Alim Beisembayev at the Richmond Concert Society with Beethoven op 10 n.3 and op 111 (in place of the advertised op 110) and a second half of Rachmaninov and Liszt. I remember coming to this modern Catholic Church many years ago to hear Vlado Perlemuter long before he became my teacher and friend.He complained bitterly about the acoustics that he could not hear himself play.But for Vlado right up to his 90th birthday,when Joan and I had to push him on stage at the Wigmore Hall ,every step to the stage was always like going to the guillotine!Cherkassky standing in for Bolet of course loved it !
Today in Alim’s hands we could hear the gentlest of whispers and savour his refined palette of colour on the sumptuous Steinway concert grand that they had brought in especially for the concert. I had heard Alim some years ago ,the star student of Tessa Nicholson,at the Purcell School. Today,after his years of intense study with her at the Royal Academy he has now completed his Master’s Degree with Vanessa Latarche at the Royal College where he will complete his Artist’s Diploma in his third and final year. I heard now a great artist with a refined tone palette of sounds and a musical intelligence that spontaneously recreated the music.He held the audience in his spell from the first to the last note.
Playing of ravishing beauty as he showed us the two sides of Beethoven.From the unexpectedly exquisitely shaped op 10.n.3 finishing with the magical vibration of sounds of op 111 on which Beethoven floats on high his final thoughts of a paradise already in view. Liszt transcendental studies that were real miniature tone poems. Has ‘Ricordanza ‘ever sounded as beautiful as if it was Liszt’s own ‘Benediction’ ?Petri came near but Alim today even nearer! The wild passionate fervour of the F minor study with at last the rhythmic clarity that Liszt demands.Calmed by the ravishing sounds of evening only to be led into the terrifying blizzard depicted in Chasse Neige. Playing that when he decided to relinquish his masterly control was breathtaking in it’s wild abandon.
The D major Prelude by Rachmaninov was played with the same subtle poetry and stillness that evoked the young Richter .And the mighty E flat minor Etude -Tableau was breathtaking in it’s aristocratic passionate abandon. Rage over a lost penny was his way of thanking the eclectic audience in Richmond in their 61st season that has seen some of the greatest artist of the age.They can now add Alim to that illustrious list .
I should also add that Alim is one of the nicest,simplest people I know and I was very touched by his consideration for me today.But the greatest artists are always the simplest ,you see ,as their souls have found peace and satisfaction in being able to comunicate the message hidden in music to others.
Born in Kazakhstan in 1998, Alim has already performed with the State Academic Symphony Orchestra of Russia “Evgeny Svetlanov”, Moscow State Symphony and Fort-Worth Symphony, and at Royal Festival Hall and Wigmore Hall. During his time at the Purcell School he won several awards, including First Prize at the Junior Cliburn International Competition. Alim was taught by Tessa Nicholson at school and continued his studies with her at the Royal Academy of Music. He is currently completing his master’s degree at the Royal College of Music with Professor Vanessa Latarche. He is generously supported by numerous scholarships such as the ABRSM, the Countess of Munster, Hattori Foundation, the Drake Calleja Fund trusts, and belongs to the Talent Unlimited charity scheme.Alim Beisembayev won First Prize at The Leeds International Piano Competition in September 2021, performing Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Andrew Manze. He also took home the medici.tv Audience Prize and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Society Prize for contemporary performance, with The Guardian praising him as a “worthy winner” with a “real musical personality”.Highlights of the 2021/22 season include debuts with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic (under Case Scaglione), BBC Symphony Orchestra (Clemens Schuldt), RCM Symphony Orchestra (Sir Antonio Pappano) and SWR Symphonieorchester Stuttgart (Yi-Chen Lin). Recent and forthcoming recitals include the Wigmore Hall, Southbank Centre, Oxford Piano Festival, Bath Mozartfest, St George’s Bristol, and Chopin Institute in Warsaw, in addition to a tour of Europe, in association with the Steinway Prizewinner Concerts Network, and Korea, with the World Culture Network. His debut release with Warner Classics was released in September 2021 — an EP featuring Scarlatti, Ligeti and Ravel.
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