Bach meets Chopin
t is well-known that Chopin hugely admired the work of JS Bach and would play his Preludes & Fugues before his own performances, as well as encourage his pupils to exercise their minds and fingers with the great man’s music.
Firstly, a suite from the last set that Bach wrote – a rich, grand and cosmopolitan selection of seven stylised dances from Europe, designed to be played for entertainment in the home.
The second half features two of Chopin’s most loved works – the romantic third Ballade and the dazzling Scherzo no.2 – alongside a set of Nocturnes by Fauré, who was deeply inspired by Chopin’s soaring melodic lines, and took his harmonic freedom to new levels.
James Longford has a hugely varied career, working as a solo and collaborative pianist, repetiteur & vocal coach, and in music theatre and education. He trained at the Royal College of Music, winning the coveted Tagore Gold Medal, and was Organ Scholar of St. Martin-in-the-Fields. James was selected as a Steinway Artist in 2014.
Concerto performances include Mozart Piano Concertos 11 & 21, Poulenc Aubade and Concerto for Two Pianos, Beethoven Choral Fantasia, Bach Concerto for Two Keyboards in d minor.
James is a guest solo artiste for Cunard Line and works regularly with the Royal Opera House & Royal Ballet, English National Opera, BBC Singers, BBC Symphony Chorus, London Concert Choir, Kokoro, Synergy Vocals, Heritage Orchestra, Birmingham Opera Company, and Garsington Opera, and was a founder member of the groundbreaking orchestra Southbank Sinfonia. James founded the Galos Piano Trio in 2012; they are currently the Ensemble-in-Residence for Dyfed, inspiring budding young performers and composers with masterclasses and composition workshops in beautiful west Wales. The Trio’s new recording of works by women composers will be released in early 2019, featuring the music of Clara Schumann alongside her lesser-known contemporaries Agnes Zimmerman and Luise le Beau.
Highlights in 2018 included a tour of Ireland with Here all Night, a hypnotic journey into the musical mind of Samuel Beckett by “The unparalleled Beckett Champions” Gare St Lazare Ireland, with music by Paul Clark, and Keys to the Universe – celebrating the centenary of Holst’s The Planets in a previously unperformed four hands arrangement accompanied by stunning video projections.
- Tickets £19.20