Eastern Seasons Classical Music

27 November 2017

‘Storytellers: Medtner and Stravinsky’ with internationally acclaimed pianist Alexei Volodin in recital ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀

Alexei Volodin is joined by Edith Peña and members of the London Chamber Orchestra to present a special programme devoted to the legacy of Russian composer Nikolai Medtner who lived and worked in London from 1936 to 1951. Far less famous than his contemporary Igor Stravinsky, today Medtner is recognised as one of the most remarkable 20th century composers for piano. In this recital Medtner and Stravinsky are juxtaposed as storytellers of their Russian folkloric past and masters of imaginative piano writing.  The performance programme will be introduced by classical music journalist and BBC 3 presenter Tom Service. The concert is part of Medtner International Festival 2017.


Introduction by Tom Service

Nikolai Medtner Fairy tales (Op. 20-1, B-flat minor; Op. 34-2, E-minor; Op. 34-3, A-minor (‘Forest spirit’)
Alexei Volodin, piano

Igor Stravinsky The Rite of Spring
Alexei Volodin, piano
Edith Peña, piano

Nikolai Medtner Piano Quintet in C major, Op. posth.
Alexei Volodin, piano
Members of London Chamber Orchestra:
Vasko Vassilev, violin
Kathy Shave, violin
Rosemary Warren-Green, viola
Julia Graham, cello

Alexei Volodin
Acclaimed for his highly sensitive touch and technical brilliance, Alexei Volodin is in demand by orchestras at the highest level. Born in 1977 in Leningrad, Alexei Volodin studied at Moscow’s Gnessin Academy and later with Eliso Virsaladze at the Moscow Conservatoire. In 2001 he continued his studies at the International Piano Academy Lake Como and gained international recognition following his victory at the International Géza Anda Competition in Zurich in 2003.

Edith Peña
Nominated for Best Classical Album in the 2016 Latin Grammy Awards for her latest CD ‘Danzas en todos los Tiempos’, pianist Edith Peña was born in Caracas, where she started her musical education. She continued her training with Susan Starr and later with Sergei Babayan in Cleveland Institute of Music, USA. She is a regular guest soloist with the Simón Bolivar Orchestra of Venezuela and performs as a solo recitalist and soloist with orchestras in Germany, Austria, Poland, Russia, France, USA, México, Perú, Dominican Republic, Spain, United Kingdom and Canada.

London Chamber Orchestra
Founded in 1921, the LCO is the UK’s oldest professional chamber orchestra. The orchestra’s members, drawn from the ranks of London’s leading symphony orchestras and chamber ensembles, come together to be a part of the collaborative musical culture which Principal Conductor and Music Director Christopher Warren-Green has shaped over his many years with the orchestra. The orchestra’s London season is based at Cadogan Hall. Aside from its enviable national credentials, London Chamber Orchestra is also recognised globally, having appeared in concert halls of the highest rank around the world.

Tom Service
Tom Service has presented ‘Music Matters’ on BBC Radio 3 since 2003; also for Radio 3, he regularly presents the new music show Hear and Now, the Proms, and documentaries. Tom writes about music for The Guardian, where he was Chief Classical Music Critic. In 2013 he presented a 6-part series of 20th Century Classics at the Proms for BBC Four television. His books ‘Music as Alchemy: Journeys with Great Conductors and their Orchestras’ and ‘Full of Noises, interviews with the composer Thomas Adès’, are published by Faber. He was Guest Artistic Director of the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival in 2005. His PhD, at the University of Southampton, was on the music of John Zorn.