Penny Adie writes…

Each week, Two Moors Festival artistic director Penny Adie will be here on the blog, letting you all know just what’s been going on down at Festival HQ in Devon.

Jayson Gillham’s Residency recital last week was an enormous success. There was no doubt that this would be the case, as you can’t be a Leeds Piano Competition Prize Winner for nothing! His daring programme containing Ligeti and Schumann’s virtuosic and demanding work, the Op. 13 Symphonic Variations, sum this up well.

Every Two Moors Festival Residency requires a purpose. On this occasion this was in preparation for the Montreal International Music Competition for which the winner receives a not-to-be-sneezed-at £17,000. Jayson’s recital in Devon gave him the opportunity to try out some of his programme for this.

There is always a dilemma as to whether or not an artist should speak to listeners before embarking on the programme. In this instance, Jayson chatted so well that it would have been to everyone’s loss had he not done so. He has that clever knack of introducing his repertoire without making it sound contrived in any way. Here was someone who could explain, in depth, about each piece so that it was informative and not at all patronizing. His relaxed approach went down a treat, settling down to an intensity of concentration within seconds.

We all wish him well for the competition that begins on the 26th May – for more information, visit the competition website.

If you’d like to find out more about our residencies and how you can come down to Devon for one, please visit our website.


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