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A recital by Musical Odyssey Prizewinners, Nina del Ser and Laura Balla

Wednesday January 22, 2020 at 13:10
St James's Church, Piccadilly, London
Free admission – no ticket required

  1. A selection of character pieces - Jean-Philippe Rameau
  2. Excerpts, from 12 Études d'exécution transcendante - Sergei Mikhailovich Lyapunov
  3. Do not sing to me, fair maiden, from 6 Romances Op 4 - Sergey Rachmaninov
  4. Lilacs (Siren), from 12 Romances, transcribed by the composer for piano Op 21 - Sergey Rachmaninov
  5. Frenzied nights, from 12 Romances Op 60 - Pyotr Tchaikovsky
  6. Excerpts, from 8 Préludes (1929) - Olivier Messiaen
  7. Les jeux d'eau a la Villa d'Este from 'Annees de pelerinage-annee 3' S163/4 - Franz Liszt
  8. Morgen!, from 4 Lieder Op 27 - Richard Strauss, transcribed for piano by Max Reger
  9. Nachtlied, from 6 Songs Op 71 - Felix Mendelssohn, transcribed for solo piano by the composer
  10. Andres Maienlied (Hexenlied), from 12 Lieder Op 8 - Felix Mendelssohn, transcribed for solo piano by the composer

Nina del Ser was born in 1996 in Sri Lanka to French and Spanish parents. She grew up in Kazakhstan and started her piano studies there, later moving to the UK. In parallel with school she attended the Junior Department of the Royal College of Music Junior, studying piano with Yekaterina Lebedeva. She participated as a soloist in many festivals and competitions, which led to performances at several well-known London venues such as the Royal Festival and Wigmore halls and the Elgar room at the Royal Albert Hall. Outside the UK, she has also given recitals in France, Greece, Austria, Italy and Germany. As well as solo playing, she particularly enjoys playing in trios and accompanying singers.

Nina continued playing as a soloist and chamber musician throughout her university studies of natural sciences at Trinity College, Cambridge, where she was a member of the Instrumental Award Scheme. As a prizewinner of the Cambridge concerto competition she gave concerto performances at West Road concert hall. She also participated in collaborative projects with actors and orators, including a semi-staged version of the Byron-Schumann dramatic poem Manfred.

Having completed her physics degree in 2018, Nina moved to Cologne, Germany and is now a second year PhD student in theory of condensed matter at the University of Cologne. In addition to physics and music, Nina enjoys swimming, French pâtisserie and reading good literature. She is grateful for this opportunity to perform in St James’s Picadilly and to Musical Odyssey Masterclasses.

Romanian-born soprano Laura Balla has previously won the 'Victor Giuleanu' National Competition (Bucharest), 'Miniatura Romantica in Galai. She studied the Master of Arts programme under Claudia Codreanu at the Voice Department of the National University of Music-Bucharest. She is currently working at the Vienna State Opera Choir Academy for young singers, under the artistic director Thomas Lang. She participated in numerous performances of Lohengrin, Carmen, Fidelio, La Bohème, Falstaff etc, also doing a recording as a soloist for the premiere of Manfred Trojahn’s Orest.

She has worked with distinguished professors and artists such as mezzo-soprano Claudia Codreanu, soprano Gladiola Niulescu-Lamatic, participating in Musical Odyssey masterclasses in Greece with Sumi-Jo, Nuccia Focile, Manolis Papasifakis, Daniela Fally, Sergei Leiferkus, Susan Bullock. She has given recitals in Romania ( Bucharest, Focsani, Busteni, Iasi), Greece (Nafplio), Austria (Vienna), United Kingdom (London) and performed under conductor Vincent Grüger with the 'Unirea' Orchestra. She made her operetta debut in in Gherase Dendrino's Lysystrata, and has performed roles including Geanetta In Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore (National University of Music Bucharest), Lauretta ( Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi), Zerlina and Susanna (Mozart’s Don Giovanni and Le nozze di Figaro). She has a wide Lieder and Oratorio repertoire with particular attention for the French and German works.

Free recital with retiring collection

St James's Church, Piccadilly
197 Piccadilly
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