Historical 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).
Below are details of concerts held in the past. For information on forthcoming concerts, please use this link.
No concert in December
Wednesday 27th November 2019 – Masayuki Tayama (Piano)
Masayuki Tayama, one of today’s most accomplished pianists, is much in demand across Europe and Japan. He regularly performs for us at St Martin’s Ruislip.
He prepared a real Christmas chocolate box of famous popular classical pieces, starting with Rachmaninov’s Prelude in G minor, which all of you will recognise as soon as you hear it. This was followed by Beethoven’s ‘Appassionata’, which is one of his greatest and passionate piano sonatas. His concert concluded with three of Chopin’s most well known pieces - Waltz in C sharp minor, Nocturne in D flat major and his Scherzo no 2 in B flat minor.
Those looking to have their spirits lifted in readiness for the festive season, as winter closed in, this concert did not disappoint.
Wednesday 30th October 2019 - Mengyang Pan (piano)
Chinese born British pianist Mengyang Pan began her piano studies at the age of three. She is now a Professor of Piano at the Royal College of Music. She is a popular performer at St Martin’s. Her wonderful programme, listed below, attracted an audience of over 100 -
Beethoven’s Rage over a Lost Penny, Chopin’s Ballade number 1 in G minor and Number 2 in F major, Liszt‘s Annees de pelerinage Suiss (Years of Pilgrimage, Switzerland) and finally one of Moszkowsk‘s most popular works, Caprice Espagnol in A minor.
Wednesday 26th June - Renata Konyicska (piano)
Renata Konyicska is a Hungarian concert pianist based in London. She has won the first prize in a number of international piano competitions. She graduated with her Masters degree at the Royal Academy of Music. After being accepted at Birmingham Conservatoire with full scholarship, she attained her Advanced Postgraduate Diploma in 2018.
Renata prepared a superb programme for our June Concert:
Bach - Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue BWV 903,
Beethoven - Sonata F major Op. 10 No. 2,
Liszt - Benediction de Dieu dans la Solitude,
Chopin - Scherzo No 4 E major Op.54.
Wednesday 24th April - Béla Hartmann (piano)
A prize-winner of both national and international competitions, the Czech-German pianist Béla Hartmann has established a reputation for lively and individual interpretations of a wide repertoire.
His debut CD with works by Schubert was released by Meridian Records in 2011 to critical acclaim.
He prepared a wonderfully varied programme for our April concert:
Mozart’s delightful Rondo in A minor K511
the first piano sonata in A major by Schubert
Bartok’s 6 Romanian Dances for piano which many of you would have instantly recognised,
and finally the virtuosic Scherzo no 1 in B minor by Chopin with its uplifting middle section.
Wednesday 27th February - Haruko Seki (piano)
Haruko Seki is a popular pianists and has appeared at St Martin’s many times before. She was described by Musical Opinion as, "a pianist with an innate ability to communicate with her audience." Haruko Seki put together a very varied and enjoyable programme, comprising some very well known pieces but also incorporating some less familiar works which are well worth listening to.
This concert attracted the largest audience we have had a St Martin’s. Ruislip, that we can recall.
Ludwig van Beethoven Sonata no. 5 in C minor. Op 10 no. 1.
John Ireland Decorations - 1) The Island Spell, 2) Moon-Glade, 3) The Scarlet Ceremonies
Franz Schubert Impromptu No 2 in A flat. Op 142
Schubert/Liszt Soiree de Vienne, Valse-Caprice No 6. S427 (piano transcription)
Saint-Saens/Liszt Danse Macabre. S555 (piano transcription)
Wednesday 28th November - Keishi Suzuki (piano)
Keishi Suzuki is a fine young Japanese pianist and orchestral conductor. He won first prize in Liszt International Piano Competition here in London in 2017. While visiting London in November 2018 he gave two recitals, one of which was at St Martin’s Ruislip.
Not surprisingly he chose a programme comprising mainly of works by Liszt, but he opened his recital with three works by Debussy: Etude pour les octaves, Prelude Book 1 No.7. ‘What the west wind has seen’ and Prelude Book 2 No.6, ‘Général Lavine – eccentric’.
Liszt’s Valse Oubliee No.3 and Faribolo Pasteur, and his Hungarian Rhapsodies nos. 11, 12 and 13, were interspersed by two of Liszt’s most famous song transcriptions: Schubert’s ‘The Miller and the Brook’ and Schumann’s ‘Widmung’.
Wednesday 31st October - Andrzej Wiercinski (piano)
Andrzej is a young Polish pianist. He flew to London to give two recitals, one of which was St Martin's, Ruislip. He was first prize winner of both the International Chopin Piano Competition in Budapest, Hungary in 2014 and the Chopin Piano National Competition in Warsaw, Poland in 2015.
His programme comprised:
The very famous Bach/Busoni - Chaconne in D minor,
Four Mazurkas (op. 24) by Chopin,
Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody in C-sharp minor no.12,
and Rachmaninov’s masterful Corelli Variation in D minor op. 42.
Wednesday 26th September - Rokas Valuntronis (piano)
Rokas is an accomplished Lithuanian pianist.
He chose works by Chopin, Debussy and Liszt for his concert.
He started with Chopin’s 5 Mazurkas Opus 7 and followed these with his Ballades numbers 1 and 2, which are amongst Chopin’s greatest works. Finally Debussy’s Images (Book 1) which consist of 3 tone poems entitles Reflections in the water, Tribute to Rameau and Movement, preceded Liszt’s transcription of Gounod’s famous Waltz from his opera ‘Faust’.
A marvellous concert.
Wednesday 27th June - Niel du Preez (piano)
Niel du Preez opened his recital with Schubert’s gigantic final sonata in B-flat major (D960).
This work contains distinct allusions and similarities to works by Beethoven, a composer Schubert venerated. It consists of four movements, each with a different and unique character.
Next Niel juxtaposed two of Scriabin’s 24 Preludes Op. 11 (numbers 1 and 10) with two preludes by Debussy – The Interrupted Serenade with obvious Spanish influences and What the west wind saw which is one of Debussy’s most virtuosic preludes,
The concert ended with Liszt’s piano transcription of the A minor organ prelude and fugue by Bach (originally written for organ). This is very rhapsodic in nature and is played freely and in a variety of tempi.
Wednesday 29th 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 opened 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 were followed by Brahms’s virtuosic Variations on a Theme of Paganini Op 35 Book I.
Finally we heard 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 concert was filled with wonderful melodies and stunning piano playing.
Wednesday 25th April - Tommaso Carlini (piano)
Tommaso Carlini flew in from Italy for a series of concerts in London, one of which was at St Martin’s Ruislip.
He prepared a passionate, brilliant and stimulating programme for us to enjoy.
The concert commenced with one of Beethoven’s great piano sonatas - number 23, in F minor, the ‘Appassionata’.
This was followed by a selection of 7 of Liszt’s 12 Transcendental Etudes, which are regarded by many as truly awe-inspiring triumphs of the piano literature.
Wednesday 28th March - Valentin Schiedermair (piano)
Valentin is one of our most popular artists, with his engaging introductions to each piece he performs. He chose an interesting and enjoyable programme, based largely round the musical Prelude.
Originally a Prelude was a short musical composition that came before a larger piece. This was certainly true during the Baroque era when J S Bach wrote his two sets of 24 Preludes and Fugues. These are generally regarded as being among the most important works in the history of Western classical music.
However by the time of the Romantic era, the Prelude had more often than not become a stand alone composition, with Chopin, Debussy and Rachmaninov all writing their own sets of 24. We heard in full the Prelude and Fugue in E major BWV 878 by Bach, and a contrasting selection of preludes written by the 3 later composers.
In addition, Valentin performed Scriabin’s emotionally charged Prelude and Nocturne for the left hand, Op 9, written after he had injured his right hand, as a result of over-practicing, and Chopin’s famous Etude Op 25 no1 (nicknamed Aeolian Harp) and his wonderful Ballade no 3 Op 45 concluded the programme.
Wednesday 28th February - Ashley Fripp (piano)
British pianist, Ashley Fripp, has been described as “a genuine virtuoso, an astoundingly brilliant and masterly pianist, and his total grasp of the music is a joy to hear.” He frequently appears as solo recitalist, chamber musician and concerto soloist in many of the world's most prestigious concert halls, having performed extensively throughout Europe, Asia, North America, Africa and Australia.
Ashley, who is a regular performer at St Martin’s, prepared a wonderful programme for our February concert. J S Bach’sPartita No. 2 in C minor, was followed by the charming original piano version of Weber’s Invitation to the Dance. A set of four delightful Chopin Mazurkas Op 24preceded the climax of the concert, Chopin’s Andante spianato et grande polonaise brillante. Here the thematically exquisite Andante spianato section is followed by the technically demanding and magnificent grande polonaise brillante.