Author Archives: David

75th Birthday Recital: 13 February 2018: Viv McLean

The Society was founded in February 1943, so this is our 75th Birthday Recital!  It will be on Tuesday 13th February at 7.15 pm in the Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens. The pianist is Viv McLean, who will be playing:

Beethoven:  7 Variations on “God Save the King”
Brahms:        Variations & Fugue on a theme by Handel, Op. 24
Chopin:         Polonaise in C Minor, Op. 40 no. 2
Chopin:         Nocturne  in G Minor, Op. 37 no. 1
Chopin:         Scherzo No. 2 in B Flat Minor, Op. 31
Chopin:         Nocturne in E Minor, Op. 72 no. 1
Chopin:         Polonaise in A Flat Major, Op. 53

Tickets at the door are £12.50.  (Free for accompanied children 16 & under; £6.00 for full time students and those on unemployment benefit).

Review of Recital by John Paul Ekins 12 December 2017

Despite icy roads and low temperatures, a good audience attended the recital at Sunderland Museum where John Paul Ekins stood in at short notice for Grace Yeo, who was indisposed. Despite a busy schedule John Paul managed to fit in a visit to Sunderland where he delighted the audience with an excellent recital.

The evening began with two Polonaises by Chopin (in C Sharp Minor and E Flat Minor, op.26), and the Romanze (in F sharp major, op.28) by Schumann. The first half of the recital ended with a very refined performance of Sonata no. 8 in C Minor, op.13 (the Pathétique) by Beethoven. After the interval (and mince pies) the evening continued with a most powerful performance of “Pictures at an Exhibition” by Mussorgsky. The encore was the Chopin Mazurka no.13 in A minor.

John Paul Ekins last played for Sunderland Pianoforte Society in February 2014, when as a young pianist he was embarking on his career, which is now very successful. He has performed as soloist at a number of prestigious venues in the UK, including London’s Wigmore Hall, Royal Albert Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room and St Martin in the Fields. His concerts have taken him to all parts of the world, where he has performed concertos by Mozart, Beethoven, Schumann, Grieg and Rachmaninov.

John Paul was pleased to return to Sunderland and was very complimentary about the Society’s treasured piano.

Recital 12 December: John Paul Ekins

Our next recital will be on Tuesday 12 December at 7.15 pm in the Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens.  The pianist is John Paul Ekins who will be playing

Beethoven:        Sonata No. 8 in C minor (Pathétique)
Chopin:               Polonaise in C sharp minor, Op. 26 No. 1
Schumann:        Romanze in F sharp major, Op. 28 No. 2
Chopin:               Polonaise in E flat minor, Op. 26 No. 2
Mussorgsky:      Pictures at an Exhibition

(Please note that this is a change of pianist and programme.)

Tickets at the door are £12.50.  (Free for accompanied children 16 & under; £6.00 for full time students and those on unemployment benefit).

Review of Recital by Alexander Karpeyev 14 November 2017

The Society’s 75th season continued with a recital by the brilliant young Russian pianist Alexander Karpeyev who played a programme of music from his native land.

The recital began with 9 pieces from Visions Fugitives by Prokofiev which made a good opening for an evening of brilliance and power as well as intense musical insight into some rarely heard music. This was followed by Sonata-Ballade, op. 27 by Medtner, again seldom heard but was well received by the audience who were impressed by Alexander Karpeyev’s virtuosity. This is the 8th of Medtner’s sonatas, composed between 1912 and 1914 and was a good follow up to the Sonata Romantica which we heard last month. After the interval we had some rarely heard miniatures by Grechaninov. These were charming short pieces by a relatively unknown composer born in 1864 and was known for his liturgical works for the Russian Orthodox Church. We then had some Rachmaninov; Fragments, Etude-Tableaux and part of All-Night Vigil op.37, all beautifully played. The evening finished with Three Movements from Petrouchka by Stravinsky which made a very good end to an exciting recital. These were played with such power and ability that the audience demanded an encore which was a March by Medtner.

Alexander Karpeyev began playing the piano at the age of 7 and in 2000 he entered the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory. In 2005 he won a scholarship to the Guildhall School of Music and Drama where he studied with Joan Havill. He has won many competitions and performed in all major cities as well as being Artistic Director of the Medtner Festival in London. The second Medtner Festival will be celebrated 26-27 November,2017.   WWW.MEDTNERFEST.CO.UK

Altogether, a wonderful evening and a pianist to watch.

Lily Scott

Recital 14 November: Alexander Karpeyev

Our next recital will be on Tuesday 14 November at 7.15 pm in the Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens.  The pianist is Alexander Karpeyev who will be playing

Prokofiev:          Vision Fugitives Op.22  (selection)
Medtner:            Sonata-Ballade Op.27
Grechaninov:    Pieces from Op.78 and Op.61
Rachmaninov:  Nyne Otpuschayeshi from All Night Vigil Op.37
Rachmaninov:  Études-Tableaux Op.39 no.7
Stravinsky:        Three movements from Petrouchka

Review of Recital by Dinara Klinton 24 October 2017

The 75th season of the Sunderland Pianoforte Society continued with a recital given by the young Russian pianist Dinara Klinton and this was an evening of sheer perfection from beginning to end. Anyone who missed this recital missed a treat.

Born in Ukraine, Dinara Klinton started her piano lessons at the age of 5 and a year later she entered the Kharkiv Special Secondary Music School. After graduating from the Moscow Central Music School, where she studied between 2001 and 2007 with Valery Pyasetsky, she went on to graduate with honours from the Moscow Sate Conservatory. Dinara has been awarded a Master of Performance Degree by the Royal College of Music and has completed the Artist Diploma in Performance course under the tutelage of Dina Parakhina. As well as winning many competitions, Dinara has toured extensively.

The evening began with a beautiful performance of the Bach Partita No.1 in B Flat, played with careful pedalling which never at any time affected the clarity. This was a popular work enjoyed by everyone. Then came the Medtner Sonata Romantica in B flat minor which was quite a revelation as many of the audience had not heard this before. Sadly, Medtner’s music is not widely performed even in Russia. Like many artists, Medtner emigrated from Russia in 1919 after the revolution and after his death in England his wife returned his entire archive to his homeland. In April 2017 Dinara Klinton was part of a group of students working with Professor Dina Parakhina who performed the entire set of fourteen sonatas at the Rachmaninov Hall of the Moscow Tchaikowsky Conservatory. The Sonata Romantica is a very difficult work but was played with great power and authority. The technical difficulties presented no challenge and despite being a relatively unknown work to the audience it was extremely well received. After the interval we heard a beautiful performance of the Sonata in C sharp minor, Op. 27 No.2 (“Moonlight”) by Beethoven, which was enjoyed by the audience. The programme ended with two Transcendental Studies, Nos. 9 and 10, by Liszt, which again were beautifully played and enjoyed. The evening had clearly been a great success as the audience demanded an encore and Dinara finished the evening with Chopin’s study Op. 25 No.1 in A flat.

Lily Scott

The Society would like to acknowledge the support of Making Music, which is the UK’s leading organisation for voluntary music. Its Philip and Dorothy Green Award for Young Concert Artists has helped to launch the careers of many young musicians and the Society is grateful for the financial help they provide.

Recital 24 October: Dinara Klinton

Our next recital will be on Tuesday 24 October at 7.15 pm in the Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens.  The pianist is Dinara Klinton who will be playing

Bach:                Partita no.1 BWV 825
Medtner:         Sonata Romantica
Beethoven:     Sonata Op. 27 no.2 (Moonlight)
Liszt:                 Transcendental Études nos. 9 and 10

Tickets at the door are £12.50.  (Free for accompanied children 16 & under; £6.00 for full time students and those on unemployment benefit).

Review of Recital by Sarah Beth Briggs 19 September 2017

Sunderland Pianoforte Society celebrated the 75th season with a recital by former member Sarah Beth Briggs who delighted the audience with a varied and interesting programme. The recital started with the Italian Concerto BWV 971 by Bach which was given with great authority and clarity. The Mozart sonata in F, K332, followed this and again was given a good, thoughtful performance. The first half of the recital ended with the rarely heard Beethoven sonata, op. 90. After the interval we moved to the more romantic music and were treated to the Sonatina in A minor by Hans Gal, a composer who was born in Vienna in 1890 but moved to Edinburgh in 1939 and was one of the founders of the Edinburgh Festival. This was really beautiful music and very well played. It is worth mentioning that it was its first performance in Sunderland and well received by an appreciative audience. We then heard Two Arabesques by Debussy then the Schumann Arabeske, op. 18. The evening ended with a powerful performance of the Chopin Ballade No. 4 which presented no technical difficulties to Sarah Beth Briggs despite being one of the most challenging works in the piano repertoire. However, the audience wanted more and were given a soothing encore of Traumerei by Schumann.

Newcastle born Sarah Beth studied with the late Denis Matthews and her professional career was launched at the age of eleven when she became the then youngest ever finalist in the BBC Young Musician of the Year. Sarah’s playing takes her to many countries and she enjoys balancing a successful solo career with numerous chamber music engagements. Her most recent venture is a piano duet partnership with James Lisney.

The Society is grateful that Sarah has been able to perform for our special season and we look forward to following her career in the future.

LS

Recital 19 September – Sarah Beth Briggs

PAUL-WELTON-2-909x1024(photo: Paul Welton)

Our next recital will be on Tuesday 19 September at 7.15 pm in the Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens.  The pianist is Sarah Beth Briggs who will be playing

Bach:             Italian Concerto BWV 971
Mozart:        Sonata in F K332
Beethoven: Sonata in E minor Op.90
Hans Gál:     Sonatina in A minor Op.58 no.2
Debussy:      Two Arabesques
Schumann:  Arabeske Op.18
Chopin:         Ballade no.4

Tickets at the door are £12.50.  (Free for accompanied children 16 & under; £6.00 for full time students and those on unemployment benefit).   Membership for the 2017-18 season is available at £60 for all seven recitals – see the ‘Membership & Contact’ page on the menu at the top of this page.

Review of recital by Joseph Houston 25 April 2017

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The final recital of the season was given by Joseph Houston, a brilliant young pianist based in London and Berlin. A good appreciative audience enjoyed a very interesting first half of the recital which was quite unique as it was presented with a combination of composers and it was played without the interruption of applause. This worked very well, being varied and well thought out.

The recital opened with ‘La Cathedrale Engloutie’ by Debussy to be followed by ‘With Drums and Pipes’ by Bartok. We then heard the Intermezzo in Emajor, op. 116 No.4 by Brahms and returned to Debussy for ‘Ce qu’a vu le vent d’ouest’ and ‘Les sons et parfums tournent dans l’air du soir’. Returning to Brahms, we heard the ‘Capriccio in G minor, Op.116 No.3’ then Bartok’s ‘The Night’s Music’ and ‘The Chase’ The first half of the recital ended with’Les cloches de Geneve’ by Liszt and to hear this collection of such varied music, played without applause was quite refreshing.

After the interval we heard the ‘Sonata op.2 no.2 by Beethoven which was given a lively performance and the evening ended with ‘Ballade No. 4’ by Chopin which was played with great style and power. This is Joseph Houston’s second visit to the Society and he has always impressed the audience with his brilliant technique and musicianship but most notable is his subtle and clever use of pedal which is always used with great care. Altogether a good end to the season.

The Society is most grateful for the financial support given by the City of Sunderland which enables and enriches the quality of music and the arts to continue.

Lily Scott.