Bechstein Concert


Saturday June 23 2018


St John the Baptist Church, Fleet Street, Coventry, CV1 3AY

Text 07941/565311 or 07831/126666 and we will call you back ASAP

St. John the Baptist Church and UMCM are proud to announce a very exciting summer piano recital by international concert pianist, Varvara Maggs, with celebrations on the return of the fully restored historic Bechstein Grand Piano to St. John the Baptist Church in Coventry.
The first public performance on the restored piano will be a concert on Saturday June 23rd 2018, the eve of the Feast of St John the Baptist, followed by a party to celebrate its restoration. The Russian concert pianist Varvara Maggs, the international prizewinning performer who gives recitals in the UK and Russia, will be performing music by Liszt, Haydn, Prokofiev and Tchaikovsky. A performance of this standard and calibre will be the perfect platform on which to build a reputation for music of the highest quality at St. John the Baptist.
A partnership between the church and UMCM, Unlock the Music Concert Making, has raised nearly £10,000 for the piano to be repaired by David Hogben of Courtney's, Oxford and restored as closely as possible to its original condition when it first emerged 140 years ago from Bechstein's factory in Berlin.
All sorts of secrets emerged in the process. For instance, the restorers discovered that sometime back in its history, the original rosewood veneer had been painted over with a black lacquer. The piano is being restored to reveal the rosewood. The full history of the piano is not by any means complete. What we do know is that it arrived in Edinburgh in 1880 yet between this date and its arrival in the church some 60 years ago, is a mystery.
This Bechstein Grand Piano secures for St. John the Baptist Church a musical future that none of us can truly imagine. An historic musical instrument fully restored to performance standards is such an important asset to the city's cultural life. The Grade 1 listed St. John the Baptist Church has a warm hearted community, opening its doors regularly to people of the city. Visitors delight in the stained glass, carvings, altarpieces, green men and grotesques that fill this jewel in Coventry’s mediaeval crown. The Bechstein Grand piano, built in Berlin 1n 1878 has stood in one corner of St John the Baptist Church, Coventry for at least 40 years, possibly as long as 60 years. Nobody knows how it got there. Although it has been played for concerts over the decades it had become unplayable.
Now Coventry City of Culture will have something else to really show off with when the piano arrives in the church and this concert recognises all that potential For music lovers in Coventry the restoration of the piano will provide many opportunities for concerts by local musicians and touring professionals. Especially for music composed in that era, the era of Brahms, Dvoƙák, Bruckner, Fauré, Grieg and Tchaikovsky. Such concerts will benefit from the setting and acoustics of this ancientchurch and contribute to the Coventry City of Culture programme.


Haydn Sonata in E major Hob XVI 31
No 31 in E major is one of a heterogeneous bunch of six sonatas (Nos 27– 32) issued privately in manuscript copies in 1776, though it probably dates
from two or three years earlier.

Prokofiev "Montagues and Capulets" and "Romeo and Juliet Before Parting"
Prokofiev reduced selected music from the ballet in 1937 as Romeo and Juliet: Ten Pieces for Piano, Op. 75, which he premiered himself later that year

Liszt Sonata in B minor
The Piano Sonata in B minor is a sonata for solo piano by Franz Liszt. It was completed in 1853 and published in 1854 with a dedication to Robert Schumann.

To celebrate the date of the “restored Bechstein’s“ manufacture
Two-three short pieces from the "Children's Album"
Written by Tchaikovsky in 1878

Varvara Maggs was a legendary child pianist in St. Petersburg, Russia. At eight she performed Kabalevsky's Piano Concerto No. 3 in the St. Petersburg Concerto Competition for Young Pianists, taking first prize and proceeding to play the winning concerto with the St. Petersburg State Conservatoire Orchestra in the Alexander Glazunov Concert Hall conducted by Mariss Jansons. Another concerto appearance was at the age of ten. She performed Beethoven's 2nd Piano Concerto with the Rimsky-Korsakov Symphony Orchestra conducted by Paulavichus. Subsequently they toured Finland, receiving excellent press reviews. She took part in competitions at least twice a year, receiving numerous diplomas and first prizes between the ages of eight and fourteen. At twelve she won a piano duet competition arranged and judged by the famous piano duo Bruk and Taimanov. Later she became Bruk's student. During this period her performances were transmitted on Russian television and broadcast on radio. She became widely acknowledged as St. Petersburg's leading young pianist and was sent to Moscow to represent St. Petersburg at the All Soviet Contest "Young Assemblies of Art". At fourteen Varvara entered the Mussorgsky Music College, having obtained the highest entrance marks in the history of the college. She began her studies there under Ekaterina Sharkova, a Professor of Merit of Russia. In her last year she came out as a Winner of the First International Pianoforte Competition named after M. Udina, St. Petersburg.
In 1998 Varvara was admitted to St. Petersburg State Conservatoire after obtaining the highest entry mark possible in the piano examination which exempted her from the rest of
the exams. Whilst studying full-time at the Conservatoire under professors Valery Vishnevsky and Eduard Bazanov she taught children at the school attached to the Conservatory. She also accompanied singers from the Mariinsky Academy of Young Singers and performed as a soloist.
Shortly afterwards she moved to the UK. Since then most of her time has been spent as a piano recitalist in Great Britain and St. Petersburg, Russia. Varvara has given recitals at The Glinka Philharmonic Hall, The Hermitage Theatre, The Sheremetev Palace, The St.Petersburg State University, The Saint Alexander Nevsky Lavra, The Anna Akhmatova Museum at the Fountain House, The Rimsky-Korsakov Memorial Apartment Museum,The Hall on the Island in Pushkin, The Priory Palace in Gatchina and The Benua Family Museum in Peterhof. In Britain she has played numerous recitals in Birmingham, including Bournville Music Society, St. Martin's-in-the Bullring and St. Paul's Church; for Redditch and Knighton Music Societies, in Newport Isle of Wight, and Minehead, at The Shakespeare Institute , Stratford-upon-Avon, Snitterfield Village and Wootton Wawen Churches, in Kenilworth, Earlsdon Methodist Church and Warwick Road United Reformed Church Coventry, and many times at St Andrew's Rugby. Recently she gave her first recitals in London at St James's Church, Paddington and St Brides Church, Fleet street. 




Read other articles

Unlock The Music News RSS

Unlock the Music News


Bechstein Concert   Saturday June 23 2018 7.00 St John the Baptist Church, Fleet Street,... Read more

2018 Here we come!

Unlock the Music pupils have always participated in concert making and events. In the first place... Read more
Read further news