St Mary’s Perivale Beethoven Piano Sonata Festival

All 32 piano sonatas played by 32 pianists to celebrate the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth in 1770
October 3rd and 4th 2020

St Mary’s Perivale is one of those wonderful little gems that once discovered you will want to return to again and again. For over 10 years now, this beautiful little 12th-century deconsecrated church has been home to a busy and varied programme of concerts, organised by the indetafigable Hugh Mather, a retired doctor with a passion for classical music. St Mary’s supports many young musicians at the start of their professional careers as well as presenting more established artists.

To celebrate the 250th anniversary of the birth of Beethoven, St Mary’s will showcase 32 pianists, who will each play one of Beethoven’s 32 piano sonatas – an incredible body of work considered to be the ‘New Testament’ of piano music. The sonatas will be performed in chronological order by a tag team of pianists, which includes Florian Mitrea, Callum McLachlan (son of Murray McLachlan), Ashley Fripp, Mishka Rushdie Momen, Julian Jacobson, Sasha Grynyuk, Dinara Klinton, Mark Viner and Julian Trevelyan. Many of these pianists live in and around London, which makes getting to the venue easier for them (sadly many musicians have been hit by travel restrictions due to the pandemic).

By having 32 different pianists playing the sonatas audiences can not only enjoy the variety and breadth of Beethoven’s musical imagination but also each pianist’s individual “take” – their approaches, interpretative choices and personality – on the music. Each will have something special to offer and all will perform to a very high standard.

This is not a festival which has been put together in a hurry in response to the limitations placed on public performances by government policy towards the pandemic: Hugh Mather has been planning it for months, inviting and priming the pianists involved to ensure they are fully prepared.

It promises to be a really wonderful weekend of music making.

This major Beethoven festival takes places over the weekend of 3rd and 4th October and will be streamed live from St Mary’s Perivale. For full details please visit the St Mary’s Perivale website

St Mary’s Perivale

Tucked down a narrow lane in Perivale, west London, a stone’s throw from the A4/Western Avenue, is St Mary’s Perivale, a beautiful 12th-century church. The tiny church became redundant in 1972, but has been transformed by the efforts of the Friends of St Mary’s Perivale into a fine music venue, serving west London.

Music events at the church (and also at sister venue St Barnabas, Ealing) are run by the indefatigable Hugh Mather, a retired doctor with a passion for the piano  and classical music in general. Hugh studied medicine at Cambridge, but was a chorister at Westminster Abbey and also played the piano and organ, achieving an FRCO while still at school. He subsequently completed the ARCM piano performer’s diploma. Throughout his medical training and career, he has continued to study the piano and gives many piano concert himself.

Inside the church

St Mary’s Perivale attracts an impressive roster of fine musicians, including pianists Viv McLean, Mei Yi Foo, Ivana Gavric, Karim Said and Rustem Hayroudinoff, and Leeds Piano Competition finalists Jayson Gillham and Andrejs Osokins. Concerts are free, with a retiring collection, and audience members can enjoy a free glass of wine and nibble, along with a distinctive “salon” feel thanks to the small size of the venue (it seats just 70 people). The church has a fine Yamaha piano, an excellent acoustic, and the audience can appreciate being closer to the musicians than in most other larger venues.

One of Hugh Mather’s main motivations for organising concerts at St Mary’s is to offer vital performing opportunities to young musicians, both those still at conservatoire and those just embarking on a professional career. The venue is also available for private hire and has proved a popular meeting place for the London Piano Meetup Group.

Full details of events at St Mary’s Perivale here