Hartlepool Music Society
26th Season 2010-11
International Recital Series

(Registered Charity No 1071293)

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Monday 8th November 2010
Mark Bebbington

Commences 7.30pm (Hartlepool Town Hall)


Mark Bebbington Piano Recital

JOHN IRELAND (1875-1962)
London Pieces
1) Chelsea Reach
2) Ragamuffin
3) Soho Forenoons

Sonata no. 3 in B minor op. 58

INTERVAL ..........................

Five Preludes:-
La Cathedrale engloutie
La serenade interrompue
Ce qu'a vu le vent d'ouest
''General Lavine'' - excentric
Feux d'artifice

Improvisation XV - hommage a Edith Piaf
Suite Napoli
1) Barcarolle
2) Nocturne
3) Caprice italien

Mark Bebbington

Artist Information:

Played for Hartlepool Music Society back in 2007.

"Hartlepool Music Society deserves an accolade for the continued high quality of the artists brought to the town, and in Mark Bebbington, playing at the Town Hall last Tuesday, we heard an outstanding example of the increasing number of young pianists who are upholding and enhancing the ever expanding repertoire. His assured and formidable technique allied to his musicality single him out as one of our great British performers." From Laurie's review of concert.

The critical acclaim which has greeted Mark Bebbington's recent performances and recordings has singled him out as a young British pianist of rare refinement and maturity.  His distinctive artistry has led to his inclusion in numerous international concert and festival series and recitals and concertos at major venues including London's Barbican and Royal Festival Halls and Birmingham's Symphony Hall.

Recognised as a champion of British music, Mark's CD on the SOMM "New Horizons" label of  works by Ivor Gurney and Howard Ferguson was released last year, and was greeted by The Evening Standard as "interpreted ... with exemplary style and sensitivity'" ****.  His current British Piano Sonata series at St. John's, Smith Square, is dedicated exclusively to twentieth-century British music and mines a seam of pianistic riches, including neglected sonatas by Bridge, Hurlstone, Benjamin Dale and York Bowen.

No less a passionate advocate of the Viennese classics, Mark is also establishing a reputation as a refined and elegant exponent of French music and has given critically acclaimed Kirckman Concert Society South Bank recitals with special emphasis on French nineteenth and twentieth-century pianistic traditions. His Erik Satie concert, featuring the U.K. première of "Sports et divertissements", toured festivals during 2002 before sold-out performances at 'le chat blanc' cabaret club in Paris.

Mark's programmes also demonstrate an interest in contemporary music and he has played works by Judith Bingham, David Matthews, John McCabe, Toru Takemitsu and Julian Anderson, among others. His commitment to unjustly neglected composers was reflected in a major European recital tour during 2001, featuring premières of major works by Sir Malcolm Arnold and Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco.  For SOMM he has recorded the piano works of Castelnuovo-Tedesco, and he will record works by Arnold and Lambert at Symphony Hall Birmingham in August 2005.

Over recent seasons Mark has toured extensively throughout Central and Northern Europe (both as recitalist and as concerto soloist with many of the world's leading orchestras), as well as the Far East and North Africa.

He has appeared with the London Philharmonic and Philharmonia Orchestras at major concert halls, working with leading conductors, including Sir Georg Solti, Marco Zambelli, William Boughton, Norman del Mar and Grant Llewellyn and has appeared both as concerto soloist and recitalist on BBC Television and Radio and also on Radio France.

Born in Coventry, Mark studied at the Royal College of Music with Phyllis Sellick and Kendall Taylor and later in Italy with Aldo Ciccolini.

"One of this recital's two most astonishing revelations ... It would be hard to imagine better performances than Bebbington's of these ... Krystian Zimerman would have patted him on the back ..."The Independent , February 2005.

From review of CD of Castelnuovo-Tedesco piano works on the Somm label: Artistic Quality 10/10

"I can't speak too highly about Bebbington's strong, big-boned playing and unerring ear for how these pieces should go. He takes the composer's orchestral sonorities in comfortable stride, while at the same time enlivening the most delicate runs and softest chords with alluring nuance and color ... I hope Bebbington's authoritative advocacy will inspire other pianists to investigate this unjustly neglected repertoire. Highly recommended." -- Jed Distler.

The critical plaudits which have greeted Mark Bebbington's performances and recordings have singled him out as a young British pianist of the rarest refinement and maturity. Increasingly recognised as a champion of British music, Mark has recorded extensively for SOMM "New Horizons" label to unanimous critical acclaim.

His most recent CD, released in November 2009, is a premiere recording of Bax's Piano Concertino coupled with Ireland's Piano Concerto and Legend with the Orchestra of the Swan and David Curtis. An earlier 2009 disc, four British Piano Concertos with the CBSO and Howard Williams, has attracted high critical acclaim.

In addition to concerto recordings for SOMM label, Mark continues his John Ireland and Frank Bridge solo piano series; four consecutive discs have each earned him 5***** in BBC Music Magazine and International Piano summed up his achievement in October 2009:-

"Bebbington's revivals of British piano music are second to none; he could well be dubbed the concert pianists' Richard Hickox. Bebbington has almost single-handedly demonstrated that 20th-century British piano scores have an exciting role to play in the concert hall and recording studio."

All these CDs are initial releases in an ongoing series recorded at Birmingham's Symphony Hall, where Mark has the distinction of becoming the first solo artist to record.



"Two Premiere recordings and two unfamiliar works, eloquently performed by Mark Bebbington and the CBSO, combine to make this an essential disc for anyone with a taste for mid-twentieth century UK repertoire, now creeping back into fashion. An unexpected and fascinating disc." Observer, August 2009.

"Mark Bebbington continues to enhance his already glowing reputation with an intriguing disc of four concertante works. Bebbington is adept at getting to the lyrical heart of each work ... " BBC Music Magazine 5*****, October  2009.

"Mark Bebbington and conductor David Curtis are wholehearted in their advocacy of this fascinating piece (Bax Piano Concertino). Bebbington is also impressive in Ireland's attractive concerto with its brilliany jazzy episodes and its lyrical intensity."
Sunday Telegraph, 11th October 2009, 4**** Michael Kennedy.

"Bebbington brings inventive impulsiveness combined with an interpretation that ranges from utmost delicacy to passionate intensity - in sum, it is masterful."
International Piano Magazine, September/October 2009.

"All told, a most successful disc of music (John Ireland) that deserves to be better known."Gramophone, November 2009, Edward Greenfield.

"Bebbington has almost single-handedly demonstrated that 20th-century British piano scores have an exciting role to play in the concert hall and recording studio."
International Piano Magazine, September/October 2009.

Hon Concert Promoter. Bruce Philips of the John Ireland Trust has granted a grant of £500 for the Mark Bebbington concert.


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