Leeds International Competition Prize Winner Noriko Ogawa is not just an internationally renowned pianist who has appeared with all the major European, Japanese and US orchestras, she is a recording artist, chamber musician, presenter, educator and artistic advisor. Is her name and face familiar to you? You may have seen her as the keyboard adjudicator for the 2014 BBC Young Musician of the Year, and as a presenter for the Leeds International Competition 2015. She will open our eighth season with works by Clara & Robert Schumann, Debussy, Takemitsu, Chopin and Liszt.
I firmly set my mind on Ukrainian pianist Dinara Klinton as the very first performer for our new daytime concert series. Her exceptional performing quality always presents virtuosity of the highest calibre, power and energy, flawless phrases, and breath-taking beauty of artistry and subtleness. The prize winner at numerous international piano competitions, her most recent recording of Liszt: Etudes d’execution transcendante was BBC Music Magazine’s Instrumental Choice of the Month.
We are truly excited to present an instrument that has never been played before at Breinton. Twice Grammy-nominated saxophonist Amy Dickson was the first Australian to win a Classical Brit Award in 2013 and is a Sony recording artist with six albums on the label. She will perform with her piano partner Martin Cousin, one of the most exceptional pianists of his generation. Their programme includes Saint-Saens, Ravel, Piazzolla, Glass and more. It promises to be a refreshing and brand new experience for everyone.
Pianist Sam Haywood, who has performed to critical acclaim in many of the world’s major concert halls, is a soloist, chamber musician and Lieder accompanist. He is well known for his regular duo partnership with violinist Joshua Bell with whom he tours around the world. His most recent recording for Hyperion features Irish composer Charles Villiers Stanford’s Preludes, which will be part of his Breinton programme together with music by Beethoven, Schumann, Mendelssohn and Chopin. There is also a bonus to this concert – work(s) to be announced from the stage!
Responding to enthusiastic and positive feedback from our members and to continue our efforts to contribute to the community and support young musicians, we will be repeating the Local Young Performers’ Soiree for the third year. This evening, with performances by aspiring local musicians from our neighbourhood, is suitable for audience of all ages – so bring your family and friends! A perfect occasion to appreciate different instrumental, solo and vocal performances all in one evening, this is not to be missed.
Need we say anything about Benjamin Grosvenor? At the young age of 24, this international pianist is recognised for his electrifying performances and insightful interpretations. He has already appeared at the BBC Proms multiple times, having performed at the First Night in 2011 and the Last Night in 2015. Benjamin records exclusively for Decca, the youngest British musician ever to sign to the label, and the first British pianist to sign to the label in almost 60 years. He is going to perform Sonatas by Beethoven, Mozart and Scriabin, and some very virtuosic pieces. The temptation is huge….
Anna Tsybuleva was the first prize winner at the Leeds International Piano Competition 2015, one of the most prestigious piano competitions in the world. We are so fortunate to invite this truly special pianist who was selected from 301 applicants (291 from 43 countries and 10 from the UK), climbing through the rigorous competition process. Her final performance of Brahms Concert No. 2 with the Hallé Orchestra and Sir Mark Elder stunned the full house audience and juries. She will perform a full-length programme with a short interval.
Since our first encounter with the duo of violinist Joo-Yeon Sir and pianist Irina Andrievsky at St Martin in the Field in London, we keep hearing their name and successes everywhere and it was not a surprise to learn that Joo-Yeon was the first prize winner of the prestigious Sir Karl Jenkins Classical Music Award in association with Classic FM, and the Royal College of Music President’s Award presented by HRH the Prince of Wales. Having performed at Royal Albert Hall with Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Festival Hall, Wigmore Hall, Mancester Bridgewater Hall and other major venues, Joo-Yeon is currently one of the resident musicians for St John’s Smith Square Young Artists’ series. This recital is kindly supported by Making Music’s Philip & Dorothy Green Award for Young Concert Artists scheme.
When I was pulling my hair out trying to complete the planning for this series, I asked a conductor in my musical network for help: “I need a good cellist! Is there anyone you can highly recommend?” He answered in a flash without hesitation, “Philip Higham”. So here he is! The First Prize winner at the Leipzig International Bach Competition in 2008, his recording of Bach’s Cello Suites has garnered critical acclaim. At Breinton, he will perform the cello suites No. 2, 4 and 5. You cannot find anyone more suitable to perform an all-Bach programme. Definitely not to be missed.
Hong Kong-born pianist Chiyan Wong recently made his debut with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra in Prokofiev Piano Concerto No. 2 and earned all-round plaudits. He was the First Prize winner at the Jacques Samuel Piano Intercollegiate Piano Competition 2011, and recent laureate at the Premio Liszt in Parma. “Chiyan Wong is an exciting, original and thoughtful pianist. Nothing sounds ‘bought in’, everything sounds freshly but not self-consciously conceived”, was how Stephen Hough described him.