Welcome to the latest edition of Purcell’s Weekly Highlights!

Teatime Concerts

Our series of teatime concerts for Purcell students and staff came to a close this week with two fabulous online offerings from students in Years 7, 10, 11 and 12. The programmes covered pieces from Fauré and Britten, to Rae, Debussy, Bach and Kovács. We are extremely grateful to all of the students who have performed in these events (see this week’s performers below), and to Purcell’s Concerts and Events Manager Bethany Wickens for making them happen.

Year 7: April (saxophone), Celeste (piano)
Year 10: Tiffany (violin), Fern (harp)
Year 11: Shlomo (violin)
Year 12: Lily (clarinet)

The Classical Life

On 27th February, composer, violinist and alumna Sasha Scott was the guest on BBC3’s This Classical Life. In conversation with host Jess Gillam, Scott shared an eclectic playlist of the music that she loves which included, amongst other pieces, works by Lutostawski, Vivaldi and Ligeti, as well as Michael Kiwanuka and The Prodigy. Scott, who was one of the Senior Category winners in the BBC Young Composer Competition in 2019, also shared one of her own compositions entitled Humans May Not Apply. The broadcast is available on the BBC Sounds website here.

New Scholarship for Black Students at Royal Academy of Music

Celebrated pianist, composer, radio presenter and alumnus Alexis Ffrench has launched a new scholarship for Black students at the Royal Academy of Music. Funded by Sony Music’s Social Justice Fund, Ffrench will personally mentor the successful scholars as part of his longstanding mission to diversify classical music and make it more accessible to all. Of the initiative, Ffrench said “I am proud to lend my name to this new scholarship and hope together we can reimagine new and inclusive pathways and possibilities for 21st Century musicianship”.

A Celebration for Commonwealth Day BBC One

A special programme will be broadcast on Sunday 7th March (BBC One) in place of this year’s Commonwealth Day service. Presented from Westminster Abbey, the Commonwealth celebration will feature the Queen’s message in ‘A Celebration of Commonwealth Day’ alongside music and readings from around the world, including a performance by pianist and alumnus Alexis Ffrench.

The Northern Chamber Orchestra’s Lockdown Concerts

Pianist and alumna Lara Melda joined the Northern Chamber Orchestra as guest soloist in their most recent Lockdown Concert. Streaming online until 7th March, at the cost of £15 per household, the orchestra play works by Bartok and Rossini, with Melda providing a stunning performance of Mozart’s Piano Concerto no. 27. Streaming passes are available here.