Patrons’ Award: Winners’ Recital

-Posted on 06.08.2014

Friday, May 23, 2014

Each year the Royal Academy of Music Patrons’ Award provides a Wigmore Hall showcase opportunity. This year the award was presented to pianist David Gray and Notus Winds, who will share the prize-winners’ programme at Wigmore Hall on Monday 2nd of June.

David Gray will perform a single work for the first half of the concert: Alkan’s Concerto for Solo Piano. When asked about his choice of repertoire David commented: 
‘It is so rarely played so a recital in Wigmore Hall is a wonderful opportunity to present it, especially given that this season marks the 200th anniversary of Alkan’s birth’.

David explained that while certain aspects of the piece are striking and rather bizarre, these are put alongside some very beautiful moments of original piano wiring. Sections of the piece are marked ‘tutti’, ‘solo’ and ‘piano’, requiring the soloist to differentiate and perform the roles of both orchestra and soloist: the 50-minute concerto is a real tour-de-force for the performer. This will only be the third time that David has performed the work in its entirety; the first time was for his undergraduate recital at the Academy.

Notus Winds will perform after the interval. This will be their second appearance at Wigmore Hall, after their debut in April as part of the ‘For Crying Out Loud’ series. Their programme centres around Françaix’s second quintet: both witty and elegant, the work blends all five instruments and moves quickly through contrasting colours and moods. They will begin their programme with Five Distances by Academy Visiting Professor of Composition Sir Harrison Birtwistle, a work with ‘instrumental musical theatre’ that immerses the audience in the music. This will be followed by Zemlinsky’s Humoreske, which displays more conventional writing for the quintet. Notus Winds will conclude with Jeff Scott’s arrangement of Piazzolla’s Libertango, where the players are able to play more freely and even to improvise, providing a fun ending to a challenging programme.

Previous Patrons’ Award winners include baritone Gareth Brynmor John, who was also awarded the Kathleen Ferrier Award in 2013; and Luka Sulic from the popular duo 2Cellos.

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