Monday 14 November was a memorable musical occasion for The British School of Kuwait. Guests were welcomed to the Shakespeare Theatre to the unveiling of the new Yamaha Grand Piano. Thanks to the generosity of Executive Chairman, Mme Vera Al-Mutawa, a magnificent instrument has been provided so that BSK students can reach their full potential, compete at the highest level of national and international competitions and grace the stages at many of the music events in Kuwait.
As the premier school for music in the Gulf, BSK prides itself on the level of investment in staffing, rooming and resourcing of which the piano is the latest example. The inaugural recital featured three highly gifted pianists of different levels but all with the same commitment to performing to the best of their ability.
The concert began with Year 6 student Yejin Seo and her performance of the Sonatine by Clementi showed confidence and a musical sensitivity. From Year 7 came Da Eun Yun with her interpretation of Beethoven’s Fur Elise which was most enchanting, played with a good understanding of the dynamics needed to perform this piece with poise and grace. Throughout her playing the audience could feel the emotional warmth of this well-known piano solo.
Charles Fernandes ended the concert with an demanding programme, which would challenge many experienced concert performers. He began with the Prelude & Fugue in D minor (Book 1) by JS Bach. Charles successfully allowed the contrapuntal lines in the Fugue to be clearly discussed showing a mature understanding of this Baroque piece. Beethoven’s Waldstein Sonata (1st movement) was performed with grandiosity and demonstrated mature interpretation of the new heroic style of the late Classical/early Romantic period. His performance of the Scherzo No. 2 by Chopin was magnificent, and he continued his musical journey through the 19th century to the 20th with Ravel’s Sonatine. A work in three movements, the first of which Ravel composed for a competition in Paris, Charles’ interpretation of Ravel was outstanding. The subtle harmonies, the beautiful melodic lines with a delicate and sensitive understanding of this music all captured an enraptured audience. Charles then returned to Chopin with the Revolutionary Etude, a highly dramatic composition which challenges in both scalic and harmonic passages. This piece clearly showed Charles has mastered the demands needed to perform with panache. To conclude the concert, Charles performed Chopin’s Etude Op.10 No.4. A delightful repertoire of piano playing at its very best and a promise of much more to come as the Grand Piano is enjoyed by future BSK musicians.
Da Eun Yun
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