Anna Le Hair
Beethoven, Schumann, Martinü & Rachmaninov
Sonata in C Op.102 No.1
Five Pieces in Folk Style Op.102
Variations on a theme by Rossini
Sonata in G minor Op.19 for Cello and Piano
This highly gifted pair gave a splendid programme starting with the late Beethoven Sonata in C, op. 102, a work with only two movements but one which starts to explore more adventurous changes of tonality than hitherto in his earlier compositions.
Schumann's "Five Pieces in a Folk Style" encompassed jaunty rhythmic humour and romantic melodies alternating with forthright bold tunes and were played throughout with exemplary style and musicality.
Martinu's "Variations on a theme by Rossini" written during 1941/2 makes great demands on both cellist and pianist especially when working up to the final climax. Full of punchy articulation and kaleidoscopic colours, it is a fun piece and was played with the necessary verve and virtuosity to bring it off to the delight of the audience.
After the interval the last item was a stunning performance of the great "Sonata for 'Cello & Piano in G minor" op.19 by Rachmaninov. A long four movement highly romantic work, typical of this composer with unmistakable harmonies and musical reminders of his second piano concerto, this concluded a concert showing the all-embracing extent of music in its many forms from classical through great fun and humour to the intense romanticism and emotion of the Russian composers of this epoch.
The encore concluded the evening in true British style with Elgar's "Salut d'Amour"
Anna Le Hair started playing the piano as soon as she could reach the keys. She studied music at Edinburgh University, where she won many scholarships and prizes and graduated with an Honours degree. She then went on to study performance at the Royal College of Music in London for a further 2 years.During this time, a scholarship from the Austrian Institute allowed her to spend a summer studying piano accompaniment at the Mozarteum in Salzburg. Since then, Anna has enjoyed a busy and varied career as pianist and piano teacher.Engagements have included recitals, both solo and as chamber musician and accompanist, in many London venues and others around Britain and abroad. Last year, she played Grieg's piano concerto with the Hertfordshire Philharmonia, and during this summer she gave a recital as part of the Buxton Festival.
Anna has done such diverse things as playing background music in London hotels and restaurants, touring the UK and Channel Islands with the Lewis London Ballet, and repetiteuring for opera groups and choral societies. Anna currently teaches piano at the Arts Educational School in Tring, Hertfordshire, where she also plays for many of the Musical Theatre classes, and at St Albans High School. She is much in demand as an accompanist for singers and instrumentalists.
Forthcoming plans include Rachmaninov's 2nd piano concerto with the Hertfordshire Philharmonia next May and Messaien's "Quartet for the End of Time" in London next January.
Helen is an experienced orchestral and chamber musician. She has given chamber music recitals at the Cambridge Music Festival, Brighton Music Fetival, Abinger Music Festival, Epping, Harlow and Theydon Bois music societies, Ealing Festival of Arts and Music, South Hampstead School for Girls. Helen was part of the chamber ensemble performing Paul Whitty's Vauxhall Pleasure at Tate Britian in August 2004.
Helen's studio work also includes the backing tracks for a training video for Norwich Union recorded in January 2004, and performed live with the Mostly Autumn Rock Band live at the London Astoria in 2003.
As a soloist Helen has performed the Dvorak Cello Concerto and Haydn's D Major Cello Concerto and she has also played as part of a piano and cello duo, and a guitar and cello duo.
Orchestras: Aurelian Ensemble, City of London Sinfonia, English Festival Orchestra, Milton Keynes City Orchestra, Opera Project.
Helen's orchestral work also includes Belmont Ensemble, Dartington Festival Orchestra, and the Royal Academy of Music Sinfonia. Session work includes Kanye West tracks and live performances at the Brit Awards and at the Princess Diana Memorial Concert.