Two titans of the cello playing world come together in this exciting concert at The Stoller Hall, which features a number of sonatas by Luigi Boccherini and a new work by Emma-Ruth Richards.
Sixteen years apart, both Guy Johnston and Sheku Kanneh-Mason blazed into the public consciousness as standout winners of the BBC Young Musician competition. 2016’s winner Kanneh-Mason now finds himself in international demand as a soloist. In 2018, he was invited to play at the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, a performance that was watched by nearly two billion people globally. 2000’s winner Guy Johnston, meanwhile, has long been celebrated as one of Britain’s most exciting and versatile cellists. His recent highlights include an album, Themes and Variations (2019), recorded with Tom Poster at The Stoller Hall.
The pair will present a programme structured around a number of sonatas by 18th century Italian composer, Luigi Boccherini. Possessing a prodigious talent for the cello himself, Boccherini’s sonatas fully exploit the technical resources of the instrument. We particularly look forward to his Sonata in A major, which is filled with florid and virtuosic passages, many of which occur in the upper register of the cello. We also look forward to the martial Sonata in G major and the underperformed Sonata in C minor.
Interspersing Bocherini’s sonatas will be works by other composers, spanning a range of periods and genres. More 18th Century music comes in the form of Jean-Baptiste Barrière’s vibrant Sonata No. 4 in G major, which showcases two cellos in dialogue. We then step into the 19th and 20th centuries with Reinhold Glière and Paul Torelier, and into the 21st century with Jose Elizondo. His 2017 work Danzas Latinoamericanas is a 10-minute suite in three movements, based on some of the national dances of Argentina, Brazil and Mexico.
Most exciting, though, is a new commission for two cellos by Emma-Ruth Richards. A composer much in demand in the UK and across the globe, Richards is acclaimed for her understanding of both instrumental and vocal writing, earning her a role as a favourite amongst performing musicians and singers. Her brand new work, Until a Reservoir No Longer Remains, sits at the heart of this programme. All before some intriguing jazz arrangements by Simon Parkin, which will feature music by Eric Clapton, Glen Miller, Dave Brubeck and George Gershwin.
Performing an excitingly varied and often challenging programme, Guy Johnston and Sheku Kanneh-Mason are expected to give a thrilling performance at The Stoller Hall. Don’t miss it.