Charles Owen (pictured) is an internationally renowned concert pianist, but his first experience of appearing before an audience was in Marlborough when he was nineteen. Since then he’s played for Marlborough audiences fourteen times.
Now he’s Professor of Piano at London’s Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and wants to give some his best pupils the chance to share in the Marlborough audience experience. So, working with Nick Maurice and with David Du Croz of the St Peter’s Trust, a new music feast has been planned.
A unique series of recitals will showcase some of the new generation of virtuoso concert pianists.
From June this year through to June next year five star pupils aged between fifteen and twenty-six and a group of Suzuki students will have the chance to follow in Charles Owen’s steps and play at St Peter’s – on the newly restored piano. The series will open with a concert by Charles Owen on Sunday, June 17.
Charles Owen is certain that his Marlborough concerts gave a tremendous start to his career. And he has been able to play programmes here before his big recitals – giving Marlborough audiences sneak previews of his national and international performances.
He has a busy diary: in March he has recitals in Rome, Teramo, Arezzo, Trinity College, Cambridge and the University of Leicester. At St Peter’s Church in June he will be playing Schumann’s Carnaval and JS Bach’s Goldberg Variations. You can get a sneak preview at www.charlesowen.net
The concerts will raise funds for two Marlborough-based charities the Marlborough Brandt Group (MBG) and BUILD. MBG looks after the town’s link with Gunjur in The Gambia and supports development projects there – such as malaria eradication, health education and employment for women. BUILD is a national organisation encouraging links and partnerships between communities and institutions – from schools to hospitals to local authorities – in the United Kingdom with communities and institutions in other countries.
Five of Charles Owen’s students will be playing in the series:
Mai Charissa Tran Ringrose who was born in 1996, started playing in France aged five and continued studying when her family moved to Thailand. She now studies at the music conservatoire in Vannes as well as with Charles Owen. At her recital on Sunday, December 16 she will be playing Beethoven Chopin, Faure and Mendelssohn.
Mishka Rushdie Momen plays on Sunday, February 17 – her recital includes Beethoven’s Six Bagatelles, a Schubert sonata, Ravel and Chopin. Mishka was the youngest pupil to be accepted at the Purcell School and is now a postgraduate student at the Guildhall School. She won the Chopin Prize at the EU piano competition and in 2003 took first prize in the Leschetizky Concerto Competition in New York.
There’s more about Mishka here
John Paul Ekins’ recital is on Sunday, April 14, 2013. He graduated with First Class Honours from the Royal College of Music in 2009, won a scholarship to study under Charles Owen at the Guildhall School and graduated from there last year with Master of Performance (Distinction.) He will play Schumann’s Symphonic Etudes, Mozart’s C minor Fantasy and Scriabin’s 4th Piano Sonata.
Check out John Paul’s website here
The series’ finale will bring a group of seven young Suzuki piano students from London to St Peter’s on Sunday, June 30, 2013. Aged between five and fifteen they will represent the next generation of Britain’s concert pianists.
Tickets for each recital in this major new series will go on sale six weeks before the event at:
* The White Horse Bookshop (136 High Street, Marlborough, SN8 1HN),
* Sound Knowledge (22 Hughenden Yard, High Street, Marlborough, SN8 1LT)
or from the Marlborough Brandt Group (01672 861116 or The Dutch Barn, The Upper Office, Elm Tree Park, Manton, SN8 1PS with SAE.)
Tickets are £10 for the Charles Owen concert and £5 for each of the other concerts in the series. In addition there will be a retiring collection for the two charities.
(Charles Owen photograph is copyright John Batten Photography.)