Jayson Gillham, Wigmore Hall. 27 January 2014

Dear Tait Trust friends, supporters, followers

I was very privileged to perform at John Amis’s memorial concert on 8th October.  A wonderfully colourful and lively event which was a fitting celebration for a colourful and lively man.  I met John for the first time very near the end of his life at a concert I gave at the home of Bob and Elisabeth Boas, great supporters of the Tait Trust.  I will cherish my memory of chatting to John, hearing him recount stories about Prokofiev, Stravinsky, Ravel and Britten as if he had seen them only the day before.  Above all his enthusiasm for music was infectious and inspiring.  Thank you Isla for introducing us then, and for letting me be a part of his celebration concert.  Performing Grainger’s Handel in the Strand was a fun – and at times nerve-wracking – experience, and it was wonderful to work with the great Steuart Bedford who is known for his close association with Benjamin Britten.

Jayson Gillham - Wigmore

As I look ahead to my performance schedule in 2014, I would particularly like to inform you all about a very special Wigmore Hall recital I will be giving soon on 27th January, kindly supported by the Keyboard Charitable Trust  www.keyboardtrust.org.  The programme is as follows:

Beethoven Two Rondos, Op. 51
Beethoven Sonata No. 28 in A major, Op. 101
Schumann Etudes symphoniques

It is a very interesting and appealing programme because it takes us on a journey through three great structures of Classical music – the Rondo, the Sonata and the Variation.  At the same time it documents the rapid development of the piano, which in the space of a few decades in the early 1800s evolved from a light and graceful domestic instrument into an orchestral powerhouse capable of filling large halls on a symphonic scale.

Another interesting point is that I will be performing a unique version of the Schumann Symphonic Etudes.  Many of you will know that the piece is simultaneously a set of variations and a set of etudes.  Some will be aware of five variations which Schumann did not publish during his lifetime and were rediscovered and published by Brahms.  When incorporating these ‘posthumous’ variations, as I will be on 27th, it is up to the performer to decide where they should be placed.  Some play them all together in a group, and others dot them throughout the piece.  As far as I know, the order I have chosen is unlike any other.  I have various reasons behind the order which I have chosen, the main one being that I want to highlight the extreme characters of Schumann’s writing – the so-called Florestan and Eusebius which we hear so much in Kreisleriana, Carnaval and indeed most of Schumann’s early piano compositions.

I hope that whets your appetite!  I’m looking forward to seeing some friendly faces in the audience, and after the concert please come around the back to say hello!

link to Wigmore Hall website for full details and to book tickets – http://www.wigmore-hall.org.uk/whats-on/productions/jayson-gillham-piano-34242

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