Expatriate Australian musicians, who are friends in London, are among those honouring the works of esteemed Melbourne born Australian composer and pianist George Percy Grainger 1882 – 1961. They are all participating in The Grainger Festival, a four-day event at Kings Place, reports brilliant young Dalby born pianist Jayson Gillham from London.
“This year is the 50th anniversary of Grainger’s death, hence the tribute”, said Jayson.
Considered a ‘maverick Australian’ Grainger was a citizen of the world, leading piano virtuoso and highly original composer. He broke the snobbish boundaries of classical music, gaining inspiration from folk music of Europe, Asia and the Americas. His music is a celebration of life – from the wildly ecstatic to the heart-breakingly sad.
The three-day event at Kings Place showcases some of his most vivid repertoire. Whether thrilling to the richness of the Royal Artillery Band, specially chosen instrumental ensembles from the London Music Colleges, or to Grainger’s terrific choral works, exotic world music percussion settings & multi-pianos, this event will take you on a voyage of discovery you will not forget.
Gillham is playing in the Saturday night concert as one of the “Team of Pianists” which involves a lot of fun works for 3, 4 and sometimes 5 pianists at 2 pianos will include interesting combinations of “tuneful percussion” and harmonium (reed organ) parts, as well as the use of marimba mallets inside the pianos.
The major work of the evening is the two-piano, six-hands arrangement of “The Warriors“, an 18-minute orchestral piece , which in its original orchestration includes three pianos and extra off-stage brass and multiple conductors!
Jayson Gillham will be performing this with the Festival’s artistic Director Penelope Thwaites and John Lavender, who are both Aussies that have lived most of their lives in England.
“They play Grainger in Australia quite often” said Jayson.
“Penny is also editor of a book which has recently been released The New Percy Grainger Companion, which very interesting”, said Jayson, “I have already read a number of the articles and highly recommend it”.
The book is available in Australia from www.bookoffers.com.au
If you are in, or going to London be sure to catch this once only in a life time concert experience.
Download the program of this very special concert Celebrating Grainger 2011
Contact Jayson Gillham at London.
Carolyn McDowall, The Culture Concept Circle 2011