nzso20yevgenysudbin-4416

Haydn Sonata in B Minor HobXVI/32
Beethoven Bagatelles Op.126
Tchaikovsky Nocturnes, Selection from the Seasons
Scriabin Prelude & Nocturne for the left hand Op.9, Sonata No.5, Op.53

Yevgeny Sudbin, piano

Monday 13 November 2017, St John’s Church, Wimbledon

This was my first visit to Wimbledon International Music Festival, though I have been aware of the festival for some years. Now in its ninth year, the two week festival is very well established and offers an impressive roster of international musicians, together with opportunities and support for young and emerging artists. Concerts take place in a number of attractive churches and halls dotted around the hill leading up to Wimbledon village and are very well organised, with friendly helpful staff. This is in no small part due to the efforts of Anthony Wilkinson, festival director, who is, by his own admission, passionate about music and has created “a festival sharing the experience of hearing and meeting world class artists in the company of friendly festival audiences“.

The theme of this year’s festival is capital cities and Russian pianist Yevgeny Sudbin, who hails from St Petersburg, presented a programme featuring composers from two of the greatest European cultural capitals – Vienna and Moscow – represented by Haydn, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky and Scriabin. Vienna has always had a strong hold over the imagination of Russian composers, artists and performers, and although Tchaikovsky was born in St Petersburg, he spent time in Moscow teaching at the conservatory, which since 1940 has born his name, and where Moscow-born Scriabin studied under Anton Arensky.

Described by the Telegraph as “potentially one of the greatest pianists of the 21st century“, Yevgeny Sudbin possesses that rare talent of being able to move with apparent ease between different composers, eras and genres, yet always delivering pianism of the highest order, rich in expression and musical thought. I have enjoyed fine performances by him at London’s Wigmore and Queen Elizabeth Halls and have been impressed in particular by his performances of music by Scriabin and Scarlatti (Sudbin’s playing of this composer’s miniature sonatas is exquisite – poised, shapely and expressive – and confirms that this music can and should be played on a modern piano).

It is also rare to be at a concert where one is utterly captivated from the first note until the very last has faded to silence, but this was definitely my experience at Sudbin’s Wimbledon recital. He’s a modest presence on stage, restrained in gesture, so that the music can speak for itself. His Haydn was poised and precise, darkly-hued, the first movement paced to allow us to appreciate the composer’s rhetoric and wit and delight in the possibilities of the (then) recently invented pianoforte. The second movement was elegant, lyrical and intimate, while the Presto finale was delivered with an insistent pulsing intensity, replete with fermatas and false cadences to keep the audience guessing.

Beethoven’s Opus 126 Bagatelles were published almost 50 years after Haydn’s B minor sonata, the product of the same period in his compositional life as the Ninth Symphony and the late string quartets. Although a set of six miniatures, these are works of the profoundest emotions and a sense of “otherworldliness”, particularly in the slower works. Sudbin caught the individual character of each Bagatelle with supple phrasing and nuanced dynamics. The final movement, in E flat, was almost Schubertian in its expansiveness and long-spun melodies of its middle section.

More miniatures in the second half, this time by Tchaikovsky. Two Nocturnes and two movements from ‘The Seasons’, all tinged with a heartfelt poignancy and delivered by Sudbin with sensitivity and expression. Scriabin’s Prelude and Nocturne for the left hand offer the pianist technical and expressive challenges – to shape a melodic line with an accompaniment using the left hand alone. This was an impressive performance, graceful and intense. Sudbin launched into the Fifth Sonata with hardly a pause for breath. It opens like the Haydn, with a growling, rumbling figure deep in the bass, but that is where the similarity ends. This work is sensuous, and declamatory. Sudbin capered through it, artfully bringing together all the seemingly disparate elements and abrupt contrasts, from toccata-like scurryings to passages of swooning lyricism, and mercurial changes of rhythm and harmony (some of the more surreal tonalities look forward to Mahler and Schoenberg, who lived in Vienna). The final flourish was delivered with a cool wit and humour.

The Scarlatti encore felt like a palette cleanser after the perfumed excesses of Scriabin, played with an understated elegance and a wonderfully translucent sound, bringing to a lose this absorbing and varied programme.

(artist picture courtesy of the NZSO)

Guest post by Dinara Klinton

My life to date, like most people’s, has been continually evolving as a chain of decisions and coincidences. As a small child I was taken to the special music school in my hometown in Ukraine, and by coincidence to the teacher whose pupil my mother had seen on television a few years before, playing magnificently for the Pope. A few years later, another teacher decided to take a big risk to her reputation and started preparing my 8-year-old self for the Vladimir Krainev Competition, considered one of the most serious for young musicians in Europe and Asia. This time not by coincidence, but thanks to the hard work of that teacher, the dedication and wisdom of my mother, and obedience and hard work on my side, I won first prize, the youngest ever participant of that contest.

Three years after winning the competition, I was invited by Krainev to play in Moscow at the Central Music School. It became apparent that in order to secure my professional growth I would need to move there to study. During my Moscow years I met Dina Parakhina, professor at the Royal Northern College of Music. She suggested I investigate the possibility of studying in the UK, as she believed it would open up more opportunities for me, but at that time I didn’t feel ready to take such a big step. Some years later, when I was approaching my final year at the Moscow Conservatory, I randomly met Professor Parakhina again, who had started teaching at the Royal College of Music, and by then I felt the time was right.

My first year in London, 2012, was rather scary, and at points I felt lonely and lost – even after having lived in Moscow for 11 years and with a decent command of English. I found London a marvellous city with lots of possibilities, but completely different to my homeland and very competitive. Thanks to the friendly atmosphere at the RCM, kind care of Professor Parakhina and the Head of Keyboard. Vanessa Latarche. I managed to overcome my fears, and slowly I realised that my world view and piano playing had begun to change.

Upon completion of my Masters I decided to stay at the RCM for another year on the Artist Diploma course. What happened next changed my life, plans and even goals to some extent. At that time Michael Loubser – the founder of the Philip Loubser Foundation (PLF), ENO Mackerras Conducting Fellowship and RBS Nadia Nerina Scholarship – had been inspired to launch a new piano fellowship. It would be named, just like the other PLF fellowships, after an outstanding artist of the corresponding discipline, a figure admired by Michael. By coincidence I had an upcoming performance at the Royal Albert Hall’s Elgar Room, which Michael and his wife Catherine discreetly attended, following the RCM’s recommendation. It was mid-July 2014 when I was told I’d been chosen as the inaugural recipient of the RCM Benjamin Britten Piano Fellowship, which would generously cover my study costs and support any dream project.

Michael Loubser, Dinara Klinton, Cathy Loubser
Dinara Klinton (centre) with Michael and Cathy Loubser
A few weeks beforehand I had played nearly all of Liszt’s Études d’exécution transcendante for my Master’s final recital, after which my professor told me wistfully that it would be so great to record them. Being very keen on that repertoire myself, I wasted no time, and the Études were recorded in June 2015 at the Leipzig Gewandhaus for the wonderful German label Genuin. That recording took place in between my performance of Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No.3 with the Philharmonia Orchestra and participation in the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow.

I was on cloud nine realising my longed-for project and despite the exhausting schedule of that period, I neither felt tired nor thought much about the outcome of the recording. What did matter to me was ensuring I did it to the highest standards and met the expectations of the people who had so kindly and generously given me a chance. I also needed to find a way to stay in the UK as my student visa would expire in few months. Thanks to the PLF and the RCM who helped me with this difficult business, I was finally granted the Exceptional Promise visa, just a week before taking part in the Chopin Competition. I felt strongly that it would be wrong to leave the UK at such a pivotal moment of my career and after having been given such help and support here. The CD was released in March 2016 and I was pleasantly surprised by many complimentary reviews, including BBC Music Magazine’s “Recording of the Month”.

The most exciting aspect of this Fellowship is that its effects have been long-lasting, well beyond the end of my studies and the completion of the recording. For one thing, acclaim for the CD has led to more concert engagements in the UK. Michael’s true dedication to and love of the arts has shaped the Philip Loubser Foundation into something very special, where all past and current ENO Mackerras, RCM Benjamin Britten, RBS Nadia Nerina and TA International Ibsen Fellows are one big family of artists, who support each other. We all regularly collaborate through the mentoring sessions and by attending each other’s performances. Just last month the whole team assembled for an amazing Fellowship Weekend, which began with a photo shoot on the Millennium Bridge and continued to the Giacometti exhibition at the Tate Modern and to Shakespeare’s Globe for a tour and dinner. The next day we gathered at Michael and Catherine’s home for brunch and a lively discussion. Each of us described an object or experience that had most shaped us as people and artists. It was fun, thought-provoking, and most importantly we walked out happier and more engaging individuals.

It is truly inspiring to see the PLF family grow each year. Certainly my life would not be the same if I had not been blessed to be a Fellow. It is extremely rare to meet someone who helps young artists, and almost impossible to meet someone like Michael, who wholeheartedly devotes himself to nurturing the next generation. I much look forward to more life- and arts-changing magic happening with the help of the Philip Loubser Foundation.

Dinara Klinton was the first recipient of the RCM Benjamin Britten Piano Fellowship, made possible by the Philip Loubser Foundation.

More information about Dinara at her website

Further details on all the Philip Loubser Foundation Fellowships

Meet the Artist interview with Dinara Klinton

 

(Photo credit Elliott Franks)

Guest review by Jennifer Mckerras 

One of the great joys of lunchtime recitals is having the opportunity to see young performers at the beginning of their professional careers. And two such were given a prime performance opportunity at St Martin-in-the-Fields on 24 October. Chanae Curtis (soprano) and Ella O’Neill (piano) garnered a large and appreciative audience for their recital, including a half-term crowd of families with children of all ages.

Curtis and O’Neill began their programme with Beethoven’s Ah! Perfido, Op.65. They continued with Three Poems of Fiona MacLeod by C.T. Griffes, and concluded with a selection of lieder by Strauss.

Chanae Curtis has a truly superb voice: velvety caramel in tone. She also has a tremendous range of colour and force, which this programme fully exploited. The very first item (Beethoven) is a long and complicated piece for both singer and accompanist, and requires several mood changes. Curtis and O’Neill guided the audience through all the twists and turns of the aria, and received justifiably rapturous applause at its end.

It was, however, in the American repertoire that Curtis really shone. She seemed to relax and connect with the audience in a way that had not been as present in the Beethoven. The Griffes songs are perhaps a little less well known by British audiences, and really deserve to be known better. Curtis’ handling of the texts was deft and well-nuanced, though sometimes the very full acoustic of the church building caused the text to be lost.

Ella O’Neill is currently undertaking postgraduate studies at Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama with Simon Lepper. In this recital she was a masterful accompanist, and I think has a tremendous future. She navigated the twists and turns of mood in the Beethoven with aplomb, and her handling of the Griffes and the Strauss lieder was delicate and assured. O’Neill has a great stage presence: calm and unfussed, she has developed the gift of allowing the music to speak for itself. This is a tremendous ability in a player at the beginning of her professional career! She is also adept in giving both soloist and audience total confidence in her playing; one feels that very little could shake her.

The Strauss lieder were delivered with great assurance from both performers, and were hugely enjoyed by the audience. The encore was a spiritual, He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands, in an arrangement by Margaret Bonds. Again, Curtis found a new level of connection with the audience and the text – she positively glowed as she sang. It is a pleasure to see a performer wholeheartedly inhabit the music in this way.

The reception for Curtis and O’Neill was overwhelmingly positive; even the half-term passers-by stayed captivated until the end. These performers are certainly a pair to watch for the future.

Who or what inspired you to take up singing and pursue a career in music?

When I was a student at university I was expecting to begin a career as a classroom music teacher.  It was only through watching fellow choral scholars begin their professional lives in London choirs that awoke me to the idea that you could sing for a living.  My colleagues and I often have people ask us, post concert, “so what’s your day job?” but that could so easily have been me asking that question.  It was when I observed the early career paths of ex-students like John Mark Ainsley and Paul Agnew that it dawned on me that this was an actual profession and that I might have a go at it.  I have my wife to thank for giving me the impetus and courage in my early twenties to give up my teaching job and try becoming a freelance singer.

Who or what have been the most important influences on your musical life and career?

My musical education has been fairly sponge-like and I have been happy to learn from anyone.  My earliest singing teachers gave me a grounding which I never forget: Valerie Heath Davis was a chorus member at ENO who gave me my first singing lessons outside school and taught me how to breath for singing.  She prepared me for my choral trials.  Janet Edmunds looked after me during university and introduced me to this thing called Lieder.  One of her mantra’s was ‘Sing for the joy of singing’.  I never understood it at the time but I most certainly do now.  Then came David Mason and David Pollard, the latter introducing me to the idea that I could be a soloist and that I might consider retraining at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama.  All these people have had a huge influence on the direction of my life and career.

What have been the greatest challenges of your career so far?

I don’t feel my career has been that full of challenges in all honesty.  It’s not that I’ve taken the easy road, but that I have enjoyed myself in practically everything I do.  I try not to commit to work that I think I am unable to fulfil – something that is too high, too low, to heavy a voice type or whatever – and so far I think I have sung within my comfort zone. I have been surrounded by people who support what I do, especially my family, and this has made my life pretty easy, in the scheme of things.  I have no complaints.

Which performance/recordings are you most proud of?

I have very warm memories of Vaughan Williams’ The Pilgrim’s Progress at Sadlers Wells with the Philharmonia Orchestra, conducted by Richard Hickox.  The cast was magnificent and made up pretty much of my friendliest colleagues.  I hugely enjoyed that experience.  I also treasured being Billy in Britten’s Billy Budd at Opera North last year, directed by my sister-in-law Orpha Phelan and conducted by Garry Walker.  That was also a perfect storm of artistic elements.  I try not to listen to my own recordings in general; I’m very glad other people enjoy them but it’s too much like listening to your own voice on your answer-phone message.

Which particular works do you think you perform best?

I like the ambiguity of this question because it implies that, although you might think you play or sing something especially well, others listening might shake their head in disbelief.  One’s own perception of a performance is often at odds with how others witness it.  Sometimes I have been in vocal difficulties, have managed to make it through a show on a wing and a prayer, and people have come up afterwards and said how wonderfully they thought I had performed.  On the other hand, times when I’ve thought I was in glorious voice have sometimes been met with a friendly nod.  I have no real answer to this question otherwise.

How do you make your repertoire choices from season to season?

Repertoire choice is not always something over which one has final control.  In terms of recital programmes, I can offer promoters my current choice (and my Schubert cycle project at the moment is very palatable, it would seem) but even then music societies and festivals often have a particular theme or composer’s anniversary that they would like you to match and I do my best to accommodate that.  As for opera roles, I have very little choice in what is offered to me.  I can accept or decline the work; that’s where my power ends.

Do you have a favourite concert venue to perform in and why?

There are two recital venues I have sung in recently that have stood out in my mind as being exceptional and for different reasons.  One is the Park Avenue Armory in Manhattan, one of the wood-panelled, upstairs officers’ quarters that are used for recitals.  The acoustic was so generous to me as a singer, without being too washy, that I hardly felt I needed to sing at all.  The other is the small studio at the Crucible, Sheffield, home of Music-in-the-Round where I am singer in residence.  I love the intimacy of this venue and its re-invention of the concert space.  It re-defines one’s relationship with the audience.

What is your most memorable concert experience?

The 2014 Last Night of the Proms was very memorable although, when I think back on it, my time on stage was a bit of a blur.  What I remember most is finishing my last item, rushing back to my dressing room as the post-adrenalin hysteria began to kick in, changing out of my tails and into normal clothes and slipping back into the hall, high up in the audience, so that I could witness the last few pieces on the programme.  The atmosphere was electric.  I also vividly recall Peter Sellar’s semi-staging of Bach’s St John Passion at the Philharmonie in Berlin, with Sir Simon Rattle conducting the Berlin Philharmonic.  I didn’t have all that much to sing in fact but the experience of performing Christus right in the centre of that drama was overwhelmingly intense.

As a musician, what is your definition of success?

This is a question I sometimes ask of conservatoire students – otherwise we may not always be sure what it is we are aiming for.  I’ve decided my goal is to be happy, to be able to work with wonderful musicians at a high level, enough to live comfortably but not so much that the stress becomes a burden.

What do you consider to be the most important ideas and concepts to impart to aspiring musicians?

All the predictable things, really: professionalism, which means decent preparation, time keeping (as in one’s diary rather than being on the beat!), being an open, supportive colleague, self-discipline, that sort of thing.  Those things form the basic grounding that I would hope any musician, any person, would value as being important.  The idea that being an extraordinary artist allows one to overlook these ‘because you’re special’ doesn’t really wash with me.  Other than that, for singers especially I would promote honesty of communication with one’s audience as being something worthwhile fostering.

Where would you like to be in 10 years’ time?

Still working at the highest level I can manage but also ready for approaching retirement, whatever that may mean.  If that means teaching/coaching a little more, perhaps writing more music, then so be it.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

The knowledge that the people I love are safe, comfortable and happy.  A beautiful view on a glorious day with me striding through the middle of it.  I don’t even need to be with my loved ones, I am happy to be on my own in peace and quiet, but to know that they are content while I’m out and about puts me in my best head-space.

What is your most treasured possession?

I thought a lot about this question; in the end, I guess I’m not so keen on the idea of a possession being that important to me.  People are important but of course I do not own any of them.  So my answer has to be my voice.

What do you enjoy doing most?

This is a really hard question too; doing something for fun, like hiking a beautiful trail in wonderful scenery or doing professionally?  The most enjoyable thing?  I don’t know.  But It’s very likely to be singing, especially in rehearsals.

What is your present state of mind?

I’m content.  That’s what Billy says in Billy Budd and it struck quite a chord with me then.  “That’s all right, Sir, I’m content”.  Yup, that’s me right now.

RW: Here’s an extra question for fun.

If I weren’t a singer, what would I like to have been?

In my next life, I want to come back as a dancer.  I wish I could move like those amazing dancers, classical ballet, jazz, tap, latin, I don’t mind what.  And I wish I could lead my partner with confidence rather than have them tut, give up on me and just take over.  Happens every time!

RW: And another – is there anything you wish you could do better?

I can’t hula-hoop.  Every time I try, it has my wife in stitches of laughter.  It just drops off my waist and round my ankles.  Very embarrassing.  Also, when I try to swim front crawl but legs alone, with a float or whatever, I go backwards.  My wife finds this hysterically funny also.

Roderick Williams’ new CD, with Susie Allan, piano, ‘Celebrating English Song’ is available now on the SOMM label. Further information here

 

Roderick Williams encompasses a wide repertoire, from baroque to contemporary music, in the opera house, on the concert platform and in recital. He won the Singer of the Year Award in the 2016 Royal Philharmonic Society Awards and was awarded the OBE for services to music in June 2017.

He enjoys relationships with all the major UK opera houses and is particularly associated with the baritone roles of Mozart. He has also sung world premieres of operas by, among others, David Sawer, Sally Beamish, Michael van der Aa and Robert Saxton.

Roderick Williams has sung concert repertoire with all the BBC orchestras, and many other ensembles including the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the Philharmonia, London Sinfonietta, Manchester Camerata, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, the Hallé, Britten Sinfonia, Bournemouth Symphony, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Russian National Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, Academy of Ancient Music, The Sixteen, Le Concert Spirituel, Rias Kammerchor and Bach Collegium Japan. His many festival appearances include the BBC Proms, Edinburgh, Cheltenham, Aldeburgh, Bath and Melbourne.

In 2015 he sang Christus in Peter Sellars’ staging of the St John Passion with the Berlin Philharmonic conducted by Sir Simon Rattle – a performance now available on DVD.  He will sing this role again with both the Berlin Philharmonic and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment in 2019.

Recent and future engagements include Oronte in Charpentier’s Medée, Toby Kramer in Van der Aa’s Sunken Garden and Don Alfonso/Così for English National Opera, the title role in Eugene Onegin for Garsington Opera, Van der Aa’s After Life at Melbourne State Theatre, Van der Aa’s Sunken Garden at Opera de Lyon, the Amsterdam Sinfonietta and with Dallas Opera, the title role in Billy Budd for Opera North and at the Aldeburgh Festival, Papageno Die Zauberflöte and Ulisse  Il Ritorno di Ulisse in Patria for the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, a concert performance of Ned Keene/Peter Grimes with Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome, the Last Night of the 2014 BBC Proms, as well as concert performances with many of the world’s leading orchestras and ensembles. He is also an accomplished recital artist who can be heard at venues and festivals including Wigmore Hall, Kings Place, LSO St Luke’s, the Perth Concert Hall, Oxford Lieder Festival, London Song Festival, the Musikverein, Vienna, the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam and on Radio 3, where he has participated in Iain Burnside’s Voices programme.

His numerous recordings include Vaughan Williams, Berkeley and Britten operas for Chandos and an extensive repertoire of English song with pianist Iain Burnside for Naxos.

Roderick Williams is also a composer and has had works premiered at the Wigmore and Barbican Halls, the Purcell Room and live on national radio. He was Artistic Director of Leeds Lieder + in April 2016.

 

(Artist photo: Groves Artists)


Arnold Schoenberg – Drei Klavierstücke, Op 11

Pierre Boulez – Troisième Sonate pour piano

Anton Webern – Variationen für Klavier op.27

Gilbert Amy – Sonate pour Piano

ZeD classics

It takes courage and chutzpah to play this kind of repertoire, but James Iman clearly relishes the special challenges of this music, both interpretative and technical. He’s a keen advocate of 20th and 21st century music and his enthusiasm and commitment to it is impressive (we are friends on Facebook and his posts about the repertoire he is working on – from the “great” works of the 20th century such as Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time to newly-minted music for piano – are intriguing and exciting, and have also introduced composers and music hitherto unknown to me). While some may regard this approach as “uncompromising”, I prefer to see James Iman as an intrepid musical adventurer. So first off, bravo to him for committing this music to disc. It is not performed that widely, programme planners and promoters regarding it as “too difficult” or “inaccessible” to sell to audiences (my view is that if this music is excluded from concert programmes, how on earth can audiences decide if it is too difficult or not…..?). And for the pianist, this music presents special challenges in the learning and practice process –  as James Iman says, the works on this disc “lack almost entirely the comfortable octaves, thirds, and sixths of common practice music…..[and] the conventional gestures pianists are comfortable playing, arpeggios, chords and inversions, etc.” In addition, Boulez and Amy pose unique problems in that “they offer freedom for the performer to order the material — though this is within the confines are certain rules set out by each composer. This means that a lot of time is spent reading the rules and searching the score to understand the basic ‘lay of the land’“.

Iman’s adventurous approach is amply reflected in this his debut disc: here is piano music by four composers all imbued with a boundless spirit of adventure, experimentation, and innovation. Schoenberg’s Op 11 is the jumping off point for this pianistic and compositional adventure: the Op 11 had a direct influence on Boulez’s Third Sonata. Meanwhile, Gilbert Amy wrote his own Piano Sonata in the years following the premiere of Boulez’s Third. Webern had a significant influence on the way Darmstadt composers used the twelve-tone note row: Gilbert Amy introduces certain stylistic features of the Variation’s into his Piano Sonata. In addition, Boulez and Amy also make use of non-conformist scores – printed in multiple colours with innovative bindings they are almost artworks in their own right.

For me what distinguishes all the music on this disc (and I freely admit that I do not hear this kind of repertoire that frequently) is its composers’ interest in exploring and utilising the piano’s timbre and its percussive qualities – and this pianist’s acute response to this. It is not “tuneful” nor melodic music; rather it reveals piquant juxtapositions of sounds, individual notes, unexpected intervallic relationships, repeated motifs, rhythmic clusters, fermatas and silences. It’s all exceptionally well-executed, Iman’s playing admirably tempered to the resonances and micro nuances of this music, which is mirrored in the quality of the recording. His performance of the Boulez Third Sonata equals Maurizio Pollini’s animated performance of the Second Sonata at the Royal Festival Hall back in 2011. Few can rise to the challenge of this music and meet it head on with conviction, musicality, and a supreme alertness to its myriad details and quirks: James Iman more than achieves this. Indeed, throughout the album one has a very clear sense of his total commitment to this music, and also how comfortable he feels in this repertoire.

To those who claim this music lacks emotion, I would direct you straight to Schoenberg’s Op 11, played here not only with precise attention to detail, sonic clarity and rhythmic vitality but also a profound sensitivity to this music’s intensity, its fleeting writing and ambiguous emotional landscapes.

It’s no easy thing to be a specialist in 20th and 21st century music. As a performer the music itself is taxing. It’s also difficult to overcome the intensely visceral reactions people can have (the invective that can be deployed is occasionally overwhelming!).

James Iman

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Meet the Artist – James Iman