Articles and news items
|When Sisyphus met Tetzatlipoca||
It even decorates the papal staff! This little silver-plate charm thus embodies our common prayer for a blessing at those moments in time when we surmount apathy with action. It resonates not only with Camus’ wisdom about Sisyphus potential capacity for pleasure when the boulder tumbles down, it also reverberates with the bugler’s melodic cascade of sound towards the listeners in the streets below.
A kindred connectivity between the upper and lower realms is neatly encapsulated in the word slide itself. In Old English the verb slidan or to move smoothly is closely linked with the words glide, sleigh, sled and sledge. Sliding movements along smooth inclines and slippery flats are the stuff of winter-wonderlands and thus, and this may be surprising, also of the stuff of descents from space. After all even spacecrafts mostly glide back to earth. In this context I want to draw your attention to something that happened on December 16, 1965. That day the astronauts Tom Stafford and Wally Schirra Jr were aboard the Gemini 6 spacecraft, preparing to return to earth. Suddenly they reported to mission-control: ‘We have an object … Looks like a satellite going from north to south. Probably in polar orbit… I see a command module and 8 smaller modules in front… The pilot is wearing a red suit…’ Then, accompanied by the sound of tiny sleigh bells and a little harmonica, the staff at mission-control heard bright voices sing:
Dashing through the snow in a one horse open sleigh
O’er the fields we go
Laughing all the way
Bells of bobtail ring
Making spirits bright
What fun it is to laugh and sing
A sleighing-song tonight
Jinglebells was the first live music radioed to earth from space. Moreover, it was literally sung moments before the pilots commenced their great and dangerous descending glide back home.
This quirky anecdote reveals, I think, the intricate connectivity between music created in space or the heavens and the blessings we can feel when we hear that music down below, whether this in the form of a dawn-chorus with blackbirds, thrushes, robins, wrens, finches and sparrows as jubilant participants, or as listeners to a concert. We know all too well that nothing in creation can avoid the complexity of matter, which includes beauty as well as suffering, music, however, forms the extraordinary exception to this generic rule. It is therefore not surprising that the arrival of music on earth (most often by means of a descent from up high) is a recurring theme in myth and folktales.
In one of my favourite 16th century poems an anonymous Nahuatl author recounts a central American myth about the creation of music. We are told that Tezcatlipoca, god of heaven and the earth’s four quarters, is sad. Calling Wind from its quarters, he says: “Wind the earth is sick with silence.” To the dawn that awakens, the man who dreams, the mother who waits, the water that flows and the birds that fly, life should be all music. And it is not. Go to the House of the Sun, where the musicians dwell. Bring some back to Earth. Then Wind traverses soundless Earth towards the Sun. But Sun, who sees Wind approach and knows Wind’s desires, warns his musicians not to descend into that vast, heart-rending silence. Wind first begs quietly, but when the hushed musicians refuse to come, he roars that the Supreme Lord of the World is calling them. At last they run for shelter into Wind’s lap and bearing them gently ‘lest he should harm their tender melodies’ Wind carries the musicians back to earth. At this, the poem says: ‘Earth raised its wide dark eyes to heaven and its great face shone, and it smiled.’ When the ecstasy of sound entered silent earth - life became all music.
With music’s arrival upon our generous earth from the realms of heaven above my story’s weft reaches its finishing knot. Its warp was made from Höller’s slides. I spun my weft from Lola Perrin’s subtitles for her suite, which are – to remind us – Abandon, the Silver-Trumpet, Julia’s Chorus and Descent into.
I will, however, not conclude my story about Höller’s slides and Perrin’s suite with a black slide to indicate that this non-power-point presentation is over, but with a reference to Isaac Newton’s second law of Motion. This law states that: The acceleration of an object as produced by a net force is directly proportional to the magnitude of the net force, in the same direction as the net force, and inversely proportional to the mass of the object. While it is generally said that Isaac Newton saw just one apple fall from a tree, the generally well-informed oral storytellers realized that Newton, the alchemist, witnessed, as is reported towards the end of many traditional tales, three apples fall from above. Because Newton was deeply familiar with occult traditions he knew what this meant. Then as now - one apple is for the teller of the tale. One apple is for its listener and one apple for the one who understands.
© Alida Gersie, Enfield, July 19, 2011.
All rights reserved.
We were delighted to provide the recent production of Calendar Girls at the Noel Coward Theatre withaTraditional upright piano. The cast and crew were fantastic to be associated with, and kindly autographed the piano for auction at a future date.
|Lola Perrin Interview||
Interview with Lola Perrin by Phillip Concannon - “Phil on Film”.
“I’m launching Lola Perrin’s Seven Fridays on April 8th, presented by Markson Pianos. This is a seven date concert series at St Mary Magdalene, NW1, where I will be performing my collection of piano suites written between 1992 -2009. Each of my piano suites are from different triggers, and we’ve invited guest speakers to introduce the concerts, taking their own inspiration from my triggers. We have scientists, artists, poets and Sue Hubbard is doing the final concert. Each concert coincides with the second edition of the piano suite being released as printed music books. I’m excited by this series; it’s hopefully giving me a real chance to get my work into the repertoire.”
The full interview can be read at Interview - Lola Perrin
|A lot of pianos - broadcast on BB6 Music||
The experimental art/music performance divised by David Cunningham recorded in the Markson Pianos Showroom on November 4th is set to be broadcast on various radio stations including London's Resonance FM and Berlin's ReBoot 88.4 FM as well as a preview on Jarvis Cocker's Sunday Service on BBC 6 Music, last Sunday 28th November! More dates and times to be confirmed so try to catch a listen in! Catch the BBC Radio 6 Broadcast on http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00w8fyp
|Markson Pianos Centenary Celebration||
Family run business Markson Pianos hit the right note for their Centenary Celebration last Wednesday 17th of November with an exclusive, musical themed dinner at the Forge’s Caponata restaurant in Camden.Guests included the who’s who of the piano trade, many of whom had worked with several generations of the Markson family, as well as staff, friends and family. The celebration emphasised the importance of good relations to the longevity of the business; speeches by both senior and younger members of the Markson Family recounted the evolution of the business from it’s beginnings as a piano repair shop run from the sitting room of the Markson’s family home to it’s current premises on Albany Street, NW1 whilst citing those whose loyalty helped and supported the business over the years.Those included renowned London establishments whom Markson’s have regularly supplied pianos to such as the Royal Albert Hall, the Barbican, the National Theatre, the Southbank Centre and further afield to Glastonbury Festival and X-Factor.Illustrious clients and musicians, drawn by Markson Pianos professional, friendly, reliable and knowledgeable reputation, include Jools Holland, Elton John, Cliff Richard, Kate Bush, Madness, Keane and Coldplay among others.The evening was the culmination of a series of centenary events run by Markson Pianos throughout 2010, which included a concert series in collaboration with legendary Austrian piano manufacturers Bosendorfer, featuring local and international musicians such as Leon Bosch, Kwesi Edman, Juan Gallego-Coin, Simon Bookish, Serafina Steer and Leafcutter John (of Polar Bear), exploring the evolution of piano music over the past 100 years.New interpretations of the capabilities of the piano was the central theme to the “A lot of Pianos”art installation/performance that took place at the Markson Pianos showroom on November 4th, featuring compositions by 7 artists and composers including Cerith Wyn Evans, Simon Bookish and David Cunningham (Flying Lizards), using all the pianos in the shop, to be broadcast on Resonance Radio.These forward-looking events emphasise Markson Pianos ability to evolve and move with the times, making the company resilient in the face of change whilst remaining true to their core values of integrity, reliability, dedication and pride in imparting a knowledgeable and caring service. This small company has come a long way in 100 years, weathering two world wars and several economic storms and their centenary celebration this year is a poignant reminder of the enduring values that make British trade great in our troubled times.
|A lot of pianos: Art/Music Performance||
|Marksons Centenary Concert: Simon Bookish w Leafcutter John + Se||
Markson Pianos are holding the last of this year’s
|BIG RED at the Royal Albert Hall||
The BIG RED has come to the Royal Albert Hall!
Press clipping dated 01-July: http://www.royalalberthall.com/press/pressreleases/release.aspx?id=13336
The Royal Albert Hall is excited to announce that the BIG RED hand built Yamaha S6 Grand Piano, the only one of its kind in Britain, has arrived at the Hall. The BIG RED, originally played by Sir Elton John, has been kindly loaned from Markson Pianos, with whom the Royal Albert Hall is pleased to announce a new exclusive partnership. Individually assembled in the Yamaha concert grand workshop, Yamaha´s S6A grand piano was born in 2005 and has appeared on the X Factor, at the 02 Arena to promote Elton John’s Red Grand Tour and hired for the Showman’s show at Newbury. Simon Markson, Managing Director of Markson Pianos has said: ‘We are thrilled to be engaged in a music making venture at the Royal Albert Hall’s Elgar Room, with the provision of a striking Red Grand piano’.
Lucy Noble, Head of Programming at the Royal Albert Hall, said: ‘I am delighted that this wonderful piano will be enjoyed at the Hall and welcome the partnership with Markson Pianos, who have a sterling reputation for quality and excellence’. The striking instrument has been described as 6' 11" of pure joy to play and hear and is now situated in the Hall’s recently renovated Elgar Room, an impressive performance space and restaurant that is already steeped in history, having seen actors such as Dame Judi Dench and Sir Laurence Olivier perform. Re-opened in October 2009, the Elgar Room is one of London's premier new entertainment spaces, currently being used for the Hall’s Classical Coffee Morning series and Late Night Jazz series. The BIG RED is a fantastic feature for the Elgar Room and has also been used for glamorous post-show parties; most recently it was played at the Kristina after show party by Benny Andersson from ABBA!
The arrival of the BIG RED affirms the distinct style and versatility of the Elgar Room and will be a special feature of the Hall’s Late Night Jazz series, which encompasses a range of talented and credible artists; this has already included performances by Alex Stewart, the Alex Hutton Trio, Gill Manly, Parry Ray and Gustavo Marques. The Elgar Room has been established as a key late night venue in the capital to enjoy jazz. With doors opening at 9pm, music commencing at 10pm, and featuring cabaret style seating, table service and a selection of food and drinks, this makes for a relaxed and enjoyable evening that puts the Elgar Room on a par with other London jazz venues. The next season of Late Night Jazz, where you can witness the piano in action, commences in September. For more information and to book, please visit www.royalalberthall.com
|Music and Wine Evening: Kwesi Edman and Semra Kurutac||
Markson Pianos would like to welcome you to the July edition of their monthly Music and Wine Evening on Wednesday July 28th at 7:30 at St. Mary Magdalene’s Church, Munster Square, NW1 3PL. The evening will feature the Cellist Kwesi Edman and pianist Semra Kurutac interpreting pieces by Peter Sculthorpe, Fazil Say and Frederic Chopin.Following his studies at the Royal Academy of Music in London, Kwesi Edmans’s stratospheric musical career has seen him play for Sir Elton John, the Jubilee Party at Buckingham Palace and the closing ceremony of the Beijing Olympics.Appointed as principle cellist of the Jersey Symphony Orchestra in 2006, Kwesi has since recorded improvised music for an independent film score, recently premièred a solo cello work by Alex Hills on BBC4 and worked extensively across Europe.Kwesi Edman will be accompanied by the talented pianist Semra Kurutaç, who on graduating from the University of Wales in 2002 joined the six piano ensemble Piano Circus. She has since performed as a soloist with the Cardiff University Orchestra, the Alsworth Philharmonic (Reading), the Manchester Symphonia and will be performing on the beautifully resonant Bosendorfer grand piano at St. Mary Magdalene’s Church on Wednesday evening. We anticipate a vibrant performance by Kwesi Edman and Semra Kurutaç on July 28th and trust you will join us for what promises to be a superb summer’s evening of music, including free post-performance drinks with the possibility of meeting the musicians!The entrance fee of £6 or £3 concessions includes free wine, drinks and snacks.
|Bosendorfer Concert Series n. 8: Christina Lawrie||
Markson Pianos are delighted to welcome you to our forthcoming Music and Wine evening featuring Scottish classical pianist Christina Lawrie at 7:30 on Wednesday June 30th at St. Mary Magdalene’s Church, NW1 3PL. Nearest Tube: Great Portland Street. Hailed as a rising star by International Piano Magazine, Christina Lawrie made her debut in May 2009 with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra in Dundee’s Caird Hall. Recent engagements have included live BBC Radio 3 broadcasts, a debut at Cheltenham Music Festival, and recitals at the Wigmore Hall and at the Purcell Room for the South Bank Centre’s Fresh Young Musicians' Platform. The Observer praised her "formidable intellect and boundless technique...Fantastic playing” and we look forward to the release of her debut CD in 2011. The evening’s repertoire will include: Beethoven Sonata in C major op. 53 “Waldstein”Allegro con brio Introduzione. Adagio molto Rondo. Allegro moderato - PrestissimoChopin Ballade no. 4 in F minor op. 52Carl Vine Five Bagatelles (1994)Rachmaninov Élegie op. 3 no.1 (Morceaux de Fantaisie)Barcarolle op. 10 no. 3 (Morceaux de Salon)Étude-tableau in E flat minor op. 39 no. 5 We hope you will join us for a relaxed summer evening of music, complimentary wine and snacks.The entrance fee is £6 or £3 concessions and includes the chance to win two tickets for the National Theatre’s Backstage Tours, described by Time Out as “fascinating and informative”. The winner will be announced over post-recital drinks.
|Bosendorfer Concert Series n. 7: Aisa Ijiri||
Markson Pianos are pleased to announce the 4th edition of the 2010 Bosendorfer Wine and Music Soiree Series featuring Aisa Ijiri, at 7:30 on Wed. 28th April at the beautiful venue that is St. Mary Magdalene’s Church, Munster Square, NW1 3PL
Aisa’s repertoire for the evening will include the following pieces:
Chopin: Mazurka in D major op.33-2
Ticket prices are £6 on the door, £3 concessions to include wine and nibbles so bring a friend along and enjoy an evening of music and wine.
|Markson Pianos supports the Regional Music For Youth Festival 20||
St. Mary Magdalene’s Church in Munster Square welcomed over 250 children of all ages today, Friday March 26th, for the regional Music for Youth Festival, organised and supported by Markson Pianos.The children arrived bright and early carrying an assortment of instruments ranging from cellos to trumpets to African drums on which they performed a diverse range of pieces, revealing just how much talent was present in the church today!In the words of Simon Markson who organised the event: “These children are part of a global musical movement – 15 million people play musical instruments in the UK and Markson Pianos aim support and prolong this trend. We are delighted to be able to encourage such enthusiasm and talent at St. Mary Magdalene’s Church today.”
|Rising stars of the Austrian Music Scene give sublime recital.||
The 5th of the Bosendorfer Concert Series featuring three rising stars of the Austrian Music Scene, Violinist Katharina Hotzenecker, cellist Thomas Kauffman and the talented young pianist Florian Feilmair, provided a sublime evening of chamber music at St. Mary Magdalene church in Munster Square, NW1.
Performing together for the first time, the trio of musicians gave a beautiful recital of Georg Druschetsky’s sonata for violin and bass in G major (1783), W.A. Mozart’s Sonata for piano and violin in E minor KV 304. The warmth and empathy conveyed through the music was unexpected for musicians collaborating together for the first time.
Although their performance of a trio composed for Katharin Hotzenecker by Balduin Sulzer was brilliant, their interpretation of Antonin Dvorks piano trio in E minor Op. 90 ‘ Dumsky’ was the crowning moment of the evening.
We look forward to seeing you on Wednesday March 31st to for the next edition of our Bosendorfer Concert Series.
|Bosendorfer Concert Series n. 5 : An Evening of Chamber Music.||
February 24th 2010 at 7.30 pm at St. Mary Magdalene Church, Munster Square, NW1. Nearest Tube: Great Portland Street.
The 5th edition of the Bosendorfer Concert Series will showcase three young rising stars of the Austrian music scene.Violinist Katharina Hotzenecker will be joined by the up-and-coming cellist Thomas Kauffman and the talented young pianist Florian Feilmair for an evening of chamber music at St. Mary Magdalene CChurch in Munster Square, NW1. The trio are receiving well-deserved recognition from the Austrian Music scene where their polished performances have made an impact.They individually have been the recipients of several major music prizes, among them the Gradus ad Parnassum 2008 (Florian Feilmair), Prima la Musica (Katharina Hotzenecjker) and Heinrich Schiff pupil Thomas Kaufmann was the winner of the Schubert Competition. The programme notably includes the performance of a trio composed for Katharin Hotzenecker by Balduin Sulzer, as well as Georg Druschetsky’s sonata for violin and bass in G major (1783), W.A. Mozart’s Sonata for piano and violin in E minor KV 304, Antonin Dvorks piano trio in E minor Op. 90 ‘ Dumsky’. The concert will take place on Wednesday, February 24th at 7:30pm at St. Mary Magdalene Church in Munster Square, NW1 3PL.Tickets £6 on the door, £5 concessions. Special Offer: 2 tickets for the price of one, so bring a friend to enjoy a complimentary after-show glass of wine and nibbles.
|GBP 250 Raised in Support of the Victims of the Haiti Earthquake||
Leon Bosch and Sung Suk Kangs recent recital on the Piano and Double Bass at St. Mary Magdalene Church was a success in many ways.
The evening consisted of a cosy, intimate performance thanks to Bosch’s warm rapport with the audience, introducing the varied repertoire and sharing his insights into the pieces performed.
Bosch and Kang gave a sublime yet vibrant interpretation of the programme; that they attained a balance between the Bosendorfer Concert Grand and the Double Bass is a testament to the projection of Bosch’s playing.
Moreover, the concert raised £250 for the Disaster Emergency Council in support of the victims of the Haiti Earthquake, so thank you all for your generosity!
We look forward to seeing you for the next edition of the Bosendorfer Concert Series on February 24st 2010.
|Bosendorfer Concert Series n. 4 - Leon Bosch, double bass and Su||
Bosendorfer Concert Series n. 4: Leon Bosch, double bass and Sung-Suk Kang, Piano.
Subject: Leon Bosch recital at St Mary Magdalene Church, Munster Square, NW1 on 27th Jan. 2010 at 7.30pm. Tickets £6. Concessions £5. Special Offer: 2 tickets for the price of one, so bring a friend!
Braving a chilly January night on Wednesday 27th to reach St. Mary Magdalene’s Church in Munster Square for the upcoming installment of the Bösendorfer Concert Series is a far less perilous journey than the one Leon Bosch, the evening’s virtuoso bassist, undertook to arrive where he is today.Born in Cape Town, South Africa, Leon Bosch was imprisoned in 1976 for his part in a student uprising. Banned from studying Law by the oppressive South African regime at the time, Bosch applied to the universities’ music faculty in retaliation, marking the start of a brilliant, albeit at that time unexpected career as a double bassist.Bosch went on to secure a place at the Royal Northern College of Music and sponsors that took him to Europe to further his mastery of the double bass, despite the South African apartheid laws stating that only white performers were allowed to study overseas. Against the odds, Bosch’s career has flourished, earning him an honored place among bass players worldwide. He has worked with conductors such as Pinchas Zukerman, Nicolas Kraemer, Nicolae Moldoveanu and Guido Johannes Rumstadt and collaborated with leading chamber music groups. Bosch has a growing discography including his forthcoming CD Vol 2 release of Bottesini works for double base featuring the Bosendorfer Grand that will be played by Sung Suk Kang at St. Mary Magdalene Church, Munster Square, NW1 3PL. The concert will start at 7:30 pm, tickets are £6, concessions £5. We have a special offer of two tickets for the price of one, so why not bring a friend along to hear Leon Bosch brighten up the end of a cold, dark January with harmonies of hope and freedom. In Bosch’s own words: " When I play the bass at least, I am a totally free human spirit."
|September 2009 Concert||
On 25th September we launched our Bosendorfer Concert series at St Mary Magdelene Church, NW1.