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Concert: Richard Saxel and Faith Leadbetter

Saturday 30th June 2012. 19.30

In aid of Leukaemia Research

Ticket Information: £15.00 Tel: 01983 740609

Richard Saxel and Faith Leadbetter

Picture of Richard Saxel and Faith Leadbetter A prize-winning piano duet committed to performing both familiar and new works for four hands at one piano (and also for two pianos) in a dynamic fashion. Faith Leadbetter and Richard Saxel were the first ever ensemble to win the National Federation of Music Societies Making Music Award for Young Concert Artists, and have previously been selected artists in the Concert Promoters Network brochure.

Their flexible and unusual programming, combined with entertaining spoken introductions to the repertoire they perform has made them very popular with music societies around the UK, and they have also given major recitals and master classes at the Dartington International Summer School.

Programme Details

Title Composer
Andante & Variations in G major, K501 Mozart
Andantino Varie in B minor, D823 Schubert
Suite Op.52 York Bowen
INTERVAL Refreshments Included
Mozart Goes to Town Clifford Benson
Three Preludes on Irish Airs Reynaldo Hahn
Ma mère l'oye (Mother Goose) Ravel

Richard Saxel

Picture of Richard SaxelRichard Saxel is a concert pianist who is establishing a reputation as one of the finest accompanists of his generation. He studied the piano with the late Clifford Benson whilst at the University of York, and then with Michael Dussek as a postgraduate at the Royal Academy of Music. Richard’s musical interests owe much to the influence of these two outstanding teachers; whilst happy to explore lesser known piano solo repertoire, his real interest lies in the art of chamber music and piano accompaniment.
Richard has recently recorded a solo disc of Schumann (Waldscenen Op.82), Janacek (On an Overgrown Path) and Edward MacDowell (Woodland Sketches Op.51), which is due for release on the Quartz label in early 2010. The recording was completed at Champs Hill in August 2009, and was produced and engineered by Alexander van Ingen.

One of Richard’s great attributes as a performer is his versatility. For four years he was one of the six pianists in Piano Circus, who perform and broadcast contemporary music at major festivals around the world, and he has worked with a fascinating variety of artists, from Indonesian puppeteers to ballet dancers, tango musicians, trapeze artists, music theatre performers, jazz singers and also with the Endymion Ensemble under Gyorgy Kurtag. He accompanies several well known soloists including Gerard McChrystal (saxophone), Andrew Nicholson (flute) and Sophie Langdon (violin). He is the pianist in the Meryon Trio, alongside his long standing duo partner Angus Meryon (clarinet) and internationally acclaimed cellist Jitka Vlasankova.

Richard has performed at many major festivals, including the Istanbul International Festival, Lucerne Festival, La Roque D’Antheron, The Big Chill, Victoria Arts Festival in Gozo, Cheltenham Festival and Dartington International Summer School as well as at several of London’s leading venues including the Queen Elizabeth Hall and St. John’s Smith Square, and at St. David's Hall in Cardiff.

Richard has in the past been the recipient of awards from the National Federation of Music Societies (winning the Making Music Award in 2002), the Countess of Munster Trust and the English Speaking Union, and he enjoys entertaining audiences at his recitals with spoken introductions and anecdotes. He is Head of Keyboard at Cranleigh School in Surrey, and runs a business providing independent advice for purchasing pianos.

Away from music, his interests are mainly sporting, and include playing cricket (he holds an equal (but unofficial) world record for the most stumpings in an innings), and golf. He is married to Andrea, and they have a baby daughter.

Faith Leadbetter

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