The Beacon School Leaderboard 09/05

Recital Competition Final 2022

Published by Uppingham School on Tuesday 6th of December 2022

Outside of the regular Lunchtime Concert series, the first major concert of the academic year for Uppinghamians is the Recital Competition Final.

Having been through a preliminary round in the final term of Lower Sixth, a selected group of top musicians perform in front of a distinguished guest adjudicator for the honour of being named our Recital Competition winner.

We were joined this year by Mr James Randle, Director of Music at King’s College Prep School, Cambridge, who was given the unenviable task of choosing a winner from this year’s talented performers, Eva, Harry, Orlando and Harris. Regardless of the outcome, the audience were set for a fantastic afternoon of music-making.

Eva opened the concert with a selection of works for solo piano by Bach, Chopin and Debussy. Mr Randle praised the clarity, precision and contrast of her playing, describing her performance of Bach as like ‘a conversation with an old friend’. The Chopin was beautifully projected, with a soaring melody and deft and sensitive accompaniment. In the playing of Reflets dans l’eau by Debussy, Eva painted a vivid picture for the audience with a wonderfully communicative performance, her performance finished with a lengthy and warm applause.Following Eva, cellist Harry began his recital with an arresting piece for singing cellist by Giovanni Sollima, Lamentatio, which really took the audience out of their comfort zone – a bold choice which was met with a very warm response. Harry then returned to the more familiar voices of Bach and Brahms, accompanied by Mr Scott Burt, which were a joy to listen to. Mr Randle described his performance as ‘intimate and personal’, and ‘full of energy and vitality, displaying musicianship well beyond [his] years’.

Orlando was next to perform, accompanied by Mr Kennedy, beginning his recital with recitatives and arias by Handel and Mendelssohn. With superb diction and a well-supported sound, he gave a commanding performance which Mr Randle thought was ‘just as great oratorio should be, with real authority in the performance’. Songs by Finzi and Quilter provided great contrast, drawing the audience in with great communication, and Orlando closed his programme with the timeless A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square, a very challenging song to sing, performed excellently.

Closing the concert was Harris, performing on saxophone, with accompaniment once again from Mr Scott Burt. Keri Degg’s Ballade was a mellow and expressive opening which showcased Harris’ excellent control of his instrument – Mr Randle described the performance as ‘mesmerising’. Following this, Lawson Lunde’s Saxophone Sonata was a journey through colour, texture and emotion which showed real skill. Harris’ final piece displayed both technical ability and real musicianship, with Mr Randle commenting on how the saxophone was really an extension of Harris himself.

Following a vibrant and detailed adjudication from Mr Randle, with warm congratulations to all four performers and thanks to their accompanists, Harry was named as this year’s deserving winner of the Recital Competition Final. Mr Randle awarded Harry the trophy, followed by some kind words about music at Uppingham:

“When parents ask me, where should my child go next, where will they thrive? – I will be able to say to them, ‘you need to go to Uppingham, you need to go and see Mr Kennedy because music there is as good as it has ever been, it is absolutely fantastic”.
Recital Competition Final 2022 - Photo 1
Windlesham House rectangular 18 Oct 2023
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