Musician, pianist, and teacher with a delight in sharing music

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Rhapsody in Blue in Belper July 14,7.30pm

If you enjoy good choral music come to this lovely concert – Mitchell Holland is a super conductor who has really inspired the Belper Singers! The piano is a super small Young Chang grand which was donated, brandnew, to the Strutts Centre who are taking extremely good care of it! So from Schubert I go straight to Gershwin. I rememeber finding a copy of this solo version of the Rhapsody in Blue in a second hand music shop in Tottenham Court Road thinking at the time that one needed a big orchestra to perform this piece…but no! He wrote this solo version  himself and it is an absolutely super piece! Not far round the corner (in fact we have the first run through 4 days before this concert) is Shostakovitch 2nd piano concerto which will happen with the Derby Chamber Orchestra on September 23 as part of the Wirksworth Festival.

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Schubert in the Cathedral, Friday 16 June at 1.00 -1.45 pm – FREE

The poster below says it all – I am playing this piece (Schubert’s wonderful last sonata in B flat major, D960)  for the first time again after 30 years because I knew I would be in the right frame of mind for it – after 2 very busy festivals of a different sort I wanted a calm and wide piece I could really sink into, with the mood carrying me forward…I have also missed very much playing a ‘Lieder’ recital with one of my wonderful singer colleagues in Belper Music Festival as in previous years. The attendance for those had just been too poor to justify putting another one on. But what better excuse to play piano music by Schubert, the master of songwriters, instead? So there is my reasoning – and I have enjoyed every minute of practising this wonderful music. It is passion with depth and tenderness – just a wonderful combination. If you are coming do tell me what you thought…

June 16 Cathedral lunchtime concert

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8 hands in Methodist Church Spondon on Wed June 7th, 7.30pm

If you belong to our beloved audience that were dissappointed by our concert for ‘Music@Duffield’ being cancelled due to a faulty electric cable in the ground then fear not:There is another event, ‘Music for a Summer evening’ coming up in nearby Spondon Methodist Church. Jane Ford, one of our piano quartet will also play some of her pieces from a recent recording of music by John McCabe, AND she will perform on the harp – but there will be 2 half hour slots by the Derby Piano Quartet…we can’t wait! And most importantly: there will be STRAWBERRIES AND CREAM!!!

Tickets: £7.50 – available from Margaret Bools 674940 or Derek Turton 671427

Spondon poster


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Beethoven’s Greatest Violin and Piano Sonata in Sheffield Tomorrow 18.03.17

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After spending a year and a half working my way through this fabulous collection of sonatas, violinist Lucy Philipps has reached the final performance. In planning the series, the decision of which sonata to end with was an obvious one: the Kreutzer.

Beethoven composed the ninth of his ten violin sonatas in 1803, persuaded by the young violinist George Polgreen Bridgetower, who was keen to premiere a piece with him. Bridgetower had recently arrived in Vienna, and is said to have been an exciting violinist with an impulsive and brash personality. Beethoven was given very little time to compose the sonata, and on the day of the concert some of the movements were only just finished, the ink barely dry on the page.

The finale of the ninth sonata, an energetic tarantella, is the original last movement of the sixth (Op. 30 no.1), which Beethoven had set aside, considering it to be too long for that piece. It became the basis for the creation of the first two movements of the new work. The style of the sonata has shifted even further from the model of Mozart’s, and it is written in a style ‘like that of a concerto’. Both piano and violin parts are extremely virtuosic.

Following the premiere, Beethoven and Bridgetower had a quarrel, and so when the sonata was later published the dedicatee was changed to Rodolphe Kreutzer. Beethoven wrote that ‘As the sonata is written for a competent violinist, the dedication to Kreutzer is all the more appropriate.’ In spite of this Kreutzer never performed the work, saying to Hector Berlioz that it was ‘outrageously unintelligible’!

I am delighted to have the opportunity to perform the Kreutzer as part of the Classical Weekend in Sheffield with Lucy, who has written this beautiful blog, and who is a daring and dedicated violinist.

The concert is at 1.30pm on Saturday 18th March, in the Upper Chapel, Surrey Street, Sheffield. Tickets cost £5 and will be available on the door, although advance booking is recommended.

Visit the Classical Weekend website for more information and to book a ticket.