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Programme notes and pianist biographies
7.00 pm Ashley Fripp : Sonata in A K331
Theme and variations / Minuet / Allegretto
This piano sonata is one of the most frequently performed sonatas of Mozart. It is probable that it was created around 1783 when Mozart was working on his opera ‘The Seraglio'. Supporting this reason is the appearance of Turkish elements in both the opera and the sonata. Mozart did not miss the popularity of exotic Turkish music in Vienna those days, and introduced such elements not only in his opera but also in his piano music, hoping for better sales of his music. The Turkish march is not the only unique feature of the sonata. Unusual is also the first movement, being a set of variations, and the Minuet in place of the slow movement. In fact none of the movements is in sonata form. The sonata does not require bravura technique to play, and it seems that Mozart composed this work bearing Viennese amateur pianists in mind. The first movement, Andante grazioso, is a set of variations on a beautiful theme in A Major. The gently rocking melody develops into six variations of different character – playful, dark, peaceful and bristling. The second movement is a minuet. The writing and structure of the piece is a far cry from the simple minuets used in other works. There is complex counterpoint and audacious harmony employed which, combined with the irregularity of phrase construction, makes this one of the most original minuets Mozart wrote. The third movement is the well-known Marcia alla Turca, in A-B-C-B-A-B- Coda form. The B=part shows the Turkish effects : festive drums and cymbals sound on the piano evoking a joyful march parade.
British pianist Ashley Fripp has performed extensively as recitalist, chamber musician and concerto soloist throughout Europe, Asia, North America, Africa and Australia in many of the world's most prestigious concert halls. Highlights include the Carnegie Hall (New York), Musikverein (Vienna), Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), the Philharmonie halls of Cologne, Paris, Luxembourg and Warsaw, the Bozar (Brussels), the Royal Festival, Barbican and Wigmore Halls (London). He has won prizes at more than a dozen national and international competitions, including at the Hamamatsu (Japan), Birmingham and Leeds International Piano Competitions, the Royal Over-Seas League Competition, the Concours Européen de Piano (France) and the coveted Gold Medal from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. In 2013, Ashley won the Worshipful Company of Musicians' highest award, The Prince's Prize, and was chosen as a ‘Rising Star' by the European Concert Hall Organisation (ECHO). He has also performed in the Chipping Campden, Edinburgh, Brighton, Bath, City of London and St. Magnus International Festivals as well as the Oxford International Piano Festival and the Festival Pontino di Musica (Italy). A frequent guest on broadcasting networks, Ashley has appeared on BBC television and radio, Euroclassical, Eurovision TV and the national radio stations of Hungary, Spain, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Belgium and Portugal. Ashley Fripp studied at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama with Ronan O'Hora and at the Scuola di Musica di Fiesole (Italy) with Eliso Virsaladze. In 2022 he was awarded a doctorate for his research into the music of Thomas Adès.
7.25 pm Parvis Hejazi : Sonata in F K332
Allegro / Adagio / Allegro
In 1781 Mozart, at the age of 25, moved from Salzburg to Vienna and started his mature creative activities. This is one of his sonatas which are presumed to have been composed between 1781 and 1783, his first years in Vienna. The pleasant first subject, a graceful melody in ¾ time, is followed by sudden ‘Mannheim rockets', upwardly surging figurations. The innocent second subject in C major seems to try to calm down the disturbance. The development does no offer dramatic struggles, but gently introduces the second subject again, and after a building up a tension, the soothing first melody renders everything peaceful. The beautiful slow movement with its tender aria-like melody , lacks a more dramatic middle section, so as not to disturb the atmosphere of peaceful quietness and unclouded beauty of sound. The finale presents a whirlwind of sixteenth notes in 6/8 time. It presents a fine display of virtuosity, and its exhilarating momentum never fails to make a deep impression on the audience.
Being a pianist and composer, Parvis Hejazi is known as a “rising star on the piano sky” (ARD television), interested in a variety of performance activities from solo recital and concerto programmes to chamber music performances and from composing to conducting his own works. He holds the Gerd Bucerius award of the Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben for being “a highly promising young artist”. Parvis recently won the Grand Prix of the 3rd International PianoArt Competition in Kiev. He furthermore was awarded the first prize and special prize of the International Piano Competition Gagny in 2017 and was also awarded first prizes in various national and international competitions in Germany. His performance activities led Parvis to prestigious venues, including the Laeiszhalle Hamburg, Die Glocke Bremen, the Robert Bosch Foundation in Berlin, the SWR Sendesaal Stuttgart, the Wiener Saal and Solitaire at the Mozarteum Salzburg and to France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, the Czech Republic and Israel. Born in 1999, Parvis studied piano and composition at the Junior Department of the University of the Arts Bremen. He received crucial influence from working with world leading pianists such as Norma Fisher, Jerome Lowenthal, Vanessa Latarche, Anatol Ugorski, Igor Levit and Lars Vogt. He is currently studying with Norma Fisher at the Royal College of Music in London with a Music Talks Scholarship, as well as grants from the prestigious Evangelisches Studienwerk (Villigst), the Hollweg Foundation and the Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben. Parvis is a Member of the Keyboard Charitable Trust as well as of Talent Unlimited UK.
7.45 pm Yuchong Wu: Sonata in B flat K333
Allegro / Andante / Allegretto
Mozart wrote this sonata in the summer of 1778, during his stay in Paris. Its close resemblance to the sonatas of Johann Christian Bach is further explained by the fact that he was also staying in Paris at that time. Both composers had frequent contact and had great respect for each other. In the first movement the music flows smoothly with an amiable smile and an Italian grace. Yet the part writing and the darker shadows sometimes cast on the sunny landscape unmistakably bear stamp of Mozart's genius. The slow movement reveals intimate and deep feelings, as often heard in Mozart's works in E flat major. In the development the fragmented first subject is loaded with a brooding, even menacing tension, which keeps hanging as a cloud over the movement until the very end. The third movement, Allegretto, is rondo which has evident concerto-like episodes, notable the alternations of ‘solo' and ‘tutti', and the full-scale cadenza at the end, concluding this delightful sonata.
Yuchong Wu was born into a musical family in China in 1995. He began playing the piano at the age of four and made his debut recital at the age of nine. In 2010 he entered The Juilliard School with a full scholarship, and continued his study toward a bachelor's degree. During his time at Juilliard, he has been guided by Veda Kaplinsky, Matti Raekallio and Robert McDonald. Yuchong has also worked privately with Paul Badura Skoda, Leon Fleisher, Menahem Pressler, Robert Levin, and Murray Perahia. More recently he has been studying at the Royal Academy of Music. He is a laureate of numerous international competitions such as the Sixth Tchaikovsky International Youth Music Competition (2009, second prize), the Sendai International Piano Competition (2013, the special jury award and the audience prize), the Warsaw Chopin International Piano Competition (2015), the Leeds International Piano Competition (2018) and many others.
8.20 pm Julian Trevelyan : Sonata in C minor K457
Allegro / Adagio / Allegro
This sonata was written in 1784, the only sonata in the minor key, together with the A minor K310. The work is one of Mozart's darkest and gloomiest creations, full of anguish, drama and grief. The piano writing is of high calibre, calling for virtuoso powers, and already foreshadows the piano works of Beethoven. A bold subject in parallel octaves in the minor key sets the tone and atmosphere. No smiling and flowing Italianate melodies here, but tight, grim structures, moving on in inexorable pace. The second subject is in E flat major, which is transformed into C minor in the recapitulation, the minor version having a totally new strength and tension. The development rages towards a climax, and the recapitulation brings no relief, the coda ending into a dark abyss of C minor. The slow movement is a richly embellished cantilena, wandering off in distant keys. It gives the player the opportunity to give his own imagination free reign, a practice which is customary in the piano concertos. The last movement presents a syncopated first subject of restless and breathless character, followed by a violent outcry of repeated octaves and leaps, which mercilessly recurs several times. The tight and concise character of the music makes it all the more dramatic and effective. The code introduces still a new element which brings this extraordinary sonata to a violent close.
Julian Trevelyan is a British musician. In 2021 he won the Second, Audience and Mozart prizes at the Concours Géza Anda. In 2015 at the age of 16, he was the top prize winner, and youngest ever laureate at the Concours Marguerite Long. He has also won laureates at the CFRPM, Ile de France, Dudley, Dumortier and Kissinger competitions. He has studied at the École Normale Alfred Cortot with Rena Shereshevskaya, sponsored by Patrick Masure. From 2021 he is Rena's assistant, and replaces her in lessons. He also studied composition there, and is composer in residence with Ensemble Dynamique. He is an Alumnus of the Lieven International Piano Foundation. He has also studied with Christopher Elton, Elizabeth Altman and Rita Wagner. He studied musicology at Oxford University, and has a degree in Geology. He leads a string quartet, plays historical instruments and is part of a mandarin a capella choir. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, cooking and sports. He currently lives in Paris and speaks four languages.
8.40 pm Julian Jacobson : Sonata in F K533/494
Allegro /Andante / Rondo
The movements of this sonata were composed separately, and were later combined into what is now regarded as one sonata. The writing of the first movement is daring, using many contrapuntal devices and extensive harmonic digressions into far away minor keys. It recalls the works of Bach and Handel, whose compositions Mozart had studied closely. The coda shows some extraordinary chromatic shifts, before closing with flourishing triplet runs. The slow movement is in sonata form. It presents some of the most original music of Mozart, showing in the asymmetrical phrase structures and the strange harmonic development, which must have sound oddly dissonant to contemporary ears. The third movement, marked Allegretto, eases the tension of the two preceding movements, and is a pleasant Rondo, in which the theme is differently ornamented each time it reappears. The minor episode again shows clever counterpoint. A skilful, cadenza-like piling up of the theme is followed by the recurrence of the theme in the bass, and the movement ends peacefully.
Julian Jacobson enjoys a distinguished career as pianist, composer, writer, teacher and conductor. Trained classically at the Royal College of Music London (where he now teaches, as well as at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire) and Oxford University, he was also the inaugural pianist of the National Youth Jazz Orchestra of Great Britain. Julian has performed in more than forty countries on five continents. Frequently apppearing in China, he is Guest Professor at Xiamen University, and gives masterclasses internationally. A large and varied discography includes rarities such as the four sonatas of Carl Maria von Weber and the Violin Sonatas of Georges Enesco. He is Chairman of the Beethoven Piano Society of Europe and is in the process of recording the 32 sonatas. In 2003 he made history by performing all the sonatas from memory in a single day, repeating this in 2004 and 2013; he his planning one final “marathon” for 2022. He has composed several film and TV scores including To The Lighthouse and We Think The World Of You, as well as instrumental pieces and songs. His virtuoso transcriptions for piano duet of Gershwin's An American in Paris and Second Rhapsody, published by Schott/Bardic Edition, have received rave reviews; Julian recorded them in August 2020 for the SOMM label with his duo partner Mariko Brown.
9.15 pm Dinara Klinton : Sonata in C K545
Allegro / Andante / Rondo
This sonata, composed in 1788, bears the subtitle ‘Little Sonata for beginners'. Today it is known as ‘Sonate facile' and is popular with piano amateurs, often being the first music of Mozart to digest. The structure of the first movement is of notebook discipline. It starts with a singing principal these, followed by a running scales. The recapitulation is the standard repeat of the exposision. The slow movement is touching in its simplicity and through very modest means is still able to build up a moving climax. The theme of the short Rondo is reminiscent of the cuckoo's call.
Dinara Klinton is an active concert performer and prize-winner of over 15 international competitions. Dinara has performed at many major concert venues including the Royal Festival Hall and Wigmore Hall, and worked with such orchestras as The Philharmonia Orchestra and St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra. She has also appeared on BBC2 and on Radio 3. As a recording artist, Dinara has received widespread critical acclaim for her interpretations. Among many dazzling reviews, her album Liszt: Études d'exécution transcendante, S. 139, released by the German label GENUIN classics, was selected by BBC Music Magazine as Recording of the Month. Dinara's debut album Music of Chopin and Liszt was made at the age of 16 with an American label DELOS, and the most recent CD is a part of renowned recording series Chopin. Complete Works on contemporary instruments, released by The Fryderyk Chopin Institute. Dinara graduated from the Moscow State Conservatory, has a Master of Performance degree with distinction from the Royal College of Music where she studied under Dina Parakhina and where she now holds a position of Assistant Professor of Piano
9.30 pm : Roman Kosyakov : Sonata in B flat K570
Allegro / Adagio / Allegretto
It was not until after this sonata was written in Vienna in 1789 that the style known as that of Mozart's last years became apparent in his piano sonatas. There is no trace of splendour and richly singing cantilenas, as in the B flat major K333, or the tragic and overtly dramatic tensions of the C minor K457 sonatas. The language of this sonata is simple and clear with a deep inner meaning, nothing is superfluous or brilliant for its own sake. The music is not composed for the concert hall to dazzle the audience. The first movement begins with a calm theme in unison triads, followed by some conventional musical patterns. Two sudden chords introduce the singing second theme in E flat major. The recapitulation is almost identical to the exposition. The Adagio is reminiscent of an ensemble of wind instruments, notably the first bar's ‘horn call'. The profound, almost processional development of the music is interrupted by an episode in C minor, introducing gentle ‘sigh' motives in the middle a new theme appears, singing innocently in A flat major. The cheerful and lilting them of the rondo appears only twice, the middle section introducing a gay episode in staccato repeating notes, which could have walked straight out of the Magic Flute.
Roman Kosyakov is a Russian concert pianist, and Ambassador for Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition. He is a laureate of many nationals and international competitions: 2 nd prize in UK Piano Open International Piano Competition (London, 2020), 1 st prize in the 14th Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition (2018), Gold Prize of the 3 rd Manhattan International Music Competition (2018); 1 st prize and the audience prize in the 10th Sheepdrove Piano Competition (2018). He studied at the Central Music School in Moscow and at the Tchaikovsky Moscow Conservatoire. Since 2017, he has studied at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire with Pascal Nemirovski. Roman's performance career includes engagements in prestigious venues and festivals across the UK, US and Europe. He is regularly invited to perform with the Hastings Philharmonic Orchestra, the English Symphony Orchestra and The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. In January 2019 Roman received “The Royal Birmingham Conservatoire – Silver Medal” by the Musician's Company in the UK, became a member of Musician's Company Yeomen Young Artists' Programme. Roman is a winner of The Denis Matthews Memorial Trust award, Kirckman Concert Society Artist Prize and is a scholar of the Drake Calleja Trust. He has recorded a debut CD for “Naxos” with works by Liszt which was released in late 2020.
9.50 pm Susanna Braun : Sonata in D K576
Allegro / Adagio / Allegretto
Mozart played this sonata, which proved to be his last one, in Berlin before the King of Prussia Frederick William II, in 1789. The King commissioned him to write some string quartets and piano sonatas of a ‘light' character. Mozart only completed 3 string quartets and one piano sonata, this sonata in D major. It is far from being ‘light', indeed the baroque-like counterpoint makes this one of the most difficult sonatas to perform. The ‘Hunt' fanfare of the theme is used in the development in fugato-like episodes. The Adagio in A major exudes intimacy. The richly ornamented flow of melody and the strong underlying tensions of the music are characteristic of the late Mozart. The last movement, marked Allegretto, is a fine specimen of Mozart's sonata-rondo. The skilful contrapuntal devices and the virtuosic finger-work make it a worthy conclusion to this ambitious sonata.
Susanna Braun, born in The Hague (June 1999) to Swiss parents, studied with Helen Krizos first at Chetham's School of Music from 2012 to 2017 and then at the Royal Northern College of Music, where she completed her bachelor's degree with "First Class Honours". Besides, from 2016 to 2017 she attended the ‘Schola Cantorum de Paris’, class of Maurizio Moretti, where she was awarded the "Diplôme Supérieur" with unanimous highest mention and congratulations of the jury. Presently she is studying at the renowned International Academy in Imola ‘Incontri con il Maestro’ in the class of Boris Petrushansky and at the Conservatorio della Svizzera Italiana, with Anna Kravtchenko. Susanna is the winner of the 10th International Piano Competition for Young Musicians (Enschede 2018), received the NOB-Förderpreis (Encouragement prize from Neues Orchester Basel) in 2019 and among others won prizes at the Andrea Baldi International Piano Competition in Bologna, International Anton Rubinstein Competition in Düsseldorf, International Rosario-Marciano Competition in Vienna, Mazovia International Chopin Festival in Warsaw, International Competition Piano Talents in Milan, International Cesar Franck Piano Competition in Brussels. In May 2022, she will perform with the Philharmonic Orchestra “Mihail Jora” of Bacau, Romania, as part of the Città di Cantù 30th International Piano Competition. Susanna is the founder and artistic director of the International Chamber Music "Blenio Festival", which was realized with great success for the first time in July of 2021 in Ticino, Switzerland. Susanna is grateful for the support of Talent Unlimited in London.