The updates are a bit sparse lately, but I've been quite busy (which, I suppose, is a nice problem to have!) with concerts, new projects, and general life admin.
I had a very busy March with solo and chamber concerts, mostly in Liverpool. At the start of the month, I played a solo recital at Liverpool Anglican Cathedral - what an amazing experience! It was a short lunchtime concert in the Lady Chapel (of course, I had to play La Catedral by Barrios in la catedral de Liverpool.) I was so happy to talk to so many people after the concert, including Mark Reeson of the Feeling Sound podcast, which has led to us recording an episode for the podcast. Keep an eye on the channel to hear it when it drops!
The next concert was at the Angel Field Festival in Liverpool. The theme for the festival was 'Transcending Borders' and I really enjoyed thinking about this concept when putting together my programme. It explores more contemporary works for guitar including works by Errollyn Wallen, Florence Anna Maunders, Nina Danon, and this is was my introduction in the programme notes:
"This programme of solo classical guitar music explores the ways in which we transcend borders through music. The choice of repertoire addresses the concept of ‘borders’ a number of ways: physical: the journey of music and how different parts of the world evoke feelings and music; musical: crossing the lines of traditional classical form and creating genre-defying music; in terms of identity: exploring our own personal identity and how this can influence our music; and crossing the border between reality and non-reality: works inspired by imagination, dream, and fantasy. Each work in the programme addresses one or more of these ways of ‘transcending borders’, whether that is linked to the work itself, the composer, or both."
I was able to play this programme again at a private concert at the music room of world-renowned double bassist, Maestro Leon Bosch. This was a huge honour for me and, through Leon, I also discovered the music of Allan Stephenson and gave the UK premiere of his piece Diversions. Although I was feeling quite nervous for this performance, I felt truly understood and encouraged by the lovely audience and received so much positive and helpful feedback after the concert. I also definitely drank too much wine.
March was International Women's Month and I had the pleasure of playing at University of Liverpool's 'Women in Music' event at the new Tung Auditorium. As well as my recital of works by women, I was also part of the panel discussion and enjoyed talks by other fantastic women about their work and experience in their respective fields of the music industry. Whilst this was a celebration of Women in Music, it was also a chance to think about ways to improve our inclusivity and diversity, and also address the insecurities and problems that are still prevalent in the industry. We'll keep fighting the fight!
I ended the month playing with the fabulous Woodside String Quartet again - our Musica Argentina programme - in a very cool venue on Love Lane, Liverpool: Q UA RR Y. We shared a concert with an amazing Finnish primitive guitarist, Kaddonut Manner. The vibe of the gig was just delicious; bringing classical music into different spaces and sharing concerts with musicians from different styles allows us to engage with broader audiences and make it accessible.
I've spent this month preparing some new repertoire for upcoming concerts, starting new freelance projects, and planning the start of a youth guitar group at Tafelmusik, Wirral (young guitarists, get in touch!) My next concert will be in Monmouthsire on 7th May: Latin American music, including works by Violeta Parra and Eunice Katunda that I'll be playing for the first time, so it would be great to see you there and hear your feedback! These composers' works will also be part of my concert at Hellys International Guitar Festival on 18th August where I'll be playing a programme of Latin American works by women composers. I've got plenty of new repertoire to work on for that concert, so I better get on with it!
Thanks for catching up! Here's a recording from my concert at Liverpool Cathedral, I hope you enjoy it: