It’s really good to be back at the piano!

I gave a talk and recital for the Schubert Institute UK (SIUK) in October. I received really positive feedback after my talk and recital with comments including how enjoyable it was to hear a ‘clear and powerful interpretation of Schubert’s music’. We also had the most recent SIUK committee meeting, and I am now officially the membership secretary. If you would like to join please let me know, we hold several events throughout the year and membership also allows you to access Schubert collections around the country and receive our journal, the Schubertian. The thing I enjoy so far is meeting fantastic people who share a love for Schubert and his music.

My return to a portfolio career is going well. I am currently covering performance lectures for the University of Liverpool alongside my work for Early Music as Education (EMAE) and the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. At EMAE we have just launched our primary school programme which is providing free workshops to year 3 students and teaching them about musical skills. It’s enjoyable to coordinate and lead the workshops, the enthusiasm of the children is infectious. This week the senior EMAE orchestra are travelling to London for a performance to promote the charity, and also release the documentary video made in Spain. There is a lot of potential in these young Merseyside musicians.

At the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire I now have 25 piano students in my chamber music classes, divided into piano duets and all playing a varied range of repertoire. The academic teaching at the Junior Conservatoire is also going well, one class now has 20 students – it’s great to pass on the love of music and show the next generation the many facets of exploration the subject has to offer.

Another exciting project is with the Birmingham based singer Ruth Hopkins. We’re currently collaborating with education and performance endeavours. We delivered a workshop for the National Trust to Junior Conservatoire students at the beginning of November, concentrating on Elgar and highlighting the power of music and its link to nature. We’re giving a further workshop this week as well as a recital at St Alphege Church in Solihull on Wednesday (20 November 2019) at 1pm. The programme includes Gurney’s ‘Spring’ and ‘Sleep’, Howell’s ‘King David’, Purcell’s ‘Music for a while’ and Elgar’s ‘Speak Music’. If you’re free and in the area please come along, it’ll be great to see you there.

Exciting times ahead with other performance projects in the pipeline and lots of exciting new repertoire to learn.

I hope you’re enjoying the Autumn colours and staying warm – until next time, take care.

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