On Friday 13th May 2011, I traveled to London with my fantastic piano teacher, Antonina Lax.
You see, that night we were going to participate in one of the most prestigious concerts Musica Amata has ever performed as we were playing at the Steinway Hall! Obviously, we were very excited and very nervous at the same time. Steinway is a world-renowned piano company and many extremely famous pianists perform on Steinway pianos. So, you could say, that this made the prospect of performing a little bit scary too!
All of my nerves ebbed away, however, when we met Mr. Keith Glazebrook, the Manager of the London branch of Steinway and Sons. A lovely man, he showed us great hospitality as he let us have an entire room for our concert that evening. He also gave us an amazing tour around the Steinway workshops and showed us how they take apart pianos that need repairing. It was so interesting to see the inside of a piano and how everything works.
One of my personal highlights of the day was when my Teacher and I got to meet the world famous pianist, Lang Lang. He was recording for the BBC and other companies such as Sony. We didn’t think that we would get to actually meet him – but we did. I got his autograph and a picture taken with him. He was really funny and he made us giggle quite a lot. This gave us the boost we needed for the night ahead.
After a lot of rehearsing and practicing, we were finally ready for the concert to begin. I did three solo pieces, Antonina did five, then we played two piano duets with Antonina. The concert went well and I felt very grateful to have had this once in a lifetime opportunity.
Overall, my day at the Steinway Hall was absolutely fantastic and one I will never, ever forget. If I go back to London, the Steinway Hall will definitely be one of the first places on my list to re-visit!
Last Saturday, the pupils of Academia di Musica Amata, including myself, assembled for a piano master class on the theme of ‘Water Music’.
The lesson started with an unexpected message from composer Graham Lynch, which gave us much inspiration.
Both the pupils and Antonina then recited various pieces, both modern and classical, which included compositions written by Graham and also Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Tchaikovsky, Liszt and Schmidt.
Whilst appreciating the lovely melodies we imagined peaceful brooks, stormy mountains, boating lakes and we even travelled to the canals of Venice and St Petersburg!
The pieces were supplemented with images so that we could make the music come more ‘alive’.
We discovered that not all pieces need names to evoke wonderful images and that one topic can be written about and can still remain unique to each composer.
Afterword, we gave our own thoughts and discussed techniques used in the music (For example, arpeggios, chromatic scales and broken chords).
We ended the lesson with cake and a drink and we all agreed that Antonina had made the session informative, creative and fun.
Thank you, Antonina!
By Eve Welch
On Friday afternoon five pupils from Dr Lax's piano class hosted a most enjoyable concert in the Atkinson Hall about music and sweets. Florence Harrison from 4W came up with the idea of a chocolate concert last year and Dr Lax prepared a programme of piano music that related closely to sweets and chocolate. The concert was a multimedia-educational concert of music through art and food and is part of Dr Lax's continuing educational experiments and teachings; she started 20 years ago in Russia and Bulgaria.
The concert saw the return of a former Prep School pupil, Rohan Kelsall, who narrated the concert, performed a piano duet and told a story via video link. The concert also featured Farrah West reading her own poem about sweets and playing a piano duet with Dr Lax called Cake Walk. Florence Harrison told a story about her father eating chocolate when he was a child and Dr Lax and Ester Lee (a Sixth Former in Longfield House) performed a selection of piano duets from Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Ballet.
An impressive addition to our concert was a sweetie sculpture made by the Year 3 & 4 Art Club. This impressive statue was almost good enough to eat. On display were a selection of chocolate "Celebrations" drawn by the Art Club.
Each piece of music performed was enhanced by a video of chocolates and images relating to the music, which Dr Lax had prepared to splendid effect. At the end of the concert the audience were given Quality Streets, Roses and Celebrations to complement the music.
The concert was very well received and again thanks must go to Dr Lax, Mrs Brown and the pupils from Prep and Senior School for their hard work.
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