Saturday, 2 July 2016

But at length the season of summer does come…

The linden, in the fervors of July,
Hums with a louder concert. When the wind
Sweeps the broad forest in its summer prime,
As when some master-hand exulting sweeps
The keys of some great organ, ye give forth
The music of the woodland depths, a hymn
Of gladness and of thanks.
– William Cullen Bryant: Among the Trees

This month, despite the weather’s best attempts to immerse us in what feels like a premature autumn, music lovers in the UK are in for a treat – a bright, warming ray of sunshine – brought to us, from the United States, in the form of the young rising star, Thomas Nickell: a pianist who has already gathered great praise around the world.

This is his first – hopefully of very many – visits to these shores; and it is rendered even more special by the fact that he will be giving not only the UK première of his own Piano Sonata No.3, but also the first London performance of “Britain’s greatest living composerDavid MatthewsPiano Concerto, Op.111. Both of these will play pivotal rôles in two momentous Orchestra of the Swan concerts (on 10 July 2016 and 16 July 2016) – although his actual début will be with the Cheltenham Symphony Orchestra (on 9 July 2016) – all conducted by OOTS’ Artistic Director David Curtis.