Our soloist Darin Qualls

Our soloist – Darin Qualls Violinist Darin Qualls is a native of Portland, Oregon, USA. He studied at the Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music, with master violin pedagogue Dorothy DeLay.  He was awarded the Starling Prize for excellence in music performance, providing a full tuition scholarship and the opportunity to perform as a soloist. Following […]

Continue reading

Our Spring 2022 soloist Layla Köhler Baratto

Our Spring 2022 soloist – Layla Köhler Baratto Layla Köhler Baratto is a Brazilian oboist and ABRSM scholar. She won her first award at the age of 11 in the Municipal Music School of São Paulo Young Soloists Competition. She has also won the São Paulo Symphony Young Soloists 2017 in first place, the Ernani de […]

Continue reading

First rehearsal for KPO this year

On Monday 17 May 2021 we made a wonderful start towards returning to a new musical normal. We had our first full orchestra rehearsal since March 2020. Thanks to St Peter’s, we were able to rehearse in the spacious church, rather than the usual more modest parish hall on the second floor. At the […]

Continue reading

Master Class at the KPO

Musica Universalis Organization promotes the first edition of the International Conducting Master class with M° Ennio Nicotra will be held in London (UK), 15-18 July 2021. Information at https://musicauniversalis.org.uk. The course is dedicated to orchestral conducting foundation and technique. The program of these events will feature works by Beethoven, Tchaikovsky and Mendelssohn and Dvorak. At […]

Continue reading

New chapter for KPO

Kensington Philharmonic Orchestra starts a new chapter with new conductor Claudio Di Meo. The KPO, founded in 1965, is one of London’s leading amateur orchestras. It provides opportunities for advanced players of all ages to perform works from the classical and modern repertoire, including pieces that are rarely heard in the concert hall.

Continue reading

Tanks crossing the Rhine

Tanks and Rivers?  Let me start with Smetana’s Vltava, one of his great cycle of Symphonic Poems written in 1874 and known as Ma Vlast. We left Rostropovich in 1968 weeping for Prague as the Russian tanks crushed the liberalising efforts of Alexander Dubček. It is a city which has endured more than its fair share […]

Continue reading

When nothing is as it seems

Stravinsky was, of course, a chameleon who changed his styles as often as Picasso.  Six years after the premiere of his Rite of Spring had caused a riot in Paris, he embarked on his neo-classical period with the one-act ballet “Pulcinella”.  It qualifies for tonight’s list because it sounds as much like Pergolesi as […]

Continue reading

Three great Russians and bit of Shostakovich too…

I don’t subscribe to the theory that things ain’t what they used to be.  But I back my fantasy Trio of Oistrach, Rostropovich and Richter against any and all comers.  So here are two pieces to explain why. Dvorak’s cello concerto could have been written for Rostropovich, so completely does he inhabit its inner […]

Continue reading

Themes, Variations & Fugues

Brahms wrote the Handel Variations for his “beloved friend” Clara Schumann in 1861, when the young composer was just 28 and achieving complete mastery both of the piano and of large-scale forms.  For many people it is one of the half-dozen great sets of variations and still sometimes overlooked by those with their gaze […]

Continue reading

Swans

Saint-Saens’ swan is a familiar friend.  Composed in February 1886 and never out of the repertoire since.  The cello glides serenely on its way, with the piano suggesting something of the paddling that goes on underneath. The piece is simply conceived and executed; but the comments for the two YouTube clips below bear witness to the extraordinary […]

Continue reading