Two ‘Magnificent’ Orchestral Concerts

On Monday 20th and Tuesday 21st November Purcell’s Symphony Orchestra gave two stellar consecutive performances at St John’s Smith Square and the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, respectively.

At St John’s Smith Square our young musicians played under the baton of renowned conductor Paul Mann with recent alumnae Hana McDowell (violin) and Ekaterina Chunikhina (oboe) as soloists. The orchestra deftly performed two world premieres by Laila Arafah and Daniel Fardon, as well as three standout pieces from Bartók, Martinu and Brahms, the latter having been arranged by Robin Holloway who we were thrilled was in attendance. The players followed this the very next day with a second outing of the works by Laila Arafah, Daniel Fardon and Brahms at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. Both events were incredibly successful and we would like to congratulate all who took part.

Purcell’s Director of Music, Paul Hoskins, wished to express the following words of thanks:

‘Thank you to all students, staff and parents who worked so hard to make this week’s big orchestral concerts such a success. When programming these concerts and planning the rehearsal schedules, there are numerous conflicting considerations. The two most important are to achieve a final performance that is enjoyable and a credit to the school; and to undergo a process of learning that will develop all those who take part in a significant way. On both counts students rose to the significant challenges: they played a lot of music that they would never encounter at any other school in the world, to a very high level; they had the experience of working with an eminent guest conductor and a significant composer, overcoming worries about it all being unmanageable; they premiered three new works; and they repeated much of the London programme at the magnificent concert hall of the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire (with a different conductor) the next day, learning a lot about stamina and touring that will be part and parcel of a performing career. I am very proud of them, and delighted to have shared the occasion with two alumni soloists who gave such adult and professional performances, just a few months after leaving the school.

Paul Mann asked me to pass on his congratulations and thanks too, and Robin Holloway wrote to me: “magnificent— I was stirred & moved—- please convey thanks & admiration to the orchestra for their heroic effort—– & thanks to you for daring to mount such a challenge”.

See you at the Wigmore Hall next week!’

Purcell Pianist Performs at the Vilnius Piano Festival

We were delighted to hear that on Sunday 19th November, Year 10 pianist Pijus performed at the Lithuanian National Philharmonic as part of the Vilnius Piano Festival. The concert was organised as a collaboration between its artistic director Muza Rubackyte and the Rostropovich Charity and Support Foundation which supports talented young musicians.

Pijus, who studies at Purcell with Morta Grigaliunaite, performed works by Chopin – Etude Op.25 No.12 and Scherzo No.2 in B flat minor.

What a wonderful performance opportunity for Pijus. Our congratulations!

The following photographs are shared here with thanks to Dmitrijus Matvejevas.