On Friday 13 September, pianist Philip Fowke gave a 45 minute recital in the Lehane-Wishart Studio at Jackdaws in Great Elm, which held the audience entranced.
After taking to the Steinway, Philip joked that he had not had a chance to warm up, and would the audience mind if he did so now? Unsure of what to expect – perhaps scales, arpeggios, maybe some Hanon exercises? – there was a pleasant sigh of recognition as Philip began and the audience were treated to an off-programme performance of Grieg’s Melodie, from the op. 47 Lyric Pieces. The studio was instantly filled with the light, repeated-chords and melancholy melody floating above. A delightful introduction to a programme of larger works.
The programme as advertised opened with the third and central movement of Robert Schumann’s Piano Sonata no. 3, a set of variations on a theme by his wife Clara. The day had special significance, being the 200th anniversary of Clara Schumann’s birth, and at a performance to celebrate the opening of a studio whose existence owed great debt to another musical husband and wife pair – mezzo-soprano Maureen Lehane and composer Peter Wishart.
What followed the was another highly-virtuosic compositon, Busoni’s Kammer-Fantasie on Bizet’s Carmen, delivered with effortless panache and style, glittering as the sun shone on the rose garden in the background behind the piano.
Philip Fowke’s impressive programme was brought to a rousing conclusion with the final work, Chopin’s Heroic Polonaise in A flat major. The audience made quite sure Philip was aware of their gratitude with rapturous applause for his masterful programme.
Join us for our next Open Fridays lunchtime concert at 12:15pm on Friday 20 September, when Artistic Director Saffron van Zwanenberg will be joined by Baritone Owain Browne for a recital of favourite songs and arias accompanied by long-standing Jackdaws accompanist Colin Hunt.
In 2013, we launched the 20Jackdaws campaign to raise funds to help with the building of a new studio at Jackdaws. We asked you to give us £20 (or £200, or £2000..!) to celebrate our 20th birthday and the beginning of the journey towards the new space. In return, we would note your donation by adding your name to a display in the new studio with your own ‘jackdaw’.
2018 marks our 25th birthday and, following a long process of appointing an architect and getting planning permission etc, the build commenced in July this year and will be complete early next year.
There is still time (just!) to add your name to the long list of people who donated to the 20Jackdaws campaign. This would help us to decorate the space inside, and landscape the gardens around the studio.
So why not have your name on our wall of Jackdaws fame and help us to complete this project, which will support the future of Jackdaws for another 20 years.
You can make a donation in a number of ways, but please remember to let us know that you have made the donation as part of the 20Jackdaws campaign by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org .
If you would like to discuss your donation further, then please contact Development Manager Katharine Meadows by emailing email@example.com or calling 01373 812383.
Saffron van Zwanenberg
Artistic Director of Jackdaws Music Education Trust
See how the build is progressing on our Building Blog.
Our build team made the most of the warm September days to make great progress with the structure (that you can now see), Read more…
Below: Progress on the new studio, 28 September 2018