|Beethoven||–||Sonata in E minor Op. 90|
|Liszt||–||Sonnetto 104 del Petrarca (Annees de Pelerinage Bk. 2)|
|Schumann||–||Waldszenen ("Forest Scenes") Op. 82|
|Fleischmann||–||Suite for Piano|
|Chopin||–||Sonata in B minor Op. 58|
Duncan Honeybourne began his studies in the Royal Academy of Music Junior Department where he won the senior piano prize. He was awarded a place to continue at the RAM but chose instead to move to the Birmingham Conservatoire where he graduated with First Class Honours and won many prizes, and was subsequently elected an honorary member (HonBC) for professional distinction. He also worked in London with John York and in Leeds with Fanny Waterman, and completed his studies on a Goldenweiser Scholarship for three years in London with the Russian pianist Mikhail Kazakevich. Following his débuts as soloist at Birmingham’s Symphony Hall and Town Hall, and at the National Concert Hall, Dublin, he established a distinguished career as pianist, lecture recitalist and teacher.
He has played concertos and given many hundreds of solo recitals at major venues in London, Dublin, the principal UK and Irish cities and at several British festivals, has broadcast solo works on BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio Scotland and RTE (Irish) Radio, and has appeared on BBC and RTE Television. He has undertaken extensive recital tours to music clubs and arts centres throughout England, Wales, Scotland and the Republic of Ireland, and has partnered many renowned artists in chamber music. He has premièred new works dedicated to him by several leading composers, notably the Andrew Downes Piano Concerto and Second Sonata, and the Piano Sonata No. 3 of John Joubert. His repertoire includes 25 different concertos and a wide spectrum of solo works, but he is particularly associated with 20th century and contemporary British and Irish piano and chamber music and, in 2010, his CD of piano works by Moeran and Howells was released by Winterbourne Records. He has devised and written several words and music programmes, including a portrait of the legendary pianist Harriet Cohen which he performed with actresses Louisa Clein and Joanna David.
Duncan Honeybourne is well known as an inspiring communicator in his work as piano teacher, masterclass tutor, lecturer, adjudicator and occasional writer. He has taught at Bryanston School, Southampton University, Birmingham Conservatoire Junior Department and the University of Chichester. He is Founder/Artistic Director of the Weymouth Lunchtime Chamber Concerts and directs his own recital series in Leominster, Herefordshire.
Note: Duncan last performed for us during Season 63
Update 6th March: As promised during the concert, here is a link to his latest CD release.
Despite dreadful weather, our intrepid members made the journey to The Lights Theatre to see pianist Duncan Honeybourne in concert. This eagerly awaited artiste did not disappoint.
The evening began with Beethoven’s Sonata in E minor. Duncan caught the mood immediately. Wonderful, contrasting sounds between both movements were delightful.
Liszt’s Sonnetto 104 del Petrarca tells the story of Petrarch’s tangled feelings for an unattainable and impossible love. Duncan’s playing brought forth all the emotions Petrarch experienced from initially trying to deny his feelings followed by longing, passion and dismay.
Next, before the interval, Schumann’s Waldszenen (Forest Scenes), consisting of nine pieces, took everyone in the auditorium on a breathless journey of anticipation, trepidation, peaceful beautiful scenes, immediately changing to the dramatic, followed by hearty songs and laughter and reluctant farewells.
Duncan’s unique presentation draws the audience into his world of music. The depth of feeling this immensely talented pianist puts into each note ensures that the listener is treated to an uplifting and rewarding musical experience.
The second half of the concert began with Fleischmann’s Suite for Piano. Published under a pseudonym, Maurice Ronan, Fleischmann displayed his Irish roots with pride. Once again, Duncan accurately portrayed Fleischmann’s strong Celtic allegiance to his country through music, some of which was dark and thoughtful, interspersed with optimistic folk music, concluding with a typically cheerful, jaunty jig.
Chopin’s Sonata in B Minor opened with a dramatic first movement, followed by a sparkling E flat major Scherzo. The brilliant Largo was followed by a magnificent triumphant Finale.
Throughout the evening Duncan’s interesting and informative narrative and obvious passion for his craft could not help but transfer his enthusiasm to the audience, not least because of his warm, engaging, personality.
Following prolonged and enthusiastic applause at the end of the concert from the hugely appreciative audience, Duncan delighted us all even further with a beautiful rendition of Bach’s Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring, guaranteed to send everyone home with smiles on their faces. AL