BBC Music Magazine Shortlist

February 7th, 2018

Alec and I have been shortlisted for the BBC Music Magazine Award in the Chamber category for our CD “A Noble and Melancholy Instrument”, the one with all the historical instruments, see below post. We’re delighted – do vote for us if you feel so inclined!

Sally Beamish up a mountain

November 1st, 2017

The Swiss village of Ernen, at an altitude of 4000 feet, hosts an incredible festival every summer, and I’ve been playing there annually for some years as part of a very special extended family of musicians. Last August was a particular thrill – playing Sally Beamish’s stunning concerto “Hill Stanzas” along with so many friends including Sally herself. The work is inspired by the writing of Nan Shepherd and of some Scottish mountains – the Cairngorms – and is in four movements: Water; Sleep; Glamourie; the Tailors’ Stone.

Köln Recording, Time Travel

January 30th, 2016

A green lowland of pianos

A green lowland of pianos

Here, a photo of my four esteemed colleagues this January, who guided me through the recording of 19th C. works for piano(s) and horn(s) with the incredible horn-magician Alec Frank-Gemmill. Pictured, in various states of recline – back row: Bechstein, 1890’s; Blüthner, 1860’s; Streicher, 1840’s; at the front, the Diva: Lagrassa, 1810’s. This was a crazy project – extravagant, challenging, educational, and so extremely enjoyable.  Thanks to Edwin Beunk, Frank Andriessen and Bart Hourtgraaf for allowing me on these exquisite instruments – I hope to be reunited with them soon. The resulting CD to be released on BIS in March 2017. Wait till you see the funny horns!

A busy summer…

August 20th, 2013

I’m just drawing breath after a busy few summer months.  A joy to return from two favourite places:  Marsac, where along with Fiona and David Finch I arrange an intensive week of chamber music; and Ernen, a stunning Swiss festival high in the alps.  I thought I would draw up a list of the repertoire performed over the last 4 months, as I’ve certainly felt busy – this is the rather daunting result:

Rachmaninov – Capriccio on Gypsy Themes

Falla – Suite Populaire
Britten – Cello Sonata
Beethoven – Cello Sonatas in C and D
Chausson – Concert
Bridge – Fantasy Piano Quartet
Ades – Darknesse Visible
Schumann – Pieces in Canonic Form
Mahler – Piano Quartet
Brahms – Piano Quartet in A
Schumann – Piano Quintet
Haydn – Piano Trio in d minor
Mozart – Gluck Variations
Mendelssohn – Piano Trio in c minor
Ravel – Tzigane
Beethoven – Ghost trio
Ravel – Mother Goose Suite
Beethoven – Archduke Trio
Beethoven – Cello Sonata in A
Rachmaninov – Cello Sonata
Schubert – Violin Fantasy
Elgar – Piano Quintet
Bach – Ich habe genug
Schumann – Nachtstucke
Faure – nocturne no 6
Faure – valse caprice no 1
Schubert – piano trio in Eb
Haydn – piano trio in Ab
Korngold – piano trio
Faure – piano quartet in c minor
Schumann – marchenerzahlungen
Schoenberg – 2 lieder
Schubert – Fantasy 4 hands
Janacek – pohadka
Mendelssohn – trio in d minor
Faure – piano trio
Beethoven – piano trio op 1 no 1
Schubert – piano trio in Bb
Britten – young apollo
Haydn – piano trio in C
Bartok – 6 from Mikrokosmos
Dvorak – dumky trio
Alkan – duo concertante
Beethoven – cello sonata in F
Brahms – cello sonata in F
Macmillan – kiss on wood
Faure – cello sonata in g minor
Bach – gamba sonata in g minor
Schumann – Fantasiestucke
Messiaen – Oiseaux Exotiques
Dvorak – 6 songs
Ravel – 3 songs
Beethoven Sonata op 101
Schumann Fantasy op 17
Beethoven – piano trio in Eb op 70 no 2
Dvorak – piano quartet in D major
Schubert – divertissement on french themes
Brett Dean – voices of angels
Bach – theme and 11 variations from goldberg variations
Ravel – piano trio
Brahms – piano quartet in c minor
Dvorak – piano quintet
Hindemith – the 4 temperaments

Wigmore Hall Recital and aftermath…

May 11th, 2012

Tuesday evening saw my fifth solo recital at Wigmore, playing works I feel especially strongly about.  Anyone who has recently spent even a few minutes in my company will know of my obsession with the music of Fauré; his 9 Préludes op 103, seldom played, were my chosen centrepiece in all of their subtle, modest perfection.  By way of a foil, Schubert’s hyper-extrovert Wanderer Fantasy closed the concert.  I’m delighted with the and reviews, as much for their sensitivity of listening as for any specific praise.  Emotionally, almost as challenging as the build up to such an event is the void left afterwards, but this year I find myself immediately with Jacob Shaw and family in a rather Utopian setting for the Festival International de Musique de Chambre en Charente, where chamber music, wine and exquisite food offer much needed restoration!

Mendelssohn with Scottish Ensemble

October 20th, 2011

Starting on Sunday, 23rd October in Aberdeen Sound Festival, and ending at Wigmore Hall on the 30th, I’ll be spending a week on tour with the Scottish Ensemble and director Jonathan Morton, playing Mendelssohn’s Concerto for Violin, Piano and Strings.  The work is colossal fun, very energetic and fleeting, and has a rather high notes-per-minute count for the pianist!

IMS Prussia Cove Tour

September 23rd, 2011

I’m just about to leave for Prussia Cove – one of the most beautiful places I know, both in terms of its extreme landscape and the music making it fosters.  After a week of rehearsing there (Prussia Cove is a place where not just rehearsals are intensive!) I am part of a group who will play concerts on tour throughout the south of England ending, on October 6th, at Wigmore Hall – for full details check out the Concerts page on this spanking new site Henri Barnes has made for me…