Archived News for February 2011
02 Feb 2011
Just received the score of Philip Grange's new song cycle To The Borders of Sleep. Marcus Farnsworth and I will be performing these in Manchester at the end of March. They look exciting and beautifully imaginative, albeit pretty tricky!
03 Feb 2011
A mad few days of concerts but great fun! Tuesday saw Mozart (Quintet for Piano and Winds), Poulenc (Trio for Oboe, Bassoon and Piano), and Woolrich (Favola in Musica, based on music of Monteverdi), with the Berkeley Ensemble, at St Peter's Streatham, where their residency is. Many thanks to Molly Nielsen for stepping in at extremely short notice when our regular bassoonist was unexpectedly held up in Israel.... Then Wednesday was Schubert, Mahler (Rückert Lieder) and Finzi (Earth and Air and Rain - an incredible intuitive understanding of Hardy's poetry by Finzi) with Marcus Farnsworth in Brighton, as part of Brighton College's Autograph Concerts series. This seems to be a fantastic setup with a great range of instruments and programmes, all within the school itself, in the lovely Great Hall. It was particularly heartening to see a considerable number of school pupils in the audience! Then Thursday lunchtime was another performance of the piano and winds programme with the Berkeleys, this time in Leicester, as part of the extremely successful Leicester International Music Festival lunchtime concert series. A beautiful venue (the New Walk Museum & Art Gallery) with a fabulous piano and consistently sold-out audiences, this series seems to be onto a winner! It was a privilege to be part of such a prestigious line-up of performers this season, and we were bowled over by the audience's warm welcome. A hectic few days, but wonderful music in lovely venues with great colleagues.
04 Feb 2011
Royal Overseas League season has commenced! Playing for several people over the next few weeks in the various different sections of this competition (wind, strings, voice, ensemble...). Fingers crossed for them all! The hall here is always a rewarding place to play and Overseas House provides gorgeous surroundings. February is always a busy time for competitions and auditions - a nice way of being sure to bump into other accompanists doing the loop as well!
05 Feb 2011
Pleased to see such a positive review (here) of Thursday's concert with the Berkeley Ensemble - thank you to the Leicester Mercury!
07 Feb 2011
Great morning in the studio with James Turnbull (oboe), recording Thomas Hewitt Jones' new Sonata Cimarella. Tommy himself was producing, so the composer's input was never far from hand! This will be part of the next CD of Tommy's music, due for release in April. His previous disc, Under the Milkwood Tree, has met with great success, and details of his other work (including composing for the Olympics trailers!) can be found on his own website.
07 Feb 2011
In and out of the National Opera Studio at the moment playing for people's auditions there; good luck to all!
08 Feb 2011
Back in sunny Brighton, this time for a concert with Marielle Way, flautist. The Chapel Royal is a beautiful, intimate, resonant venue and the lunchtime concert series seems to have a great following as it was packed out for this recital. It was a good chance to revisit some repertoire from last year (sonatas of Bach and Poulenc) but also in particular to add Frank Martin's Ballade, a devastatingly haunting piece of musical drama and beauty.
13 Feb 2011
Music at St Peter's has again proved to be a great success this weekend. Another sizeable audience warmed the atmosphere in the freezing cold church (the heating was broken...) and were hugely appreciative of performances by Laura Kelly (mezzo-soprano) and Matthew Lowe (cello), ranging from Beethoven's C major sonata to Scottish folksongs. Particular thanks to Matthew for stepping in at short notice! Each of these concerts raises money for a different local cause, and this time a substantial cheque was sent to the church's own Church Centre Appeal. The next in this series is on June 25th - performers to be announced in due course!
15 Feb 2011
Stepped in at the last minute for a recital with James Turnbull (oboe) at Luton Music Club, held in the Library Theatre. It is always both daunting and liberating to be stepping in at short notice - this programme had more than its fair share of challenges (Britten's Temporal Variations, York Bowen's sonata, an arrangement of Ravel's Sonatine...) but it was a lovely chance to get to perform it, and to revisit some repertoire we have not played for several years!
25 Feb 2011
This week saw concerts in Brighton with flautist Marielle Way - a shared concert at the Church of the Good Shepherd, organised by the Rotary Club in aid of the 'Thanks for Life' campaign which combats polio - and at the Amersham Festival Dinner with violinists Alexandra and Charlotte Reid. Meanwhile, it's been great to put down lots of tracks in two recent recording sessions with singers Carris Jones and Oliver Hunt at The Forge in Camden, one of London's newest small concert halls.
27 Feb 2011
Absolutely delighted that Roberto Ortiz won second prize in this year's Mozart Singing Competition: it was a pleasure to play for him today at the Amadeus Centre in Little Venice, in a programme of Mozart, Schubert, Donizetti and Verdi.