Grieg Piano Quintet - Completion and World Première
The Eureka! Music Foundation has commissioned a completion of the Piano Quintet by Edvard Grieg. The substantial ‘fragment’ which originally existed from Grieg comprises the opening of the First Movement, some 253 bars, which present the entire exposition and the opening of the development section. It was impractical to present this material on the concert platform but, since our project has concluded, this original Grieg composition can be heard with the completion material created in Grieg’s compositional style by distinguished composer Michael Finnissy. The World Premiere was in November 2008 at St. Johns Smith Square, London.
Student Concerto Project, London, 2003
Here is a question: how can ten young musicians be offered the opportunity to perform concerto movements with a
string orchestra in two concerts in one day? The answer lies in the recent Student Concerto project, 2003 run
by the London branch of ESTA, which culminated in performances on 11th May; a day of learning, fun and some
very impressive musicianship!
The event was initiated by Paul Cox (then Secretary of the London Centre) in collaboration with colleagues
and its aim was to provide young instrumentalists with the 'concerto experience'. The initial part of the
project required ESTA teachers to select from amongst their students potential soloists for the main
event and, from the six teachers who became actively involved, ten players were put forward. The entire
ethos has been very much one of inclusion and, consequently, all players who were initially suggested performed
on the day.
The string orchestra consisted of London ESTA teachers (led by Jane Gillie) and students from the String Class at
the University of Southampton. As a result, the learning experience did not confine itself exclusively to the young
soloists; the university students also benefitted from the day's coaching and rehearsals and had a chance to become
involved in ESTA as they begin their own careers.
The day itself was a fantastic experience. Set within the grounds of Cardinal Clinic, Windsor, the rehearsals and
two concerts took place in Knights Chamber, a venue which provided both good acoustics and refreshments (the latter
being particularly welcomed by the younger members of the audience)! The first afternoon concert featured Vivaldi's
C minor Cello Concerto (soloist Harriet Faulkner), and the A minor Violin Concerto (soloist Louis Bhose), as well
as the first movements of Oscar Rieding's B minor Cello Concerto and Gordon Jacob's Concerto for Double Bass
(soloists Jwaydan and Jilan Anwar respectively). Although the soloists were at different levels of experience and
development they all did extremely well. Special mention should, however, go to Jilan Anwar for her sensitive and
thoughtful performance of the Gordon Jacob.
A rehearsal and biscuit break later we were treated to Oscar Rieding's Cello Concerto (complete), with each movement
performed by a different soloist (Vitor de Magalhaes, Oliver Howell and Luke Steele respectively), Vivaldi's C minor
Cello Concerto (with a different soloist - Anton Crayton), and Bach's Concerto for Two Violins in D minor
(soloists; Tessa Montague and Phoebe Fulbrook). The performance of the Bach struck me for the tremendous amount
of energy that was brought to the work, not least by Paul Cox (who conducted both concerts), but also by the
impressive tempos chosen for the outer movements. A fitting conclusion to an exciting day!
The London branch of ESTA and the Eureka! Foundation should be congratulated for all their hard work, particularly
as concerto performance opportunities are extremely rare for young players.
Franke, J. (2003). London Student Concerto Project, News and Views. London: ESTA