Great pride and celebrations for bringing victory home to the Royal College of Music
Top prize winners at the Leeds International Piano Competition – Fanny Waterman Gold Prize -Alim Beisembayev and top prize winner Thomas Kelly
Congratulations to their long term teachers Tessa Nicholson ( Alim) and Andrew Ball(Thomas ) and the wonderful work of Vanessa Latarche for caring and helping to promote these wonderful hopes for the future.
The sound of Thomas has always astonished me from the very first time I heard him win the Joan Chissell Schumann prize some years ago.Alim I heard as a teenager when he was st the Purcell School and was amazed by his technical and musical control.
The first notes of Brahms op 119 from Thomas just took us by surprise as the ravishingly liquid sounds penetrated to the back of the hall.
Alim astounded and astonished with his quicksilver precision and identification with Ligeti’s transcendentally complex studies.
I remember Cherkassky coming to stay with me one summer with a ragged piece of paper stamped BBC with what seemed as though a drunken spider had crawled over the page .Shura learnt one contemporary piece a year well into his 80’s and he loved the idea of announcing Escalier Diabolique.
We spent many hilarious times trying to figure it out but if we had heard Alim we would have given up in shame.
Two great talents- in fact great artists – ready to take the major concert halls by storm
Great friends too.
It was Thomas who gave up his own time in preparation for Leeds to act as orchestra for Alim for the two concertos required.
Wonderfully refreshing to see them united in music and friendship …….and what music!