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“Nikolai Karlovich Medtner: Portrait of a Composer” concert

A showcase of the work of turn-of-the-century Russian composer Nikolai Medtner , introduced and performed by Aminata Alenskaia (piano) , with Vanessa Heine (mezzo-soprano) , Thao Le Thanh, piano, Eleanor Kornas, piano and Arsha Kaviani ,piano.

Nikolai Medtner was a composer and virtuoso pianist, a contemporary of Scriabin and Rachmaninov, who called him 'the greatest composer of our age'. Medtner was a central figure of the Russian Silver Age and part of the search for the ancient sources of Russian culture which was a feature of that period. Metner's music stems from Beethoven's lastsonatas andquartets while at the same time following the tradition of Bach,Schumannand Brahms.

tl_files/images/events/2013/May/Arsha Kaviani.jpg Arsha Kaviani, piano

Praised for his prodigious talent and impassioned playing, Arsha Kaviani has already made a mark as a young pianist to watch. Born in Dubai to Iranian parents in 1990, he has been soloist with orchestras such as the Qatar Philharmonic (Rachmaninov 3rd Concerto) and the Istanbul Symphony Orchestra (Prokofiev 2nd Concerto), appeared at the Abu Dhabi/Al Ain Classics Festival and in the Dubai Concert Series, and given solo and chamber music recitals in venues ranging from London's St. Johns Smith Square to the Moscow Conservatoire.

In 2013 Mr. Kaviani will give performances in the UK, Europe and the Middle East, including the Royal College of Music’s “Rising Stars” series at Cadogan Hall. Previous seasons have seen his opening Chetham's Piano Festival with Busoni's monumental Piano Concerto, performances with UK promoters such as Warwick and York universities, and a solo recital on the occasion of the opening of Steinway [&] Sons Middle East. In 2011 his performance with the Qatar Philharmonic was the focus of a widely distributed television-documentary by Al Jazeera.

Currently a Masters student of Dina Parakhina at the Royal College of Music in London, Mr. Kaviani started piano lessons at age 6 and made his concerto debut with the Dubai Chamber Orchestra in 2004. In 2006 he entered Chetham's School of Music, a specialist music school in Manchester, where he studied with Murray McLachlan and won the Concerto Competition during his first term, leading to a performance of Prokofiev's 2nd Concerto with the Chetham Symphony Orchestra. In 2008 he continued his studies with Prof. McLachlan at the Royal Northern College of Music, where he received the highest mark for his final performance and was awarded the Alfred Clay Prize for Piano. He has also been mentored by Vladimir Jurowski, Kristjan Järvi, Michel Béroff, Nelson Goerner and Bryce Morrison.

Fascinated by previous centuries' piano virtuosos – who were expected to compose their own and transcribe other composers' works – Mr. Kaviani regularly improvises on themes provided by the audience during concerts. He also performs his own compositions and unjustly neglected works, including by composers such as Samuil Feinberg, Leopold Godowsky, Nikolai Medtner and Ferruccio Busoni – besides championing the repertoire staples by Mozart, Beethoven, Schumann, Chopin, Brahms and Rachmaninov.

tl_files/images/events/2013/May/Thao Le Thanh.jpg Thao Le Thanh was born in Vietnam, but moved to Poland with her parents at an early age.

Thao has taken part in national and international piano competitions in Poland, in which she was granted top prizes, such as 1 st prize and special prize for the performance of an obligatory work by Mozart at the Ludwik Stefanski National Piano Competition, 2 nd prize at the 8 th International Piano Competition “Chopin for the youngest, 1 st prize at the Polish Radio BIS 1 st National Piano Competition “Chopin Junior”. In 2003-2005 she was a member of the “Polish Children’s Fund” which supported exceptionally talented musicians by awarding scholarships and organizing concerts and festivals.

Thao has made appearances at the National Philharmonic (Warsaw), Lutoslawski Concert Studio of Polish Radio BIS (Warsaw), Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall (New York), Saigon Opera House (Ho Chi Minh), Southbank’s Queen Elizabeth Hall (London). She has performed with the Brzewski Chamber Orchestra, the National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Ho Chi Minh National Philharmonic Orchestra and the Trinity Laban Chamber Orchestra.

Thao holds degrees from The Manhattan School of Music (B.M.) and The Royal College of Music (MMus). Currently, she is on the Independent Study Programme at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. Thao has been awarded a Founders Scholarship and a TCL Scholarship. She is also a recipient of the Henry-Wood House Bursary fund.

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Eleanor Kornas

Eleanor is 18 years old and lives in Derbyshire. She began studying piano at the age of 5 and organ at the age of 14. Eleanor attended Chetham’s School of Music from September 2003 to July 2012 and is now reading Music as an Organ Scholar at Trinity College, Cambridge. She is currently studying piano with Dina Parakhina and has lessons on the organ from Colin Walsh and Stephen Farr.

Eleanor has had many performing opportunities as a soloist, in chamber groups and in choirs. These have included performing in halls such as Bridgewater Hall and the RNCM Concert Hall in Manchester and Troldsalen (the concert hall at Troldhaugen, Norway), and in October 2011 she performed Scriabin’s Piano Concerto with the Chetham’s Symphony Orchestra at Lancaster University. Eleanor also obtained her ARCO Diploma for organ in 2011 thus becoming an Associate of the Royal College of Organists.

In the future, Eleanor hopes for a career in the music profession.

tl_files/images/events/2013/May/Piano-2.JPG The Russian-Malian pianist Aminata Alenskaia studied at the Tchaikovsky Academy of Music in Moscow with Olga Tairova and Alexei Nasedkine, the latter students of Henrick Neuhaus.

In 1991 she moved to Paris where she continued to perfect her Art of Piano Performance alongside Pierre Reach and Olivier Gardon, as well as deepening her musical knowledge from studying Music History at the Paris-Sorbonne University.

Along with her musicological research and educational activities, Aminata is pursuing her career as a concert pianist in France and Russia. She gave several thematic concerts in these countries, notably at the Galerie Tretiakov of Moscow (theme of perfume) and at the department of Philosophy at one of the best known Russian universities, MGU Lomonosov (dedicated to «Sens Plastique» by Malcolm de Chazal).

The concert at the Chatelet Theatre of Paris with mezzo-soprano Lauriane de Hubsch was also a great success.

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After her studies at Trinity College of London, the lyric mezzo-soprano Vanessa Heine embarked on a career as a singing teacher and musical director, achieving success in youth theatre with such productions as West Side Story, Sweet Charity and Annie, to name a few. Later, she sang regularly with the world famous Monteverdi Choir under Sir John Eliot Gardiner as well as groups such as the BBC Singers, the Gabrieli Consort and the Geoffrey Mitchell Choir.

As a soloist, Vanessa has been particularly active in the opera and oratorio world. Her oratorio credits include Haydn's Nelson and Theresa Masses, Mozart Requiem and a staged version of Händel's Messiah. She was a soloist in last year's world premiere of Stockhausen's Mittwoch aus Licht with the Birmingham Opera Company as well as the world premiere of Die Putzfrauen with the Neuköllner Oper. She has played the title role in Carmen to much acclaim.


1. Thao Le Thanh, piano: N. Medtner - 1 st Improvisation Op. 31 No.1

2. Arsha Kaviani, piano: N. Medtner - 1 st Sonata Op.5, 1 st mouvement

3. Vanessa Heine , mezzo-soprano, Aminata Alenskaïa , piano

S. Rachmaninov

1. In the silence of the s ecret night
2. My love has caused my misfortune

N. Medtner Songs after Goethe Op. 15

1. Selbstbetrug
2. Geistergruß
3. Meeresstille
4. Glückliche Fahrt

4. Eleanor Kornas

N. Medtner, 2nd Improvisation, op. 47

Theme - Song of the Mermaid
Var. I - Meditation
Var. II - Caprice
Var. III - Feathered Race
Var. IV - Charms
Var. V - Humoresque
Var. VI - On the Waves
Var. VII - Noise of the Crowd
Var. VIII - In the woods
Var. IX - Wood Goblin
Var. X - Elves
Var. XI - Gnomes
Var. XII - Incantation
Var. XIII - Threat
Var. XIV - Song of the Mermaid
Var. XV - Tempest
Var. XVI - Conclusion

For more information about Nikolay Medtner please CLICK HERE

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