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Hidden Gems - evening of cello, piano and vocal music

Wednesday October 4, 2023 at 19:00
St Mary le Strand, London
£20, £10
Book Online
No tickets "at the door"
  1. Ballade in C minor Op 15 - Sergey Prokofiev
  2. 5 Akhmatova Poems Op 27 - Sergey Prokofiev
  3. Fairy Tale No 3: Narrante a piacere, from 4 Fairy Tales for Piano Op 26 - Nikolay Karlovich Medtner
  4. 6 Studies in English Folk Song, for cello and piano - Ralph Vaughan Williams
  5. To her, from 6 Romances, for voice and piano Op 38 - Sergey Rachmaninov
  6. Adagio, from Cinderella - Sergey Prokofiev
  7. Prelude in B minor Op 11 No 1 - Anatoly Konstantinovich Lyadov
  8. 5 Pieces for cello and piano - Amy Marcy Beach

Hidden Gems concerts were created to highlight often unjustly overlooked classical music pieces. In this concert you will hear wonderful music by Medtner, Rachmaninov, Amy Beach, Prokofiev, Vaughan Williams and others.

Elena Toponogova is a concert pianist and chamber musician based in London. Her repertoire is primarily comprised of Russian music, with a particular focus on the music of Nikolai Medtner. She recently won the prize for the best performance of a Prelude and Fugue by J S Bach of the Nuova Coppa International Piano Competition, Italy. In 2017, Elena received a Master of Performance degree from the Royal College of Music, studying under Norma Fisher. Her studies were generously supported by the Norah Seary Trust, Altrusa Careers Trust, the Future of Russia Foundation and Tsukanov Family Foundation. She participated in numerous masterclasses of such world-renowned pianists as Dirk Mommertz (Faure Quartet), G.Gruzman, I.Chukovskaya and was selected to study at the Academie de Musique Riviera in Switzerland with Pavel Gililov with the support of the Help Musicians UK Transmission Fund grant. Elena has taken part in many international festivals including Chichester Festival, Bloomsbury Festival and Timani Music Festival in Oslo. She has been performing as a soloist and chamber musician in the UK, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Russia and appeared at the prestigious Rachmaninov Hall of the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatoire, Salzburg Wiener Saal, Amaryllis Fleming Hall, V&A Museum, St.Martin-in-the-Fields among many others. In 2017, with the support of the Oleg Prokofiev Trust she performed Prokofiev’s Five Poems of Anna Akhmatova at the Regent Hall together with soprano Eleanor Penfold. The concert was described as “an inspiring performance” by Musical Opinion Magazine. Together with Norwegian violinist Elisabeth Turmo, Elena will release a CD dedicated to the music inspired by myths and legends in 2023. Elena is proud to be a part of the Live Music Now initiative that brings live music to care settings and hospitals across the UK.

Praised in Opera Magazine for having ‘the vocal equipment to dazzle’, Eleanor Penfold graduated from the Royal College of Music as a Ruth West Scholar. Eleanor was awarded the Schubert Song Prize at the London Song Festival by Dame Felicity Lott.
Eleanor has performed roles with Opéra Bastille in Paris (Naïade/Bergère in Rameau’s Les Fêtes d’Hébé), Opera Zuid (Elle in Jan-Peter de Graaff’s Bonsai Garden), English Touring Opera (Vénus in Rameau’s Dardanus and Soprano 2 in Bach's B minor Mass), Oxford Opera (Queen of the Night in Mozart's The Magic Flute) and Waterperry Opera Festival, where she was recognised as a ‘forceful and note-perfect’ Königin der Nacht (Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte).
A Britten-Pears Young Artist and Iford New Generation Artist, Eleanor performed the role of Rossignol in an award-winning online production of Ravel’s L’Enfant et les sortilèges with the London Philharmonic and VOpera. In 2019, Eleanor founded her ensemble Transposed which has performed throughout the UK. The inaugural concert tour Try Me, Good King was featured in Alternative Classical’s list of “must see” shows, celebrating iconic Shakespearean and Tudor women in stunning Tudor and Elizabethan venues.
Eleanor looks forward to touring the UK premiere of Daniel Saleeb's The Promise, and to making her role debut as Lucy in Menotti's The Telephone (Opera in Oborne) and Anne Trulove in Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress later this year with New Palace Opera.

Riccardo Pes was born in Spilimbergo, Italy and studied at the Music Conservatory 'Benedetto Marcello' in Venice and attended the High Specialization Music Courses held by Giovanni Sollima at Accademia Nazionale Santa Cecilia in Rome. Subsequently he graduated from the Royal College of Music, where he was an RCM Scholar, supported by numerous awards. Riccardo has studied composition and counterpoint with the composers Battista Pradal and Mario Pagotto. He is a keen chamber musician and he is currently co-founder and artistic director of the Vendramelli String Orchestra, a string ensemble formed by established musicians and young talents. In July 2021, Riccardo released QUBIT, an album of his own compositions inspired by Physics and Astrophysics.

St Mary le Strand
The Strand

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