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Poppy Beddoe (clarinet), Alex Soares (piano) play Brahms, Chopin, Rachmaninov

Monday January 29, 2018 at 13:10
St James's Church, Piccadilly, London
Free admission – no ticket required

  1. Sonata for clarinet and piano No 2 in E flat Op 120 No 2 - Johannes Brahms
  2. Trois Préludes pour piano - Henri Dutilleux
  3. Mazurka No 13 in A minor Op 17 No 4 - Fryderyk Chopin
  4. Poissons d'or, from Images for piano (Book 2, 1908) L 111 - Claude Debussy
  5. Études-tableau No 4 in B minor, from Études-tableaux Op 39 - Sergey Rachmaninov

Poppy Beddoe completed her MA in Performance at the Royal Academy of Music in 2016, studying with Chris Richards and Timothy Lines, after a BA in Music from King’s College London (studying with Angela Malsbury at RAM). She is now pursuing a freelance career, with engagements ranging from solo performance through chamber music to orchestral work. She is a busy chamber musician: principal clarinet of the Temple Ensemble – founded by her in 2013, and supported by the Nicholas Boas Trust and the John Ireland Trust – and clarinettist for the Labuschagne Quartet. Her solo work includes Weber Clarinet Concerto no.1 with the Cambridge Graduate Orchestra in 2016, Weber Clarinet Concerto No 2 as the winner of the Kings College LondonConcerto prize as well as regular London recitals and collaborations with singers. She has considerable orchestral experience – ranging from playing E flat clarinet in the RAM Symphony Orchestra under both Edward Gardner (Elgar Et exspecto...) and Sir Mark Elder (Shostakovitch 6) to principal clarinet for the Sinfonia d’Amici in Madama Butterfly in 2017 and projects with the Street Orchestra of London – as well as performance on the historical clarinet (principal) under Margaret Faultless. She looks forward to a year full of opportunities, including concerts with Temple Ensemble at the Faversham Music Club in late 2017, with Labuschagne Quartet at the Barnes Music Festival and the Clifton International Festival of Music Festival in 2018, solo recitals in venues such as St James's Piccadilly and St Pancras Church, and performing the Mozart Clarinet Concerto with the Strand Chamber Orchestra in February 2018.

In today's performance of the Brahms clarinet sonata, Poppy will be accompanied by South African pianist Roelof Temming.

Praised as a pianist of “huge intensity” (The Telegraph), Alexander Soares is developing a reputation as an artist of formidible technique and virtuosity, with performances of “diamond clarity and authority” (BBC Radio 3 ‘In Tune’). In 2015, his performance in the BBC SO / BBC Radio 3 ‘Boulez at 90’ celebrations received widespread critical acclaim in the press, described as a “brilliantly unbuttoned account” (The Sunday Times) and “most memorable of all” (The Financial Times). The 2014-15 season began with a BBC Radio 3 broadcast of the rarely heard piano repertoire of John Tavener, and included Alexander’s debuts at the Queen Elizabeth Hall and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the latter performance applauded for its “explosive sound world, pulling out a rich array of colour and texture” (The Herald). He was awarded 1st prize and Gold Medal in the prestigious Royal Overseas League Competition, and was subsequently selected as a 2015 Artist by City Music Foundation. 2016-17 highlights include returns to Wigmore Hall, West Road, Cambridge and St James’s Piccadilly, and debuts at various festivals across the UK.

Contemporary French repertoire forms a major part of Alexander’s programming. Since a UK premiére of Tristan Murail’s work in the BBC SO Total Immersion series, he has performed this repertoire in his debut recitals in the Royal Festival Hall, the Purcell Room, and the Bridgewater Hall. In 2014, he collaborated with Diego Masson performing Messiaen’s Des Canyons aux Étoiles in Milton Court Concert Hall. The following year, he performed Boulez’s Dérive with David Corkhill in LSO St. Luke’s. His first album will be recorded in 2016, comprising of the solo works of Boulez, Dutilleux and Messiaen.

A keen chamber musician, Alexander has performed on numerous occasions in the Barbican, working with notable artists such as Boris Brovtsyn and Alexander Baillie. Collaborating with violinist Mihaela Martin, he debuted in Spain at the Palacio de Festivales, Sala Argenta. He has also toured France, in venues including Auditorium St Germain and Opéra Rouen, performing Stravinsky’s Les Noces on Pleyel’s original double grand pianos, manufactured in the late nineteenth century. Alexander has greatly benefitted from the guidance of pianists including Richard Goode, Stephen Kovacevich, Stephen Hough, and Steven Osborne.

Alexander graduated with first class honours from Clare College, University of Cambridge. He then pursued postgratuate studies with Ronan O’Hora at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, achieving a Master’s with Distinction. In 2015 he completed a doctorate investigating memorisation strategies for contemporary piano repertoire, under the supervision of Professor Daniel Leech-Wilkinson. He is most grateful for generous support from the Guildhall School Trust, Help Musicians UK, Countess of Munster Trust, Martin Musical Scholarship Foundation, Park Lane Group and Making Music.

Free recital (retiring collection)

St James's Church, Piccadilly
197 Piccadilly
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