King Edward’s and King Edward VI High School for Girls were honoured to welcome world-renowned classical pianist Martin Roscoe last Friday to give a master-class to select pianists from both schools, as well as treating us to a recital afterwards.
I think that both the lucky pianists as well as the audience watching would agree that Mr Roscoe’s attention to detail was formidable and his knowledge of the repertoire was vast: he had played all save one of the pieces that were performed!
With only one ten-minute break, he taught for three hours, offering helpful tips and guidance as well as wonderful suggestions to improve the pieces played before him.
The whole experience of a master-class by such a distinguished and remarkable pianist was one of incredible enthusiasm from Mr. Roscoe and inspiration for the performers.
Abhinav Jain (Divisions)
The performers and their repertoire:
Naomi Bazlov: Chopin – Nocturne op.72 no.1
Jeremy Ho: Ravel – Jeux d’eau
Mark Li: Beethoven – Sonata no.8 in C minor op.13 ‘Pathetique’
Bryan Chang: Debussy – L’isle joyeuse L.106
Michael Luo: Beethoven – Sonata no.25 in G major op.79 (i)
Aloysius Lip: Gershwin – no.2 from Three Preludes (1929)
Abhinav Jain: Schuman – ‘Aufschwung’ from Fantasiestücke op.12
Lauren Zhang: Ravel – ‘Scarbo’ from Gaspard de la Nuit
Adelaide Yue: Beethoven – Sonata no.17 in D minor op.31 no.2 ‘Tempest’z
Friday, 9 October 2015
Ruddock Performing Arts Centre
Margaret Cookhorn, bassoon and contra-bassoon
Elspeth Dutch, horn
John Tattersdill, double bass
On Friday the Shells experienced an afternoon of musical wonder from the CBSO. Three of the top performers visited the Ruddock Hall to bring the stage alive. First we heard from Mrs. Cookhorn on her bassoon and contra-bassoon. She demonstrated the variety of tones and the key features of both instruments. Next was Mrs. Dutch on the horn. Some of the boys had the opportunity to play the hosepipe horn. Finally was Mr. Tattersdill on his extremely big double-bass. He performed very well and willingly answered our numerous questions. It was a memorable day and we look forward to more of these performances in the future. We would like to thank the music department for organising this great event.
Tom Hao (Shell)
Monday, 19 October at 1930
Symphony Hall, Birmingham
Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra
Maria João Pires (piano)
Riccardo Chailly (conductor)
Richard Strauss: Don Juan op.20
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Concerto for Piano and Orchestra KV595
Richard Strauss: Ein Heldenleben op.40
A trip for the boys of King Edward’s School.
Tuesday, 13 October at 1830
Ruddock Performing Arts Centre
Brandon Chao, piano
Enoch Cheung, violin
James Bell and Abhinav Jain, viola and piano
Naima Hamid, guitar
Jieyi Li, flute
Ivy Lau, violin
Michael Luo, piano
Lucas McCollum, drum kit
Nikki Nabavi, voice
Gabriel Wong, Eugene Toso, and Bryan Chang, piano trio
Works by Copland, Donizetti, Pete Riley, and Bruch; including Beethoven’s piano trio op.1 no.1.
This concert is presented jointly with King Edward VI High School for Girls
Friday, 2 October at 1600 — master-class
Ruddock Performing Arts Centre
Martin Roscoe works with the pianists of King Edward’s and King Edward VI High School for Girls.
Friday, 2 October at 1900 — recital
Ruddock Performing Arts Centre
Joseph Haydn (1732-1809): Sonata in D Hob.XVI/37
Ernő Dohnányi (1877-1960): Pastorale (Hungarian Christmas Carol); Rhapsody no.3 in C op.11 no.3
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827): Sonata in A flat op.110
With an extraordinary career spanning over four decades, Martin Roscoe is unarguably one of the UK’s best loved pianists. Renowned for his versatility at the keyboard, Martin is equally at home in concerto, recital and chamber performances. In an ever more distinguished career, his enduring popularity and the respect in which he is universally held are built on a deeply thoughtful musicianship allied to an easy rapport with audiences and fellow musicians alike.
With a repertoire of over 100 concertos performed or recorded Martin works regularly with many of the UK’s leading orchestras, having especially close links with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Hallé, Manchester Camerata, Northern Chamber Orchestra and with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, where he has had over ninety performances. Martin has worked with many eminent conductors, including performances with Sir Simon Rattle, Sir Mark Elder and Christoph von Dohnányi.
An equally prolific recitalist, Martin has also performed regularly across Europe, the Far East, Australasia and South Africa. His chamber music partnerships include long-standing associations with Peter Donohoe, Tasmin Little and the Endellion and Maggini Quartets as well as more recent collaborations with such artists as Jennifer Pike, Ashley Wass, Matthew Trusler and the Brodsky and Vertavo Quartets. One of his most important chamber music collaborations has developed in recent years: the Cropper Welsh Roscoe Trio. Together the trio have performed many times across the UK, most notably with several series of concerts at London’s Kings Place.
Recent and future engagements include appearances with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Hallé, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Singapore Symphony Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and the Munich Symphony Orchestra, as well as recital performances at the Bridgewater Hall (where Martin is an Associate Artist), Kings Place, Musée d’Orsay, Wigmore Hall and Festival of the Sound, Parry. Martin is also Artistic Director of Ribble Valley International Piano Week, and Beverley Chamber Music Festival, and will succeed Kathy Stott as Artistic Director of the Manchester Chamber Music Society at the start of the 2014/15 season.
Having had over 500 broadcasts, including seven BBC Prom appearances, Martin is one of the most regularly played pianists on BBC Radio 3. Martin has also made many commercial recordings for labels such as Hyperion, Chandos and Naxos. He has recorded the complete piano music of Nielsen and Szymanowski, as well as four discs in the Hyperion Romantic Piano Concerto series. Martin is in the process of recording the complete Beethoven piano sonatas for the Deux-Elles label. The first three discs have been released to unanimous critical acclaim. The Independent described the sonatas as being “all delivered with Roscoe’s typically scrupulous attention to detail and emotional truth”. The second disc includes the Waldstein Sonata, and was proclaimed on BBC Radio 3 as “one of the truly great recordings of the Waldstein Sonata” … “perfect musical judgement and a formidable technique from Martin Roscoe”.
Teaching has always been an important part of Martin’s life and the development of young talent helps him to constantly re-examine and re-evaluate his own playing. He is currently a Professor of Piano at the Guildhall School of Music in London and has just been awarded his Fellowship there.
Martin lives in the beautiful English Lake District. Being in this wonderful place provides inspiration and relaxation, and also enables him to indulge his passions for the countryside and hill-walking.
John Claughton, Chief Master, said: “It was a rare privilege for all of us to welcome one of the world’s greatest musicians to the school and it was an unforgettable occasion both for those who have listened to Brendel play throughout their lives and for pupils whose musical careers are beginning. He spoke about the nature of music and art with a wisdom born of a lifetime’s dedication.
“This school has a great tradition in music, producing exceptional players through a 90-strong Symphony Orchestra, providing nearly 20 different musical groups and a choir of 150 boys. So, to hear such a man in the beautiful surroundings of the Ruddock Hall was an unforgettable moment for all of us.”
Alfred Brendel at King Edward’s School.
He may have retired from the concert platform but Alfred Brendel remains a consummately communicative performer.
On Tuesday the pianist held 500 listeners in the palm of his hand as he delivered what was the fifth Tolkien Lecture in the magnificent Ruddock Hall within King Edward VI School’s remarkable new performing arts building.
Introducing his distinguished guest, Chief Master John Claughton revealed that KES Old Boy J.R.R.Tolkien in fact came from a family of piano manufacturers – a neat link as Brendel launched into a talk derived from his own masterly book, A Pianist’s A to Z.
Speaking from a lifetime of experience, Brendel addressed so many aspects of the performer’s art – how to balance intellect and emotion, how to observe the way vocalists and conductors cultivate and phrase singing lines (in other words the importance of a “cantabile tone – playing out of the instrument’s keys, not hitting out at them), and, perhaps most strikingly, how a pianist should take composition lessons from a good teacher in order fully to appreciate considerations of structure, notation and general cohesion.
Brendel’s talk was peppered with anecdotes and jokes, often mischievous, and always tellingly pertinent. He also included recorded examples from pianists he particularly admired (“on a good day, when the wind was blowing in the right direction for them”) – Edwin Fischer in Bach, Alfred Cortot in Chopin, and offerings by Schumann and Haydn where he didn’t identify the performer; modestly, perhaps they were from himself.
And his facial expressions during the Haydn extract illustrating humour in music were almost as eloquent as had been his fingers during the many decades when his playing spoke so much to us all.
24 September, 2015
Alfred Brendel’s Tolkien lecture is tomorrow at 1830 in the Ruddock Hall of the Ruddock Performing Arts Centre at King Edward’s School.
A final video, then, to celebrate this great man, and to whet your appetite. This is one of Mozart’s most powerful piano sonatas (his KV457), in a glorious performance:
With three days to go before Alfred Brendel’s Tolkien lecture, we have a chance to explore the artistry of this fascinating man.
When he retired from the keyboard, Alfred Brendel turned to poetry. Today’s selection is his poem, ‘Cologne’:
The Coughers of Cologne
have joined forces with the Cologne Clappers
and established the Cough and Clap Society
a non-profit-making organization
whose aim it is
to guarantee each concert-goer’s right
to cough and applaud
Attempts by unfeeling artists or impresarios
to question such privileges
have led to a Coughers and Clappers initiative
Members are required to applaud
immediately after sublime codas
and cough distinctly
during expressive silences
Distinct coughing is of paramount importance
to stifle or muffle it
forbidden on pain of expulsion
Coughs of outstanding tenacity
are awarded the Coughing Rhinemaiden
a handsome if slightly baroque appendage
to be worn dangling from the neck
The C&C’s recent merger
with the New York Sneezers
and the London Whistlers
raises high hopes
for Cologne’s musical future
With four days to go before Alfred Brendel’s Tolkien lecture, we have a chance to explore the artistry of this fascinating man.
Alfred Brendel was one of the first artists to explore fully the music of Liszt, valuing it not just for its virtuosity, but also for its musical innovation and extraordinary imaginative power.
Brendel describes Liszt as the ‘Romantic sovereign of the piano … [the] Radical precursor of modernity … the piano’s supreme artist.’
Today’s performance is of Liszt’s second piano concerto:
With five days to go before Alfred Brendel’s Tolkien lecture, we have a chance to explore the artistry of this fascinating man.
Alfred Brendel’s lecture is entitled ‘A-Z, A Pianist’s Alphabet’. In 2013 he published a little book of thoughts and aphorisms of a similar title. From this, today’s selection is Alfred Brendel’s entry for ‘Silence’:
‘Silence is the basis of music. We find it before, after, in, underneath and behind the sound. Some pieces emerge out of silence or lead back into it.
But silence ought also to be the core of each concert. Remember the anagram: listen=silent.’
With six days to go before Alfred Brendel’s Tolkien lecture, we have a chance to explore the artistry of this fascinating man.
Alfred Brendel was the first to record the complete piano works of Beethoven, and today’s selection is his mighty 1970 performance of the mightier-yet Hammerklavier (op.106).