Gala Piano Concert by John Paul Ekins

On August 16th 2014 Canterbury Rotary Club sponsored a Gala Piano recital by a brilliant young pianist, who had been spotted months before in London by Rtn Gill Dixon. Gill has been deeply involved in getting the club to sponsor a local concert as well as being the principal organiser of the event. The text below is based on a review by Dr Stuart Field:

Steinway piano in the auditorium

This most enjoyable piano recital by the outstanding 27 year old international pianist John Paul Ekins was the result of the highly successful collaboration between the Rotary Club of Canterbury and Canterbury Christchurch University, raising funds to support and enhance the studying of music students in training at the Music School.

Not only did we hear some brilliantly per- formed music but those in the packed hall were given a mini analysis of each piece of music prior to its playing, which greatly enhanced our enjoyment of the evening's programme.

The picture above shows the superb Steinway grand piano in the auditorium, a converted church.

all photos by Robin Hendy
Click any image to enlarge

Guests arrive for drinks & canapesGuests arrive for drinks & canapes Guests enjoy canapesand enjoy alfresco drinks (and a chat)
audience is seatedThe audience is seated John Harris introducesJohn Harris introduces the programme
John Paul Ekins plays SchubertJohn Paul Ekins plays Schubert Coat off for the WaldsteinCoat off for the Waldstein sonata!

The recital commenced with the flawless playing of Mozart’s Fantasy in C minor, described by the performer as one of the most progressive works of its time due to its continuing dramatic mood changes.

Schubert’s well know Impromptu in A flat followed and our understanding of the work was all the better when we knew that the work had been composed with his knowledge of early death due to venereal disease!

The first half ended with Benjamin Britten’s huge work ‘Holiday Diary’. This technically and emotionally challenging work was dispatched with great aplomb with its double glissandi being a particular highlight.

After a most enjoyable ‘refreshment break’ the concert continued with Cantique d’Amour by Liszt. John Paul told us this work was composed in his ‘cerebral age’ when having given up his career as a concert pianist, Liszt created this beautifully performed piece ‘full of emotional lush’.

The masterly performance of the massive Sonata in C minor, composed for Count Waldstein by Beethoven completed the formal programme. However we were entertained by a Chopin Mazurka as an encore.

This young performer not only gave us an evening of technically almost perfect, varied and well-chosen recital pieces but was able to communicate with his audience both emotionally and verbally in a way which is rarely seen.

Friday 22nd August 2014

Published by: The Rotary Club of Canterbury

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