The Sunset Serenade

28 Sep 2018

Thursday evening this week saw a selection of our GCSE and A Level pupils perform a varied programme of challenging and virtuosic repertoire. Kevin Lee, performing on the trombone in front of a healthy audience, opened the concert with Greenwood’s entertaining The Acrobat. Overcoming his nerves, Kevin produced a performance that did justice to the death-defying stunts that the piece evokes. Following him, Mikael Hashim took to the piano, performing the Scherzo from Haydn’s piano sonata Op. 50 which was executed with panache. He remained at the piano to give a highly atmospheric and relaxing rendition of Peixun Chen’s Autumn Moon Over Calm Lake and finished off his set with a jazzy arrangement of September in the Rain which momentarily transformed the intimate surroundings to a late night jazz club as the sun set.

Andy Zhuang was the first A Level performer of the evening, giving a highly musical account of the first movement from Beethoven’s Pathetique sonata. The contrasting sections were well brought out by Andy’s technical control of the instrument, and the drama of the piece was very well received by the audience who rewarded him with warm applause. Jia Yuan rounded off the concert with a performance of Liszt’s Transcendental Etude No. 11 (Harmonies du Soir), a piece that makes huge demands of the pianist with vast leaps, deft runs and complex harmonies. He pulled off the performance with aplomb, a feat to be well regarded as this is a piece of repertoire that features in only the most capable concert pianist’s programmes.

Congratulations to all of our performers for putting on an excellent evening of entertainment!