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York2: Four Hands, One Piano

Holst Planets Suite, Op. 32
Schubert Fantasie in F minor, D940
Ravel Rapsodie Espagnole

John York piano
Fiona York piano

York2, ‘the piano duo with a difference’, gained that reputation through their exploration of large scale ‘orchestral’ and contemporary scores alongside the rich and familiar duet repertoire. Fiona and John have given concerts in the UK, on BBC Radio 3, in Australia, for CBC TV and TV Ontario Canada, on boats on the Great Lakes, at the Salzburg Festival and at the South Bank in London, and have also played concertos at the Barbican Centre.
Tonight the York piano duo perform the ravishingly colourful Rapsodie Espagnole by Ravel, and Schubert’s hauntingly beautiful Fantasie – one of his most famous chamber works. We also hear – in the work’s centenary year – Holst’s own piano arrangement of his legendary Planets Suite, the manuscript discovered by John York only a few years ago.

As well as giving concerts, Fiona York has been a long-serving teacher at several London schools. She has worked in the junior departments of the Royal College, Trinity and the Guildhall and this year marks her 17th year with the piano staff at St. Paul’s Girls’ School, London.

John York works at the Astona International summer sessions in Switzerland and in the cello and piano duo with Raphael Wallfisch. He was Professor at the Guildhall for 33 years and, for 20 years, was Senior Music Head of Department at St. Paul’s Girls’ School where Holst was Director of Music for 20 years in the early 20th century. It was during his time at the School that John discovered the long-forgotten four-hands score of The Planets in a cupboard in the very room where it was composed, signed by the composer. This led to York 2’s re-editing and recording of this most famous of English scores. Tony Palmer, the well-known film director, included them in his recent Holst bio-pic ‘In the bleak midwinter.’

‘York2 goes stratospheric!’ Independent

‘the playing was enough to confirm the evening in its ambition, scope and sheer grit as something exceptional, duly exciting a prolonged ovation from its capacity audience.’ Financial Times


Clock6.30pm Sunday, 17th April 2016

FREE / Pre-concert Foyer performance: Nelly von Alven (guitar) - Sunday 17th April, 5.45pm

Rossen Balkanski Canto spirituoso
Nelly von Alven Three memories
Mauro Giuliani Rossiniana No. 1, Op. 1

Known for her excellent sound and engaging stage performances, German guitarist Nelly von Alven received numerous awards and prizes at national and international competitions. Nelly regularly performs live on stage and has been invited to several guitar festivals. In 2015, Nelly’s debut CD Canto spirituoso was produced and published by Fibonacci Records. The album contains several debut recordings out of which some are her own compositions.

Since 2013, Nelly has been a scholarship holder of the Yehudi Menuhin Foundation, Live Music Now. Nelly completed her Bachelor of Music in Germany at the University of Music Cologne with Gerhard Reichenbach. Since September 2015, Nelly has continued her studies at the Royal College of Music, London with Gary Ryan and Chris Stell in order to complete a Master of Performance. Nelly is an RCM Award Holder supported by the Musician’s Company Lambert Studentship. Since 2016, Nelly has been part of the Company’s Yeomen Programme.



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