Welcome to Hartlepool Music Society's 2015/16 season,
Our thirty-second season is truly international with outstanding artists from Austria, Spain, Australia, Germany and the UK. In September we have our first guitar recital for some years. Ian Watts, born in Scotland, has achieved an international reputation as “a guitarist of outstanding skill and originality” (Classical Guitar) and we are delighted to have him. He is followed by Australian pianist and composer, Stefan Cassomenas, who has won prizes in international competitions both for piano and chamber groups, and in 2012 was a finalist in the Rhodes International Piano Competition. One of the most interesting items he will play for us is the rarely-played virtuosic transcription of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony made by Franz Liszt.
In November there is a welcome return of a great 'cellist, Florian Kitt from Austria. The Daily Telegraph has described his playing as “masterly, a blazingly impressive exhibition of really big playing, one which obviously relished the interpretative and technical challenge of the music." This time he has a new accompanist Aima Maria Labra-Makk, whose playing has been described by European critics as "peerless,marked by high musical intelligence, colorful expression ...with elegant ease of touch but never for the sake of display."
Described in the BBC Music Magazine recently as “a rising star” , pianist Clare Hammond has been receiving rave reviews both for her performances ( “Dazzling” – The Observer a few days before I wrote this) and her recordings. You can check out her playing of Bach, Schubert and Ginastera from her Wigmore Hall recital on Youtube.
We than have a young Spanish pianist, Dario Llanos Javierre who graduated with the highest honours from the Madrid Conservatoire in 2010. He continued his studies with Leslie Howard and Artur Pizarro, amongst others, and just last year was awarded the First Prize in the Liszt Society's International Piano Competition in London. We finish the season in grand style with a long-awaited return of violinist Viviane Hagner. Since giving us one of our most memorable concerts back in 2006 she has toured the world performing with all the great orchestra including the Berlin Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony, the New York Philharmonic the Leipzig Gewandhaus and many others. On this occasion she will be accompanied by her sister, Nicole, who is a superb pianist in her own right. Having already heard Viviane perform live, one can only agree with the Sunday Times critic who said she “caught the music's soul”. Don't miss it!