Lunchtime Classical Concerts

Lunchtime Classical Music Concerts are held in St Martin’s Church Hall, at 12.15 pm, on the last Wednesday of the month (except, July, August and December).

There is a retiring collection which is used to defray the considerable expenses associated with these concerts - artistes fees, hall hire, publicity materials - and for the benefit of the Myosotis Trust.  The concerts are arranged on a voluntary basis for the benefit of the community and receive no subsidy of any kind.  Your generosity is much appreciated. Thank you.

The concerts are held in St Martin's Church Hall, adjacent to the church.  Directions to the church, public transport and parking details can be found on our location page.

Future Concert Programmes

At St Martin’s we aim to provide serious classical music concerts given by the best artists possible.

Wednesday 30th May - John Granger Fisher (piano)

John Granger Fisher has established himself as one of Australia’s leading concert pianists.  It has been said of him, “His virtuosity knocked us over. More than that, he simply moved us to tears.”

The concert will open with 3 popular piano transcriptions, namely: the Bach/Busoni - Chorale-Prelude ‘Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ’ (I call to You, Lord Jesus Christ), the very beautiful, Wagner/Liszt - Isolde's Liebestod, and Schumann/Liszt – Widmung.

These will be followed by Brahms’s virtuosic Variations on a Theme of Paganini Op 35 Book I.

Finally we will hear Preludes numbers 2 and 6 from Rachmaninov’s opus 23 set, followed by 7 of the most famous Chopin Etudes - Opus 10 numbers 1, 6 and 11, and Opus 25 numbers 1, 5, 7 and 12.

This will be an exceptional concert, filled with wonderful melodies and stunning piano playing.

Wednesday 27th June - Niel Du Preez (piano)

 

Niel has inspired both live and radio audiences in the UK, continental Europe and his native South Africa with his expressive and poetic solo playing. He has also performed with leading orchestras and chamber musicians. He has played many times here at these St Martin's concerts.

July and August   -   No Concert

 

Wednesday 26th September - Rokas Valuntonis (piano)

 

Lithuanian pianist, Rokas Valuntonis, is a remarkable pianist with an amazing technique. He has been a prize winner in several international piano competitions.

Wednesday 31st October - Andrzej Wiercinski (piano)

 

Andrzej is a young Polish pianist. He is flying to London to give two recitals, one of which will be at St Martin's, Ruislip. He was first prize winner of  both the International Chopin Piano Competition in Budapest, Hungary, 2014 and the Chopin Piano National Competition in Warsaw, Poland in 2015.

Wednesday 28th November - Keishi Suzuki (piano)

 

As part of his prize for winning the 2017 Liszt Society International Piano Competition in London, Keishi was offered a performance opportunity at the 2018 competition. Due to the happy coincidence of dates, and through a colleague and friend, he was also offered a concert at St Mary's Perivale and here at St Martin's Ruislip. Keishi comes from Japan and is an exceptional pianist and deserving winner.

December   -   No Concert

 

 

Lunchtime Classical Concerts - Reviews

Wednesday 28th February - Ashley Fripp (piano) 

It is always refreshing to be in the presence of true intelligence.  Everything is simplified in its logic with a wish to communicate and share information with others.

So it was at the concert given by Ashley Fripp.

His Performance of Bach’s Partita No. 2 in C minor was enthralling and his performance of Weber’s Invitation to the Dance, Op. 65 was a sheer joy and so refreshing. He continued in this vein with Four Mazurkas, Op. 24 by Chopin and concluded the recital with a magical rendering of Chopin’s Andante spianato et grande polonaise brillante, Op. 22, with its contrasting two halves - the thematically exquisite Andante spianato section, followed by the technically demanding and magnificent grande polonaise brillante.

An uplifting recital indeed.

Wednesday 31st January 2018 - Vitaly Pisarenko (piano) 

A sublime performance by a consummate pianist - every piece was exquisitely interpreted and crafted.

The Brahms Theme and Variations, for piano in D minor Op18b and his lesser know Scherzo Op.4 in E-flat minor opened the concert, and set the standard.

Debussy’s Images Oubliées or Forgotten Images, an unfamiliar work to me, was masterfully uplifting. But then came the Chopin Scherzos No. 1 and 2, the sound of which just blew me away. The concert concluded with the technically brilliant Hungarian Rhapsody No. 10 by Liszt, played with such flair that I was momentarily transported to Hungary.

By the end it was not difficult to see why Vitaly was first prize winner of the 8th International Franz Liszt Piano Competition in Utrecht, and third prize winner of the very prestigious Leeds International Piano Competition 2015; yet he remains modest and unassuming.

Wednesday 29th November - Masayuki Tayama (piano) 

Masayuki Tayama, one of today’s most accomplished pianists, delivered a remarkable performance at our November concert. His rendering of the second and third Chopin Scherzos was masterful; bringing out not only the beautiful melodies but also the excitement within these brilliant works.

As a Rachmaninoff specialist, his playing of the 9 Etude Tableau (study pictures) Op. 39, which were written at the height of Rachmaninoff’s compositional powers, and were amongst the last works he composed while living in his beloved Russia, before he was forced to flee the Russian revolution and emigrate to America, was magical.

The encore ending the concert was the delightful Waltz in C sharp minor Op. 64 No. 2. by Chopin. I, for one, returned home uplifted.

Wednesday 25th October -  Mengyang Pan (piano) 

About 100 people came to hear Mengyang’s concert, which started with the passionately melodic Sonata in F minor (K166) by Domenico Scarlatti, followed by the 3 tone pictures of Debussy’s Image Book II.

Her programme continued with very expressive and moving performances of Liszt’s Funerailles and his piano transcription of Wagner’s Isolde’s Liebestod (transfiguration).

Finally the mood changed, and we were treated to a wonderful rendition of Gershwin’s own piano arrangement of Rhapsody in Blue and a perfectly matched encore of Nikolai Kapustin’s virtuosic Jazz Etude No 1 (op 40). Oh, what an exciting conclusion to a brilliantly played concert.

It was heartening to hear so many of our audience remarking at the end of the concert, on how much they had enjoyed it.

Wednesday 27th September -  Michal Szymanowski (piano) 

Photo from Chopin Competition in Warsaw  by: NIFC / Wojciech Grzędziński

There is always something magical about Chopin’s music when it is played by a consummate artist, like Michal Szymanowski.

So it was during his September concert when we were treated to a full hour of exquisitely and sensitively played Chopin works.

This concert was arranged in preparation for him competing in the prestigious International Chopin Competition in Darmstadt, Germany in early October.

Michal's programme comprised: Four Mazurkas Op 17 (for which he won the Mazurka prize at Darmstadt), Ballade no 4 Op 52, Waltz Op 34 No 1, and Sonata no 3 Op 58.

This was an altogether uplifting concert.

We are delighted that Michal reached the final stage of the competition in Darmstadt and was awarded 4th prize.

Wednesday 28th June - Jeannette Ager (mezzo soprano) and Viv McLean (piano) 

It is quite widely recognised that audience numbers tend to be slightly lower at local concerts which feature singers. So it was at our July concert. Quite why this is remains a mystery, but this should in no way detract from the performance of Jeanette Ager and Viv McLean.

Jeanette’s characterful singing and Viv’s attentive and sensitive accompaniment held ones attention throughout their charming programme, which comprised: Brahms’s ‘Zigeunerlieder (Gipsy songs) Opus 103’, Ravel’s ‘Chants Populaires (Folk songs)’ and a selection of folk song arrangements by Britten. In all Jeanette sang in 7 languages.

For me the highlights of the concert were Jeanette’s and Viv’s interpretation of Britten’s Last Rose of Summer, O Waly Waly with its wonderful ascending chords in the accompaniment and Sally Gardens.

After I had finished clearing up the hall, a report reached me that the talk in the lady’s cloakroom after the concert was how much they had all enjoyed the concert. Reward indeed for all those who did attend this delightful concert.

Wednesday 31st May 2017 - Renata Konyicska (piano) 

Although the first half of the concert comprised some of Franz Liszt’s less familiar works, the performance was so sensitive that my attention was rapt throughout.

Renata managed to bring out a very expressive dynamic and wonderful singing tone from the piano which so enhanced the music I was hearing for the first time - Saraband and Chaconne from Almira (Liszt/Handel), Impromptu in F sharp major (Liszt) and Six Polish Songs (Liszt/Chopin). 

These pieces were followed by an exquisite performance of Schubert’s Impromptu in A flat major, which must surely be very familiar to all lovers of the piano repertoire.  Finally, in spite of the huge technical difficulties of Liszt’s operatic fantasy, Reminiscences de Don Juan, based on themes from Mozart’s opera Don Giovanni, Renata seemed totally relaxed and at one with the piano and those familiar themes from the opera sang out from the music.

“A most memorable concert” was a comment from one of our regular audience members.