Last Saturday we were treated to a programme of classical music performed by violinist Tai Murray and pianist Martin Roscoe.

Tai Murray is an American violinist who made her professional concert debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at the tender age of nine! She went on to study at Indiana University and the Juilliard School in New York. She was a BBC New Generation Artist from 2008 until 2010 and has since played all over the world including a performance at The Proms.

Tai Murray

Martin Roscoe is one of the country’s most respected pianists with a career spanning five decades. He is a regular performer at Wigmore Hall in London and no stranger to Howard Assembly Room either. He is also a presenter of Masterclasses for Steinway & Sons.

As you have probably gleaned from the tone of the first two paragraphs, the information was taken from the programme and various websites as, being a relative newby to the world of live classical music, I am still acquainting myself with some of its major exponents.

The format of the programme was fairly conventional by nature comprising Three Romances for Violin and Piano, Op22 by Clara Schumann, Road Movies by John Adams, Passacaglia for Violin and Piano by Arvo Pärt, Three Romances, Op94 by Robert Schumann and Grand Duo in A major, D574 by Franz Schubert.

There was a mixture of romance and humour throughout the evening which made it an ideal way to escape the realities of real life for a while. I must admit to having been mesmerised by both the musicianship and the presentation.

Martin Roscoe has the most amazing dexterity and his fingers must have been a blur at some stages of the performance. Tai Murray was so nuanced in her playing that the audience, who were obviously far better versed than I, broke into applause before the end of one of the pieces as she had turned the volume right down giving the impression of fading out. She explained the reason at the end of the work.

Ms Murray was also very animated during her playing giving the impression of having a great deal of immersion into the pieces, but also a load of fun. Sadly she felt the need to wear a mask, which is fair enough, as, judging by the twinkle in her eyes, I am sure that she would have been beaming otherwise. Actually she was probably beaming anyway, we just couldn’t see.

Should you be reading this and within reach of Milton Court Concert Hall, London, then pop along tonight as they will be doing a repeat performance. https://www.barbican.org.uk/whats-on/2022/event/tai-murray-martin-roscoe

To see what delights are coming to Howard Assembly Room please go to https://www.operanorth.co.uk/event-tag/har/

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