Saturday 9th October 2021 - 4:00pm Holy Trinity Church, Blythburgh
Alexander Karpeyev and Nathan Williamson, pianos
Gary Kettel, percussion
Andrew Palmer, narrator
Gustav Holst: Mars, the Bringer of War
Elis Pehkonen: Aphrodite (festival commission, world premiere)
Gustav Holst: Venus, the Bringer of Peace
William Alwyn: Two Intermezzi for 2 pianos
Leonard Bernstein: Symphonic Dances from West Side Story
This concert will last approximately one hour, with no interval
Distinguished composer Elis Pehkonen is well known to local audiences, still working from his home in Theberton, Suffolk. His work Aphrodite, commissioned especially for this festival, marks in musical form the tragic link between Suffolk and the famous Kennedy dynasty: JFK’s elder brother, Lt. Joseph Kennedy, a volunteer US pilot in the Second World War was killed when his plane exploded in the skies above Blythburgh. The commemorative war-theme is marked through two movements of Holst’s famous ‘Planets’ suite, in the composer’s own arrangement for two pianos, before a more optimistic, post-war finale from Bernstein.
Alexander Karpeyev, featured as ‘One to watch’ in International Piano magazine, is a Russian pianist resident in the UK, who has performed throughout the UK and Europe and toured in the USA, Canada and Russia as a concerto soloist, recitalist and chamber musician.
Karpeyev trained at the Moscow Conservatory with Vera Gornostayeva and Alexander Mndoyants and the Guildhall School of Music & Drama under Joan Havill. He is the winner of the Dudley International Piano Competition as well as the Norah Sande Award and the holder of a Silver Medal from the Worshipful Company of Musicians. In 2014 he completed a performance practice doctoral degree at the City University, based on the Edna Iles Medtner Collection at the British Library. Karpeyev is often asked to give masterclasses and lectures on Russian performing practice.
Nathan Williamson is a pianist, composer and artistic director. Alongside regular solo, chamber and concerto performances, Nathan is in demand for new work from a wide variety of artists both at home and abroad. He also stages and facilitates projects at local and national level, ranging from collaborations on new repertoire, performances for the concert hall and theatre, and music-making activities for musicians of all ages and abilities. His career has led to performances at many renowned venues internationally, and he has collaborated with a wide range of artists, as well as numerous living composers in performances of their work. Nathan is a member of the new music ensemble Piano Circus, directs the Southwold Music Trust, which aims to make music central to Southwold and its locality, and recently founded ‘The Art of British Song’, a new venture showcasing the legacy and future of British song. He is in great demand as a teacher and educator, in which capacity he regularly works in schools, universities, theatres, prisons, and with amateur performers and singers.