Alexander Karpeyev organises Medtner Day at Guildhall School of Music and Drama

_DSG9279On 22nd May 2014 the first one-day UK festival dedicated to the Russian émigré pianist and composer Nikolay Medtner (1880–1951) took place at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

Twenty-two musicians performed Medtner’s compositions, including two major sonatas – Sonata-Reminiscenza by Louise Cournarie and Sonata tragica  by Mihai Ritivoiu – alongside eight smaller pieces, twelve songs, the Violin Sonata Op. 21 and the Quintet Op. Posth.

Professor Hamish Milne of the Royal Academy of Music gave an outstanding masterclass on Medtner’s music. Performers were pleasantly surprised to receive tuition from a teacher who knew the repertoire so well. Professor Francis Pott of the University of West London presented an enthralling talk entitled ‘Born with the Sonata Form?’, followed by a Q&A session.

The Guildhall’s cozy Lecture Recital Room was always full. The audience’s response was appreciative: ‘…a most unusual treat…’, ‘I was exposed to music I didn’t really know…  wonderful’, ‘…all the playing was really impressive’ and ‘it was a brilliant evening’.

Rachmaninov hugely admired Medtner, even telling him: ‘I repeat what I said to you back in Russia: you are, in my opinion, the greatest composer of our time.’ One can hope that similar events organized on topics related to Medtner will take place in order to encourage the wider performance of his music.

Medtner Day-2014 was organised by City University DMA student Alexander Karpeyev (