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Summer Piano Performances at Cranleigh Arts

After the fun and glamour of the Members of English National Opera played to a full house in May, the concert programme for June features fantastic pianists playing great works.

On Tuesday 7 June at 1300 Edward Leung, who played our last solo piano concert before Covid hit, returns to accompany Zoe Tweed who plays the French horn. Zoe performs courtesy of The Philharmonia where she has proved a sensation with an instrument which tends to shine only briefly in orchestral works. The programme features the Sonata for Horn and Piano by Jane Vignery.

Sasha Grunyuk was one of the concert pianists who helped in 2020 to choose the new hand-crafted Shigeru Kawai grand piano that we now all enjoy. He came for an afternoon to Cranleigh Arts and compared two pianos for their sound in relation to the size and acoustic of the auditorium. For his full evening concert on Friday 10 June at 1930 he will feature works by Liszt, Beethoven, Chopin and Scriabin.

The highlight will surely be Beethoven’s famous Piano Sonata No 32 in C Minor Opus 111, the last piano sonata he composed. It is unusual in having only two movements; Maestoso and Arietta. Alfred Brendel commented of the second movement that “what is to be expressed here is distilled experience” and “perhaps nowhere else in piano literature does mystical experience feel so immediately close at hand”.

Sasha Grunyuk was born in Kyiv and studied at the National Music Academy of Ukraine before his career has blossomed in London, where he was guided by Alfred Brendel and Murray Perahia. The legendary Charles Rosen described Sasha as “an impressive artist with remarkable, unfailing musicality always moving with the most natural, electrifying, and satisfying interpretations”.

Sasha’s concert is fundraising for the DEC , Disaster Emergency Committee, Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal. Their appeal is “Leaving everything behind, people are fleeing conflict in Ukraine. They need shelter, food and water.” It will be an emotional evening.

Before the indoors concert programme breaks until September we have a last hurrah at 1930 on Friday 1 July with Malaysian pianist Hao Zi Yoh. She performed the first concert recorded and streamed from Cranleigh Arts during the first lockdown and the performance quickly achieved over 1,000 hits on YouTube. Her programme includes works by Bach, Albeniz, Chopin and Debussy, with a brief series of 6 short dances by Bartok and rounding off with Schumann’s Fantasy in C, dedicated to Franz Liszt, who never played it in public. He wrote to his wife-to-be Clara “The first movement may well be the most passionate I have ever composed . . . a deep lament for you.”

Tickets available from www.cranleigharts.org. Box office: 01483 278000 10:00-16:00.

Both of Sasha’s and Hao Zi’s concerts will be streamed live to people who are unable to make it on the night to the concert. Streamed tickets are just £8 and are exclusively accessible for a week after the concert.The Cranleigh Arts website includes short excerpts from the previous concerts at Cranleigh Arts by Sasha Grunyuk and Hao Zi Yoh which you can watch freely by following the link.

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