Distinguished Russian pianist Nikolai Demidenko visited Gresham’s recently and gave a stunning performance in the Auden Theatre before offering a masterclass to pupils.
Mr Demidenko performed Beethoven’s notoriously challenging Hammerklavier Sonata, and gave a second half of Chopin Waltzes & Mazurkas. It was a thrilling concert; the Beethoven was dark and complex, and the Chopin brilliant in execution, and sparkling.
Mr Demidenko generously stayed and gave a masterclass to pupils in the Fishmongers’ Recital Hall. He was delighted with the new hall and Steinway, and was most impressed with our new facilities within the Britten Building.
This masterclass was offered to some of Norfolk’s finest pianists. Gresham’s pupils, Sam Aldersey-Williams (F) and Anna Boell (O) play, with pupils from Norwich School and Springwood High School also taking advantage of a unique opportunity. Sam played Brahms Intermezzo in A major, Op. 118 No. 2, and Anna played Liszt’s Liebestraum No. 3 in Db major.
A masterclass is rather like an open lesson, where the visiting expert guides and teaches the pupil, but in a way that benefits all players in the room. This was certainly the case as Mr Demidenko helped the young musicians develop a singing legato, and phrase their music elegantly. We hope he will return soon!