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Bobby Chen, Nadia Lasserson (piano duo) and friends play Beethoven

Friday November 29, 2019 at 13:10
St James's Church, Piccadilly, London
Free admission – no ticket required

  1. Sonata for piano 4 hands in D Op 6 - Ludwig van Beethoven
  2. Trio for flute, bassoon and piano in G WoO 37 - Ludwig van Beethoven
  3. 8 Variations on a Theme by Count Waldstein in C WoO67 - Ludwig van Beethoven

Described by International Piano Magazine as: “...an armour-clad player of complete technique, a thinking musician, a natural Romantic. Young bloods come no better”, Malaysian Bobby Chen studied at the Yehudi Menuhin School and the Royal Academy of Music with Hamish Milne and Ruth Nye. He burst on the scene in 1996 with a sensational season of concerts, which included a British tour with Lord Menuhin in a performance of Beethoven’s Triple Concerto and a recital at the Royal Festival Hall as part of the South Bank Prokofiev Festival.

Chen has performed under conductors Lan Shui, Mathias Bamert, Maximiliano Valdés, Sir Neville Marriner, Pierre-André Valade, Giancarlo Guerrero and with several orchestras including the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields, Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, Warsaw Sinfonia, Singapore Symphony Orchestra and the London Sinfonietta. He has recorded for Jaques Samuel Recordings, the ‘Cello Classics’ label, Illuminate Records, Toccata Classics and SOMM Recordings. He has broadcast live for UK’s Classic Fm, Hong Kong’s Radio Television Hong Kong and USA’s Pianoforte Chicago.

In recent seasons, venues Chen has played in included Beijing’s Forbidden City Concert Hall, Dublin’s National Concert Hall, Singapore’s Victoria Concert Hall, USA’s Midland Centre of the Arts, Holland’s Hermitage Amsterdam, Poland’s Antonin Palace, UK’s Purcell Room, Bridgewater Hall, Royal Concert Hall, Cadogan Hall, and Wigmore Hall. He has performed under the special auspices of Australia’s Southern Highlands International Piano Competition, at Brazil’s Musica Nova Contemporary Music Festival, Sweden’s Lidköping Music Festival, Ireland’s Music for Wexford and Wicklow Arts Festival, UK’s Worcester Three Choirs Festival, Guildford International Music Festival and Marlborough College Summer School.

In 2007, Chen gave the world premiere of a new piano concerto in London, celebrating Malaysia’s 50th Anniversary as a nation. In 2008, he was one of the pianist selected for the South-East Asian début of the Complete Beethoven Sonatas Cycle in Singapore at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts. And in 2009, he represented Malaysia in The Rising Stars Showcase Performances for the 27th Annual Federation of Asian Cultural Promotion Conference.

In December 2010, Chen founded the Overseas Malaysian Winter Piano Academy (OMWPA) which took place at The Yehudi Menuhin School in the UK. And in March 2011, he was awarded ‘The BrandLaureate - Country Branding Award’ from The Asia Pacific Brands Foundation. Performance highlights in 2011 included his full début recital at Fazioli Concert Hall in Italy, his 4th solo recital at London’s Wigmore Hall, his first duo London recital with pianist Leslie Howard, and performing solo piano concerti for the 5th and 6th times with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, at the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Highlights in 2012 included his full début recital, public masterclass and radio recording in Hong Kong, being appointed a tutor at UK’s Chethams International Piano Summer School 2012, being elected an Associate of London’s Royal Academy of Music, and running the Overseas Malaysian Winter Piano Academy at the Yehudi Menuhin School for the 2nd time.

Nadia Lasserson was a student at the Royal Academy of Music and while there, was appointed a Sub-Professor and was awarded the Manns Memorial Prize. She studied piano with Robin Wood and Max Pirani, clarinet with Alan Hacker, harpsichord with Geraint Jones and prepared for the BMus degree with Dr Eric Thiman.

Nadia is an experienced performer with a wide repertoire of Concertos and Chamber Music and has played in the Purcell Room, Music Clubs and Festivals in Great Britain and abroad, having made her debut in the Festival Hall at the age of sixteen. She has recorded the rarely-heard Mendelssohn Concerto for Violin and Piano and the Schubert Notturno with violinist Peter Fisher with whom she gave many concerts in 1997, to mark the various centenaries of Brahms, Mendelssohn, Schubert and Korngold in Festivals at home and in Germany, Cyprus and Croatia where they also gave a recital of British music at the 19th International European Piano Teachers Association Congress. As an accompanist, she is in much demand for Masterclasses and Workshops. She has recently performed Beethoven’s Triple, and Emperor Concertos , Mozart’s K467, K448, K466 , K 491 and Beethoven Piano Concerto no 2 in Bb with the European Doctors’ Orchestra (founded by her husband Dr. Michael Lasserson ten years ago) in the Cadogan Hall and Bangalore, India and Bach Concerto in D minor with five members of her family in the orchestra. Most recently, she premiered a Concerto composed for her by Rupert Bond in Plymouth.

She has produced a CD which includes all new works composed especially for “PIANO 40” (an ensemble for 8 hands on 2 pianos) of which Nadia is the Founder. The ensemble’s main objective is to extend the repertoire for this neglected medium and to date, no less than 31 works have been composed and performed in Piano 40’s sold-out South Bank Concerts having given one of their first concerts at the Liszt Academy in Budapest. They recently performed in Cyprus and in the Purcell Room, St John’s Smith Square , St James’ London, Slovenia and Germany. The group has now become the New London Piano Quartet, which continues to perform in the South bank.

Nadia has a wide experience of teaching and working with young musicians .She believes it is important that all her pupils are exposed to ensemble playing (both piano ensembles and chamber music) from the very early stages and these topics have led her to present workshops on the subject in the UK and abroad – including the International Kodály Festival at Kecskemét, Hungary, Cyprus, Malta, Croatia, Belgium, Sweden, Canada, Iceland, Germany and at the NKPC Conference in Chicago. She has toured India with masterclasses, and lecture/recitals. Her publication “Piano Needn’t be Lonely” – a guide to over 600 pieces of Chamber Music and Multipiano Repertoire – is now in its third edition. As well as running a private teaching practice in South London she is currently on the teaching staff of Trinity College of Music and the Royal College of Music Junior Departments; she was Head of Keyboard and Chamber Music at James Allens Girls’ School, Dulwich, for 15 years, where she coached over 80 girls each week in various ensembles. She examined for the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music for over 20 years and is currently a Festival Adjudicator.

Since 1991, she has been the Organising Secretary of European Piano teachers’ Association- which her mother, Carola Grindea, founded in 1978.

(Free recital with retiring collection)

St James's Church, Piccadilly
197 Piccadilly
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