Point and Counterpoint from 5th October 2021 to 25 August 2022




A personal chronicle from 5th October 2021 to 25th August 2022

by Christopher Axworthy, Keyboard Trust Co-Artistic Director and Trustee 

The new season opened on the 5th October with a celebration concert in the Cunard Hall in Trafalgar Square now the distinguished ‘Sala Brazil’ of the Brazilian Embassy.The 200th anniversary of Brazil and the 30th of the Keyboard Trust and a celebration concert of four star pianists from the KCT stable.George Fu played music by Nepomuceno and the Saudades do Brasil by Milhaud ;Simone Tavoni played Bachianas Brasileiras n 4 by Villa Lobos ;Thomas Kelly the Sonata n.1 by Mignone and Sasha Grynyuk the monumental Rudepoema by Villa Lobos.

George Fu – Thomas Kelly – Simone Tavoni – Sasha Grynyuk


On the 11th October Alexander Ullman gave another brilliant Wigmore Hall recital – his first was the KCT Prize winners concert a few years ago.Consolidating his highly acclaimed first CD.His second was issued recently of the Two Liszt Piano Concertos and the Sonata in B minor.

Alexander Ullman standing ovation in the Wigmore Hall

Nice to see a great review for the only British pianist to have won both major Liszt Competitions in Budapest (aged 20) and Utrecht (aged 26) Alexander Ullman a name to look out for https://christopheraxworthymusiccommentary.com/2021/10/11/alexander-ullman-the-supreme-stylist-at-the-wigmore-hall/

MIlda Daunoraite with Leslie Howard

The Keyboard Trust anxious to give performing possibilities to young musicians silenced by the pandemic were fortunate in having a new performing venue in London thanks to our administrator Richard Thomas who is the organist and music director of St Matthews Church in Ealing and on the 13th October two female artists were invited to perform in the Young Artist’s Series that was recorded for later streaming to a larger audience.Ivelina Krasteva from Bulgaria and Milda Daunoraite from Lithuania

Ivelina Krasteva with Elene Vorotko

https://christopheraxworthymusiccommentary.com/2022/05/30/ivelina-krasteva-for-the-keyboard-trust-simplicity-and-beauty-of-a-thinking-artist/https://christopheraxworthymusiccommentary.com/2022/06/26/milda-daunoraite-live-stream- concert-for-the-keyboard-charitable-trust-youthful-charm-and-ease-at-the-service-of-music/

On the 20th October we were able to invite one of the finest Italian pianists of his generation to give a recital to a still limited audience at Steinway Hall.Giovanni Bertolazzi gave thrilling performances of the Liszt B minor Sonata (that he too has just recorded for Borgato pianos one of the longest and finest of Italian pianos) together with Rachmaninov 2nd Sonata (1931). https://christopheraxworthymusiccommentary.com/2022/02/15/giovanni-bertolazzi-in-london/

He performed the two Liszt Sonatas in Rome in the historic Teatro Torlonia on the 21st January in a partnership we have created with the Roma 3 University directed by Valerio Vicari.The artistic director who gives a platform to numerous aspiring young musicians and has even created an orchestra that has been active for the past 15 years. https://christopheraxworthymusiccommentary.com/2022/01/17/giovanni-bertolazzi-in-rome-liszt-is-alive-and-well-at-teatro-di-villa-torlonia/

Jonathan Ferrucci in the Harold Acton Library – Florence

On the 26th October Jonathan Ferrucci played the Goldberg Variations to an enthusiastic public in the Harold Acton Library in Florence as part of our collaboration with the director of the British Institute,Simon Gammell https://christopheraxworthymusiccommentary.com/2021/10/27/ jonathan-ferrucci-the-return-of-a-warrior-the-goldberg-variations-in-florence/

Mozart K.453 in Teatro di Villa Torlonia – Rome

He will perform the Goldberg Variations in New York on the 15 th October in the long postponed American tour that has recommenced after the pandemic interruption.Jonathan went on to play together with Pietro Fresa two Mozart Piano Concertos with the Rome 3 Orchestra in Teatro Torlonia and in Rieti – a Papal city 60 km from Rome. https://christopheraxworthymusiccommentary.com/2021/10/30/ mozart-triumphs-at-torlonia-with-jonathan-ferrucci-pietro-fresa-sieva-borzak/

On the 31st October Maxim Kinasov gave a recital in Adbaston St Michael and all Angels he had played for us on the 29th September in Steinway Hall.Pauline Savage writes:’I’d like to start by saying how much I enjoyed Maxim’s concert – not just the programme ,but the depth of feeling that came across in his performance.It was a memorable experience.Thank you again for the support of the Keyboard Trust, enabling us to hold concerts which would otherwise be right out of our league.’

Maxim Kinasov with Leslie Howard


Mariam Batsashvili

Mariam Batsashvili gave two recitals in Cottbus State Theatre on the 6th and 7th November John Gumbell writes:’One further aspect of the Cottbus experience that I omitted to report.  When we went back stage after the concert to meet and thank Mariam, Fernanda and I were accompanied by two Georgian singers from the theatre’s opera company who delighted in chatting with a compatriot in their native tongue.  While they were doing so, I couldn’t help noting the diminutive physical stature of all three of them, which made the power of Mariam’s delivery at the keyboard all the more astonishing.  We felt humbled and privileged to be in the presence of such a force of nature – a keyboard lioness indeed! – but one whose warmth of personality also shone through every note.’

Victor Braojos with Elena Vorotko

On the 11th November Victor Braojos played at Steinway Hall https://christopheraxworthymusiccommentary.com/ 2021/02/03/victor-braojos-at-steinway-hall-new-artists-series-for-the-keyboard-trust/ and later his lock down CD ‘Shreds of Light was presented by Elena Vorotko and Martin Roscoe https://christopheraxworthymusiccommentary.com/2022/05/09/victor-braojos-at-st-marys-authority-and-intelligence-illuminates-shreds-of-light/

In Steinway Hall on the 17 November Emanuil Ivanov was invited to play as his KCT Career prize for the top prize winner of the Busoni Competition in Bolzano 2019. Noretta Conci has played an important part since it inception in 1949.

Emanuil talking with John Leech and Noretta Conci


Jae Hong Park

On the 12th October the 2021 Busoni winner will play in Steinway Hall as winner of the KCT Career Prize Jae Hong Park https://christopheraxworthymusiccommentary.com/2021/09/04/busoni-international-piano-competition-2021/

On 27th November the Annual Liszt Competition chaired by Leslie Howard with a recital by the extraordinary 2019 winner Minkyu Kim and the announcement of the 2021 winner Anastasia Tionadewi.2020 was the year of the pandemic and it was thanks to the generosity of Dr Hugh Mather and his team that the competition could continue with public at the prize winning venue of St Mary’s Perivale .https://christopheraxworthymusiccommentary.com/2021/11/27/minkyu-kim-mastery-exults-to-the-glory-of-liszt/

Shunta Morimoto with Dr Hugh Mather

A last minute indisposition of Giovanni Bertolazzi brought us Shunta Morimoto at our annual appointment at the Tuscia University in Rome – Shunta went on to win the much coveted Hastings Competition 2022- (Thomas Kelly was a close second) http://christopheraxworthymusiccommentary.com/2022/01/17/shunta-morimoto-in-viterbo-refined-sensibility-and-artistry-of-a-true-virtuoso/

Our annual recital in Vicenza for the indomitable Maria Antonietta Sguelia was given by Jonathan Ferrucci at the Teatro Comunale on the 20th January http:// christopheraxworthymusiccommentary.com/2022/01/21/jonathan-ferrucci-in-vicenza-je-joueje-sens-je-transmets-a-timeless-search-in-music/

Giovanni Bertolazzi with Guido Barbieri

The 21st saw Giovanni Bertolazzi in Rome in the historic Teatro Torlonia -the two Liszt Sonatas introduced by the distinguished critic and broadcaster Guido Barbieri http:// christopheraxworthymusiccommentary.com/2022/01/17/giovanni-bertolazzi-in-rome-liszt-is-alive-and-well-at-teatro-di-villa-torlonia/

Alberto Chines also played in our series with Roma 3 University on the 23 January http:// christopheraxworthymusiccommentary.com/2022/01/24/alberto-chines-artistry-and-scholarship-in-rome/

On the 27 January Simone Tavoni played at the British Institute in Florence and went on to complete our Northern Italy tour in Venice and Padua https://christopheraxworthymusiccommentary.com/ 2022/01/27/simone-tavoni-triumphs-on-the-italian-tour-for-the-keyboard-trust-part-1-florence/

Elia Cecino with Murray Perahia at the Henle Masterclasses in Germany

On the 9th February Elia Cecino gave a recital in Steinway Hall.Only 21 years old is already making a name for himself in Italy and recently won first prize in the 28th New Orleans International Piano Competition in Louisiana.

Elia Cecino

He will be playing the Tchaikowsky Ist Concerto in the Ghione Theatre in Rome on the 16th October https://christopheraxworthymusiccommentary.com/2022/02/15/elia-cecino-in-london-for-the-keyboard-trust/

Simon Gammell OBE with CrIstian Sandrin

On the 24th February two events one in Florence with CrIstian Sandrin playing the Beethoven Trilogy and Evelyne Beresowsky standing at very short notice for Alexander Ullman at the Danish Academy for Roma 3 University .

Valerio Vicari with Evelyne Beresowsky

Alex had been asked at very short notice to substitute for Elisabeth Leonskaya in the Grieg Piano Concerto in Brno.And what a a success she had – CrIstian too – a double for the KCT that day . https://christopheraxworthymusiccommentary.com/2022/02/25/cristian-sandrin-a-message-of-hope-and-peace-in-florence-the-cradle-of-our-culture/https://christopheraxworthymusiccommentary.com/2022/02/25/evelyne-berezovsky-seduction-in-rome/

Alex Ullman with Evelyne Beresowsky

On the 2nd March Roman Korsyakov,the winner of the 2019 Hastings International Concerto Competition played for the Pharos Shoe Factory Arts Centre in Nicosia.His belated winners concert with the RPO at last took place November 2021 due to the Pandemic.

Yvonne Georgiadou,artistic director writes:’Roman is a superb pianist,and a lovely person.He performed a great programme consisting of Schumann’s Kreisleriana,Prokofiev’s First Sonata,the Tchaikovsky Sonata and Scriabin Preludes.He was amazing in everything he performed,not only technically but also stylistically-he started as a force of nature,in the explosive Prokofiev Sonata ,demonstrated his technical soundness in the contrasting pieces pieces of Kreisleriana,soulful tenderness in the Scriabin,and so much passion- yet clockwork precision- in the Grand Sonata .He gave the recital in a full house,and the appreciative audience (which included the ambassadors of the USA,Germany and Italy) called him back on stage for three encores- then we realised how wonderful he is in Scarlatti too!!He has so much personality in his playing,healthy confidence combined with humbleness.He is unique!’

Roman Korsyakov with the RPO in Cadogan Hall London

We are all shattered by what is happening now in Ukraine. Eastern Mediterranean has always been troubled with wars and bloodshed, and I admit that war always upsets me but I am extremely shocked by the international reaction against innocent Russian civilians, be it artists, athletes, even cats… As if it is their fault. The people of Cyprus treated Roman with respect and love, and he was extremely polite and intelligent towards people who asked him questions about the situation afterwards. He is generally an extremely friendly and fun guy, with lovable personality. I have no doubt that he will have a great career ahead – if he is presented with the opportunities he deserves. And we will of course be delighted to host him again to Cyprus in the future.https://christopheraxworthymusiccommentary.com/2021/11/12/roman-kosyakov-hastings-prize-winners- concert-with-the-rpo-at-cadogan-hall-under-kevin-john-edusei/

Organised by our Sasha Grynyuk on the 11th March was one of the first concerts to create relief funds for Ukrainian refugees forced to flee their country because of the ambitious machinations of a despot – of course Roman was by the side of Sasha as were many other musicians


Sasha Grynyuk with Roman Korsyakov

His parents had fled Ukraine whilst bombs were flying taking with them a car full of worldly possessions as their son flew to Cracow to escort them to safety in the Oxford countryside.Anna Fedorova has organised at least 30 such concerts culminating in a special sold out Promenade concert

We were all very proud to,see such solidarity by our musicians and friends.In particular Dr Peter Barritt in Shrewsbury -‘Welcome to the Shrewsbury International Piano Recital website. Each year, we invite young international classical pianists to perform paid recitals to help their early careers. We have been greatly helped in this by the Keyboard Charitable Trust, particularly Christopher Axworthy, who represents this fine organisation that supports the most accomplished young classical pianists by arranging concert performances throughout the world.Dinara’s recital raised £1231 once matched. Pietro’s recital raised £2200 (£4,400 matched) and Nikita raised £2000 (£4000 matched)’

On the 9th March at Steinway Hall Andrea Molteni surprised us with a transcendental performance of Beethoven’s mighty Hammerklavier Sonata op 106 that was recorded for eventual streaming


St Matthews was again the venue for two young musicians series.This time for two Italian pianists Ilaria Cavalleri and Axel Trolese both recorded for eventual streaming on web site https://christopheraxworthymusiccommentary.com/2022/03/24/ilaria-cavalleri-in-london/ https://christopheraxworthymusiccommentary.com/2022/03/24/axel-trolese-in-london/

Damir Durmanovic and Can Arisoy

On the 28th March we were back in the beautiful Sala Brazil with a celebration of Brazilian music with two brilliant ex Menuhin School pianists Can Arisoy and Damir Durmanovic https://christopheraxworthymusiccommentary.com/2022/03/29/brazil-200-and-keyboard-trust-30-a-collaboration-born-on-wings-of-brazilian-song/

Elia Cecino

On the 9th April Elia Cecino stood in for an indisposed Can Arisoy at the historic Laeiszhalle in Hamburg .Sabina Oroshi writes:’The concert was great, such a success – the audience adored Elia. I hope he is as satisfied as we are, it was great working with him.

Laeiszhalle Hamburg

On the 10th April Nikita Lukinov played a benifit concert for Ukraine in Shrewsbury.He played a few days later in Perivale that I was able hear :https://christopheraxworthymusiccommentary.com/2022/04/11/nikita-lukinov-at-st-marys-a-masterly-warrior-with-canons-covered-in-flowers/

He and Giovanni Bertolazzi were invited to the Verbier Academy this summer where they also worked with the remarkable Kiril Gernstein http://

Nikita Lukinov with Giovanni Bertolazzi


Parvis Hejazi

On the 20th April Parvis Hejazi gave a recital at Steinway Hall that will be streamed at a later date.I was able to attend his later recital at the RCM https://christopheraxworthymusiccommentary.com/2022/07/09/parvis-hejazi-in-recital-in-london-july-2022/

Thomas Kelly in Florence

Thomas Kelly gave a superb recital in Florence on the 21st April in our series in collaboration with then British Institute https://christopheraxworthymusiccommentary.com/ 2022/04/18/thomas-kelly-takes-florence-by-storm-music-al-british/

On the 22 April Damir Duramovic gave a highly successful recital at Cranleigh Arts with a very stimulating interval discussion with Stephen Dennison the artistic advisor https://christopheraxworthymusiccommentary.com/2022/04/18/damir-duramovic-at-cranleigh-arts-a-musician-speaks-with-simplicity-and-poetry/

Nicola Losito

On the 13th May Nicola Losito played at the Orangery Castle Rheda .Inge Joskleigrewe writes :’It was a great pleasure for all of us to experience Nicolas’ great concert . His performance was really extraordinaire! And Moritz really found the absolute right words in his report.’  Moritz von Bredow wrote this report: https://christopheraxworthymusiccommentary.com/2022/09/03/moritz-losito-review/

Pietro Fresa

On the 18th May Pietro Fresa gave a recital at Steinway Hall which will be streamed at a later date.He had recently played in Perivale: http:// christopheraxworthymusiccommentary.com/2022/04/25/pietro-fresa-simplicity-and-beauty-at-st-marys/

On the 16th June George Fu stood in at the last minute for an indisposed Thomas Kelly at St Giles Cripplegate https://christopheraxworthymusiccommentary.com/2022/06/16/george-fu-his-joy-and-exhilaration-saves-the-day-and-uplifts-our-spirits/

George Fu introducing his programme

Luca Leone flew in from Italy on the 22nd June to play in Steinway Hall and with unexpected delays he arrived with only minutes to spare to ravish and charm us as only a true Latin can. https://christopheraxworthymusiccommentary.com/2022/07/01/luca-lione-in-london-23rd-june-2022/

John Leech with Luca Lione

On the 27 June Jonathan Ferrucci played at St Jude’s Prom in Hampstead.The chairman John Clegg writes :’ On behalf of all of us at Proms, can I please ask you to pass on our warmest thanks to Jonathan Ferrucci for his wonderful lunchtime piano recital at this year’s festival.   It was a pleasure to meet him and his playing was much appreciated by the audience.  We are also hugely grateful to the Keyboard Charitable Trust for supporting the concert.’

Jonathan Ferrucci in recital in Perugia

I missed this concert but I did not miss the same concert in Perugia a few days later in his mentor Angela Hewitt’s festival.He was able to substitute for a Covid stricken Angela in Mozart’s K453 concerto. https://christopheraxworthymusiccommentary.com/2022/07/03/jonathan-ferrucci-at-the-trasimeno-music-festival-the-long-voyage-of-discovery-of-a-real-artist/

Mozart K 453 in Perugia

On the 30th June Salvador Sanchez continued our series in Florence which will continue again on the 22nd September https://christopheraxworthymusiccommentary.com/2022/07/01/salvador-sanchez-ignites-florence-the-terra-del-fuego/

Salvador Sanchez in Florence

On the 3rd July Simone Tavoni played his long postponed recital in Spoleto in Menotti’s House in the main square overlooking the Cathedral thanks to the collaboration with Umberto Jacopo Laureti

Menotti’s house in Spoleto

and another concert on the 25th August in France in a new festival :Un Piano sous Les Arbres.

Fabrice Fenoy
Maire de Lunel-Viel
Directeur du festival Un piano sous les arbres

Simone writes:’The concert went really well with an encore and standing ovation at the end.I was really pleased by the atmosphere.There were around 150 people maybe 200 with people who remained outside because there were no tickets left but you could still hear out of the building.’ https://unpianosouslesarbres.com/

Thomas Kelly

On the 15th July Thomas Kelly played at the Deal Festival with a five star review in the Guardian https://christopheraxworthymusiccommentary.com/2022/09/03/thomas-kelly-deal-festival-5-star-review/

Charles Francis

On the 7th August Charles Francis gave a recital in Westminster Abbey .Sarah Biggs writes :’The Abbey was full – and the audience very appreciative and enthusiastic.  I tried to find Peter Holder at the end to thank him but missed him in the melee.  I am guessing at his email address but, if it’s incorrect, please could you thank him so much from all of us for hosting it so beautifully?  And thank YOU, too, for this extremely valuable and exciting experience for a young Keyboard Trust organist!  Charlie is only 20 years old – and he said he found the experience quite scary but hugely exhilarating and wonderful to play on the Abbey’s Rolls Royce of organs!  He asked me to pass on thanks to you for the opportunity – and a million thanks from all of us too ….’


Charles Francis with seated Angela Ransley,Noretta Conci and John Leech
Hao Zi Yoh

On the 11th August Hao Zi Yoh gave a recital for the Palermo Classica Festival an 11 pm concert in the intense Sicilian heat …….I had heard Hao Zi Yoh in Cranleigh a few weeks before https://christopheraxworthymusiccommentary.com/2022/07/01/hao-zi-yoh-the-luminosity-and-delicacy-of-a-great-artist-at-cranleigh-arts/

The presentation of the Gift of Music – a celebration of 30 years of the Keyboard Trust will take place at the National Liberal Club on the 13th September .It will be presented by the honorary patron Sir Antonio Pappano who will perform together with Leslie Howard and other artists from the Keyboard Trust illustrious roster including the recipient this year of the Weir Trust Award


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