In the first concert of our 10th anniversary season on 30th November 2021, we were delighted to welcome two previous prizewinners from the Royal Over-Seas League Annual Music Competition: Slide Action (Trombone Quartet) and the Fitzroy Piano Quartet. Slide Action played arrangements of works by Poulenc and Bruckner, interspersed with Saskia Apon’s First Quartet, and finishing with the world premiere of a brand new work by Alex Paxton, who was took a well-deserved bow at the end! The second half of the concert was devoted to works by Frank Bridge (Phantasy Quartet in F sharp minor) and Robert Schumann (Piano Quartet in E flat major Op 47), superbly played by the Fitzroy Piano Quartet. These two young and highly talented ensembles clearly have great careers ahead of them, and gave us a memorable evening of superb music-making.
The second concert of our 10th anniversary season was given by the pianists Pavel Kolesnikov and Samson Tsoy on 24th March 2022. Pavel had previously played a solo recital for us in 2017 (see http://www.mmsol.org.uk/concerts/previous-concerts-201718/) but this was the first time we had welcomed Samson to the Medical Music Society of London. Both pianists treated us to a feast of duets by Brahms and Schubert, including Brahms’s Liebeslieder Waltzes and Variations on a Theme by Robert Schumann (Op 23), together with Schubert’s B flat sonata for piano duet (D 617), and his great Fantasie in F minor which concluded the evening. We were treated to playing of the utmost skill, subtlety and sensitivity, with the great rapport between the pianists enabling them to play together as one. Another truly memorable evening, and the concert was greatly enjoyed by a large audience!
Our third concert this season was held on 3rd May 2022, and featured a recital by Mathilde Milwidsky (violin) and Joseph Havlat (piano). Both in their 20s, they displayed remarkable musical maturity, as well as complete technical mastery of their instruments.
Their varied programme ranged from Mozart (Sonata in G Major K 301) to Bartol (Romanian Folk Dances), taking in two living composers on the way: “Arietta” by Huw Watkins, and “Fratres” by Arvo Part.
We were also treated to the Grieg second violin sonata, and to the Wieniawksi Faust fantasy which ended the first half in a blaze of violin pyrotechnics!
Both performers had won their respective sections in the Royal Over-Seas League Annual Music Competition in previous years, as well as winning prizes in many other competitions, and our audience enthusiastically endorsed the views of the judges!
Mathilde conjured a wonderfully warm and rich sound from her instrument, with Joseph equally adept at producing a wide range of tone colour from the Steinway.
Ensemble was perfect, and we really couldn’t have had a better evening!
The final concert, and celebration of the successful completion of our 10th anniversary season, was given by the Aquinas Piano Trio on 16th June 2022. It was a pleasure to welcome back the violinist Ruth Rogers, cellist Katherine Jenkinson and pianist Martin Cousin, who have become firm favourites with our audience over the last 10 years. Their programme comprised Haydn’s Trio in G major (Hob XV:32), Fauré’s Trio in D minor (Op 120), and Smetana’s Trio in G minor (Op 15). The evening had everything: the classicism and humour of Haydn, the lyricism of Fauré, and the intense emotion of Smetana, who wrote this work shortly after his beloved and musically talented daughter Bedriska had died. This was a superb evening’s music-making, with one of our Committee commenting afterwards that it was one of the best concerts he’d ever attended (and he’s attended a lot!). The audience was in full agreement with this assessment, and we look forward to having the Aquinas Piano Trio back to play for us many times over the next 10 years!