Tyler Hay and the Mitsu Trio at the Brazilian Embassy.Fun and games for the joint Anniversary Celebrations with the Keyboard Trust

Keyboard Charitable Trust for Young Professional Performers
Celebrating 30 years
Patron: Sir AntonioPappano https://christopheraxworthymusiccommentary.com/2022/09/14/the-gift-of-life-the-keyboard-trust-at-30/
Tyler Hay who only last week won the Gold Medal in the Dudley International Piano Competition and tonight was the star shining brightly as he shared his enthusiasm for the music of Oswald. He played with scintillating virtuosity and sense of style as he shared his discovery with us not only in music but with very amusing and enlightened asides.

The music of Oswald in the Brazilian Embassy last night .What a discovery when played with such scintillating virtuosity and ‘joie de vivre’ by Tyler Hay and the Mitsu Trio.
200+ 30 has proven once again to be a winning combination with the Brazilian Embassy and the Keyboard Trust anniversary celebrations in perfect harmony.



Tyler sharing his genuine love of the music he had only recently discovered.The prizewinning piece ‘Il Neige ‘ every bit as interesting as Debussy’s venture into the snow .The salon charm of Pierrot and the complete change for ‘Pierrot se meurt’ where charm had turned into something much darker.A rumbustuous Polonaise in E major played with great elan and evident enjoyment.A Polish dance but in a key that Chopin rarely used and never for his Polonaises .It was the key though that Liszt had chosen for the second of his two Polonaises which used to be something of a warhorse for pianists of the stature of Busoni,Cherkassky and Lympany.Performances of authority and beguiling charm as the charismatic Tyler charmed us all with his transcendental virtuosity but above all his love for the music he was playing today.All to the evident glee of the Brazilian Ministers and the great great granddaughter of the composer seated in the front row
A standing ovation for the artists after a superb performance of the Trio op 9

In this concert, The Mitsu Trio remembered and celebrated Oswald’s legacy, with a selection of his most distinguished pieces, including Il neige, which gave Oswald his spectacular victory in the Composition Contest promoted in 1902 by Le Figaro in Paris, where the Brazilian composer beat more than 600 other competitors.

Henrique Oswald (1852-1931) was recognised as the most accomplished Brazilian composer before Heitor Villa-Lobos. He wrote in almost every genre and was the leading pioneer of chamber music in Brazil.Trained in Europe, being especially influenced by French, German and Italian traditions, he spent several years in Florence, where he taught at the Musical Institute and met Liszt and Brahms. Back in Brazil in the early 1900s, he directed the newly founded National Institute of Music, tutoring and inspiring a generation of pianists and composers, being one of the most influential figures in Brazilian musical life in the first decades of the 20th century.

Elegia for cello and piano had opened the programme with Akito Goto the superb cellist declaring how much he loved the piece.It was evident from the performance of moving intensity that they gave today
Christ the Redeemer, better known as the Corcovado, is a monumental statue located at the top of a steep hill overlooking the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It is the emblem of the city of Rio, and also, by extension, that of Brazil. Inaugurated in 1931, its paternity is contested since it was initiated and built by the Brazilian engineer Heitor da Silva Costa
but modelled and carved by a Frenchman, Paul Landowski, on the drawings of Carlos Oswald. The project lasted several years, to be repeated several times.

Henrique Oswald
Elegia (for cello and piano)
Feuilles d’Album Op.20 No. 4 – Désir Ardent (Allegro con fuoco)
Six Morceaux Op.4 No.5 – Barcarolle
Il Neige
Album Op.33 No.3 – Pierrot
Album Op.36 No. 2 – Pierrot se meurt
Polonaise Op.34 No.1
Piano Trio Op.9

The Piano Trio op 9 a very different work from the salon pieces that Tyler had played at the beginning of the concert .This was a four movement Trio lasting almost forty minutes that had obvious influences of Brahms and even Saint Saens but there was a highly original voice too and Tyler declared that it had become one of his trios favourite works.It was played with superb ensemble as the intricacies seemed to creat more problems for the page turner than the artists!

The Mitsu Trio was formed in 2020 and, for this concert, comprises British pianist Tyler Hay, Japanese cellist Akito Goto and Russian-born British violinist Aleem Kandour, virtuoso rising talents who met at the Purcell School for Young Musicians and continued their studies in major UK conservatoires. Between them they have performed as chamber musicians and soloists in distinguished venues across the UK including Wigmore Hall, Cadogan Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall and St Martin-in-the-Fields in London.

TYLER HAY has been awarded prizes in many competitions, including First Prizes in the keyboard section of the Royal Overseas League and the Liszt Society Competition and just last week First Prize in the Dudley International Piano Competition.He has released CDs of Liszt’s piano music, John Ogdon’s unpublished works and Kalkbrenner’s Etudes Op.143, available on the Piano Classics label and have all received critical acclaim. As well as having given concerts in Spain, Italy, Germany, Cyprus and South Africa, Tyler continues to perform regularly in the UK as both a soloist and chamber musician.

AKITO GOTO has appeared as a soloist with ensembles such as the London Mozart Players, Windsor and Maidenhead Symphony Orchestra and Orpington Symphony Orchestra. He has given solo and chamber performances in major concert halls around the world including the Hamarikyu Asahi Hall in Tokyo and  and Wigmore Hall in London. He has won numerous prizes and awards, including First Prize in the Japan Player’s Contest, and he was also the youngest winner of the Izuminomori Cello Contest. Akito recently received a generous scholarship from the Raphael Sommer Music Scholarship Trust.

ALEEM KANDOUR has performed at venues such as the Royal Albert Hall and Buckingham Palace. As an orchestral musician, Aleem performs regularly with the London Symphony Orchestra, Chineke! Orchestra and the Bath Festival Orchestra. He has been awarded several prizes including First Prize in the Mozart Junior Competition. In 2019, he became a violin tutor at Prince’s Gardens Preparatory School in London. In 2021, Aleem was selected to become one of the Ambassadors for the Benedetti Foundation.

14 April 1852
Rio de Janeiro ,Empire of Brazil
9 June 1931 (aged 79)
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Oswald was born in Rio de Janeiro.His father was a Swiss-German immigrant and his mother from Italy. The family name was changed from “Oschwald” due to concerns of discrimination. In 1854 the Oswald family moved to São Paulo. His mother taught music privately to aristocrats and by age twelve he had his first recital. In São Paulo, he also studied with Gabriel Guiraudon. His “farewell recital” occurred at age 16, after this he went to study in Europe spending several years in Florence.In 1902 he won a piano composition competition sponsored by Le Figaro with a piece Il neige!..(“It’s snowing!”).He then left his family in Europe (they moved to Brazil much later) and from 1903 to 1906 directed the Instituto National de musica in Rio de Janeiro. He also served as Brazilian consul in both The Hague and Genoa.He died in 1931, just several days after his birthday festivities.

Aleem Kandour with Vivian Oswald the great great granddaughter of Henrique Oswald.Very interesting to hear of Carlos Oswald,the son of the composer born in Florence .His painting of ‘Christ the Redeemer’ has become an emblem for Brazil.It was fascinating to hear of the Oswald homes in Rio that were a cultural haven for artists of the stature of Rubinstein and many others

Oswald’s best-known compositions today are numerous small pieces for piano (usually arranged by him into small collections). However, he was a prolific composer of chamber music: his list includes a violin sonata, 2 cello sonatas (op 21 and 44),3 piano trios, 2 piano quartets (op 5 and op 26 )a piano quintet op 18,4 string quartets (op 16,17,39,46) and a string octet. For orchestra he wrote a suite, a sinfonietta and a symphony. There are also two concertos by him, one for piano, another for violin. Concerning vocal music, he composed three operas (La Croce d’oro,Il Neo and le Fate ) ,a mass and a requiem. By the time of his death, his major works remained unpublished, a fact that contributed much to the his neglect for half a century.His work fell into disfavour after the “Semana de Arte Moderna” manifesto, but has experienced something of a revival recently. In late 1970s Brazilian musician José Eduardo Martins began his struggle to revive Oswald’s output. In the last 30 years he published some of his compositions and recorded many of his major works along with piano miniaturesAmong his recordings is Oswald’s Piano Concerto in an originally arranged chamber version (piano with string quintet). Another Oswald pioneer is pianist Eduardo Montero,whose thesis was dedicated to the composer.

A family heirloom loaned for the occasion by the composer’s great great granddaughter
Minister Roberto Doring welcoming the Keyboard Trust to celebrate the 170th Anniversary of the birth of Henrique Oswald.
Christopher Axworthy trustee and co artistic director of the Keyboard Trust presenting Tyler Hay and the Mitsu Trio and thanking the Embassy here in London and in Rome for such an enjoyable and fruitful collaboration
Tyler sharing in the fun with guests
Seven flats serious business indeed!
The Mitsu Trio

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