Beethoven: Sonata in D, Op 6 (piano duet)
Schubert: Rondo in A, D 951 (piano duet)
Brahms: Variations on a theme by Schumann, Op 23 (piano duet)
Poulenc: Capriccio d’après Le Bal Masqué (two pianos)
Poulenc: Elégie (two pianos)
Poulenc: L’embarquement pour Cythère (two pianos)
Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring (two pianos)
For the first time at the Medical Music Society of London concerts held at the Royal Over-Seas League, we are featuring a concert of music for piano duet and two pianos, and are delighted to welcome the internationally known duo Katya Apekisheva and Charles Owen.
Described as a “profoundly gifted artist” by the magazine Gramophone, Katya Apekisheva has earned her place as one of Europe’s most renowned and gifted pianists. Born in Moscow, into a family of musicians, she attended the Gnessin Music School for exceptionally gifted children making her stage debut at the age of 12. She continued her studies in Jerusalem at the Rubin Music Academy and later at the Royal College of Music in London. From these auspicious beginnings she went on to be a Prizewinner of the Leeds International Piano competition and has gone on to enjoy a career performing with many of the world’s leading orchestras, including the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra, the Halle Orchestra, the Moscow Philharmonic, the Jerusalem Symphony, the English Chamber Orchestra and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, working with renowned conductors such as Sir Simon Rattle, David Shallon, Jan Latham-Koenig and Alexander Lazarev.
As a recording artist, Katya has received widespread critical acclaim for her interpretations from Gramophone Magazine’s Editor’s Choice award and International Piano Magazine’s Critics’ choice to Classic FM’s CD of the week as well as a Classical Brit award to name but a few. Katya’s discography includes solo and chamber works by Mussorgsky, Shostakovich, Stravinsky, Dvorak and Rachmaninov. Her latest disc is a collections of impromptus, described by International Piano as “a fascinating and engrossing album”.
Recent and future highlights include performances in Russia, Norway, Japan, Switzerland, Italy, Denmark, Germany, Australia and at home in the UK at the Bath Mozart Fest, St. George’s Bristol and the prestigious Wigmore Hall – where she is a regular presence. Her intense artistry and delicacy makes Katya a most sought after collaborative pianist, working with artists such as Janine Jansen, Natalie Clein, Guy Johnston, Maxim Rysanov, Jack Liebeck, Boris Brovtsyn, Alexei Ogrinchouk and Nicholas Daniel and she appears regularly at major chamber music festivals around the world. Katya also has a highly successful and personally rewarding piano duo partnership with Charles Owen, performing regularly at festivals worldwide. Together they are co-Artistic Directors of the London Piano Festival which began in 2016.
Described by Gramophone magazine as “one of the finest British pianists of his generation”, Charles Owen has enjoyed an extensive international career performing a wide ranging repertoire to outstanding critical acclaim.
He has appeared at London’s Barbican and Queen Elizabeth Hall and regularly gives recitals at the Wigmore Hall and Kings Place. Internationally, he has performed at the Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall in New York, the Brahms Saal in Vienna’s Musikverein, the Paris Musée d’Orsay, and the Moscow Conservatoire. His chamber music partners include Julian Rachlin, Chloe Hanslip, Augustin Hadelich and Nicholas Daniel as well as the Vertavo, Takacs and Elias Quartets. He also enjoys a highly successful piano duo partnership with Katya Apekisheva. Together they are Artistic Directors of the London Piano Festival, an annual celebration of the piano held at Kings Place.
Charles studied in London at the Yehudi Menuhin School and the Royal College of Music with Irina Zaritskaya and Imogen Cooper. His numerous awards include the Silver Medal at the Scottish International Piano Competition (1995) and the 1997 Parkhouse Award.
A regular guest at festivals such as Aldeburgh, Bath, Cheltenham, Leicester and Perth in Australia, he has also performed concertos with the Philharmonia, Royal Scottish National, Hallé, Aurora and London Philharmonic orchestras. He has enjoyed collaborations with many leading conductors including Sir Mark Elder, Ryan Wigglesworth, Nicholas Collon and Martyn Brabbins.
Charles’ solo recordings comprise discs of piano music by JS Bach, Janácek, Poulenc and Fauré. Chamber music discs include the cello sonatas of Brahms, Rachmaninov and Chopin with Natalie Clein, The Stravinsky Piano Ballets and Rachmaninov Suites with Katya Apekisheva and the world premiere of Jonathan Dove‘s Piano Quintet with the Sacconi Quartet selected as Recording of the Month by Gramophone Magazine (August 2017). His most release of Brahms Late Piano Music was chosen as ‘CD of the Month’ in International Piano magazine (March/April 2019) and ‘Instrumental Choice’ in BBC Music Magazine (February 2019)
Charles Owen is a Professor of Piano at the Guildhall School in London and was appointed Steinway & Sons UK Ambassador in 2016.
Highlights for the 2018/19 Season include performances at the Australian Festival of Chamber Music, Townsville, London Piano Festival at Kings Place and Hatfield House Chamber Music Festival.