Noriko Ogawa returns to Nottingham

What more could a music lover want than to listen to a world-class pianist playing one of the most popular piano concertos ever written?

On Saturday 8 June we’re delighted to welcome back to St Mary’s, Noriko Ogawa. It’s 20 years since she made her debut in Nottingham not long after winning the 1987 Leeds International Piano Competition. Since then she has gone on to become one of the world’s most in-demand pianists.

Last year she was appointed Artist in Residence at the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester where she performed a Debussy festival with the BBC Philharmonic. Ogawa is also renowned as a recitalist and chamber musician. Notable chamber projects include a tour of Japan with the Berlin Philharmonic Wind Ensemble and the leader of the Vienna Philharmonic, Rainer Honeck. She has also collaborated with the likes of Martin Roscoe, Michael Collins and Peter Donohoe. In Japan, Ogawa acts as artistic advisor to the MUZA Kawasaki Symphony Hall in her hometown. As an adjudicator, she regularly judges the BBC Young Musician of the Year Competition, Honens International Piano Competition and the Scottish International Piano Competition.

For the concert on Saturday 8 June, she will perform Brahms’ Piano Concerto No.1. Brahms composed his first piano concerto in 1858, and premiered the work in Hannover the following year. Never before had Brahms composed something with such depth, orchestration and duration.

The composer was clearly at pains to ensure its premiere was a success – not least because he was already known as something of a piano expert. Brahms no doubt feared accusations of an inability to transfer his chamber-music success into this altogether grander form.

Sadly for Brahms, his worst fears were realised. The piece was dismissed by those in the know and, in its day, it was never held in high esteem as other Romantic piano war-horses of the period. Now, however, it’s a very different story; this is one of the best-loved and most frequently performed piano concertos in the world.

The concert also features the Choir of St Mary’s which joins the Orchestra of the Restoration for a performance of Haydn’s Nelson Mass. One of six masses written near the end of Haydn’s life, some say that it is his greatest single composition. The late sacred works of Haydn are masterworks influenced by the experience of his London symphonies and highlight the soloists and chorus while allowing the orchestra to play a prominent role.

This will be an extraordinary concert featuring extraordinary musicians and outstanding compositions, performed in the beautiful surroundings of St Mary’s Church in the Lace Market.

Tickets: £15 (£13), £12 (£10), £5 (student standby £3 at the door) available in advance from Classical CD, 10 Goose Gate, Nottingham, NG1 1FF, tel. 0115 948 3832. All seats are unreserved.

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