University of Surrey Competition Winners
Chamber music with piano
The Croser-Hughes award is an annual competition for the performance of Chamber Music with keyboard. The competition was started over 20 years ago by two former piano tutors to encourage students to explore the vast range of interesting chamber music that is available.
The competition is held at the University of Surrey. This is always a highly-charged event, as a guest adjudicator is invited to have the final say and make the Award. The repertoire is really varied and excellent performances make judging a winner very difficult.
Students present their work in this Assessment Showcase concert.
Potential winners of the Croser-Hughes competition for "Chamber music with Piano" gave an "Assessment Showcase Concert" on Sunday afternoon 8th February,and once again these young people showed their capabilities to an enthusiastic audience.
First off was a Soprano who sang extracts from Handel`s "Samson", J.S. Bach`s "St Matthew Passion" and works by Reynaldo Hahn and Vincenzo Bellini. Throughout the performance her voice was pure and with exemplary pitch, which together with a most attractive appearance and demeanour, made her a pleasure to hear.
A very competent viola player followed playing an "Adagio" written in 1905 by Kodaly but because of the nature of the piece, more of her abilities were perhaps not able to be fully exploited.
Chopin tends to be a risky choice for solo pianists to choose to exhibit their worth as it is so well known and with a multitude of exponents. However, his very difficult first Ballade in G minor was played with assurance, bravado and poetic grace sufficiently to produce an enjoyable and effective performance of this favourite from the romantic repertory.
Two wind players followed, the first a very good flautist giving a fluent rendering of "Poem" by Charles Griffes and an accomplished and articulate reading of the scherzo from Widor`s Op.34 Suite written in 1877. Following this, an excellent oboist played the second and third movements from Saint-Saen`s Op.166 Sonata for oboe and piano. This is a great work, not too difficult, especially for the piano, but most effective and likeable, and both the soloist and her partner brought sparkling excitement to this piece to the delight of the listeners.
Lastly we heard a very commendable performance of the first movement of Grieg`s Op.36 Sonata for Cello and Piano. A very difficult work requiring great skill and tenacity headed "agitato"-- this necessary injunction was followed with aplomb !
Throughout the concert the two stalwarts from the University staff, Maureen Galea and Margaret Roberts provided first class accompaniments for all the soloists and their outstanding help was vital to the success of this concert.