Wednesday September 25th 7.30 pm
Elena Abad (violin) James Willshire (piano)
Kreisler: Recitativo and Scherzo Op 6
Beethoven: Sonata in C minor Op 30 no 2,
Brahms arr. Joachim: Hungarian Dance no 6
Admission free with retiring collection. No tickets issued beforehand
Elena Abad (violin) was born in Spain and gave her debut recital aged 8. She studied at the Purcell School and the Guildhall School and is currently studying at Trinity Laban Conservatoire. She has also won first and second prizes in several competitions such as the Vera Kantrovitch Solo Strings Competition, V Muñoz Molleda Andalusian Competition and XII Ángeles Reina Music Competition, and performed at the Wigmore Hall and other prestigious venues. She was awarded the first prize at the Leonard Smith and Felicity Young Duo competition with her duo partner Yaoying Wang. Her quartet (the Dréme Quartet) won second prize at the Cavatina Intercollegiate Competition 2018. Earlier this year she won the Trinity Laban Gold Medal as well as the Audience prize at the Trinity Laban Gold Medal Showcase 2019..
James Willshire performs internationally as soloist and chamber musician. He appears regularly at the major UK concert halls, including the Bridgewater Hall, Barbican, Glasgow City Halls, and Royal Festival Hall, and has broadcast live on BBC Radio 3. James's recordings of contemporary British piano music have been reviewed extensively, receiving universal acclaim. He has given world premiere performances of works by many prominent composers. James combines his role as piano teacher at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama with similar posts at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and St Mary's Music School.
Established at the Royal College of Music in 2018, the Maconchy Quartet is formed of prize-winning musicians passionate about championing works by undiscovered and overlooked composers, with a special focus on female composers. First exploring the string quartet cycle of Dame Elizabeth Maconchy, the group performed at the RA event ‘In Tune with Feminist Futures' to celebrate International Women's Day 2018, and were also featured on the BBC 4 documentary ‘Unsung Heroines' playing Maconchy's Fifth String Quartet, described in the Guardian as ‘haunting'. The Maconchy Quartet receives regular coaching from members of the London Haydn Quartet at King's Place and attended the Wye Valley Summer Residency course, where they performed the Elgar Piano Quintet with Daniel Tong. In recent months, the Maconchy Quartet made their debut at the Royal Opera House for their Wonder Women Family Sunday, and performed at the Stamford International Music Festival 2019. They also opened the 20th Wye Valley Winter Festival, where they performed works by Howells and Bridge. The Maconchy Quartet is keen to expand the canon by programming new and neglected repertoire alongside that which is well-established. To this end, they have given the world premiere of ‘Clouds: Fading Knowledge of the World' by Lisa Burgess, and were invited to perform at the inaugural Festival of Audacity in Birmingham which celebrates activism in the arts, bringing their repertoire out into the community.