Preview: Chichester Music Society: Martino Tirimo & Atsuko Kawakami

CMS are delighted to announce the return of the brilliant Tirimo / Kawakami Piano Duo on 10th November.

The Duo played for the Society for the first time in November of last year during the lockdown period and their performance was live-streamed only. They played a very attractive programme of music entitled ‘The Dance in Music’, and two of the outstanding items in that concert, Guastavino 3 Argentinian Romances and Brahms Variations on a theme by Haydn Op.56b (St. Anthony Variations) will be repeated this evening, along with Schubert Fantasy in F minor D940 and Ravel Rapsodie espagnole, to give a live audience a proper opportunity to enjoy these wonderful musicians!

Regarded by both critics and fellow artists as one of today’s most distinguished musicians, Martino Tirimo’s career started early. From age eight he was performing Concertos and at twelve conducted seven complete performances of ‘La Traviata’, with οrchestra and soloists from La Scala, Milano. Born in Cyprus into a musical family, he first studied piano and violin with his father, a distinguished violinist and opera conductor. After winning the Liszt Scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music in London, he studied there and graduated with the highest honours, winning all prizes.

He completed his studies in Vienna and finally with Gordon Green, whom he regarded as his greatest mentor. Victories at the international competitions in Munich and Geneva launched his international career. The Daily Telegraph has characterized him as “a pianist of vision” and “an inspiring poet of the piano” and ‘Musical Opinion’ described him as “a true giant of the keyboard”. In Music and Vision, critic Bill Newman simply wrote: “Tirimo’s playing belongs to a past generation of ‘greats’. Listening to him, I conjure up aural images of Solomon, Arrau, Kempff, Schnabel and Rubinstein. Throughout the evening, one was consistently aware that this supreme musician placed himself entirely at the service of the composer.”

In the last few years Atsuko Kawakami has been making a name for herself as a brilliant pianist of great sensitivity. Born in Sapporo, Japan, she started learning the piano at the age of three when she entered the Yamaha Music School. As a child she won several first and other prizes at the prestigious PTNA (Piano Teachers National Association) Competitions in Japan. In 1999 she entered the Tokyo College of Music and during her studies she also took part in a number of masterclasses in Europe, including at the Salzburg Mozarteum and the Nice Academy.

She later graduated with honours and a PGDip from the Royal Academy of Music, where she studied with Diana Ketler and also Clifford Benson in chamber music. She completed her studies with Martino Tirimo at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, again graduating with distinction. In the last few years she has also performed extensively as solo pianist, both in her native Japan and England, in a wide variety of repertoire from Scarlatti to Takemitsu. She took part in the Beethoven 32 Piano Sonatas project at St.Barnabas in London, and recent concerts included recitals at Kings Place, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, London School of Economics, Steinway Hall, Yamaha Chapell Hall, St. James’s Piccadilly, Cheltenham Town Hall, Kendall Town Hall and for many other music clubs in the UK. In 2014, at St. Sepulchre-without-Newgate in London, she performed the Schumann Piano Concerto with exceptional success.

Read more about these musicians in a previous Noticeboard post.

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