Review of the year 2017

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‘Tis the season for listicles and Top 10’s and Best Of’s….so here is my round up of concerts, CDs and other musical events which have delighted and intrigued me in 2017.

Having started the year declaring to myself and my family that I would be doing less concert-going in 2017 in order to free up time for my studies at the Royal College of Music (which turned into a very brief flirtation with a post-graduate course there), I found myself doing as much as ever. My ‘problem’ is that I love live music – I really can’t get enough of it and I’m fortunate in having a number of eager concert-going friends who share my passion, which turns concert-going into a wonderfully social activity.

I’ve tried and failed to keep a note of which concerts I go to each month (note to self to be more organised, perhaps with a spreadsheet (!), next year so that I don’t reach the end of the year trying to recall who, where and what I’ve seen and heard). Major highlights of 2017 include hearing Martha Argerich live for the first time, Richard Goode playing Beethoven and the London Piano Festival. In addition, I’ve forged new and very stimulating musical and writerly friendships and connections.

Here’s my list, in no particular order, plus some recordings I’ve enjoyed and other musical events of interest this year:

Pianists

Martha Argerich (a never-to-be-forgotten performance at RFH – impossible to put into words quite how wonderful her playing is!); Anna Tsybuleva at Wigmore Hall; Tamara Stefanovich and Pierre-Laurent Aimard at St John’s Smith Square; Maurizio Pollini at RFH; Jonathan Biss at Milton Court; Igor Levit at Wigmore Hall; Pavel Kolesnikov at Cadogan Hall; Richard Goode at RFH; Murray Perahia at Barbican; Leif Ove Andsnes at RFH; Graham Fitch playing Bach’s Goldbergs at Rosslyn Hill Chapel; Melvyn Tan, Ilya Itin, Charles Owen, Katya Apekisheva, Danny Driver, Lisa Smirnova at King’s Place (London Piano Festival 2017); Cédric Tiberghien at Wigmore Hall; Yevgeny Sudbin and Christina McMaster at Wimbledon International Music Festival; Ivana Gavric at Wigmore Hall; Peter Donohoe (complete Scriabin sonatas) at Milton Court; Daniel Grimwood and Nazrin Rashidova (violin) at St James’s Piccadilly; Helen Anahita Wilson at Shoreditch Treehouse; William Howard at Hoxton Hall and Leighton House (part of his Love Songs project); Kristian Bezuidenhout (fortepiano) at Wigmore Hall; Rick Simpson (jazz piano) at RFH (with Leo Richardson Quartet); Stephen Hough with Hertford Symphony Orchestra; Philip Leslie at St -Martin-in-the-Fields

Other concerts/opera

I Musicanti at St John’s Smith Square; NHK Symphony Orchestra at RFH; Gould Piano Trio at Wigmore Hall; Passepartout Duo at NPL Musical Society; Multi-Story Orchestra at Bold Tendencies (Peckham Carpark Prom); BBCSO (Prom 36); Anoushka Shankar with Britten Sinfonia (Prom 41); BBC Philharmonic (Prom 20); Elysian Singers at St John’s Smith Square; Pink Singers at Cadogan Hall; Corinne Morris (cello) at 1901 Arts Club; Joy Lisney (cello) and Laefer Quartet (saxophone) at St John’s Smith Square/PLG young artists; Martin Fröst (clarinet) at Cadogan Hall; Alena Lugovkina (flute) and Anne Denholm (harp) at Dorich House Museum; David Le Page (violin) and Viv McLean (piano) at Riverhouse Barn; Marnie (opera) at ENO; Rowan Hudson Trio at The Bull’s Head

Recordings

Krystian Zimmerman / Late Schubert Piano Sonatas (D959 & D960); Andrew Matthews Owen / Halo; Sadie Harrison / Return of the Nightingales; James Iman / Schoenberg, Boulez, Webern, Amy; Lucas Debargue / Schubert, Szymanowski; Marcus Paus / Odes & Elegies; Maria Marchant / Echoes of Land & Sea; Elspeth Wyllie / Enigmas; Nicholas McCarthy / Echoes; David Braid / Songs Solos + Duos / Hiro Takenouchi / Sterndale Bennett & Schumann; Ishay Shaer / Late Beethoven; Andrew James Johnson / Winter’s Heart;

Events and other musical encounters

Takemitsu Study Day at King’s Place; second Music Into Words mini conference at Morley College; Gramophone Awards Dinner; appearing on Music Matters on BBC Radio 3; weekend piano course at Jackdaws with Stephen Savage; playing at Henry Wood Hall with the London Piano Meetup Group; acting as a syllabus consultant for the London College of Music grade exams and writing teaching notes for the new ABRSM piano syllabus


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