Alexei Volodin has long been a champion of Nikolai Medtner’s music, feeling that his work is unfairly overshadowed by some of his contemporaries. As part of his mission to make Medtner’s music better known Volodin will perform a programme that presents three of his Fairy Tales and the Piano Quintetalongside the version of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring for two pianos.
Alexei Volodin comments:
“As a pianist, Medtner truly understood the instrument and it’s remarkable that every piece he ever composed involved the piano. While many music lovers know and love his music I feel passionately that he deserves to be celebrated more widely. As a pianist I’m proud to champion such a great proponent for the instrument. In giving two of his greatest works, alongside the two piano version of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring, we hope to give lovers of the piano an incredible evening. Where better to perform this programme than in London, the city that gave him a home for the last fifteen years of his life and in such a stunning historic venue as the Merchant Taylors’ Hall?”
In this recital Medtner and Stravinsky are juxtaposed as storytellers of their Russian folkloric past and masters of imaginative piano writing. This will be one of the themes that Radio 3’s Tom Service will touch on in his introduction to the concert.
The concert begins with three of Medtner’s Fairy Tales for solo piano, which contain some of his most original music. He’s then joined by fellow-pianist Edith Peña to perform The Rite of Spring, one of the most famous pieces of music ever composed.
The evening concludes with the two pianists being joined by members of the London Chamber Orchestra to perform Medtner’s Piano Quintet. This was composed by Medtner throughout his life from 1903, when he was 23 years old, until 1949. It gives listeners a fascinating insight into his journey as a composer and he considered it the ultimate summary of his musical life.
The concert is presented as part of the Eastern Seasons week of cultural and business events which seeks to foster dialogue and build trust between people from different countries, cultures and backgrounds. Last year’s inaugural concert featured Mahan Esfahani, the Iranian-born harpsichordist virtuoso, perform a programme of baroque and contemporary classics at the Royal Overseas League with the Russian Virtuosi of Europe orchestra conducted by Yuri Zhislin. For more information please visit: www.easternseasons.com/classicalmusic.
This year’s concert is also part of Medtner International Festival, two days of events and performances taking place in London on Sunday 26th and Monday 27th November 2017 under the patronage of pianist Nikolay Lugansky.
Nikolai Medtner: Fairy tales (Op. 20-1, B-flat minor; Op. 34-2, E-minor; Op. 34-3, A-minor (‘Forest spirit’)
Alexei Volodin, piano
Igor Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring (version for two pianos)
Alexei Volodin, piano
Edith Peña, piano
Nikolai Medtner: Piano Quintet in C major
Alexei Volodin, piano
London Chamber Orchestra
Acclaimed for his highly sensitive touch and technical brilliance, Alexei Volodin is in demand by orchestras at the highest level. Born in 1977 in Leningrad, Alexei Volodin studied at Moscow’s Gnessin Academy and later with Eliso Virsaladze at the Moscow Conservatoire. In 2001 he continued his studies at the International Piano Academy Lake Como and gained international recognition following his victory at the International Géza Anda Competition in Zurich in 2003.
Nominated for Best Classical Album in the 2016 Latin Grammy Awards for her latest album Danzas en todos los Tiempos, pianist Edith Peña was born in Caracas, where she started her musical education. She continued her training with Susan Starr and later with Sergei Babayan at the Cleveland Institute of Music, USA. She is a regular guest soloist with the Simón Bolivar Orchestra of Venezuela and performs as a solo recitalist and soloist with orchestras across the world.
The London Chamber Orchestra
Founded in 1921, the LCO is the UK’s oldest professional chamber orchestra. The orchestra’s members, drawn from the ranks of London’s leading-symphony orchestras and chamber ensembles, come together to be a part of its collaborative musical culture. The orchestra’s London season is based at Cadogan Hall.
Tom Service is a British radio presenter on BBC Radio 3, presenting on the network since 2001. He has presented documentaries on BBC Four about music and is the author of Music as Alchemy and Thomas Ades: Full of Noise. He teaches at the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance (Trinity College Of Music).
Merchant Taylors’ Hall
For more details on Merchant Taylors’ Hall please visit: www.merchant-taylors.co.uk/the-hall
With the support of founding partner BSI Global Group, Eastern Seasons is an annual week of cultural and business events taking place in London from 26 – 29 November. Established in 2015, the project aims to build trust and foster relationships between people from different countries, cultures and backgrounds.
Eastern Seasons Week strives to create an international platform for business dialogue and cultural exchange in London.
For full programme information and tickets to events, please go to http://www.easternseasons.com/classicalmusic
BSI Global Group
BSI Global Group was first established in 1990 as a tour operator opening the doors for tourism between Russia and The UK. After more than 25 years in the travel industry, BSI Global Group has expanded its operations to include a range of travel services for clients from Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Belarus, as well as, the UK, Europe and Asia.
Travelling inspires new connections and better understanding between people from different parts of the world. Recognising this BSI Global Group became a Founder Partner of Eastern Seasons in London.
Medtner International Festival
For more details please visit: https://medtnerfest.wordpress.com/home-2/2017-2/