After the concert, the Mayor of Woking, Councillor Derek McCrum, said of the young violinist jokingly, “I don’t think a thirteen-year-old child should be talented like this, but Coco clearly is”.  He continued, “I understand it involves hard work and much training, but it cannot be only that. I feel something that is driving from the deep within”. 

For the third event of this month, and our first ever Tea Time Recital, we invited violinist Coco Tomita and pianist Svitalana Kosenko. Wasn’t it just a loveliest occasion, on a pleasant spring afternoon, with a truly stunning performance from such a young performer and the full-house, family-studded audience?  

Coco is competing in the Menuhin Competition London 2016, which is taking place next week. She performed her competition pieces, hence it was not a conventional classical music concert programme. However, the recital was full of musical gems by all-time beloved composers from different periods.

With the very first note of the programme, the sweet and innocent looking 13-year-old’s expression quickly shifted to that of a much more matured performer. Her brilliantly set-up technique was a huge contributor, but she gave much more than a “technically brilliantly set-up young violinist”. She maintained a confidently good pace throughout, allowing herself plenty of space to breath, so that the audience received a clear indication that she was in charge of her performance, decision, and interpretation. With the fabulous pianist Svitlana, who worked and communicated tirelessly with Coco, the outcome was outstanding.

Bach’s E major Concerto had a rhythmical and joyful dancing feel to it, expressing some loveable melodies. 

Enescu’s Ballade was a real stunner. With beautiful vibratos on every single note, the depth of sound certainly drew the audience in and gently caressed the most emotional part of our senses. What an incredibly gorgeous piece.

Wieniawski’s unaccompanied Etude No. 5 followed. This technically virtuosic study was turned into a spectacular performance piece. The double-stops were secure, tone shining, and playful harmonies spirit-lifting.

I think Coco captured the characteristics of both Grieg’s and Beethoven’s Sonatas really well, though she only played the first movement of both. In Grieg’s No. 2 Sonata, she rose to the wave of Norwegian air; some really powerful sounds were heard. There was always a mutually natural communication between the violinist and pianist, but I felt this was strongly apparent in Beethoven’s No. 4 Sonata. It was lyrical and story-telling (all Beethoven Sonatas have stories to tell, in my humble opinion).

Ysaye’s sensational Ballades from Sonata No. 3 also glowed, and with an inexplicable magical touch Coco put in, everybody loved the violin and piano rendition of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons ‘Winter’.

It is clear that Coco enjoys performing. Although this recital was arranged as a run through of her competition repertoire, I hope she realises that she just gave humongous enjoyment to the more than fifty members in the audience!

  • J.S. Bach:  Concerto No.2 in E major 1st Movement – Allegro
  • G. Enescu:  Ballade (1895)
  • H. Wieniawski:  Etude-Caprice Op.18 No.5
  • E. Grieg:  Sonata No.2 in G major 1st Movement
  • L.van Beethoven:  Sonata No.4 in A minor Op.23 1st Movement 
  • E. Ysaye:  Sonata No.3 in D minor ‘Ballade’
  • A. Vivaldi:  Four Seasons – Winter 

Coco Tomita

Coco Tomita was born in Japan in 2002 and began to play the violin when she was four years old. She became a pupil of Natasha Boyarsky when she was six, and in 2012 she was awarded a place at the Yehudi Menuhin School where she has continued to study with Mrs Boyarsky.

In 2010, at the age of eight, Coco became the youngest contestant to win Third Prize in the Junior section of the Andrea Postacchini International Violin Competition in Fermo, Italy. Two years later, she made her debut appearance at the Cadogan Hall, London performing as a soloist with the Southbank Sinfonia. 

Svitlana Kosenko

Svitlana Kosenko was born in Ukraine and studied at Kharkov University of Arts with professor Meinikov and in Germany with Professor Mokatsyan. In 1999, she won second prize in the International Competition of French-Polish Music in Paris.

2001 saw Svitlana take first prize in the Smetana International Competition and was awarded a Special Prize for her performance at the Enescu Competition. In 2012, she won Best Pianist at the Joseph Suder Lieder Competition. Since 2014, Svitlana has been Accompanist in Residence at the Yehudi Menuhin School.