Saturday 13th May 2017

James Willshire (Piano)
Philippa Harrison (Piano)

Heralded for performances of “spectacular musicianship and technical brilliance” (The Scotsman), “evangelizing urgency”  (International Record Review) and “freshness and lucidity” (The Herald), pianist James Willshire performs internationally as soloist and chamber musician.

James has given world premiere performances of works by Ronald Stevenson, John McLeod and Rory Boyle. His debut recording on Delphian Records featured the complete piano music by Boyle; it was released in 2011 to critical acclaim, including a five-star review from The Scotsman. In October 2013 his recording of piano music by Ronald Stevenson was released. The CD was reviewed by BBC Music Magazine, Gramophone, received a five-star review in Classical Music magazine, and was awarded an IRR Outstanding by International Record Review. Other press interest for the recording included articles in The Guardian, The Sunday Times, The Scotsman, Sinfini Music, The Arts Desk and MusicWeb International. His recording of piano music by David Jennings was chosen as one of MusicWeb International’s Recordings of the Year 2013.

Here in Middlewich, we just love to hear him play, so every 2 or 3 years we invite him back to entertain us again.

Philippa Harrison

Philippa has an extensive and varied career performing as soloist and chamber musician throughout the UK and abroad. Her work as a chamber musician has been widely praised, featuring a broad repertoire and specialising in contemporary music. Versatile and wide-ranging in her experience, Philippa is dedicated to educational work. She strives to encourage and familiarise young people with classical and contemporary music through her workshop leadership, and as piano teacher at Junior Guildhall.

Here is a PDF of the Poster for this concert . (click to VIEW or right click to SAVE). Please feel free to print and display the brochure to help publicise this concert.
[Note that this Poster is from before the late programme change]

(announced 26th April 2016, amended to include Debussy 8th January 2017,
further amended to include the Piano Duet version of Saint-Saens on 8th May 2017)

Mozart: Rondo in A minor K 511
Liszt: Rigoletto Paraphrase
Debussy: Images No 1 (Reflection in the Water)
Ginastera: Sonata no. 1 op. 22


Saint-Saens: Carnival of the Animals for Piano Duet,
with accompanying poems by Ogden Nash
James is joined by his wife Phillipa Harrison to perform the Piano Duet.
The poems will be read by our own Joy Naylor.

Don’t worry if you aren’t really a fan of poetry. These poems are short (ranging from 2 to 12 lines) and very comical, serving as a perfect introduction to the theme of each piece.

Brief Report “on the night”

A really enjoyable concert with 2 very different halves. First James played a delicate Mozart piece. Next a List piece designed for showing-off. The Debussy was quiet and beautiful. The Ginastera had feet tapping to the incessant rhythm and raised thunderous applause to finish off the first half.

After the interval Philippa explained how Carnival of the Animals came about about, before our own Joy Naylor read the first poem. Then we were away into a set of very different piano duets, some light, some heavy (the elephants), some amusing in their own right. Each piece was introduced by a short Ogden Nash poem (many of which contained made-up works that had everybody laughing) as Joy read them to us. The “pianists” poem introduced an especially dramatic piano piece. The finale was again followed by thunderous applause.

All pictures taken by Roger Evans

For more information about James Willshire visit his own web-site (in a new window), by clicking HERE

For more information about Philippa Harrison visit her own web-site (in a new window), by clicking HERE

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