I’m back from a restful and rebalancing holiday in the French Alps, and, despite the obvious Indian Summer and late heatwave here in London, the transition from August to September always signals the start of autumn for me. It also heralds the opening of the new season at concert venues – and there’s plenty to delight and engage the eager concert goer. Here’s a round up of some of the things I’ll be pencilling into the diary this month, and beyond:
8th September – ‘Hungarian Dances’ at Brentford Musical Museum. “The music of the book”. Readings from Jessica Duchen’s novel of the same name (read by the author herself) interwoven with music from the book performed by pianist Viv McLean and violinist David Le Page. The Musical Museum is offering a special discounted entry to the collection, on production of your concert ticket. Tickets £12 from the box office 020 8 560 8108 or Houbens Bookshop, Richmond 020 8 940 1055.
My review of Viv McLean in ‘Divine Fire’
24th September – Warren Mailley-Smith at St Martin in the Fields. A performance by candlelight of works by Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin, Liszt, Debussy, Rachmaninoff and Greig, and Gershwin’s iconic ‘Rhapsody in Blue’. Look out for my Meet the Artist interview with Warren ahead of his concert. Further information and tickets here
27 September – Nicholas McCarthy at St James’s Piccadilly. A concert by the exceptionally gifted left-handed pianist, including works by Bach, Liszt, Gershwin and Scriabin, and Nicholas’s own arrangement for left hand of Chopin’s G minor Ballade. Further information and tickets here
My Meet the Artist interview with Nicholas (from 2012)
The 2013-14 International Piano Series at the Southbank Centre kicks off with a recital on 2nd October by BBC New Generation Artist pianist Igor Levitt. Igor will be performing Beethoven’s last three piano sonatas. I will be reviewing this concert, together with Tamara Stefanovich (in Ligeti, Stockhausen, Messiaen and Boulez as part of the year-long Art of Noise festival) on 6th October. Other highlights of the new season include concerts by Cristina Ortiz, Boris Berezovsky, Tell Fellner, Paul Lewis, Andrew Zolinsky, and Maurizio Pollini. Full details here
Meanwhile, over at Wigmore Hall, I will be reviewing Imogen Cooper in Schubert’s last three Sonatas, and Alexandre Tharaud in works by Bach, Schubert, Chopin. As usual, there is a wealth of piano concerts, and more at the Wigmore, to satisfy all tastes. Full details of the Wigmore 2013 autumn season here
The new season at Sutton House Music Society opens with a performance of Schubert’s song cycle Die Schöne Mullerin by recent Kathleen Ferrier Award winner Gareth John. Other highlights include concerts by the Fitzwilliam String Quartet and the Roskell Piano Trio. Concerts are held in the intimate Wenlock Barn, and after the performance by the Roskell Piano Trio (on 22 June 2014), Richard Griffiths, the architect for the restoration of Sutton House, will give a tour of the house. Full details here
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Joy will be performing Beethoven’s Sonatas for Cello and Piano with her father James at venues in the UK and the Netherlands this autumn, as well as works by Chopin, Rachmaninoff, Britten, and living Dutch composer Jan Vriend to celebrate the composer’s 75th birthday. Full details here
Meanwhile, pianist James Lisney‘s wide-ranging ‘Schubertreise’ concert series reaches its journey’s end with a performance of Schubert’s last three Sonatas at the Purcell Room on 7th October. Further details and tickets here.
And not forgetting my own new venture, with my colleague and friend Lorraine Liyanage, the South London Concert Series, an exciting new concert concept which brings together professional and amateur pianists in a formal concert setting. The series launches on Friday 29th November at the 1901 Arts Club with a performance by Helen Burford. Full details here
This is just a tiny selection of the great music coming up this autumn at venues across the UK and beyond.