San Francisco, California
London, United Kingdom
CGO presents its June concert - twinning favourite Beethoven performed by a wonderful young pianist with the colours of Schoenberg's orchestration of Brahms' Piano Quartet No. 1.
Beethoven's only opera, Fidelio, tells how Leonore rescues her husband from a political prison by disguising herself as a prison guard. The Leonore Overture No. 3 is one of four overtures Beethoven composed for the opera, although it is so dramatic and symphonic in scale that it normally stands on its own as a piece for orchestra. This is how CGO will open its colourful summer concert.
With Beethoven's second piano concerto, we then allow our soloist, Alice Pinto, to shine in the intricacies of the outer movements while bringing pathos to the peaceful second movement. Beethoven himself used this concerto as a show piece in the early part of his career, a period of composition typified by playfulness.
Alice Pinto studied at the Royal Academy of Music where she held a Richard Carne Scholarship and was awarded numerous prizes. She has performed with the Cheltenham Symphony Orchestra and given solo recitals at St John’s Smith Square, Kings Place, and for Icelandic national radio. She has collaborated with the London Sinfonietta, Orchestra of the Swan and Orpheus Sinfonia, and is a regular guest at various music festivals in Britain and abroad, including the Cambridge Summer Music Festival. Alice is also a writer and speaker and her latest venture, Intermezzo Project, is a series of talks and concerts viewing Viennese socio-political history through the music of Haydn to Webern via Brahms and Beethoven. Thoughtful and practical, Alice is fiercely devoted to the future of classical music in Britain, and currently holds piano teaching positions at Junior Guildhall and Kings College London.
Schoenberg orchestrated Brahms' Piano Quartet No. 1 in 1937, having escaped the turmoil in Europe for the United States. He chose the piece because he liked it and felt that it was usually played with too much emphasis on the piano at the expense of the accompanying strings. His orchestration is respectful and yet paints the original Brahms score with lashings of colour from the brass and percussion. It's Schoenberg at his tonal best and will be a fabulous outing for the orchestra on a summer's evening.
Our conductor for this concert is Peter Britton, who has supported and regularly conducted CGO since its foundation in 2004. Peter has had a career in music education, being appointed Head of Music at Anglia Ruskin University in 1995 and now being a fellow and Honorary Director of Music at Hughes Hall, Cambridge. Peter conducts and directs several orchestras and choirs in the East of England, as well as being an orchestral percussionist, piano accompanist and chamber musician.