Sunderland Pianoforte Society announces 72nd season

Members of Sunderland Pianoforte Society, celebrating their 70th anniversary
Members of Sunderland Pianoforte Society, celebrating their 70th anniversary
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A host of performers promise to hit the right note for the Sunderland Pianoforte Society’s 72nd season. Katy Wheeler takes a look at who’s on the bill.

•Joseph Houston, Wednesday, October 15

Described by the Financial Times as a musician of “versatility and poise”, Joseph is a London-based pianist specialising in contemporary music.

 He studied at the University of York and the Royal College of Music. While at the latter, he won the Frank Merrick Prize and the second prize in the Beethoven Piano Competition.

 Note – this performance has been rescheduled from October 14.

•Maria Marchant, Tuesday, November 18

British pianist Maria Marchant gave her Wigmore Hall and Southbank debuts in 2010 to critical acclaim after being selected as a young artist on the Concordia Foundation, Park Lane Group and Tillett Trust schemes.

 Maria was awarded first prize and gold medal in the International Hindemith Competition in 2008 while studying Advanced Piano Performance at the Royal College of Music.

•Yasmin Rowe, Tuesday, February 17

This performance is a welcome return visit for a popular young artist. As a British pianist, Yasmin began her studies on the piano with her mother at the age of four and won her first major prize at the age of ten, where she was presented with the title of Arun Young Musician of the Year.

 Yasmin was the winner of the Maisie Lewis Award from the Worshipful Company of Musicians and the Peter Donohoe Piano Award.

•Alexander Panfilov, Tuesday, March 17

Alexander was born in Moscow in 1989 and started taking piano lessons at the age of six. He studied at the Gnessin Musical School in Moscow and at the Moscow State Conservatory.

 In 2012, he commenced his studies at the Royal Northern College of Music. Alexander was the winner of the Brant Piano Competition in Birmingham last year.

•Classic Gershwin with Viv McLean on piano and Susan Porrett as narrator, Tuesday, April 7

This show weaves the vibrant music of the ever-popular composer George Gershwin with a fascinating story of his life, from his birth in New York in 1898 to his tragic early death in 1937.

 With prize-winning pianist and famed Gershwin interpreter Viv McLean and renowned theatre and TV actress Susan Porrett narrating, this production presents an eclectic mix of Gershwin’s music from the much-loved Rhapsody in Blue, I Got Rhythm Variations and Swanee to the rarely played classical Preludes and the virtuoso challenge of the Piano Concerto.

•All performances take place at 7.15pm at the Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens. A year’s subscription is £60. Alternatively, entry price is £12.50 or £6 for full-time students and people in receipt of benefits. Under 16s go free.