Past Concerts (click the year - below right - to navigate)

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Friday 25 November 2011, 7:30pm
Peterhouse Theatre


Quartet in B flat, Op. 18, no. 6
Quartet in F minor, Op. 95
Quartet in E flat, Op. 127

The Belcea Quartet has gained an enviable reputation as one of the leading quartets of the new generation. They continue to take the British and international chamber music circuit by storm, consistently receiving critical acclaim for their performances. The Quartet was established at the Royal College of Music in 1994 and has since been coached by the Chilingirian, Amadeus and Alban Berg Quartets. They are the Associate Ensemble at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London and are Quartet in Residence at the Atheneum Concert Hall in Bucharest.

The Belcea Quartet has an exclusive recording contract with EMI Classics and won the Gramophone Award for best debut recording in 2001. Subsequent recordings for EMI include Schubert quartets, Brahms' String Quartet Op. 51 No. 1 and second String Quintet with Thomas Kakuska, Fauré's La Bonne Chanson with Ian Bostridge, Schubert's Trout Quintet with Thomas Adès and Corin Long, a double disc of Britten's string quartets, Mozart's "Dissonance" and "Hoffmeister" quartets, and, most recently, the complete Bartók quartets, for which the Quartet was awarded the title Chamber Music Ensemble of the Year by Germany's prestigious Echo Klassik Awards and nominated for a 2008 Gramophone Award.

The Belcea Quartet's international engagements regularly take them to the Vienna Konzerthaus and Musikverein, Amsterdam's Concertgebouw, Brussels' Palais des Beaux Arts, Lisbon's Gulbenkian, Zurich's Tonhalle, Stockholm's Konzerthuset, Paris' Chatelet and Opera Bastille, Milan's Sala Verdi, New York's Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center and San Francisco's Herbst Theatre, and to festivals including Luberon, Istanbul, Trondheim, Lausanne, Salzburg, Mecklenburg, and the Schwarzenberg Schubertiade.

In the UK they regularly appear at the Edinburgh, Aldeburgh, Perth, Bath and Cheltenham festivals, and at the Wigmore Hall where they were resident Quartet from 2001 to 2006.

They regularly work with leading instrumentalists including Thomas Adès, Isabelle van Keulen, Michael Collins, Paul Lewis, Imogen Cooper, Yovan Markovitch, Natalie Clein, Piotr Anderszewski and Valentin Erben. Recent collaborations with singers have included performances of Mahler's Des Knaben Wunderhorn with Ann Murray and Simon Keenlyside; Schoenberg's String Quartet no.2 and a new commission by Joseph Phibbs for string quartet and voice with Lisa Milne at Wigmore Hall; Fauré's La Bonne Chanson with Anne Sofie von Otter at the Cité de la Musique, Paris, Respighi's Il Tramonto with Angelika Kirchschlager at the Langeland Festival and with Ian Bostridge at New York's Zankel Hall and Washington's Library of Congress.

Tuesday 15 November 2011, 7:30pm
Peterhouse Theatre


Nocturne in B major, Op 32 no. 1
Nocturne in A flat, Op. 32 no 2
Nocturne in F sharp minor, Op. 48 no. 2
Nocturne in C minor, Op. 48 no.1
Pande Shahov
Songs and Whispers-suite for piano
Organ Prelude and Fugue in A-Minor
Sonet Petrarque 104
Jeux d’eau de la Villa d’Este
Hungarian Rhapsody no. 2

With the ability to perform a diverse range of repertoire - from Haydn and Chopin to Debussy and Stravinsky - Macedonian pianist Simon Trpceski has established himself as one of the most remarkable young musicians to have emerged in recent years, performing with many of the world's greatest orchestras and captivating audiences worldwide. Mr. Trpceski is praised not only for his impeccable technique and delicate expression, but also for his warm personality and commitment to strengthening Macedonia's cultural image. The New York Times' Anthony Tommasini praises Trpceski's dazzling musicianship, saying "He tore through the double-octave outbursts with arm-blurring speed and no sense of strain. Yet in tenderly lyrical moments he caressed the phrases, playing with naturalness, never milking anything."

Mr. Trpceski has appeared with many of the world's finest orchestras. In North America, he has performed with the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonic orchestras, The Philadelphia and Cleveland Orchestras, the Pittsburgh and San Francisco Symphony orchestras and the Chicago, Toronto and Baltimore Symphony Orchestras, among others. In the United Kingdom, he is a frequent soloist with the London and City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestras, the Philharmonia and Halle Orchestras and the London Philharmonic. Other engagements with major European ensembles include the Royal Concertgebouw, Russian National and Bolshoi Theatre Orchestras, NDR Sinfonieorchester Hamburg, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, the Danish National Symphony Orchestra and the Rotterdam, Strasbourg, Royal Stockholm, Royal Flanders and St. Petersburg Philharmonics. In Asia he has performed with the New Japan, Seoul and Hong Kong Philharmonics. In Australia he has been featured with the Sydney and Melbourne Symphony Orchestras, and has toured with the New Zealand Symphony. Mr. Trpceski has worked with a prominent list of conductors, including Marin Alsop, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Andrew Davis, Gustavo Dudamel, Charles Dutoit, Vladimir Jurowski, Lorin Maazel, Gianandrea Noseda, Antonio Pappano, Vasily Petrenko, Yan Pascal Tortelier and David Zinman.

Saturday 15 October 2011, 7:30pm
Peterhouse Theatre


Sonata No. 31 in A-flat Major, Op. 110
Sonata in B-flat Major, D. 960

Menahem Pressler, founding member and pianist of the Beaux Arts Trio, has established himself among the world's most distinguished and honored musicians, with a career that spans over five decades. Now in his 87th year, he continues to captivate audiences throughout the world as performer and pedagogue, performing solo and chamber music recitals to great critical acclaim while maintaining a dedicated and robust teaching career.

Born in Magdeburg, Germany in 1923, Pressler fled Nazi Germany in 1939 and emigrated to Israel. Pressler's world renowned career was launched after he was awarded first prize at the Debussy International Piano Competition in San Francisco in 1946. This was followed by his successful American debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Eugene Ormandy. Since then, Pressler's extensive tours of North America and Europe have included performances with the orchestras of New York, Chicago, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Dallas, San Francisco, London, Paris, Brussels, Oslo, Helsinki and many others.

After nearly a decade of an illustrious and praised solo career, the 1955 Berkshire Music Festival saw Menahem Pressler's debut as a chamber musician, where he appeared as pianist with the Beaux Arts Trio. This collaboration quickly established Pressler's reputation as one of the world's most revered chamber musicians. With Pressler at the Trio's helm as the only pianist for nearly 55 years, The New York Times described the Beaux Arts Trio as "in a class by itself" and the Washington Post exclaimed that "since its founding more than 50 years ago, the Beaux Arts Trio has become the gold standard for trios throughout the world." The 2007-2008 season was nothing short of bitter-sweet, as violinist Daniel Hope, cellist Antonio Meneses and Menahem Pressler took their final bows as The Beaux Arts Trio, which marked the end of one of the most celebrated and revered chamber music careers of all time. What saw the end of a one artistic legacy also witnessed the beginning of another, as Pressler continues to dazzle audiences throughout the world, both as piano soloist and collaborating chamber musician, including performances with the Juilliard, Emerson, American, and Cleveland Quartets, among many others.

Monday 20 June 2011, 7:30pm
West Road Concert Hall


This concert was generously supported by Mrs Nancy Irsay
Sonata in C minor, D. 958
Sonata in A, D. 959

Mitsuko Uchida is a performer who brings a deep insight into the music she plays through her own search for truth and beauty.  She is renowned for her interpretations of Mozart, Schubert, Schumann and Beethoven, both in the concert hall and on CD, but she has also illuminated the music of Berg, Schoenberg, Webern and Boulez for a new generation of listeners.  Her recording of the Schoenberg Piano Concerto with Pierre Boulez and the Cleveland Orchestra won four awards, including The Gramophone Award for Best Concerto. Amongst many current projects, Uchida is recording a selection of Mozart’s Piano Concerti with the Cleveland Orchestra, directing from the piano: all of the discs in this series have received critical acclaim, including a Grammy Award in 2011. 


Mitsuko Uchida performs with the world’s finest orchestras and musicians.  Some highlights from recent years include her Artist-in-Residency at the Cleveland Orchestra, where she directed all the Mozart concerti from the keyboard over a number of seasons.  She has also been the focus of a Carnegie Hall Perspectives series entitled ‘Mitsuko Uchida: Vienna Revisited’.  She has featured in the Concertgebouw’s Carte Blanche series where she collaborated with Ian Bostridge, the Hagen Quartet, Chamber Orchestra of Europe and Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra as well as directing from the piano a performance of Schönberg’s Pierrot Lunaire.  Uchida has also been Artist-in-Residence at the Vienna Konzerthaus, Salzburg Mozartwoche, Lucerne Festival and with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, with whom she performed a series of chamber music concerts and a Beethoven Piano Concerti cycle with Sir Simon Rattle. 


Mitsuko Uchida has demonstrated a long-standing commitment to aiding the development of young musicians and is a trustee of the Borletti-Buitoni Trust.  She is also Director of the Marlboro Music Festival. In May 2012 she was awarded the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Gold Medal.  In June 2009 she was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire and received an Honorary Degree from the University of Cambridge in 2014. In 2015 Mitsuko Uchida was awarded the Golden Mozart Medal at the Salzburg Mozartwoche.


Saturday 12 March 2011, 7:30pm
Peterhouse Theatre


This concert was generously supported by Mr Dilip Chandra
Sonata for violin and piano in E flat major, Op. 12, no. 2
Sonata for violin and piano in A 'Kreutzer', Op. 47
Fantasie for violin and piano in C major, D. 934

Viktoria Mullova studied at the Central Music School of Moscow and the Moscow Conservatoire. Her extraordinary talent captured international attention when she won first prize at the 1980 Sibelius Competition in Helsinki and the Gold Medal at the Tchaikovsky Competition in 1982 which was followed, in 1983, by her dramatic and much publicized defection to the West. She has since appeared with most of the world's greatest orchestras and conductors and at the major international festivals. She is now known the world over as a violinist of exceptional versatility and musical integrity. Her curiosity spans the breadth of musical development from baroque and classical right up to the most contemporary influences from the world of fusion and experimental music.

Her interest in the authentic approach has led to collaborations with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Il Giardino Armonico, Venice Baroque and Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique. She has a close association with harpsichordist Ottavio Dantone with whom she tours and which led Tim Ashley to write, “To hear Mullova play Bach is, simply, one of the greatest things you can experience…” in The Guardian. Her most recent recording of Bach’s solo sonatas and partitas represents a significant milestone in Viktoria’s personal journey into this music. The recording has received 5-star reviews from all over the world and she is embarking on an international, several season-long, series of solo Bach recitals.