Stephen Smithers –Lunchtime Recital – Thursday 23rd of September
I am often delighted to see and learn how some of our past pupils have been doing once that they left the College. I always rejoice in their success and with great musicians like Charli Aitchison having become an international pop star or Charles Berthoud, who has stablished himself a major solo bass player with a massive following on YouTube, we have plethora of accomplished players and singers. Last week, we had a visit from a former pupil and Head Boy, Stephen Smithers (PP,GH,CH, 01-15), who although has not pursued music professionally, has certainly been keeping up with his piano scales since leaving the College. Stephen was an exceptionally musical pupil and has been able to continue improving his keyboard skills to a remarkably high level.
He was recently invited to perform Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto with the Saffron Walden Symphony Orchestra in a concert that will take place on Saturday 27th of November. As he is getting ready for his big concerto appearance, I invited him to give us a preview here at the College. With considerable effort, we were able to move a second piano into the Recital Room and perform for a number of pupils and staff the concerto in its two-piano version.
Stephen was in fine form and displayed an incredible amount of virtuosity and lyricism in his playing. From the quiet opening bell-like sounds of the first few bars, to the explosive festive finale, Stephen was able to bring to life with panache and excitement this famous concerto. One of the highlights was his interpretation of the second movement, which required delicate touch and intelligent phrasing. From my seat at the second piano, it was at times hard to keep up with Stephen’s brisk tempi and he certainly made me work hard to try to match the quality of his playing.
We wish him the best for his forthcoming recital and if you are interested in going to see it, you can book tickets through the SWSO website. We are keen to share the concert highlights with those within our community unable to attend on the day so we have produced a short video which is now on our YouTube channel.
Teacher of Music
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