Carson Becke (b. 1989) has performed extensively as a soloist and chamber musician, including performances in Canada, England, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, Switzerland, Poland, Latvia, and Trinidad and Tobago. He has performed in venues including the Wigmore Hall, St. Martin in the Fields, St. Georges Bristol, Champs Hill, Cadogan Hall, the Holywell Music Room, the National Arts Centre of Canada, and the Four Seasons Centre in Toronto. He has also performed in the Verbier Festival, Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival, and Edinburgh Fringe Festival. For the past five years he has been artist in residence and then artistic director of Festival Pontiac Enchante, a concert series in Luskville, Quebec.
Carson was born in Ottawa, Canada, and began learning the piano at the age of five with his Great Grandmother, Mary Mackey. In 2005, he moved to the UK to study at the Purcell School of Music, where he studied piano with Ilana Davids and composition with Jonathan Cole. After graduating from the Purcell School, he studied on scholarship at the Royal Academy of Music in London with Tatiana Sarkissova, attaining his BMus with honors in 2011. In 2013, he commenced master’s degree studies at St. Hilda’s College, Oxford, graduating with an M.Phil. in performance in October 2015.
Since moving to the UK, Carson has won a number of awards and prizes, including the top prize in the S.V. Rachmaninov International Piano Competition (2006, Russia), 1st Prize in the BBC young composers of the year competition (2007), and various performance awards from the Royal Academy of Music. He was also the recipient of a BBC performing arts fund bursary scholarship in 2007. Recently, he has won an award from the Royal Overseas League Competition for the best Canadian competitor, and two major scholarships in support of his studies from the Sylva Gelber Music Foundation of Canada.
As a composer, his composition “Three Nocturnes for Orchestra” has been performed by the Purcell Symphony Orchestra in the UK, and the Ottawa Chamber Orchestra in Canada, and has also been heard on BBC Radio Three. A smaller composition, “John Keats: On Death” was recorded by members of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, and has been performed in the BBC Proms.
Currently, Carson is reading for his D.Phil. in musicology at Magdalen College, University of Oxford. His research concerns the early music of Richard Strauss. Alongside his research on Strauss, he is working on a multi-CD project to record Strauss’s early piano, chamber, and vocal music. The first two of these CDs will be available on iTunes in early 2016. He teaches piano at Magdalen College School, Oxford, and is on faculty at the Purcell School of Music, where he teaches composition and musicianship. He studies the piano privately with Hinrich Alpers in Berlin with the support of the University of Oxford’s Conway Scholarship program.
Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) – Variations in F minor, Hob.XVII:6
Richard Strauss (1864-1949) – Stimmungsbilder, Op.9
Auf stillem Waldespfad (In Silent Forests)
An einsamer Quelle (Beside the Spring)
Heidebild (On the Heath)
Richard Strauss/Max Reger(1873-1916 ) – Song Transcriptions:
Träum durch die Dämmerung (dream at twilight), op. 29 no.
All mein Gedanken (all my thoughts), op. 21 no. 1
Du meines Herzens Krönelein (you, the crown of my heart), op. 21 no. 2
Allerseelen (All Souls Day), op. 10 no. 8
Cäcilie (Cecilia), op. 27 no. 2
— Interval —
Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) – Piano Sonata No.3 in F minor, Op.5
Scherzo: Allegro energico
Finale: Allegro moderato ma rubato
All concerts take place in All Saints’ Church, Farley, Salisbury SP5 1AH, at 7.00pm