12 November 2020

The solo concert platform presented some 15 excellent solo performances from a range of talented musicians representing all four areas of instrumental teaching in the school – woodwind, brass, strings and piano – and year groups from the First Year to the Upper Sixth.

The first half of the concert provided some wonderful variety, starting with fifth year, Laurence Peverall (piano) in Rachmaninov’s arresting Elégie Op 3, No1. Next, oboist, Frederick Stacey, played Gabriel’s Oboe, followed by Oliver Simpson in Piatti’s virtuosic Caprice Op 25, No 12 for solo cello, complete with its double stopping and high harmonics.

Oliver Hobbs (trumpet) entertained us with some beautifully controlled lyrical playing in Arutiunian’s Aria, whilst second year debutant, Nathan Wan (clarinet) played Paul Harris’s French Carol, demonstrating the progress that he has made in just a year since starting the instrument. Dilan Mandalia (flute) performed the Allegro from Bach’s Sonata in G minor with fluent musicality.

Daniel Zhang (piano), fresh from his outstanding performance in last week’s senior competition, followed with the Allegro from Beethoven’s Sonata in G Op 14 No 2 which he played with his customary technical clarity and commitment. A completely different mood was created by first year pianist, Jonathan Watcham and his Medley from Pirates of the Caribbean, followed by Samuel Price (double bass) in a most evocative “Ol’ Man River”.

Nicholas Raptakis (viola) serenaded us wonderfully in the second movement of Brahms Sonata No 2 and Michael Cha (violin) proved himself equal to the impressive technical challenges posed by Lalo’s Symphonie Espagnole, 4th movement. Boco To (violin) projected a beautifully musical performances of Veracini’s Sonata, 1st movement.

Our last trio of performances was headed by Cameron Gouldstone (trumpet) who transported us to the world of Gershwin’s smoulderingly jazzy Rhapsody in Blue, before we headed back across the pond to Norway, and Grieg’s Nocturne Op54, No 5 played by Oliver Zhang (piano). Further east now, to Russia for Tchaikovsky’s arresting June from The Seasons, played by music scholar, Yubo Gao (piano).

Our thanks to all the performers and to our excellent accompanists, Lynette Stulting and Mariette Pringle, for another wonderful 90 minutes of music making!

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