Public events at RAM
[Note: the links are integral to this report]
The Royal Academy of Music welcomes the public to teaching events and musical performances every week. These are hugely rewarding, though some of us may find ourselves fascinated if "stretched" at the more "cutting-edge" events.
A recent research event with Peter Sheppard-Skaerved and the Kreutzer Quartet, connected with their pending release of a CD of Michael Finnissy's String Quartets, attracted a "full house" to the Piano Gallery, but left me confused and bewildered by the very language of the dialogue between composer and musicians.
I have had difficulty with Finnissy's music ever since greatly enjoying the premiere of his String Trio (based on Mahler) long ago at Tunbridge Wells in the 1980s, if memory serves me well?
On 2 November oboist-extraordinaire Chris Redgate launched his newly developed Redgate-Howarth oboe, designed specifically for the performance of contemporary repertoire.
Two rarified sections of a major work in progress by Michael Finnissy - with 27 mins more to be completed, so he told us - were harder to relate to, despite the added novelty of another new instrument, the Lupophone, "with a range from F at the bottom of the bass clef through to B above the treble clef - a fabulous solo instrument".
CDs of this project will appear in due course, and it is all being filmed by Colin Still, whose three videocameras were a prominent presence at this launch event...
The following evening Garth Knox (contemporary music specialist, formerly of the Arditti Quartet) gave an unique Master Class, teaching 28 RAM violists in groups of four in the packed Concert Hall !
There are things for music lovers with spare time to learn most days at RAM.
Peter Grahame Woolf