Leeds Piano Competition prizewinner to perform at Sidmouth Parish Church

Xinyuan Wang performing in the final of the Leeds International Piano Competition. Picture: Simon Wi

Xinyuan Wang performing in the final of the Leeds International Piano Competition. Picture: Simon Wilkinson Photography - Credit: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com

Aged just 23, he came third in last year’s Leeds International Piano Competition

Another prizewinner of the Leeds International Piano Competition is to perform in Sidmouth.

The Leeds is one of the world’s foremost music competitions, attracting the world’s finest young pianists.

In its 2017/18 season of concerts, Sidmouth Music inaugurated its collaboration with the competition with a recital by Anna Tsybuleva, the winner of the 2015 competition.

There has been a further competition in Leeds since then, in September 2018, and from that comes the third prize winner, Xinyuan Wang, to give a recital at Sidmouth Parish Church, on Saturday, February 16.

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The standard of competition was so high that there was very little indeed between the three winners. Xinyuan however also took the medici.tv audience award, based on a poll of members of the audience at the Town Hall in Leeds.

He will open his programme with JS Bach’s Toccata in D minor BWV913.

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This was an early piece from Bach in which he was pushing the boundaries of both his inspiration and the receptiveness of his audiences in the early part of the 18th century.

Then follows Schumann’s Humoresque, a set of seven pieces not necessarily light-hearted as a modern interpretation of the name might suggest nor a lightweight work, but it explores the composer’s humours or moods in one of his significant pieces of piano composition.

After the interval Xinyuan turns to Rachmaninov’s Variations on a theme of Corelli. The theme is one that Corelli himself had not composed, but used in his own set of variations in like manner.

Rachmaninov provides the theme, 20 variations and a coda in a style more restrained than romantic.

Finally Xinyuan will perform Bartok’s Piano sonata Sz80. The sonata was written in 1926, Bartok’s so called ‘piano year’ when he completely revised his piano style. It is structured in overall classical form but follows a dissonant path with erratic time signatures.

The concert is from 3pm until 5.30pm. Tickets at £17 are available from the TIC or Paragon Books in Sidmouth, online via SidmouthMusic.org.uk, or at the door. More information on all Sidmouth Music concerts is available online or from 01395 597454.

Stephen Shires

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