Sir Richard Stilgoe OBE Hosts Lord Mayor of London’s Spectacular City Music Foundation Winners Concert

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The City Music Foundation celebrate inaugural awards with spectacular London concert

by Cristina Aragon

Amazing.  No other words can describe the talent displayed at The Lord Mayor of London’s Spectacular City Music Foundation Concert.   Six soloists and two folk bands performed at the newly built Milton Court Concert Hall to promote their careers.  The young musicians had enough opportunity to flaunt their talents in a fairly lengthy event that allowed 20 minutes of performing time per act plus an interval.   Sir Richard Stilgoe guided us through the night with a variety of poems and anecdotes that kept us entertained and informed.

The repertoire was diverse and unexpected, and perhaps not exactly to some people’s taste.  However one couldn’t help but be taken by the technically and emotionally superb performances.  Having had the privilege of being acoustically in the ‘sweet spot’, the venue rendered an unbiased and accurate depiction of every single performance and instrument.   The evening provided a roller coaster ride of music styles, starting with the humorous recorder piece The Voice of the Crocodile by Benjamin Thorn interpreted by Miriam Nerval.   Claire Iselin followed with the atmospheric performance of Dance of the Bull from the Crown of Ariadne by Raymond Murray Schafer, and showed us how a harp can be pushed to the experimental.   Mari Poll demonstrated her impeccable technique with Carmen Fantasy by Franz Waxman.   The folk group Bridie Jackson and The Arbour gave us plenty to talk about during the interval with their ethereal voices, their abilities as multi instrumentalist and their unusual choice of handbells – Belleplates.

After the interval Alistair Penman demonstrated a perfect marriage of the electronic and acoustic with Interference by will Gregory from Goldfrapp.   In contrast, the romantic rendition of Cordelia Williams of Impromptu in G flat D899 no.3 of Franz Schubert returned us to a more classical time.   Mikhail Nemtsov and his sister Elena Nemstova amazed us with their performance of  Rachmaninov’s complex Sonata in G Minor.   Last but not least, the folk group Tir Eolas ended on a mystical note with their enchanting arrangement of the traditional song  She Moves Through the Fair.

It is impossible to fault these young performers – they are a breath of fresh air as well as a reminder of the enormous talent London has on offer.   It is very encouraging to see such a diverse talent in one venue. The event had a relaxed vibe enjoyed by all and proved that different music genres can coexist in perfect harmony within the concert hall.

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