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Mei-Ting and Friends at St Michael & All Angels, Barnes

On September 24th we launch a brand new series of solo piano and chamber music concerts at the architect-designed community centre at St Michael & All Angels church close to Barnes riverside.

Curated by Mei-Ting, “bewitching” concert pianist and Professor of Piano at London’s Royal Academy of Music who has wowed 7 Star Arts audiences with his performances, the series opens with a recital by Mei-Ting himself, playing Schumann and Brahms. Future concerts feature recent graduates and current star students from the Royal Academy – Leon Chen (piano) Yanyan Lin (cello) and Katya Grabova (piano) – and Dutch-Chinese collaborative pianist Michelle Chow. Programmes include music by Beethoven, Schumann, Rachmaninoff, Ravel and Chopin and proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to the Royal Academy of Music’s hardship fund to support young musicians with limited means.

We hope you will join us at these concerts.

Book your tickets via our Events page

“At the moment I am obsessed with Beethoven…” – interview with cellist Clare O’Connell

Ahead of her concert with pianist Viv McLean at Café Yukari, near to Kew Gardens, on 28th April, we caught up with cellist Clare O’Connell to find out more about her musical life, her influences, and what provides inspiration for her offstage…..

Who or what inspired you to pursue a career in music and who or what have been the most important influences on your musical life and career?

I have always loved music. Singing and playing the piano and the cello as a child was part of how I defined myself, and the community of people I met and loved playing in my county youth orchestras and playing chamber music made me realise that I wanted to pursue a life dedicated to expressing myself through music.

My teacher Alexander Kok’s passion for seeking truth in music was a major influence on me, but the musicians who have influenced me the most are those I have worked closely with over the years – my great friends and collaborators who by their brilliance, imagination and bravery inspired me to challenge myself.

What have been the greatest challenges of your career so far?

The greatest challenge of my career has been in learning to understand myself and combat tension, fear and self sabotage.

Which performances/recordings are you most proud of?

I’m really proud of my ‘Isolated Cellist’ album  which I made during the lockdown in 2020. All the pieces are my arrangements, except one stunning piece by Alex Mills, which I’ll be performing a few times over the summer.

 

Which particular works/composers do you think you perform best?

Those that I love with a passion. You have to love and believe in what you perform, I think.

At the moment I am obsessed with Beethoven, and the works of Edmund Finnis which are stunningly spare and yet express so much.

I’ve also just commissioned a new piece from the wonderful composer Nick Martin, which I’m COMPLETELY in love with. It’s called ‘Vocalise’, and builds a simple Ukrainian folk tune into a mass of incredibly moving cello lines piled up on top of each other.

Commissioning and celebrating the work of living composers is so important.

What do you do off stage that provides inspiration on stage?

I read a lot and talk to my colleagues. It’s important to me to have a real connection with the people I play with. I love visiting art galleries and I’ve started making an effort to go to concerts again – the last one I went to, the latest in Freya Waley Cohen and William Marsey’s amazing Listenpony series, introduced me to some extraordinary new music.

How do you make your repertoire choices from season to season? 

I like to choose whatever it is I feel most passionate about, whatever is inspiring me, and what feels relevant. I also like to mix it up and keep it as stimulating, refreshing and varied as possible.

Do you have a favourite concert venue to perform in and why?

My favourite audience to play to is the one I built up in Berkhamsted where I live – my Behind the Mirror series audience. They are so loyal and such lovely people. It feels like a community.

www.behindthemirror.org

What do you feel needs to be done to grow classical music’s audiences?

I feel that we need to work on getting our potential audience to trust us more, and then to keep them guessing and surprising them with new music, new juxtapositions  and  provoking thought with idea led programmes.

I want audiences to feel excited at the prospect of going to concerts where they might not quite know what will happen next, or how a piece might be presented.

We need to be really imaginative and then to back that up with beautifully executed  and passionately committed performances.

What is your most memorable concert experience?

 One of the most memorable concert s for me was Chroma’s debut performance at the Purcell Room back in 2000 – it was my first recital in that space playing with musicians I really looked up to. I was extra nervous but somehow managed to lose myself in the music and play to a level I could only achieve by jumping off a cliff. I remember how it felt vividly.

As a musician, what is your definition of success?

It is very difficult to be a musician these days. So many compromises need to be made, and the odds are stacked against us at the moment with Brexit  making travel so difficult and streaming limiting our ability to make money out of our recordings.

I think if you are able as a musician to sustain yourself and live a happy balanced life doing the work that feeds you to the best of your ability without having to compromise your vision, then you are on the road to achieving success.

What advice would you give to young/aspiring musicians?

Research! Read and learn as much as you can around your musical projects and ideas.

Find out what you want and go for it.

Don’t stop questioning, practising aspiring – try not to get too comfortable!

What’s the one thing in the music industry we’re not talking about which you think we should be?

I think the music industry has so much covered these days diversity, inclusivity and so many new groups and organisations to promote marginalised musicians – we are looking at it all the time on social media.

I think the constant need to be seen being BUSY needs to be addressed. And the way that that consumes time which we could be devoting to our creativity. The fact that it is demanded of us by funding bodies is particularly damaging because it puts the focus in the wrong place. On pleasing our audience to get more likes, rather than creating something deep and new and challenging for the sake of it alone.

I also wonder if this incessant awareness of what everyone else is doing is actually stifling variety in our creative output.

We need space away from the noise to feed our inner creativity.

What is your most treasured possession?

My imagination


Beethoven at Café Yukari with Clare O’Connell & Viv McLean, Thursday 28th April at 8.30pm.

More information / tickets

www.clareoconnell.com

Clare O’Connell

Classic Gershwin on BBC London

Susan Porrett (actress and writer of Classic Gershwin) and Yvonne Evans (Director of 7 Star Arts) will be appearing on the Jo Good show on BBC London at 1pm on Wednesday 10 January to talk about The Cinema Museum London & “Classic Gershwin” (which plays at The Cinema Museum on Saturday 13th January). Featuring music from the show played by acclaimed pianist Viv McLean.

Book tickets to Classic Gershwin at The Cinema Museum

 

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p011nd8m

7 Star Arts’ Susan Porrett in ‘The Slaves of Solitude’ at Hampstead Theatre

Our wonderful friend and actress Susan Porrett, creator of our acclaimed multi-genre productions Classic Gershwin, Divine Fire, Sweet Harmony and Chekhov’s Grand Piano, will be appearing at Hampstead Theatre in ‘The Slaves of Solitude’, a play by Nicholas Wright adapted from a novel by Patrick Hamilton, which weaves a fascinating blend of dark hilarity and melancholy in a story about an improbable heroine in wartime Britain. Directed by Jonathan Kent, the play runs from October 20th to November 25th 2017. Details here

This winter Susan appears in two 7 Star Arts concerts – ‘Russian Winter Concert’ with Alena Lugovkina (flute) and Anne Denholm (harp) at Dorich House, Kingston on 7th December and our much-loved ‘Classic Gershwin’ with Viv McLean (piano) in the Jazz Room at the Bulls Head on 21st December.

Please visit our Events page for full details and tickets for these concerts and other 7 Star Arts productions.

 

Events

Viv McLean at Café Yukari – extra 5pm performance

Viv McLean – piano

As Viv McLean’s 8pm performance is already sold out, we have added an additional, earlier performance at 5pm

Tickets £20

ALL CHOPIN PROGRAMME

 

 

Café Yukari is an intimate, friendly venue close to Kew Gardens tube station. Concert-goers enjoy high-quality classical music in a convivial setting and a chance to mingle with other music lovers and meet the artists. Plus authentic Japanese food and a beautiful Fazioli grand piano!

Praise for 7 Star Arts at Cafe Yukari:

“a truly uplifting evening- beautiful music and delicious food”

“What a charming experience …to listen to  first-class music and eat delicious food while outside, beyond the fairy lights, commuters pour out of Kew Gardens Station

 

Viv McLean

Viv McLean at Café Yukari

Viv McLean – piano

Viv McLean returns to Cafe Yukari for his another solo concert at this convivial venue

Tickets £20

PROGRAMME – Mozart & Beethoven

 


 

Café Yukari is an intimate, friendly venue close to Kew Gardens tube station. Concert-goers enjoy high-quality classical music in a convivial setting and a chance to mingle with other music lovers and meet the artists. Plus authentic Japanese food and a beautiful Fazioli grand piano!

Praise for 7 Star Arts at Cafe Yukari:

“a truly uplifting evening- beautiful music and delicious food”

“What a charming experience …to listen to  first-class music and eat delicious food while outside, beyond the fairy lights, commuters pour out of Kew Gardens Station

 

Viv McLean

MEI-TING & FRIENDS Yanyan Lin, cello, & Michelle Chow, piano

Yanyan Lin cello

Michaelle Chow piano

 

Tickets £15

Schumann – Märchenbilder Op. 113

Beethoven – Sonata Op. 102 No. 2

-Interval –

Rachmaninoff – Sonata Op. 19

 

Beethoven’s dramatic Sonata for Piano & Cello, Opus 102, No.2, combines an exuberant vitality with deep expression, while Rachmaninoff’s Cello Sonata in G minor, Op. 19 is a piece on a grand scale, at times redolent of the Piano Concerto no. 2 (which was composed at the same time), which explores the cello’s capacity for expressive tenderness and intensity, particularly in the beautifully meditative slow movement.

 


Born in 1995, Yanyan Lin obtained his Bachelor Degree at the Shanghai Conservatoire and who studied for the Advanced Diploma in Performance at the Royal Academy of Music with Jo Cole and Christoph Richter. He is the recipient of the Hans Keller Award for 2019/20 and was awarded the ABRSM Scholarship, the Foundation Award of the Royal Academy of Music, and the Diploma of the Royal Academy of Music. He is a laureate of the China National Chamber Music Competition and American Protégé Competition.

 

Dutch-Chinese collaborative pianist Michelle Chow has performed in many venues throughout The Netherlands, the U.K. and the U.S., including the Concertgebouw and Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ in Amsterdam, Tivoli Vredenburg in Utrecht, St. Paul’s Grove Park and Duke’s Hall in London and Lincoln City Cultural Center in the U.S. She was a prize-winner in the Royal Academy of Music London Brahms competition, and recipient of Evelyn German Prize and Frank & Hilda Stokes and Marjorie Meyer Memorial Prize.

 

MEI-TING & FRIENDS – Leon Chen, piano

Leon Chen piano

Bach Partita No. 1 in B-flat major
Chopin Ballade No. 4
– Interval –
R. Strauss/arr. Sun Four Last Songs
Ravel Sonatine
Rachmaninoff Preludes Op. 32 Nos. 9 and 10

Tickets £15

 

The second in our new series Mei-Ting & friends and colleagues. Hailing from Auckland, New Zealand, prize-winning pianist Leon Chen completed a BMus (hons) in piano and conducting at the Royal Academy of Music in 2021, and is now studying towards a Masters in Piano Performance.

 

Next concert: 26 November with Yanyan Lin, cello, and Michelle Chow, piano

MEI-TING piano at St Michael & All Angels Barnes

Mei-Ting piano

Programme

Brahms 8 Klavierstucke Op. 76

Schumann Symphonic Etudes Op. 13

-Interval-

Schumann Fantasiestucke, Op. 12

Brahms 4 Klavierstucke, Op. 119

 

The launch of a brand new series of virtuoso piano and chamber music featuring “bewitching” pianist Mei-Ting and friends at St Michael & All Angels church in Barnes.

Concerts take place on the fourth Saturday of each month. Proceeds to the Royal Academy of Music hardship fund.

 

Tickets £15

 

 

Future dates in 2022: 29 October & 26 November

Mei-Ting

Anthony Hewitt at Café Yukari

After his previous sell-out performances at this convivial, friendly venue in Kew, “remarkably gifted” concert pianist Anthony Hewitt returns to Cafe Yukari for another solo concert

Tickets £20

Programme TBA

Book online or in person via the venue on 020 8487 1338

Concert-goers can enjoy authentic Japanese food before the concert – please book via the venue 020 8487 1338


 

 


Café Yukari is an intimate, friendly venue close to Kew Gardens tube station. Concert-goers enjoy high-quality classical music in a convivial setting and a chance to mingle with other music lovers and meet the artists. Plus authentic Japanese food and a beautiful Fazioli grand piano!

Praise for 7 Star Arts at Cafe Yukari:

“a truly uplifting evening- beautiful music and delicious food”

“What a charming experience …to listen to  first-class music and eat delicious food while outside, beyond the fairy lights, commuters pour out of Kew Gardens Station

Anthony Hewitt

Viv McLean at Café Yukari

Viv McLean – piano

Viv McLean returns to Cafe Yukari for his second solo concert at this convivial venue

Tickets £20

PROGRAMME – ‘Chopin Delights’

 

Café Yukari is an intimate, friendly venue close to Kew Gardens tube station. Concert-goers enjoy high-quality classical music in a convivial setting and a chance to mingle with other music lovers and meet the artists. Plus authentic Japanese food and a beautiful Fazioli grand piano!

Praise for 7 Star Arts at Cafe Yukari:

“a truly uplifting evening- beautiful music and delicious food”

“What a charming experience …to listen to  first-class music and eat delicious food while outside, beyond the fairy lights, commuters pour out of Kew Gardens Station

 

Viv McLean

Viv McLean at Café Yukari

Viv McLean – piano

A welcome return to Cafe Yukari by internationally-renowned concert pianist Viv McLean, who captivates audiences with his expressive and poetic playing.

Tickets £20

PROGRAMME TBC

 

Café Yukari is an intimate, friendly venue close to Kew Gardens tube station. Concert-goers enjoy high-quality classical music in a convivial setting and a chance to mingle with other music lovers and meet the artists. Plus authentic Japanese food and a beautiful Fazioli grand piano!

Praise for 7 Star Arts at Cafe Yukari:

“a truly uplifting evening- beautiful music and delicious food”

“What a charming experience …to listen to  first-class music and eat delicious food while outside, beyond the fairy lights, commuters pour out of Kew Gardens Station

 

Viv McLean

 

Clare O’Connell & Viv McLean play Beethoven at Café Yukari

Clare O’Connell – cello

Viv McLean – piano

 

PROGRAMME:

Ludwig van Beethoven

Sonata for piano and cello in F major Op 5/ 1 (1796)

Sonata for piano and cello in G minor Op.5 / 2 (1796)

Sonata for piano and cello in A Op. 69 (1807)

 

Tickets £20 (advance booking online, no tickets on the door) – book online or contact the venue on 020 8487 1338

Join two internationally-renowned musicians in the convivial and relaxed surroundings of Café Yukari in Kew, performing a selection of sonatas for piano and cello by Beethoven.

Café Yukari is an intimate, friendly venue close to Kew Gardens tube station. Concert-goers enjoy high-quality classical music in a convivial setting and a chance to mingle with other music lovers and meet the artists. Plus authentic Japanese food and a beautiful Fazioli grand piano!

 

Praise for 7 Star Arts at Cafe Yukari:

“a truly uplifting evening- beautiful music and delicious food”

“What a charming experience …to listen to  first-class music and eat delicious food while outside, beyond the fairy lights, commuters pour out of Kew Gardens Station

 

 

Leona Gogolicynová & Jeremy Chan at Cafe Yukari

Leona Gogolicynová – violinJeremy Chen – piano

 

Programme

Poulenc – Sonata for Violin & Piano

Beethoven – Sonata for Violin & Piano in F, No. 24 ‘Spring’

plus Czech surprises…

 

Tickets £15 – book online or contact the venue on 020 8487 1338

Get tickets

Leona Gogolicynová is London’s foremost young violinist, recognised for her virtuosity, depth of tone, versatility and creative vision. Born in the Czech Republic, Leona started to play violin at the age of 6 and is currently a Fellow at Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London, UK.

Jeremy Chan is a London-based pianist and writer, currently studying at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama.

Cafe Yukari is an intimate, friendly venue close to Kew Gardens tube station. Concert-goers enjoy high-quality classical music in a convivial setting and a chance to mingle with other music lovers and meet the artists.

“a truly uplifting evening- beautiful music and delicious food” – audience member at previous concert at Cafe Yukari