Thursday 18 October 2018

Looking Ahead: James Willshire's Debussy Festival

James Willshire
James Willshire
Pianist James Willshire has been celebrating the 100th anniversary of Debussy's death by presenting the composer's piano music throughout the year in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Leeds and Manchester. This culminates in Willshire's Debussy Festival, a two day event in Edinburgh on 1 & 2 December 2018 at the newly refurbished St Cecilia's Hall, a Georgian concert hall. Dating from 1763 the hall is Scotlands oldest purpose-built one (Oxford's Holywell Music Room dates from 1748) and now part of Edinburgh University.

The weekend features eight concerts and two pre-concert talks. Willshire himself will be presenting a journey through Debussy's works for solo piano, more than five hours of music presented in five recitals during the two days, from the very early music to the demanding late pieces such as the Etudes. There will also be a concert of Debussy's chamber music from Philippa Harrison (piano), Mark Bailey (cello) and Gongbo Jiang (violin), and two vocal recitals with John Cameron (piano) accompanying Jessica Leary (soprano), Judy Brown (mezzo-soprano), Jemma Brown (soprano) and Kimberley Dove (soprano).

In February this year James Willshire accompanied viola player Rosalind Ventris in the premiere of my Three Pieces from the Book of Common Prayer at Cheltenham Music Society [see my article].

Full details from the St. Cecilia's Hall website (opens as PDF), tickets from EventBrite.

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