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Andrey Gugnin (piano) – Saturday 29 April

Rachmaninov   Preludes Op 32
Tchaikovsky   Album for the Young Op 39
Mussorgsky   Pictures at an Exhibition

 

Andrey Gugnin was introduced to the Festival in 2019 by the violinist Tasmin Little and they launched it with a memorable concert. Three days later, Andrey gave a lunchtime concert which ended with a performance of Pictures at an Exhibition, which prompted an immediate standing ovation. He was invited back to repeat this work the following year and the following two, but the pandemic and bureaucracy intervened. He returns this year with important examples of Russian music before repeating the Mussorgsky, which will again lead us to the Great Gate of Kyiv.

Andrey studied at the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory and soon after leaving began to win an impressive number of prizes in Vienna, Sydney, Zagreb and many others. Valery Gergiev invited him to appear with the London Philharmonic and Mariinsky Orchestras and he has performed in many of the world’s most important concert halls.

Concert generously supported by Peter Glanfield

£26 | £16
(£1 children / students)

Roman Kosyakov & Tanya Avchinnikova (piano duo) – Saturday 29 April

Roman Kosyakov and Tanya Avchinnikova
four hands one piano

Mozart   Sonata for Piano duet in D K381
Schubert   Ave Maria D839
Glière   Douze Morceaux Op 48
Rachmaninov   Six Morceaux Op 11

 

Siberian pianist Roman Kosyakov was a Leamington Music Prize winner in 2019, and stepped in at the last minute to save the day last year giving a stunning concert to close the Festival with Ukrainian pianist Sasha Grynyuk. This year he teams up with his Belarusian wife, Tanya Avchinnikova, for a delightful afternoon duo concert.

Opening with a piece that Mozart regularly included in his own programmes when touring with his sister, Nannerl, as child prodigies, we follow his charm with some of Schubert’s characteristic warmth. Glière was born in Kyiv, of German and Polish descent, and this is a rare opportunity to hear these delightful pieces written in 1909.

Rachmaninov’s Six Morceaux Op 11 are an absolute must for this Festival programme. Written in 1894, they are among the best compositions of his youthful period following his studies at the Moscow Conservatory.

Generously sponsored by Maestro! Touring

£17.50 | £12.50
(£1 children / students)

Includes tea and cake served afterwards

Viv McLean (piano) – Friday 28 April

Preludes, Nocturnes and Rhapsody

 

Bach/Busoni   Chorale Prelude “Ich ruf zu Dir, Herr Jesu Christ” BWV639
Chopin   Nocturne in E minor Op 72 No 1
Chopin   Nocturne in E flat Op 9 No 2
Gershwin   Three Preludes
Valentin Silvestrov   Nocturne
Rachmaninov   Prelude in G Op 32 No 5
Rachmaninov   Prelude in G sharp minor Op 32 No 12
Grieg   Notturno Op 54 No 4
Gershwin   Rhapsody in Blue

 

Unwind at the end of the first full day of the Festival with a glass of wine in this relaxed late-night concert.

Since winning First Prize at the Maria Canals Competition in Barcelona, Viv has enjoyed an extremely varied career as soloist and chamber musician, performing with most major British orchestras and many leading chamber groups. Viv last appeared in our Festival back in 2018, and one of his many admirers – Howard Skempton – proposed his return with a programme like this for us to round off a truly Festival day. We are pleased to include music by Valentin Silvestrov, who was born in Kyiv but currently lives in Berlin.

Generously supported by Howard Skempton

£16 unreserved
(includes a glass of wine)

Roman Kosyakov and Sasha Grynyuk (piano)

Roman Kosyakov and Sasha Grynyuk piano

Mozart   Sonata K570
Prokofiev   Sonata No 1 Op 1
Purcell   Ground in C
Liszt   Variations on ‘Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen’
Mozart   Andante and Variations in G major K501
Schubert   Fantasy in F minor D940
Dvorak   Slavonic Dances Op 46

A powerful piano recital ends the 2022 Leamington Music Festival – a Russian and a Ukrainian pianist in harmony.

Generously supported by Peter Glanfield

Tickets: £25 reserved centre | £17 unreserved sides

Sacconi Quartet with Emma Abbate (piano)

Sacconi Quartet

Ben Hancox and Hannah Dawson violins
Robin Ashwell viola, Cara Berridge cello

with Emma Abbate piano

Vaughan Williams   String Quartet No 1 in G minor
Ravel   String Quartet in F
Elgar   Piano Quintet in A minor Op 84

We begin the 2022 Festival with a relatively rare gem from Ralph Vaughan Williams. RVW wrote his First String Quartet in 1908 after studying with Ravel for three months; it seems only natural, therefore, to pair this work with Ravel’s only Quartet which was completed in 1903.

Both RVW and Ravel served in World War I in non-combative roles, as ambulance crew and lorry driver respectively. Elgar’s great period was also the years before and during the Great War, writing patriotic music and following with his three great chamber works including the Piano Quintet of 1918.

The Sacconi Quartet return to Leamington after a superb opening concert of the Autumn Season and Emma Abbate, originally from Italy and now a professor at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, makes her Leamington Music debut in this fine Festival opener.

Tickets: £25 reserved centre | £17 unreserved sides

Dante Quartet with Benjamin Frith (piano)

Dante Quartet
Zoë Beyers and Ian Watson violins
Ben Newton viola | Richard Jenkinson cello
with Benjamin Frith piano

Haydn Quartet in B flat Op 76 No 4 ‘Sunrise’
Simpson Quartet No 8
Schumann Piano Quintet in E flat Op 44

 

The Dante Quartet returns to Leamington after a four year gap and with a new line-up. Simpson’s Quartet No 8 dates from 1979 and shows the composer at his best in an attractive, powerful and gripping work which, dedicated to an entomologist, includes a most intriguing depiction of the mosquito.

With the concert having started with Haydn at his sunniest, the Festival will close with Schumann’s sparkling Piano Quintet, with Benjamin Frith back here after too long a time. Known as a soloist and member of the Gould Piano Trio, he was a pupil of the legendary Fanny Waterman and, among many awards, won the Gold Medal in the Arthur Rubinstein Competition in Israel in 1989.

Roman Kosyakov piano

Bach Partita No 1 in B flat BWV825
Schuman Novelette in F Op 21 No 1
Schumann Kreisleriana Op 16

 

We are delighted to offer a concert to a 2019 Leamington Music Prize winner, following some excellent concerts by winners in the recent Midsummer Music Festival, and the success of Claire Barnett-Jones, a winner in 2013, who took the Audience Prize in the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition earlier this year.

Roman, who came to the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire from the Tchaikovsky Moscow Conservatoire in 2017, has won many prizes in Britain and the USA and has made a recording of works by Liszt for Naxos. He includes Schumann’s masterpiece, Kreisleriana, as we prepare for his Piano Quintet to finish the Festival in style in the evening.

Peter Donohoe piano

Schubert Four Impromptus D899
Schubert Sonata in C minor D958
Beethoven Sonata in B flat Op 106 ‘Hammerklavier’

 

Peter Donohoe’s contribution to music is immense, with a reputation built internationally, nationally, and here in the Midlands – particularly with the CBSO from Simon Rattle’s time, but in recent times too.

Leamington Music welcomes him back with a programme that will thrill and delight – late Schubert and Beethoven’s ‘Hammerklavier’, the colossus among his thirty-two piano sonatas, needing Herculean strength and surpassing tenderness. This is a truly Festival programme, most eagerly awaited.

Mark Bebbington piano

Simpson Variations and Finale on a theme of Haydn
Beethoven Sonata in F minor Op 57 ‘Appassionata’

 

Coventry-born, and a noted pupil of Aldo Ciccolini, The Times has called Mark Bebbington “truly a remarkable pianist”; his international career has taken off in recent years, and we welcome this great champion of British music back to Leamington.

Mark has recorded extensively for the Somm label to critical acclaim, with no fewer than nine of his recent CDs awarded 5 stars by BBC Music Magazine.

Simpson’s Haydn Variations dates from 1948 and, with the Piano Sonata, represents the absolute best of his writing for keyboard. This paring with Beethoven’s most explosive and tempestuous sonata is an absolute must-hear.

Richard Watkins horn, Magnus Johnston violin, Michael McHale piano

Maxwell Davies Fanfare Salute to Dennis Brain Op 227b
Beethoven Sonata for Horn and Piano in F Op 17
Simpson Trio for Horn, Piano and Violin
Brahms Trio in E flat

 

Another champion of the music of Robert Simpson, Richard Watkins recorded the Trio nine years after its completion in 1984, and we begin the concert with a tribute to the great horn player, Dennis Brain, who shares Simpson’s centenary this year.

Beethoven’s Sonata was written at an exciting time of the most important developments in all wind instruments. And to follow, with the addition of the violin, this unusual combination of instruments brings the concert to a wonderful climax in Brahms’s glorious composition.

Richard Watkins is joined by two illustrious colleagues for this wonderfully crafted programme. Magnus Johnston is well known to Leamington audiences having performed here with both the Navarra Quartet and the Aronowitz Ensemble. Michael McHale is much in demand as a collaborator, and last played for Leamington Music with clarinettist Michael Collins in the 2017 Festival.