The Sunderland Pianoforte Society was given the opportunity to be one of the venues for a Spanish-sponsored world concert tour of the prize-winning Moreno-Gistain Piano Duo. Juan and José Moreno-Gistain make up this ‘four-hands-one-piano’ duo and they are brothers (in their twenties) who have each individually won important competition prizes, and on this tour working around the globe as musical ambassadors of their country. They had just completed their week-long tour of the U.S.A. section of their world tour and Sunderland was to be their first port of call in the U.K.
The Society decided to make this a real international community event by getting in touch with “International Community of Sunderland” (ICOS) and inviting as many as wished to come as guests of the Society. The offer was taken up enthusiastically by the Polish section of ICOS.
A good-sized audience in the Winter Gardens enjoyed a most successful evening of superb music, wonderfully played on the Society’s world famous Steinway Concert Grand, consisting of works from European countries all inspired by Spanish culture, melodies and rhythms. Another fascinating and quite unusual aspect of the programme (Title:”Spanish Inspirations”) was the fact that all the works were written for orchestra and transcribed for Piano Duo. Composers represented were Glinka and Rimsky-Korsakov from Russia, Walton from England, Ravel from France and De Falla from Spain – all played by two brilliant young musicians from his own country.
Juan and José responded to the enthusiastic audience applause with no less than three encores: Piazolla from Argentina, Schumann from Germany and Ravel from France.
There were fifteen members of the Polish community in Sunderland attended the concert as guests who insisted on having photograph mementoes of the event afterwards. So lots of happy pictures were taken with the Spanish pianists, the officers of the Sunderland Pianoforte Society and the Poles themselves, and, of course, the famous piano. A wonderful evening was enjoyed hearing fine music and making friends. What better way can time be spent?!
- Laurie Giles, Chairman, Sunderland Pianoforte Society