaite from 7 days of Art ). She has given many concerts and performed in numerous festivals throughout Europe and appeared in famous halls such as the Wigmore Hall, the Steinway Hall UK, the Musikhuset Aarhus, Jacqueline du Pré Music Building and Lithuanian National Philharmonic Hall. In addition to being a soloist, Gabriele frequently performs with chamber ensembles and symphony orchestras. In 2018, she had a trio performance alongside distinguished cellist Adrian Brendel in the RAM Summer Piano Festival and was also invited to play with the renowned Kaunas String Quartet in Lithuania. In 2020, she performed Rachmaninov’s 2 nd Piano Concerto with the Grammy-nominated Kaunas Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Markus Huber, and in 2019, performed this concerto with the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Modestas Pitrenas, at the Lithuanian National Philharmonic. Gabriele is a winner of nineteen international piano competitions where she also received numerous special awards. In 2022, she was awarded 2 nd Prize and the Audience Prize at the Birmingham International Piano Competition. For her musical achievements she received Lithuanian Republic Presidents’ certificates of appreciation six times. The pianist is also an artist at Talent Unlimited and is the recipient of the prestigious Mills Williams Junior Fellowship 2022/23 and the Jacob Barnes Award 2021. Gabriele has had masterclasses with professors and pianists such as S. Kovacevich, I. Levit, I. Cooper, S. Osborne, O. Kern and many more acclaimed musicians . From 2016-22, she has been studying with Professor Christopher Elton and received her Bachelor of Music Degree (First Class Honours) and Master of Arts Degree with Distinction from the Royal Academy of Music. For the outstanding performance in her Postgraduate Final Recital, she also received a Postgraduate Diploma (DipRAM). Gabriele was awarded a full scholarship for the Artist Diploma course at the Royal College of Music and began her studies there with Professor Vanessa Latarche and Professor Sofya Gulyak in September.

Jack Tyndale-Biscoe on wings of song at the Royal Albert Hall

Salut d’Amour, what better way to lift our spirits in the Elgar room .Tit for tat you might say : Elgar for Elgar ,as Jack thanked his teacher Dina Parakhina for teaching him not only the piano but about art and life .
Joined by his wife for an encore in a touching performance of a work that filled Elgar’s coffers much as Farewell to Stromness had done a century later for Maxwell Davis .

Jack with his wife and distinguished teacher Dina Parakhina


It was the encore of his recital that had been the exultation of the Fugue with fine performances of Bach,Mendelssohn and Franck.


Jack ,a late starter at 21,is certainly catching up for lost time helped of course by his masterly teacher.
He too with his own young students in the hall who had come to applaud their teacher and who he asked to count how many fugue subjects they could spot .He even prefaced his recital programme with Bach’s deceptively simple C major Prelude that his young students had struggled with in their lessons

Jack and Martha with three of his young students


Asking us to Google Mendelssohn and Queen Victoria so we could appreciate the historic value of where and what we were enjoying today .
What fun we had together with some masterly music making .
A truly enjoyable morning for the entire family .

Sold out coffee concert at 11 am Sunday morning an irresistible mix of concert,pastry and coffee
  • JS Bach French Suite no 4 in Eb major BWV815
    (1685-1750) i Allemande ii Courante iii Sarabande iv Gavotte v Air vi Menuet vii Gigue
  • Mendelssohn Prelude and Fugue in E minor op 35 no 1
    (1809-1847)The Melodious Mendelssohn: Tea with Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.
  • Franck Prélude, Chorale et Fugue
    (1822-1890) i Prelude
    ii Chorale iii Fugue

Jack’s Bach was of a clarity and precision with almost no pedal relying on his limpet like fingers for a touch from legato to non legato ,notes inégales and staccato.Whilst allowing admirable rhythmic impetus and buoyancy it did rob the music of its colour and shape.Bach’s music is based on the song and the dance and whilst of course needing absolute clarity it also needs the same contours and inflection as the human voice.Jack gave us a Bach of remarkably clear lines and architectural shape like a monument to admire rather than be moved by.There was much to admire though.The absolute clarity of the Allemande and the rhythmic buoyancy of the Courante.His superb finger legato in the Sarabande or the beautifully phrased Gavotte.The natural flow of the Aria and the infectious rhythmic insistence of the Gigue .

The French Suites, BWV 812–817, were written by Bach for the clavier (harpsichord or clavichord )between the years of 1722 and 1725.Although Suites Nos. 1 to 4 are typically dated to 1722, it is possible that the first was written somewhat earlier.The suites were later given the name ‘French’ Likewise, the English’ that was popularised by Bach’s biographer Johann Nikolaus Forkel , who wrote in his 1802 biography of Bach, “One usually calls them French Suites because they are written in the French manner.”This claim, however, is inaccurate: like Bach’s other suites, they follow a largely Italian convention.There is no surviving definitive manuscript of these suites, and ornamentation varies both in type and in degree across manuscripts.

Taking his jacket off after the Bach it was as though he had removed a straight jacket .Suddenly he moved with a horizontal freedom that gave such fluidity to his playing.Bathed in pedal,Mendelssohn’s brilliant prelude flowed from his fingers with ease.A sense of balance that allowed the sumptuous melody to ride on these waves of sound with passionate commitment.Beautifully shaped and with a technical prowess that carried the music ‘on wings of song’.There was clarity in the fugue but now he brought a colour and architectural shape that had been missing in his performance of Bach.Knotty twine,as Delius described Bach’s counterpoint but there is beauty too and it just took Jack to remove his jacket to relish the sounds that were now pouring from his sensitive fingers.

Mendelssohn took the opportunity to experiment with the so-called ‘three-hand effect’, in which he embedded a melody in the middle register of the piano and framed it with arpeggiandi above and a bass line below. The effect was that three, instead of two, hands were playing, a virtuosic trompe l’œil made fashionable in the 1830s by Sigismond Thalberg, and then widely imitated by other virtuosi, including Liszt. In contrast, the fugue, built upon an angular subject launched by the dramatic leap of a falling seventh, impresses as another example of Mendelssohn’s Bachian pursuits, so that, taken together, the prelude and fugue juxtapose the new with the old.

Dina Parakhina following Jack’s every move

Cesar Franck’s Prelude ,Chorale and Fugue closed the programme .In his introduction Jack spoke of this masterpiece as spiritual and profound being of darkness and light,pain and hope.He gave a very fine performance showing great musicianship as he allowed the music to unwind so naturally.If the opening seemed rather earthbound he gradually found the atmosphere and colour that was to illuminate his whole performance.The chorale emerged from the prelude with ravishing sounds and a florid sweep that opened up the full sonority of the piano with overwhelming effect.A technical assurance that allowed the music to move forward with authority,negotiating the notorious leaps with true technical mastery.A sense of improvisation gave a respite before the bald statement of the fugue subject.A fugue of grandeur and nobility with a relentless forward movement.The reappearance of the opening theme on a cloud of etherial sounds was in great contrast to the tumultuous build up to the glorious final exultation played with masterly authority and control.

I cannot do more than quote Stephen Hough’s fascinatingly learned words: “Franck’s original plan, according to his pupil Vincent d’Indy, was to write a plain Prelude and Fugue, the venerable form made immortal by Bach and neglected since Mendelssohn, a visibly serious alternative to the plethora of virtuoso pieces which were so popular at the time. After almost forty years writing mainly organ music and works inspired by sacred texts, the example of Bach was an affirmation that secular music could still retain a spiritual identity in an abstract form. In fact it is significant that the further Franck moved away from specifically sacred music (his liturgical works are particularly lifeless) the clearer and more pure his spiritual vision seemed to become.The decision to include a central section, separate from, yet linking, the Prelude and Fugue, came later (again according to d’Indy). Perhaps Bach was the influence with the poignant slow interludes of his Clavier Toccatas to say nothing of the very word ‘chorale’ which was eventually used. In the event, however, this central section became the emotional core of the work, its ‘motto’ theme used as a symbol of redemption and as a unifying principle at the climax of the Fugue.When Saint-Saëns made his tart observation about the piece that the ‘chorale is not a chorale and the fugue is not a fugue’ (in his pamphlet ‘Les Idées de M. Vincent d’Indy’), he was completely missing the point. The forms here have become symbolic, the apotheosis of their academic counterparts; and, furthermore, Alfred Cortot described the Fugue in the context of the whole work as ‘emanating from a psychological necessity rather than from a principle of musical composition’ (La musique française de piano; PUF, 1930). It is as if a ‘fugue’, as a symbol of intellectual rigour, was the only way Franck could find a voice to express fully the hesitant, truncated sobs of the Prelude and the anguished, syncopated lament of the Chorale. Not that the Fugue solves the problem—this is the function of the ‘motto’ theme; but the rules of counterpoint have given the speaker a format in which the unspeakable can be spoken.There are two motivic ideas on which the whole work is based: one, a falling, appoggiatura motif used in all three sections and generally chromatic in tonality ;the other a criss-crossing motif in fourths which appears first in the Chorale section and then again as a balm at the point where the Fugue reaches its emotional crisis. The first motivic idea is clearly related to the Bach Cantata ‘Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen’, and also to the ‘Crucifixus’ from the B minor Mass; the other idea appears as the ‘bell motif’ in Wagner’s Parsifal.”

Jack and Martha receiving tumultuous applause after their touching performance together of Elgar‘s Salut d’Amour

Jack Tyndale-Biscoe’s unorthodox musical background spans three continents, two instruments and encompasses performances from Bach to Britten.He holds diplomas and degrees from the Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Sydney, Brigham Young University-Idaho (BYU-I) and the Royal College of Music, with additional studies undertaken at the Leipzig Conservatory in Germany.He has performed in concert venues and halls across Europe, the United States and Australia, with recent live performances at Steinway Hall UK, Jacqueline du Pré Hall at Oxford University, St. James Piccadilly, The International Albéniz Festival in Barcelona, The International Mendelssohn Festival-Akademie Leipzig, Fairfield Halls, St. Paul’s (Covent Garden), Westminster Music Library Hall, and featured in live performances of Albéniz’s Iberia Book One on WUSF Radio 89.7 FM, Classical Radio.Other achievements include winning first prize at the Croydon Performing Arts Competition, and first prize for the Concerto Competition with the Symphony Orchestra (BYU-I). During the 2022-2023 season, Jack will be recording with KNS Classical and presenting a unique programme at concert venues across London and Europe, entitled The Divine Spark of Bach.As an official Talent Unlimited UK and DEBUT Classical Artist, Jack is grateful for the support of both organisations in their promotion of London-based artists.

Situated directly opposite the Royal Albert Hall, the Royal College of Music (RCM) is a world-leading music conservatoire with a prestigious history, contemporary outlook and inspiring location. The RCMtrains gifted musicians from all over the world for international careers as performers, conductors, composers and other significant leadership roles within the arts. With around 1,000 students from more than 60 countries studying at junior, undergraduate, postgraduate or doctoral level, the RCM is a community of talented and open-minded musicians where creativity, innovation, collaboration and diversity are prized.

Queen Victoria’s monument to her husband

The first public performance ever given by RCM musicians was in the Elgar Room. On Wednesday 2 July 1884, in the West Theatre (as it was called then), “Mr. Barton”, a piano student, performed Chopin’s Ballade in A flat to open a programme that also included operatic arias by Mozart, Handel and Gluck, and also chamber works by Schumann and Haydn. We’re delighted to be still here over 130 years later!

Jack with his mentor Dina Parakhina at the nearby RCM

Can Arisoy Elfida su Turan Damir Durmanovic at St James’s Talent Unlimited presents music making at its most refined

Some superb music making in one of the most atmospheric churches that is St James’s in the heart of London .

Canan Maxton founder of Talent Unlimited applauding her artists

The scene was set for three extraordinary musicians from the stable of Talent Unlimited directed by the indomitable Canan Maxton: Can Arisoy,Elfida Su Turan and Damir Durmanovic.


In the illustrious company of the Turkish Consul who had come to applaud in particular his compatriots Can Arisoy and Elfida Su Turan
It was Can who opened the concert with an ultra sensitive performance of Beethoven’s ‘Les Adieux’ Sonata op 81 a.
A refined tone palette that created an atmosphere of such emotional impact in the introduction that the explosion and rhythmic energy of the Allegro came as a blessed relief.
There was a technical prowess that was not just of notes but of multicoloured streams of sound and magical echo effects of the coach horns replying to each other on their long journey .
An absence that was so delicate and subtly shaded with the bare whisper of Beethoven’s yearning for the return expressed so poignantly.

Les Adieux (“The Farewell”), was written during the years 1809 and 1810.
The French attack on Vienna, led by Napoléon Bonaparte in 1809, forced Beethoven’s patron, Archduke Rudolph , to leave the city.Beethoven titled the three movements “Lebewohl“, “Abwesenheit“, and “Wiedersehen” (‘farewell’, ‘absence’, and ‘reunion’), and reportedly regarded the French “Adieux” (said to whole assemblies or cities) as a poor translation of the feeling of the German “Lebewohl” (said heartfully to a single person).Indeed, Beethoven wrote the syllables “Le-be-wohl” over the first three chords.
On the first 1811 publication, a dedication was added reading “On the departure of his Imperial Highness, for the Archduke Rudolph in admiration”


And return there certainly was,as after Beethoven’s long held pedal and whispered asides Can attacked the piano like a man possessed.
There was extraordinary power and superlative technical control that gave such exhilarance to this most bucolic of movements.
It was the same control and mastery of sound that he brought to the second work on his programme with Debussy’s Feux d’artifice.
A distant murmur of sounds as the fireworks drew nearer and nearer until they were there with us at our feet.Explosions of sound and glissandi where you could almost see the smoke rising out of this magnificent Fazioli piano.

Claude Debussy composed his two books of preludes during a remarkably brief period—the first, between December 1909 and February 1910; and the second, during roughly the same period in 1912-13. Though totaling twenty-four in number between the two books, Debussy’s preludes do not follow the precedent established by J. S. Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier (namely, a prelude in each of the major and minor keys) and imitated by several other composers, including Frédéric Chopin, Charles-Valentin Alkan, and Sergei Rachmaninoff. However, this does not mean that Debussy’s preludes are without order, and the relationships that can be found among them indicate that their published order was, to a certain extent, quite purposeful, yet also designed with a degree of inherent flexibility. Debussy, in keeping with the artistic philosophy of his day, also composed each prelude with specific scene or image in mind. Yet, to partially disguise these intents from the listener and to allow his audience to discover them of their own accord, Debussy craftily placed his titles at the end of each prelude. The last of Debussy’s 24 preludes, Feux d’artifice (“Fireworks”) is also the most technically challenging. It depicts a brilliant and spectacular fireworks display over Paris, and captures in tones the many furious streaks of rockets and their colourful explosions in the night sky. Sweeping runs, outlining two major thirds a semitone apart, open the prelude, perhaps depicting the anticipation of the audience, while isolated tones, like little points of light, sound in the upper register of the piano. The texture of the piece grows ever thicker and more complex and colours abound as the harmonies, figurations and dynamics change to give representation to the wondrous display and patterns of colored light. At its close, the visual display begins to slowly fade away. Over a tremolo in the bass a brief quote of La Marseillaise is heard before the last flashes of colour


Bathed in pedal until just before the coda where there was a startling unexpected clarity before the final smokey ending with fragments of the Marseilles just recognisable in the distance.
A remarkable performance where Can could create such magic out of so little.
A pianist has to be both artist and magician if he is to persuade us that a box full of hammers and strings can create a world of dreams and desires.
Can Arisoy proved today that he is both.
Follow that !One might say . https://christopheraxworthymusiccommentary.com/2021/03/31/can-arisoy-keyboard-trust-new-artists-recital/

Poème was written in response to a request from Eugène Ysaye for a violin concerto Chausson felt unequal to the task of a concerto, writing to Ysaÿe: I hardly know where to begin with a concerto, which is a huge undertaking, the devil’s own task. But I can cope with a shorter work. It will be in very free form with several passages in which the violin plays alone.It was written while Chausson was holidaying in Florence in June 1896.He initially called it Le Chant de l’amour triomphant, then changed it to Poème symphonique, and finally to simply Poème. The title comes from the 1881 romantic novella The Song of Love Triumphant (Le Chant de l’amour triomphant by the Russian writer Turgenev who lived on the estate of the famed mezzo-soprano Pauline Viardot and her husband near Paris. Poème was published in May 1897, but not at Chausson’s own instigation as his friend Isaac Albeniz submitted the score to Breitkopf & Hartel while he was in Leipzig on a concert tour. They were reluctant to publish the work, considering it “vague and bizarre” and of “extraordinary difficulty”, and consequently would have “few adherents” They agreed to publish only when Albéniz undertook to pay for the costs of publication himself. He also gave Breitkopf 300 marks, which they were to send Chausson under the pretence of a royalty. Chausson never knew of Albéniz’s role in this episode, which was done solely to boost his confidence in his compositional skills (he did not need the money, as he had financial security through wealth inherited from his father).It was also a way for Albéniz to repay Chausson’s support and encouragement of him when he was a struggling student in Paris.


Elfida Su Turan and Damir Duramovic were ready to take up the gauntlet.
Damir standing in at the last minute for Can,his school friend from Menuhin days together, who preferred not to play a double role today.

https://christopheraxworthymusiccommentary.com/2022/03/29/brazil-200-and-keyboard-trust-30-a-collaboration-born-on-wings-of-brazilian-song/


Damir is a natural where everything he plays becomes part of his being as he moves with cat like stealth over the keys .A natural musicality that was truly mesmerising as Elfida reached for the passionately resonating notes that abound in Chausson’s score.
Watching and listening to them together as they intoned this inspired poem was like being present at the improvised creation of a masterpiece.
A fascinating voyage of discovery together recounting a fairy tale of ravishing beauty and passion.


Szymanowski’s cruelly complicated scores are always a test of the technical prowess and imaginative artistry for all those that dare trespass into such a minefield.
Not so for Canan Maxton’s carefully chosen artists who from the very first notes of the Notturno created the atmosphere of a wondrous landscape.
Playing as one they brought vibrant energy also to the treacherous Tarantella.
The same energy I am sure Paul Kochanski and Artur Rubinstein would have displayed a century earlier when the music of their friend was still wet on the page .

The artists with the Turkish Consul and Canan Maxton


Critically acclaimed pianist Can Arisoy was born in 2000 in Turkey. Can is the 2nd prize winner in the 2016 Beethoven Junior Intercollegiate Piano Competition in London and 2016 Nilüfer International Piano Competition. He was awarded The Young Talent Prize at the Ibiza International Piano Competition and was a finalist at the 2020 International Yamaha Music Foundation of Europe Scholarships. Can started his piano studies at the age of 5. In 2006, he was accepted to The Bilkent University’s junior music department with a full scholarship. He gave his first concert at the age of 7 and his first orchestral concert as a soloist at the age of 11 with Bilkent Youth Symphony Orchestra. At the age of 14, he was invited to the Turkish National Radio 3 Ankara for a recital and interview. At the same age, Can gained a place at The Yehudi Menuhin School with a full scholarship to study with Prof. Marcel Baudet. https://christopheraxworthymusiccommentary.com/2021/03/31/can-arisoy-keyboard-trust-new-artists-recital/


Can has worked with greatly acclaimed pianists such as; Boris Berman, Paul Roberts, Murray MacLahclan, Edith Fischer, Idil Biret, Robert Levin, Gülsin Onay, David Dolan, José Ramón Mendez, Markus Schirmer, Paul Coker, Jeremy Young, Pierre Réach and Jean Bernard Pommier in International Masterclasses.
Since the age of 14, Can gave concerts in England, Turkey, France, Spain, and Austria. Performed in venues such as Wigmore Hall, Steinway Hall, Champs Hill, Clapham Omnibus, London King’s Place, Gloucester Music Society, Bilkent Concert Hall and Saygun Hall. He played with The Pelly Concert Orchestra in 2017 and The Dorking Chamber Orchestra in 2018 as a soloist and performed in music festivals including The Gstaad Music Festival, ISA Piano Festival, Gümüslük International Piano Festival, Music Alp International Music Academy and Cheathams Piano Series.
Can also performed and gave an interviews at the Karnaval Radio, Turkish National Radio 3 Istanbul and Borusan Classic Istanbul. In 2018 his performance of Brahms’ Horn Trio was chosen for The Yehudi Menuhin School 2018 Highlights CD. In the same year, Can became a “Talent Unlimited” artist in the UK. In 2019 December he gave his first Masterclass at the Izzet Baysal Fine Arts University in Turkey. Can is continuing his studies at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with Prof. Caroline Palmer.
Can is generously supported by Zetland Foundation, Talent Unlimited, Keyboard Trust and Sevda-Cenap And Music Foundation.
Presented in association with Talent Unlimited

Nocturne and Tarantella, Op. 28 by Karol Szymanowski was written in the spring and summer of 1915
It was first performed in Warsaw on 24 January 1920, by Pawel Kochanski and Feliks Szymanowski (the composer’s elder brother), and published in 1921. It is dedicated to the composer’s friend August Iwański, at whose estate Ryżawka, and Józef Jaroszyński’s manor in Zarudzie the work was written.The Nocturne has mainly long elegant lines soaring high above the piano accompaniment, but also sometimes diverts off the pathway into a Spanish idiom style (Szymanowski had recently returned from a Mediterranean journey) and is alternately languid and febrile.The Tarantella is in a typically relentless Neapolitan 6/8 rhythm,with left hand pizzicatos,double stopping and other effects.It was sketched during a single evening of drinking with Kochanski and Izanski at Zarudzie.It has impressionistic overtones redolent of Debussy and early Stravinsky,but is also pervaded with the flavours of the Middle East,similarly to many of his works.


Born in Istanbul in 2002, Elfida Su Turan started studying the violin at Istanbul University State Conservatory with Veniamin Varsavsky. Elfida, has been performing as a soloist with orchestra since the age of 10 with orchestras such as; the Istanbul State Symphony Orchestra, İzmir State Symphony Orchestra, Başkent University Orchestra, Başkent Academy Orchestra, Aşkın Ensamble, and the Bakırköy Municipality Orchestra. Elfida has had the ultimate pleasure of giving multiple concerts at the Akbank Art, Istanbul Culture University, Istanbul Philharmonic Society, Uludag University Auditorium, Sarajevo Music Academy Auditorium, Hikmet Şimşek Culture Center, İş Sanat, Milli Reasuans, Presidential Symphony Orchestra, France Bastille Opera Hall, Yehudi Menuhin Hall, Auditorium of the Fitzwilliam College inCambridge, Gestaad Festival, Conservatoir Royal de Bruxelles, Audotorio de Zaragosa, Juan March Foundation Madrid and Jeju Festival. Having been invited to master classes both in Turkey and abroad, Elfida has had the opportunity to learn under Itzhak Raskovsky, Rodney Friend, Davide Alogna and Ani Schnarch, Akiko Ono, Cihat Aşkın, Bomsori Kim, Michelle Kim, Lutsia İbragimova.
She entered her first national violin competition when she was 10 years old and was awarded the 2nd prize as well as best interpreter of the mandatory piece the competition demanded which gave me the opportunity to play with an orchestra yet again. I was also announced prizewinner in; International Violin Competition organized by Serbian Music pedagogues in March 2013 won first place. Won first place in the 7th Agimus Firenze Premio Crescendo in June of 2015, first place in the 13th Individualis Competition held in Kiev, Ukraine in August of 2015, and won first place in the GrandPrize Virtuoso Competition held in France in November of 2015 and I won third place in the 2nd İlona Feher İnternational violin competition June 2018 in Budapest. And this year March, I was announced a finalist in the 13th Grumiaux Violin Competition. Sadly, the final round did not take place due to the worldwide pandemic.
In 2014 she was also awarded the Joseph Guarini 1883 violin by the Çağdaş Eğitim Foundation.
In February of 2016 she was invited to audition in the world renowned music school, which is considered to be one for the top 3 schools in the world for pre University, The Yehudi Menuhin School. She got accepted with full scholarship.
In November 2019, she auditioned for Royal Academy of Music and got accepted and was also awarded the Entrance Scholarship which covers the entire tuition fee for the full course. She feels incredibly lucky to have Talent Unlimited support her as a musician.


As an internationally sought-after performer, Damir Durmanovic has performed in venues and festivals including the Wigmore Hall, Champs Hill Studios, YPF Festival Amsterdam, Wimbledon Music Festival, Renia Sofia Audotorium Madrid, Gstaad Menuhin Festival, Derby Multifaith Center, Flusserei Flums, ‘Ballenlager’ Vaduz. He has won prizes in numerous international competitions including The Beethoven Intercollegiate Junior Competition in London, Adilia Alieva International Piano Competition in Geneva and Isidor Bajic International Piano Competition in Novi Sad.
He has performed in masterclasses with Claudio Martinez-Mehner, Dmitri Bashkirov, Pascal Devoyon, Jacques Rouvier, Robert Levin, JeanBernard Pommier, Tatyana Sarkisova, and chamber ensembles such as the Emerson Quartet. Damir is also a scholar at the ‘Musikakademie Liechtestein’ and participates annually in the courses offered by the Academy.
Damir began his studies at age of eight with Maja Azabagic before commencing his studies at the Yehudi Menuhin School where he studied with Professor Marcel Baudet.
Damir is an ABRSM scholar and is kindly supported by the Talent Unlimited Scheme. He is currently studying at the Royal College of Music in London with professor Dmitri Alexeev. https://christopheraxworthymusiccommentary.com/2022/10/04/damir-duramovic-reveals-the-true-soul-of-the-slavic-people-at-pushkin-house/

With Jessie Harrington tireless supporter of Talent Unlimited
With the artists , Ayse Tugrul Colebourne supporter of Talent unlimited ,the Turkish Consul and Canan Maxton
A full hall and ovation for the superb concert which can be seen on line https://youtube.com/watch?v=tCHvjokk-Y0&feature=share
Can Arisoy and the Turkish Consul
Foto courtesy of Jessie Harrington with Christopher Axworthy of the Keyboard Trust and Canan Maxton of Talent Unlimited dedicated to helping greatly talented young artists reach their goal.We share our interest in helping pianists Can and Damir
https://christopheraxworthymusiccommentary.com/2022/09/14/the-gift-of-life-the-keyboard-trust-at-30/

Adam Heron at Steinway Hall for the Keyboard Trust

A fascinating programme from an eclectic musician of refined taste and eloquence.Not only on the piano but in his short conversation with Elena Vorotko he showed off the same charm and remarkable scholarship that we had heard in a very stimulating and informative programme.

Adam in conversation with Elena Vorotko


Adam who after a two year absence from the concert platform is making his return to the Keyboard with style and aristocratic bearing.
Born in Hong Kong of Nigerian Filipino descent with early success at the BBC Young Musician of the year in 2018.He graduated from the RAM under that master trainer of so many fine musicians,Christopher Elton, followed by a masters degree at Cambridge.He is also a conductor and composer but his piano career was halted for two years when struck down unexpectedly with tendonitis.

Elena Vorotko with Christopher Elton


This concert marks his come back to the concert stage as a pianist and Christopher Elton and many other distinguished guests were there to applaud him and to witness his complete recovery.
A sold out Steinway Hall for the Keyboard Trust with an audience that was treated to refined performances in a voyage of discovery of works from the completely neglected to the ridiculously overplayed!


As Adam said in his fascinating post concert conversation:’a musician should be able to master the great works of the repertoire as well as delving into the archives to find inexplicably neglected works of great value.’


And so it was with a Schumann Arabesque flowing so simply with great attention to the bass harmonies that gave such depth and freshness to this most radiant of pieces.The ravishing beauty of the coda astonishing us by its intimate intensity.


It led immediately into four short pieces by Adam of beguiling charm and character.
‘Why did he include Vaughan Williams?’asked Elena .’The simple answer is because it is his 150th anniversary year ‘ Adam replied with knowledgeable charm,’but also because there is a considerable amount of piano music by him that is totally ignored’.


And so it was with the same charm and delight in discovery that he shared the Suite of Six Short Pieces with us.
Thomas Arne too much of whose music was destroyed in the great fire at Drury Lane but there survived a considerable amount of Keyboard works of which the 3rd Sonata is only one of eight.Written in 1756 the year that Mozart was born it is a piece that could easily be confused for Scarlatti with its keyboard brilliance and sense of dance.
Joseph Bologne Chevalier de Saint Georges will have us delving deep into the archives to find information about a composer whose Adagio in F minor was of a disarming simplicity and poignant charm.

A large and attentive audience which included distinguished critics,agents and professional musicians.


Of course Chopin’s First Ballade hardly needed any explanation.
But in Adam Heron’s virgin hands it received a performance of refreshing simplicity.An aristocratic performance of great breadth and grandeur together with a touching simplicity.
It was shorn of all the rhetoric when used as a vehicle for virtuosistic showmanship.Instead Adam gave us a spacious reading where Chopin’s own words were allowed to speak without any unnecessary indulgences.

I heard Adam also in 2019. https://christopheraxworthymusiccommentary.com/2019/03/27/adam-heron-at-st-mary-at-hill/


A recital that was like opening a window to let in a blast of fresh air with a true musician of such charm and scholarship at the helm.
The recital will be streamed live at a later date on the Keyboard Trust you tube channel via their website :keyboard trust.org

Adam greeted by John Leech,founder with his wife Noretta Conci of the KCT with Sir David Scholey who had recently attended a KCT recital Pedro Lopez Salas in his home town of Florence.Pedro was going on to Poland to partecipate in the Paderewski Competition and we are delighted to hear he is now in the finals. https://christopheraxworthymusiccommentary.com/2022/11/04/pedro-lopez-salas-the-style-and-authority-of-a-great-artist-the-keyboard-trust-in-florence-goes-british/
Wiebke Greinus,concert and artistic manager of Steinways with Sarah Biggs,general manager of the KCT
Wiebke with Angela Ransley who will be presenting the next concert at Temple Church with Elli-Mae McGlone organ on 23 November at 12.40
Sir David had notice the participation of an audience member who is an ex ballet dancer describing how she related music to movement
Adam with Mario a special Italian friend of the Keyboard Trust
John Leech delighted to meet Sir David again having sent him a copy of the book that he wrote about the activity of the past 30 years of the KCT. https://christopheraxworthymusiccommentary.com/2022/09/14/the-gift-of-life-the-keyboard-trust-at-30/