Charles Owen returns to Marlborough - bringing a Russian piano star with him
Charles Owen who, on November 8, will be playing a piano recital for four hands with his duo partner Katya Apekisheva as part of the Marlborough College Concert Series, is certainly no stranger to Marlborough. In fact it is fair to say that Charles Owen has become part of the town's musical life.
Nick Maurice, who first invited Owen to play in Marlborough writes:
His first visit was at a very young age in 1989 when he and the violinist Katharine Gowers played to a rapt audience in St Peter's Church on behalf of the Marlborough Brandt Group.
Since then he has returned to Marlborough many times playing in St Peter's Church and the Memorial Hall at Marlborough College, both as a soloist and performing chamber music with Katharine Gowers, the cellist Natalie Clein, the violinist Chloe Hanslip and other wonderful instrumentalists.
More recently he has offered to play in St Peter's Church for MBG's work in The Gambia, prior to a major recital in a London venue such as the Wigmore Hall and King's Place. He has quite explicitly said that it would be of benefit to him to "try out the programme" on the discerning Marlborough audience before performing in a major venue.
An example of this was when two years ago he played Bach's Goldberg variations in a public performance for the very first time in Marlborough before playing the same work in London two weeks later.
It was four years ago that Charles, now Professor of Piano at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, expressed his gratitude to MBG and St Peter's Trust for giving him the opportunity at a very young age to perform in public and try out recital programmes.
He said this had contributed greatly to his professional career and he asked if the same opportunity could be given to his outstanding pupils at the Guildhall.
And thus Brilliant Young Pianists in St Peter's Church, now about to embark on its fourth series, was born.
His recital with Katya Apekisheva in the Memorial Hall at Marlborough College will include music by Poulenc: the Sonata for four hands. Tchaikovsky: Suite from the Nutcracker. Ravel: Rhapsodie Espagnole. Stravinsky: Petrushka. This recital should not be missed.
Katya Apekisheva was born in Moscow into a family of musicians. She moved to London in 1994 to study at the Royal College of Music and in 1995 she was awarded the President's Rose Bowl. She was a prize winner at the Leeds and Scottish piano competitions and in 1996 won London Philharmonic Orchestra Soloist of the year.
Katya Apekisheva is one of Europe's foremost pianists, in demand internationally - playing concerto performances with many leading orchestras, and also giving solo and chamber music recitals. She has made many acclaimed recordings - notably her CD of Grieg's solo piano works.
Next year she will be co-curating a piano festival with Charles Owen at Kings Place in London. Like Charles Owen, Katya is a Professor of Piano at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
For information about tickets for their recital - and to book - go to this website.
Charles Owen and Katya Apekisheva