In recent months Cranleigh Arts has hosted performances by Leeds Competition prize winner, Ariel Lanyi, and Britain’s most lauded pianist Dame Imogen Cooper. Such top performers like to perform on the best equipment which, since 2020, is offered in the Jack Wagg Auditorium at Cranleigh Arts.
After several years using an ageing Kawai concert grand loaned by the Private Eye magazine cartoonist Barry Fantoni, the Cranleigh Arts Trustees decided to up the quality to attract the best international pianists. After a fundraising appeal in 2019 , a Japanese new hand crafted Shigeru Kawai was purchased; of a size and specification to suit the volume, size and acoustic of the auditorium, built in 1998 on the site of the playground of the old Cranleigh Junior school. It has proved a marvellous investment.
Romanian pianist, Florian Mitrea, said of it after playing Beethoven “Walstein” Sonata in 2021; “You must hear this piano live. For its small size, the amount of sound that comes out of it is remarkable ; and the different colours that you get. You are so lucky to have this piano here. “
British pianist Ashley Fripp, who performed, last month, the Liszt B Minor Sonata on an emotional evening a day after the Russian invasion of Ukraine said ; ”This piano is very special. It is still very new. I had an involvement in the selection of this piano, so I feel marginally responsible!”
One of the international professionals who also helped in the selection was Ukrainian pianist Sasha Grunyuk who is scheduled to perform on Friday 10 June when he will play Beethoven’s famous Opus 111 Sonata and “Rudepoema” by twentieth century Brazilian composer Villa-Lobos.
Hao Zi Yoh, finalist in the International Frederick Chopin Competition in Warsaw 2021, performed the first piano streamed concert late in 2020. She returns on July 1 to play to an audience.
Cranleigh Arts has built partnerships with the Philharmonia Orchestra, The Keyboard Trust and the Countess of Munster Trust to give performance opportunities to the best pianists in their first decade or so of professional life. Six of the proteges of the Imogen Cooper Music Trust have played at Cranleigh Arts. When asked what they most enjoy about playing at Cranleigh Arts, volunteer Stephen Dennison, explains; “they love the intimacy of the auditorium and the proximity with the living and breathing audience; also to play a top quality piano which “fits” the auditorium”.
Full classical music programme can be found and booked online at: www.cranleigharts.org
Box office: 01483 278000