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High calibre

The Beethoven Piano Society of Europe
Chamber Music Masterclass
with the Gwyneth George Prize,
reviewed by MANUS CAREY


About thirty people gathered into a small recital room at Steinways in London, UK, on 16 April 2004 to observe the 2004 Beethoven Piano Society of Europe Chamber Music Competition and the 'Gwyneth George Prize' which this year was for cello and piano duo, contrasting with previous competitions for violin and piano duo, as well as piano trio and quartet. The competition was the culmination of a series of stimulating masterclasses given earlier in the week by Professor Martin Lovett, cellist of the famous Amadeus Quartet, who was joined on the jury by the cellist Gwyneth George herself and the competition organiser Alberto Portugheis.

Gwyneth George in 2001. Photo: Keith Bramich
Gwyneth George in 2001. Photo: Keith Bramich

Competitors included five duos, the performers drawn from many different backgrounds and nationalities, studying at various London music colleges. The programme included three of Beethoven's sonatas for cello and piano: the monumental A major sonata Op 69 was performed by two of the groups, as was the D major Op 102 No 1, with the early G minor Op 5 No 1 sandwiched in the middle. These are works that demand an awful lot from both pianist and cellist: a solid technical ability, coupled with the imagination and understanding to express the constant changes of mood, from the powerful drama to the deep pathos to the often understated Beethovenian wit and humour.

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Copyright © 15 May 2004 Manus Carey, London UK


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