Images & Impressions
- Format: CD
These two young women pianists, both finalists in the British Contemporary Piano Competition have assembled a fascinating CD of twentieth century and contemporary piano music. Oldest composer by far is Henri Dutilleux (b.1916) who is represented by three of his Préludes. Youngest is Gabriel Jackson (b.1962) who has four short evocative pieces included. Chronologically sandwiched between these two are four composers: Cornelius Cardew (1936 - 1981), Howard Skempton (b.1947), Dave Smith (b.1949) and Oliver Knussen (b.1952). What is created is an eclectic paean of piano music which demonstrates both great technical prowess and immense tone and colour variation. In this is presented a catalogue of post-romantic pianistic style, with a variety and range of expression which is, if nothing else, educational! In fact it is far more than that. It is a minor compendium of compositional styles ranging from elaborate post-romanticism through to austere minimalism. Quite a journey but one which is well worthwhile! Isabel Chaplais Isabel, originally from Sheffield, studied with Helen Krizos on the undergraduate Joint Course run between the RNCM and the University of Manchester, and continued her postgraduate studies at the RNCM on the Masters course. Whilst there, she was awarded several prizes, for both solo piano and chamber music. Isabel has much chamber music experience, and for several years played regularly in a violin-piano duo, a piano trio and a piano duo. Isabel has a particular interest in contemporary music, and wrote her undergraduate and postgraduate dissertations on Messiaen and Dutilleux respectively. She was awarded second prize in the British Contemporary Piano Competition. She is currently studying Messiaen and other contemporary works with Peter Hill. Isabel was awarded a full scholarship by the English Speaking Union to attend the Académie Internationale de Musique Maurice Ravel in Saint-Jean-de-Luz, France, where she studied with Jean-Francois Heisser. She has also taken part in masterclasses with Brigitte Engerer, Michel Béroff, Christopher Elton, Paul Roberts and Alexander Melnikov. She has given recitals in Sheffield, Manchester, Bury and Clitheroe, and has performed piano concertos with the Halifax Symphony Orchestra, the City of Sheffield Youth Orchestra and the Richmondshire Orchestra. She accompanied Sir Willard White for broadcast on the BBC1 'Heaven and Earth Show'. Karis Stretton Karis Stretton performs as a soloist and ensemble musician and she specialises in works from the early twentieth century to the present day. She has performed in many of the UK's principal concert venues, including St. John's Smith Square and the Queen Elizabeth Hall, as well as internationally, in Europe and America. She has been a prize winner in the British Contemporary Piano Competition and a finalist for the European Music for Youth Piano Prize, for which she made her Purcell Room debut. In 2007, she was an artist in residence at the Banff Centre, Canada. Taking her first piano lessons at the age of nine, Karis went on to receive a scholarship for entry to Birmingham Conservatoire where she studied piano with Malcolm Wilson. She graduated with first class BA Honours having won awards for her solo playing as well as her performances as a chamber musician. Moving to London, she studied piano at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with Susan Alexander Max, who remained her tutor for a number of years. Retaining a keen interest in contemporary works, Karis has collaborated with composers and groups in a variety of projects. Examples include performing with B.E.A.S.T. (Birmingham Electro-Acoustic Sound Theatre) to give the world première of Mike Vaughan's Collective Memories; working with The Music Collection and Jean-Jaques Dünki, giving the UK première of the Swiss composer's keyboard quartet Tétraptéron; and on-stage performances of music for cello and piano specially commissioned for choreographer Charles Linehan's production of Rialto. Karis has taught piano at the London Centre for Young Musicians. She lectures at Open University residential schools, and she examines internationally for the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music. In addition, she has given workshops and educational concerts in schools and universities, and she participated in the series of study days held in association with Birkbeck College, giving a lecture-recital at Wigmore Hall.