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World Class Chamber Music

MALCOLM TROUP on the recent BPSE
chamber music masterclass and competition in London


The last time I was in Steinway Hall was also for a Masterclass -- on that occasion for violin, presided over by Maestro Ruggiero Ricci and sponsored by the Worshipful Company of Musicians and their then Master John Rubinstein, who are also sponsors of the Beethoven Piano Society of Europe. They and the members of the Jury for last week's competition -- Dr Martin Lovett, Gwyneth George and Alberto Portugheis -- must have every reason to be proud of the goodly number of entrants and the high level of professionalism evinced by five of the six cello and piano duos taking part. The Competition is only the tip of the iceberg of two enthralling days of masterclasses [8-9 May 2006] in which master-cellist Martin Lovett OBE worked with the young participants, grooming them in every aspect of their performance -- a policy which testified publicly to the players' quick-fire reaction time in building on his recommendations and making them thoroughly their own.

The outright Winners of the Award, who will be heard in a special BPSE Prizewinners' Recital later in the year, were John Meyerscough (ex-GSMD), cello, and Scotland's Alasdair Beatson, who has been spending the last year studying with the greatest chamber music pianist of them all, Menachem Pressler, at Indiana University in Bloomington. Their testosterone-driven performance, with its lightning-quick shifts of dynamics, magnificently graded cello and piano tone even at fortissimo level with the piano-lid wide open, real reciprocal ensemble as distinct from merely going through the motions, and intellectual mastery to match the demands of the concluding fugue, already confirmed their world-class status.

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Copyright © 22 May 2006 Malcolm Troup, London UK


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