John Humphreys & Allan Schiller – 6pm Tuesday 2nd June 2015 – Steinway Hall
Mozart: Variations in G major, K.501
Schubert: Fantasie in f minor, D.940
Ravel: Suite ‘Mother Goose’
1. Pavane of Sleeping Beauty
2. Tom Thumb
3. Little Ugly Girl, Empress of the Pagodas
4. Conversation of Beauty and the Beast
5. The Fairy Garden
Dvorak: Three Slavonic Dances, Op.46 ( No.1 in C major, No.2 in e minor, No.8 in g minor)
John Humphreys was born in Liverpool and studied with Henryk Mierowski and later with Harold Rubens at the Royal Academy of Music. In 1967 he was awarded one of four scholarships by the Austrian Government to study in Vienna and on his return to this country made his Wigmore Hall debut in 1972 with Busoni’s rarely heard ‘Fantasia Contrappuntistica’. Since then he has appeared throughout the country as soloist, accompanist and chamber musician. In 1975 he performed the cycle of Mozart piano sonatas in London and elsewhere and has given many performances of Bach’s ‘Goldberg Variations’. John was Assistant Head of Keyboard Studies at Birmingham Conservatoire until 2009. He is also Chairman and Artistic Advisor to the Dudley International Piano Competition. In 1998 he was awarded the ARAM for ‘his distinguished contribution to music’.
Allan Schiller is widely regarded as one of the UK’s finest pianists. Born in Leeds he studied initially with Fanny Waterman making his debut at the age of ten in a Mozart concerto with the Halle Orchestra under Sir John Barbirolli. He later studied with Denis Matthews and became the first British pianist to be awarded a scholarship to study at the Moscow Conservatoire under Viktor Merzhanov. After further study under Guido Agosti in Italy he returned to this country and rapidly established a reputation as one of the most exciting pianists of his generation with solo appearances throughout the country and concerto performances with all the major UK orchestras and the BBC Symphony Orchestras, working with a number of distinguished conductors including Sir George Solti, Bernard Haitink, Norman del Mar, Sir Malcolm Sargent and Sir Charles Mackerras Allan has a particular reputation as a Mozart player ‘par excellence’. He has made countless broadcasts for BBC Radio 3 and recorded a number of highly regarded cds including Mozart concerti with Sir Charles Mackerras and Elgar and Bridge piano quintets with the Coull String Quartet.
Allan and John have been playing as a piano duo for over thirty years. They have recorded Busoni and Schubert for Naxos and on 26th January 2006 were invited by Wigmore Hall to present a recital on the 250th anniversary of Mozart’s birth. In addition to BBC Radio 3 broadcasts they have played throughout the UK and more recently have played in Iceland. Their programmes cover a wide repertoire of piano duo music ranging from J.C Bach to the contemporary scene but with a particular emphasis on the great works of Mozart, Schubert, Ravel, Debussy, Brahms and Dvorak. They also work together as a two piano team in an exciting and eclectic repertoire.