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Forgotten Gems of Chamber Music

This is a unique opportunity to hear both the nearly forgotten gems of Russian cello music and well-known repertoire written for the instrument. In addition to playing miniatures by Lyadov and Arensky prizewinning British cellist Ariana Kashefi will also present monumental sonatas by Myaskovsky and Shostakovich. Ariana is supported by the City Music Foundation.

Programme

Lyadov: Prelude and Mazurka from op. 11

Arensky: Two Pieces, Op. 12, for cello and piano

Myaskovsky: Sonata for cello and piano no. 2 in A minor, Op. 81

Shostakovich: Sonata for cello and piano in D minor, Op. 40

Ariana Kashefi, cello

Alexander Karpeyev, piano

Praised for her innate musicianship and captivating stage presence, British cellist Ariana Kashefi is in high demand as a chamber musician and soloist performing in such venues as the Wigmore Hall, Pierre Boulez Saal, Berlin Philharmonie and more.

Ariana is a Park Lane Group Young Artist, as well as being the winner of the Making Music ‘Awards for Young Concert Artists’ (AYCA) and a finalist in the Royal Overseas League competition. Most recently she became a top prize winner in the International Rubinstein Competition held in Berlin, a City Music Foundation Artist, a recipient of a Villa Musica Scholarship and a finalist in the Pierre Fournier Award which took place at the Wigmore Hall in London. 

Ariana was awarded the prestigious ‘Julius Isserlis Scholarship’ for instrumental studies abroad from the Royal Philharmonic Society which allowed her to study for her masters at the Hochschule für Musik ‘Hanns Eisler’ in Berlin with professor Claudio Bohorquez. In Berlin she was chosen on two separate occasions to perform in the prestigious ‘Excellence Concerts’ for exceptional students and graduated with the highest possible mark for her final recital. After completing her masters, Ariana was hand picked by Maestro Barenboim to study at the prestigious Barenboim- Said Akademie where she received an artist diploma under the guidance of Frans Helmerson. 

She began her studies with Robert Max at the Junior department of the Royal Academy of music where she won all available prizes and later completed her bachelors of music with first class honours at the Royal College of Music with Melissa Phelps as an Amaryllis Scholar. At the College she won the ‘Anna Shuttleworth’ cello prize in her first year and was named an ‘RCM rising star’ after performing Prokofiev concertino with the RCM symphony orchestra.

Recently she has appeared as a soloist live on BBC radio 3 ‘In Tune’ performing a selection of works including excerpts from Poulenc’s Cello sonata and a premiere of a new solo cello work by British composer Deborah Pritchard which was written and dedicated to her. As an orchestral player, Ariana has worked with the London Symphony and has been invited on several tours with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra.

Ariana frequently plays as a soloist with orchestra: this season included performances with the Southgate Symphony orchestra, the Janus ensemble, the Narva Symphony orchestra in Narva, Estonia and the North London Symphony Orchestra.

Ariana has also received invaluable guidance over the years from Steven Isserlis, David Geringas, Ralph Kirshbaum and Gary Hoffman.

Featured as ‘One to watch’ in International Piano magazine, Alexander Karpeyev 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.

‘Sasha’ is passionate about communicating his ideas on Romantic 19th and early 20th-century piano repertoire, and in particular exploring the works of virtuoso pianist-composers. A Medtner specialist, he became deeply immersed in Medtner’s music and approach to music-making while working on his doctoral degree, and his contact with unique performing practice evidence informs his own playing. He recently gave the Algerian premiere of Chopins’ F minor Concerto with the Algerian National Opera Orchestra under Maestro Amine Kouider.

He devotes considerable time to promoting Russian music in London as the Music Curator of the Pushkin House Music Salon in Bloomsbury, where he appears both as a soloist and collaborator with guest artists. He also has a mission to devise and direct music festivals that imaginatively combine performance and scholarship. Building on the success of three recent Medtner festivals in London, Karpeyev aspires to mount a bigger annual Russian Music Festival in London.

As well as performing and speaking about music, Karpeyev is actively engaged in recording projects. The first, entitled ‘Russian Émigré Composers’ (Claudio Records, 2018), commemorates the centenary of the Russian Revolution and, in particular, highlights some of the achievements of the pianist composers who emigrated to Europe and the USA at that time. The second is a recording of ‘Composers at the Savile Club‘ (SOMM Recordings, 2019). The recording celebrates the 150th anniversary of the founding of the London club. Among those featured are Elgar, Parry, Stanford, Howells and Walton. In addition to works for solo piano, the recording includes trumpet fanfares by Savile Club recent and current members Sir Malcolm Arnold and Julian Anderson.  The recording was at the top of Spotify, Apple Music and Primephonic releases in August 2019. The latest project is a CD of Medtner Songs, Opp. 36-7, 45-6, recorded with the Russian soprano Sofia Fomina (2019), offering the first complete version of Opp. 36 and 46, with Russian texts by Pushkin, Tyutchev and Fet, and German texts by Goethe, Eichendorff and Chamisso; it will be released by Chandos in 2021.

Karpeyev remains deeply grateful for the support of the Stiftung Lyra (Zürich), Guildhall School Trust, Martin Musical Scholarship Fund, Hattori Foundation, Leverhulme Trust, Craxton Memorial Trust, English Speaking Union, Fidelio Charitable Trust, Solti Foundation, Nicholas Boas Charitable Trust, Jaques Samuel Pianos, his family and numerous anonymous donors.

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Forgotten Gems of Chamber Music
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