In addition to the events at the Trades Club, Little Theatre and Picture House, this year’s Hebden Bridge Arts Festival includes a weekend of piano recitals at St Thomas’s Church, Heptonstall.
The first event on Friday 1 July, sees a welcome return to the Festival for outstanding pianist Paul Roberts. Known internationally as a leading exponent of French piano music with a book on Ravel to be published later this year, Paul will deliver a lecture-recital including pieces by Beethoven, Debussy, Liszt and Ravel. This will be followed by a Masterclass with The Piano Club, who together with Dr Linda Patterson, have sponsored the hire of the Festival grand piano this year. Members of the public will be able to observe Roberts’ inspirational teaching as he works with the Halifax-based pianists. Known internationally as a witty, knowledgeable and entertaining speaker, this promises to be a unique event.
The theme continues on Sunday 3 July with a lunchtime concert by Ada Kan, who completed her Masters Degree at the Royal Northern College of Music with Paul Roberts. Winner of the European Piano Teachers Association competition, Kan will present a programme of Spanish or Hispanic-influenced music, including works by De Falla, Debussy, Mompou, Albˆ©niz and Gershwin.
On Saturday 2 July, music lovers will have the opportunity to witness a rising star when Chloe Marger presents her recital. On her first visit to the North, this exciting young French pianist will play a varied and technically demanding programme of 19th and 20th century masterpieces, including Beethoven’s Appassionata Sonata and Prokofiev’s Sonata no. 4. This lunchtime concert will be followed in the evening by a solo concert from John Law, outstanding jazz pianist. With a background in classical playing, John’s aim is to make the improvising sound like it’s been composed, and the compositions as simple and direct as if they’ve been improvised there and then: a highlight of the Piano Weekend.
The final concert in the series will be by Nicola Meecham on Sunday July 3 at 8pm. With her playing described as ‘sensational’, this British pianist has been gaining international acclaim from critics and listeners alike since the release of her recent CD on the SOMM label. For this concert, she presents a beautifully balanced programme of some of the greatest Romantic and post-Romantic piano music.
Hebden Bridge Arts Festival 2011 is supported by Arts Council England, Hebden Royd Town Council, Calderdale Council, Sweet & Maxwell and Welcome to Yorkshire. Tickets for all events are now available from the Festival box office on Albert Street (01422 842684) or online via the Festival website at www.hbaf.co.uk where you can also sign up for regular email updates. Facebook users can also stay in touch via www.facebook.com/hbartsfestival.