The sixth series of Brilliant Young Musicians begins this month - more musical treats for Marlborough audiences
Recitals by visiting Brilliant Young International Pianists and Musicians at St Peter's Church, Marlborough begin their sixth series on Sunday, October 29 with the duo Judith Choi-Castro (violin) & JP Ekins (piano), who have both played in previous series - but as soloists.
The recitals raise money for the Marlborough Brandt Group which has worked in The Gambia since 1982, and for the St Peter's Trust which manages the church of St Peter and St Paul which was made redundant in 1974. The recitals are organised by Nick Maurice and David Du Croz.
This series of six recitals will run through to June next year. Marlborough.news asked Nick Maurice how it all started: "The series began thanks to the pianist Charles Owen who first played for a Marlborough audience in 1987 while still a student at the Yehudi Menuhin School."
Owen said his Marlborough recitals gave him the chance to try out new pieces and programmes - and had enhanced his career. In 2013 Owen became Professor of Piano at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
"Then", says Nick Maurice, "Charles asked if we would do the same for his outstanding piano students and thus 'Brilliant Young Pianists in St Peter's Church' was born. Now we have been rather overtaken by musicians saying 'Please can I come back and bring a duo or trio?'."
The series has also added 'International' to its title: "We've been pleased with the international reputation we now have which means young musicians from Azerbaijan, China, Canary Islands, France, US and Russia are asking to play. For the coming season we shall be including three new young pianists recommended by Charles Owen."
The recitals have survived thanks to local sponsorship: "We are grateful to Robert Hiscox and Hiscox Insurance who have very generously supported the series for the past four years and are now so grateful to Elisabeth Clemency Cross who has said she has had so much pleasure from attending the recitals she wants to sponsor them."
Elisabeth Clemency Cross has lived in Marlborough for fifteen years - and is within walking distance of St Peter's Church. As she told marlborough.news, she is devoted to classical music: "I have to have music everyday - especially a piece by Bach. I get up to music with Radio 3. Music is my passion - definitely."
She has been a very regular member of the audience for the St Peter's Church recitals: "I knew they were looking for a sponsor and I asked one company I know, but they'd already donated their annual allowance. So I said 'Could I please do it? I'd be so thrilled'. They're all so good. They really are brilliant - so very talented."
A number of people buy a season ticket at a reduced price. "That's because," says Nick Maurice, "they so love hearing the young musicians in such intimate surroundings."
"As one member of the audience told me 'I feel at these recitals, because I am so up close to the performers that I am almost a part of the performance. It is as though there is a conversation going on between the performers with the occasional smile (at that lovely Schubert phrase) or frown (at a difficult passage coming up) between them - and I am a part of that conversation albeit only listening in'."
Details of the musicians, tickets etc can be found at the marlborough.news What's On calendar for each of the series' dates:
29 October 2017: Judith Choi-Castro (violin) & JP Ekins (piano)
4 January 2018: Mathilde Milwidsky (violin) & Somi Kim (piano)
18 February 2018: Jessica Zhu (piano)
15 April 2018: Harry Nowakowski Fox (piano) & Alisa Liubarskaya (cello)
13 May 2018: Brieuc Vourch (violin) & Nathanael Gouin (piano)
10 June 2018: Leigh Michelow (soprano) & Henry Seaman (piano)
Click each listing above for details