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Francesca Cull (cello) and Mihály Berecz (piano) perform Chopin and Sollima

Wednesday March 13, 2019 at 13:10
St James's Church, Piccadilly, London
Free admission – no ticket required

  1. Alone, for solo cello - Giovanni Sollima
  2. Sonata for cello and piano in G minor Op 65 - Fryderyk Chopin

Francesca attended Chetham’s School of Music from the age of 10, where she was awarded the Arthur Kolbert Prize for Outstanding Progress in cello playing two years running, and is currently in her third year at the Royal Academy of Music studying with Josephine Knight. Throughout her studies, Francesca has had masterclasses with many distinguished cellists including Guy Johnston, Hannah Roberts, Korean cellist Sung Won Yang, and most recently American cellist Alisa Weilerstein. She has performed solo recitals at various venues around the UK {including a previous recital at St James’s in 2016} and has also performed across Europe including France, Germany, Norway and Italy. In 2016 she had the opportunity to play Elgar’s Cello Concerto with the Chester Philharmonic Orchestra. Francesca is an active chamber musician performing around the UK with The Melete Quartet. They have recently performed at the beautiful Draper’s Hall in London with Leeds International Piano Competition finalist Anna Geniushene and in Lincoln Cathedral along-side pianist and broadcaster David Owen Norris and tenor Marke Wilde. In March 2018, The Melete Quartet were awarded second prize in the Wolfe Wolfinsohn String Quartet Prize at the Academy. Francesca’s previous quartet, formed at Chetham’s, played together for 7 years. They were regularly invited to perform around the UK, including a performance of Ravel’s String Quartet at Wigmore Hall. In 2014, they were invited to play for Richard Ireland in his masterclass program at Kings Place, being the first school aged group to be accepted for the scheme. In March 2016 the quartet won the Fiona Ord String Chamber Music Competition and were awarded the Mozart Scholarship for quartet playing. They also collaborated with the prestigious London Russian Ballet School performing at the London Palladium and Cadogan Hall. Francesca has performed major orchestral works at the Royal Festival Hall, the Barbican and Bridgewater Hall working with world-renowned conductors such as Sir Mark Elder, Paul Mann and Jac Van Steen. Fran was also lucky enough to be involved in James Newton Howard’s 3 Decades of Music for Hollywood tour performing at the Royal Albert Hall with the Royal Academy Symphony Orchestra conducted by the composer.

Born in Budapest, Hungary in 1997, Mihály Berecz began studying the violin at the age of six at the Szent István Király Zenemuvészeti Szakközépiskola in Budapest. Whilst continuing to play violin in orchestras, three years later he chose to devote his studies to the piano with Edit Major and Erzsébet Belák. Mihály is currently a third-year undergraduate at London’s Royal Academy of Music studying with Christopher Elton and Joanna MacGregor.

As winner of the Debut Berlin International Concerto Competition in 2017, Mihály made his debut at the Philarmonie, Berlin in June 2017 with the German National Orchestra. Mihály’s previous awards include gold prize in the II. Manhattan International Music Competition and the Harriet Cohen Bach Prize at the Royal Academy of Music.

His performance of Liszt’s Hungarian Fantasy at the Konzerthaus, Berlin, in the 2013 Young Euro Classic Festival led to an invitation from Tamás Vásáry to give several performances at the Hungarian State Opera including a recital at the Opera Ball. Moreover, at the invitation of Zoltán Kocsis, Mihály made his debut at the Béla Bartók National Concert Hall in 2013 in a performance of Ravel’s Concerto in G Major which was broadcast live by the Bartók Radio. He received critical acclaim for his performances of this work in 2016 as did his performance of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 at the Franz Liszt Academy later that year.

Having regularly featured in the ‘Beethoven in Budapest’ Festivals, Mihály combined his love of Beethoven with an interest in historically influenced performance in a concert of Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 2 and Mozart’s Concerto K 456 on an Anton Walter fortepiano-copy with the Orfeo Orchestra and György Vashegyi at the Eszterházy Palace in Fertod. He has participated in masterclasses with distinguished pianists and other musicians including Arie Vardi, Imogen Cooper, Pascal Devoyon, Ian Fountain, Tamás Vásáry, Malcolm Bilson, Adrian Brendel and Bengt Forsberg.

Free recital (retiring collection)

St James's Church, Piccadilly
197 Piccadilly
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