Craig Sheppard at the RCM

Real revelations at the RCM at the appearance in the UK again of Craig Sheppard.In the 1970’s when he and Murray Perahia won the top prizes at Leeds ,he became a real favourite playing regularly in London with the major orchestras. For quite some years now he has been missing from the concert scene in Europe. On todays revelatory recital and masterclass one demands to know why? All I can say is that we have been loosing a lot but Mr Sheppard has evidently been refining his quite considerable musicianship,together with a humanity and understanding that is very rare indeed. This is someone who really knows and has no intention of playing the know it all teacher and so with the superb young Ilya Kondratev it was a real meeting of minds and prepared to experiment to find the solution for one of two problems together. At one point he even said he felt like calling Beethoven so he could explain some of his ornamentation more clearly.That ,ofcourse ,would have fallen on deaf ears,Mr Sheppard! But it was the humility and wish to find the solution together that was so refreshing. The only other time I have encountered such helpful masterclasses where teacher and pupil were equals ,was at the RCM with Emanuel Ax. Great compliments to Vanessa Latarche,Ian Jones and of course above all Norma Fisher for convincing these wonderful artists to come to work together with the amazing talent that is being nurtured in a country that has always looked to the east or the USA for such potential. Welcome back Mr Sheppard some of us still remember you and look forward to sharing you with a new generation.

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