BPO 11th November 2018


The Brighton Phil is delighted to welcome international pianist Freddy Kempf to Brighton Dome for the second concert in their 2018/19 season, for a programme of music by Rossini, Beethoven and Dvo?ák.

The concert opens with the overture to Rossini’s opera Semiramide, of which the orchestra’s Artistic Administrator Ian Brignall says: “This is full of tunes, it’s an orchestral showcase – everybody will be smiling at the end of this.” Conductor Freddy Kempf agrees: “The opera is not so well known but I think everyone will recognise the overture. It’s been used in many Hollywood films, so people will definitely recognise the melodies. And as is typical with Rossini, although it’s not the most intricate writing, yet it’s so effective. It will really set the scene for the concert.”

Then Freddy will perform Beethoven’s dramatic Piano Concerto No.3 whilst directing the orchestra from the keyboard. This is a real favourite of his: “I love the Romanticism in the slow movement. I feel that he’s written it almost as an improvisation because there are a lot of incomplete things in the score, so I’m trying to improvise a little bit. And the fact that there isn’t a conductor there makes it a little easier for us because a lot of the time the orchestral players can pretty much sense what the soloist is doing and this way I don’t have to communicate that to a conductor to sort of reinforce that to the orchestra, so it should work really well. I remember when I was a lot younger and learning pieces for the first time I loved the Emperor [piano concerto] probably the most and now that I’ve played them all, now more and more I tend to love this third piano concerto.”

The concert closes with Dvo?ák’s Seventh Symphony which Freddy is looking forward to conducting: “This is probably my favourite Dvo?ák symphony and I’m really delighted to be able to do it in this concert. I love the way he incorporates so many folk melodies and folk rhythms, especially dances. I want to bring out what the strings can do, but I also want to concentrate on that dance aspect. I feel emotionally very close to Dvo?ák even though he didn’t write a mature piano concerto, and he didn’t really write anything for solo piano, he just used it in chamber music, so it’s a great way for me to experience Dvo?ák.”

Tickets are £12.50-£39.50 (50% student/U18 discount) from Brighton Dome Ticket Office, (01273) 709709, www.brightondome.org

Discounted parking (just £6) available at NCP Church Street Car Park between 1-6pm

Sunday 11 November 2018, 2.45pm

Concert sponsored in memory of Philip Wilford

Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra
Freddy Kempf Piano/Director
RossInI Overture: Semiramide
Beethoven Piano Concerto No.3 in C Minor Op.37
Dvo?ák Symphony No.7 in D Minor Op.70

Ramtin Ghazavi at Opus Theatre

The outstanding tenor straight from La Scala, Milan – Accompanied by extraordinary pianist and Opus Artist In Residence, Oliver Poole.
Opus Theatre are delighted to present an internationally known tenor, Ramtin Ghazavi, together with our Artist in Residence, concert pianist Oliver Poole, on 17th November 2018. Oliver, who has brought Ramtin to Opus, wants the Hastings audience to experience Ramtin’s wonderful performance. He describes him as “strong, charismatic and virtuoso, yet able to convey a depth of emotion and sincerity that is raw, captivating and at times mystical. 

Ramtin Ghazavi is particularly associated with La Scala opera house in Milan, where he has sung in a wide range of major productions including “La Traviata”, “La Boheme”, “Wozzek” “Die Fledermaus” and Leonard Berstein’s “Chichester Psalms”. He has also sung in the major opera and concert halls of France, the US and other countries, as well as music festivals across Italy. He has now sung many of the leading roles in the classical operatic repertoire at the highest level.

Born in Iran as a member of the Baha’i community, Ramtin was barred from higher education, and there were no schools in the country teaching western classical music– indeed, it is still almost unobtainable there. As a child he studied Persian classical music and then in his mid-teens a guitar-playing friend introduced him to western traditions, which led to him studying the piano and trying to find a vocal teacher – without success.

“The Internet wasn’t like it is today, so I had no access to YouTube or other ways to find and listen to the music easily,” Ghazavi wrote. “But I had some audio and videotapes of Pavarotti and Placido Domingo.”

Ghazavi’s life took a sudden turn when an Italian tourist happened to hear him singing Scarlatti’s “Pieta, Signore,” and helped him apply successfully to study opera in Italy in 2003. After two years at the Conservatory of Como, he successfully applied to the elite Milan Conservatory. Immersing himself in music by day and working in an Ikea warehouse by night to pay the bills, he was an outstanding student who also auditioned successfully for the chorus at La Scala.

In 2012 he released his first album, “Les Roses d’Ispahan,” featuring the ethereal composition by Gabriel Faure named after Isfahan, the ancient Iranian city where Ghazavi was born. It is a song he has never had the opportunity to perform publicly in his homeland. “I can’t perform and work in Iran because of my religion”, Ghazavi wrote. However he did manage to arrange a recital in the home of the Italian ambassador in Tehran in 2013, and launched the first Opera Masterclass in the city’s Italian school.

In the middle of the last century, Iranian composers steeped in Western forms such as Rubik GregorianHossein Nassehi, and many others created new works which drew on Persian folklore and the epic verse of Persian poet Ferdowsi“Unfortunately this repertory has been forgotten” , Ghazavi wrote. He is making it his mission to “renew the culture of opera singing in the Persian language that also has some ancient roots in the Persian culture.”

His concert at Opus will feature a selection of well-known arias from the Italian operatic repertoire, together with some Persian music including operatic arias, combining the familiar with the new. This promises to be a memorable evening.

Saturday 17th November at 7.30pm

Opus Theatre, 24 Cambridge Road (opposite ESK), Hastings TN343 1DJ

Tickets £15 from www.opustheatre.co.uk or the Hastings Information Centre