A Musical Feast in Absolute Classics’ Summer Festival 2020

Summer has arrived and, while live music events are currently off the agenda, Absolute Classics will be presenting a feast of classical concerts online in its annual Summer Festival. Over 10 consecutive days from Friday 31 July to Sunday 9 August, 12 concerts featuring some of the world’s most accomplished professional musicians will be broadcast live on Absolute Classics’ YouTube channel and Facebook page

Opening the Festival on Friday 31 July at 7.30pm is Latvian cellist Max Beitan, winner of 5 Grand Prix awards and 15 international competitions. Accompanied by pianist, Natalia Prihodchenko, Max will perform his signature piece, the Carmen Fantasy by Buxton Orr.

Returning favourites fill the Saturday programme. Harpist Oliver Wass will present an afternoon recital full of delight, performing works by Ravel and Britten. The evening concert will be given by superstar pianist, Anna Fedorova. Anna is one of the world’s premier young pianists and has become one of the most watched classical artists on YouTube, having surpassed 27 million views.

Scotland’s favourite tenor and Dumfries and Galloway’s local lad, Nicky Spence, accompanied by pianist, Dylan Perez will welcome us to the Blüthner piano showroom for a Sunday afternoon of song.

The concert, entitled A Tale of Two Cities, features music by Fauré, Hahn, Quilter and Parry.

Recognised internationally as a musician of outstanding artistry, pianist, Oxana Shevchenko will be joined by her husband, virtuoso violinist Alexey Osipov to perform for us from Russia on Monday 3 August. Alexey regularly performs in international music festivals, including the Vladimir Spivakov festival in Moscow, and the Abu Dhabi Classics concert season.

We are then joined on Tuesday 4 August from Paris by the cellist, Benedict Kloeckner. Benedict is one of the finest young cellists performing today. He is a winner of the European Radio Competition, the Verbier Festival Academy Nicolas Firmenich Award and the Emanuel Feuermann Competition Berlin.

Daniel Barenboim described Benedict’s playing as; “Remarkable, really remarkable, perfect playing!

Absolute control of technique, intonation and colour”.

Absolute Classics is delighted to welcome back Glasgow-born flautist, Stephen Clark on Wednesday 5 August. Stephen is recipient of the 2016 Sir James Galway Rising Star Award and was 1st Prize winner of the 2018 IMKA Music Competition. Stephen gives more than 150 performances each year across all seven continents and made his New York recital debut at Carnegie Hall in 2018.

Now for something completely different from ‘piano showman’, Tim Abel. Tim has performed at some of the UK’s top venues including the Wigmore Hall, Philharmonic Hall, Purcell Room, Bridgewater Hall and the Royal Concert Hall. He’s tinkled the ivories in countries such as the USA, South Africa, Scandinavia, Spain, Italy and Mexico, and has worked with a variety of award-winning artists and lyricists such as Sir Tim Rice, Arturo Sandoval, Robbie Williams and Michael Ball. Tim took to the stage as a solo artist on cruise ships and theatres with his own virtuoso-variety show that covers everything from rock, pop, ragtime, boogie-woogie, Latin and classical music. There will be much to enjoy in this alternative classic on Thursday 6 August.

Taking us into the weekend, cellist Kirsten Jenson will perform a programme of Bach, Cassado and Summer on Friday 7 August. Kirsten is a familiar face to local audiences. She has performed for Absolute Classics on several occasions and as a soloist with the Solway Sinfonia.

An Absolute Classics Festival would not be complete without our next two performers. Commonwealth Musician of the Year, saxophonist, Huw Wiggin and a pianist with over 70 albums to his name, John Lenehan, will perform a spellbinding programme that includes Piazzolla and Debussy at 2.30pm on Saturday 8 August

Classical music heartthrob, with over 75K followers on Instagram, violinist Filip Pogády will share with us his rendition of the wonderful Partita in D minor by Bach, from L.A. at 7.30pm on Saturday 8 August.

Filip has been praised by the press for the “beauty of his tone”, “lightning-like virtuosity” (Russkoe Slovo) and his “commanding performances” (The New York Times). Filip has performed in some of the most renowned concert venues in the world including Lincoln Center, Rudolphinum, Konzerthaus, Tel Aviv Opera House, Lotte Hall, and Seoul Arts Center.

Drawing the Festival to a close at 2.30pm on Sunday 9 August is the charismatic double bass player Nicholas Schwartz, accompanied by Anna Fedorova. Nicholas has won multiple international competitions, including being the youngest-ever winner of the International Society of Bassists Solo Competition and commission prize. He was also the first double bassist to win (in an unanimous vote) the Stulberg International String Competition and its Bach Festival Society Award in its 43-year history.

While all the concerts can be enjoyed free of charge, online audience members will be invited to make a donation in lieu of buying tickets. Funds raised will enable Absolute Classics to continue delivering thrilling musical experiences for local audiences while live events cannot take place. Importantly, Absolute Classics will also be providing performance opportunities for professional musicians who, along with the majority of arts practitioners, have been badly affected financially by the pandemic.

Festival concert details and links to donate are available on www.absoluteclassics.co.uk.