Nicholas Walker (piano) – Farley Music Festival
Hailed by the London Evening Standard as a ‘prodigy, of awesome technical fluency backed by exceptional artistry’, Nicholas Walker possesses a rare combination of talents combining sensitivity with ‘the flair of a full scale virtuoso and a sparkling intelligence’ (BBC Music Magazine). He studied at the Royal Academy of Music, where he won all the major awards for both piano and composition, and subsequently at the Moscow Conservatoire.
While still a student in Moscow, he won the First Newport International Piano Competition and has since played with major British Orchestras, given recitals worldwide, and recorded for the BBC, BMG, ASV, Chandos, Danacord and Naxos. Equally at home in chamber music, he is sought after as an imaginative and sensitive accompanist, and his 2009 CD with Lydia Mordkovitch of Russian music was Daily Telegraph CD of the week.
Although Walker’s performances of Beethoven have brought him special notice, and his performances of the lyrical and late romantic piano music have also been singled out for the highest praise, it is for his championing of the cause of the neglected leader of ‘The Mighty Handful’, Mili Alexei Balakirev, that he is best known. Described by the Financial Times as ‘the nearest thing to a natural Balakirev performer’, Walker’s two discs of Balakirev piano music for ASV (CD DCA 940 & 1048) have received great critical acclaim. In 2010 he organised the Balakirev Centenary concerts in London, at St. John’s Smith Square, and is now recording Balakirev’s complete piano music for Naxos Grand Piano. The first disc in the series, recently issued to enthusiastic reviews, is of the complete sonatas, including a previously unknown and unpublished work, and the remaining five volumes will also include unpublished work, some of which Nicholas has completed himself.
Mozart – Sonata No.4 in E flat major, K.282
Liszt – Sonata in B minor (1853)
Beethoven – Sonata No.22 in F major, Op.54
Tickets £15.00 (£10.00 for Friends of Farley Music) from Salisbury Playhouse (01722 320333), or on the door, to include an interval drink