Vital Art and Writhlington School
Writhlington School is hosting a series of concerts by young professional musicians organised by the charity Vital Art which brings high quality performance art to school children. Studies have shown that music provides real benefits to both mental and physical health, and Writhlington pupils and staff can bring their families to enjoy the performances at heavily discounted prices. Through these concerts, Writhlington hopes to inspire a lifelong love of live music, whether or not students take up an instrument.
The musicians in the Vital Art series at Writhlington School are starting out on their professional career as soloists after years of study and are keen to share and encourage the next generation. Rehearsing during school hours in front of an audience of students, they take time to explain what is happening and talk about their instruments and about their lives as professional musicians.
Concert with Benjamin Baker and Daniel Lebhardt at Writhlington
On Wednesday 28 January, Writhlington welcomed Benjamin Baker (violin) and Daniel Lebhardt (piano) to school. They often collaborate to play chamber music all over the world, although they both also have international careers as soloists. The students were able to listen to Daniel play the Writhlington grand piano as he practised alone before rehearsing with Benjamin in front of our Year 7 students.
The evening concert started with Beethoven’s Sonata for Violin in G Major, No 10, Opus 96. This beautiful piece in four parts finds the violin and piano passing musical phrases and responses. The first part had a delicious feel of the violin and piano in lighthearted conversation. As the sonata continued the conversation becomes more serious before finishing in contented unison.
In a change from the programme, the Sonata for Violin in A Major No 1, Opus 13 by Gabriel Fauré followed. Opening with a more passionate feel than the previous piece it became more wistful. With increasing urgency, musical phrases repeated at varying tempos. These were then resolved in the final part.
The short final piece was Brahms Scherzo in C minor. With a repeating beating rhythm that soars and swoops it was a fitting end to the evening’s programme.
The performances provided by Benjamin and Daniel were majestic, showing a deftness of touch. They played with sensitivity and grace, their obvious love of playing, their passion for the music, and their virtuosity, were clear to see. It is of enormous benefit for our students to be exposed to such quality.
About Benjamin Baker
Since winning the 1st Prize at the 2016 Young Concert Artists International auditions in New York and 3rd Prize at the Michael Hill competition in New Zealand in 2017 Benjamin has established a strong international presence. He studied at the Yehudi Menuhin School and the Royal College of Music, where he was awarded the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Rose Bowl graduation prize.
About Daniel Lebhardt
Daniel won First Prize at the Young Concert Artists International auditions and the Most Promising Pianist prize at the Sydney International Competition and now is also performing all over the world. He studied at the Franz Liszt Academy and the Royal Academy of Music, was selected by the Young Classical Artists Trust (YCAT) and is now represented by agents Askonas Holt. Daniel is currently enrolled on an Advanced Diploma of Performance at the Royal Conservatoire in Birmingham.
Future Events at Writhlington
Taking place after school, the timing of the concerts is family friendly at 6.30pm to 7.30pm. The next performance is on 26 March 2020 with Jamal Aliyev and Maksim Stsura. For further details about Vital Art, please visit the website www.vitalart.org.uk