London, New York, Prague, Mumbai, Cologne – now Mishka plays for Marlborough

Written by Tony Millett.

The fourth recital in the St Peter’s Church Brilliant Young Pianists series brings twenty-one year-old Mishka Rushdie Momen to Marlborough with a challenging programme of Bach, Schubert and Chopin.  Her recital is on Sunday, February 17 at 7.30pm.

Mishka says she feels very close to the three composers she’s chosen for this recital: “These are works of genius – I absolutely love them.”

Now in the second year of her Masters at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Mishka was the youngest pupil ever admitted to the Purcell School at Bushey on the outskirts of London. More recently she’s performed around the world and has won a fistful of prizes – including coveted first place in the Leschetizky Concerto Competition in New York.

As Mishka told Marlborough News Online, she started her music training very young: “I learnt both piano and violin at school from the age of five and right from the beginning found myself spending much of my free time reading and playing music.”

“I suppose by the time I was ten it became clear to me that I couldn't divide myself between the two instruments and I knew my choice would be the piano. My violin teacher never spoke to me again!”

For five years Mishka studied with Imogen Cooper - as her only student.  She has also studied with Alfred Brendel and Nelson Goerner, and is now being taught at the Guildhall by Joan Havill. photo: Barbara Luckhurstphoto: Barbara Luckhurst 

How does Mishka balance all the necessary practice time with other interests?: “Being a pianist requires many hours of practice but there is also the question of thinking very deeply about the music you are playing. I also love to read and recently have been slightly obsessed with Angela Carter and I am very interested in politics.”

“I don't follow much sport apart from horse racing and tennis - when I was watching the Australian Open recently it struck me how much musicians can learn from sport about focus, discipline and freedom of thinking in performance.”

What’s ahead for Mishka after she finishes her Master’s course?: “I hope to make a career as a primarily solo pianist but chamber music is one of my great loves and I hope to do a lot of that too. I'm already playing professionally more and more and hope to build on that.”

This recital – in the series organised by Dr Nick Maurice of the Marlborough Brandt Group and David Du Croz of St Peter’s Trust – will be a great chance to hear a young pianist who has a  brilliant career ahead of her.

The series of seven recitals in St Peter’s Church is sponsored by Robert Hiscox and Hiscox Insurance.

For details of Mishka’s programme (which is not the same as previously advertised) and how to buy tickets click February 17 on our What’s On calendar.