Music for a winter’s evening

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An extra concert from Music Arran this season should brighten the dark days of winter. On Friday December 1 at 7.30pm – please note, not Saturday – in the community theatre in Lamlash, an international cast of musicians will be performing a varied programme under the heading: Music for a Winter’s Evening.

Elisa Clegg is a celebrated viola player from the USA, growing up in Washington State where she studied with the University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, and at Central Washington University in Seattle. She has travelled and performed in a wide variety of musical styles, in professional orchestras, rock bands and folk ensembles, both across America and in Europe, and currently lives in Hamburg, Germany, studying and sharing her music with the community, especially the young.

Pianist Gamal Khamis is British and made his debut at the Wigmore Hall aged 10. He took a degree in mathematics at Imperial College, London, before going on to study at the Royal College of Music. He has performed widely in Britain and at international events in Europe and North America, including concertos by Mozart, Beethoven, Grieg, Fauré, Saint-Saëns, Rachmaninoff, Stravinsky and Finzi, He has also been the recipient of major prizes.

Another pianist, Joana Gama, is from Portugal, and studied in Braga, London and Lisbon, and is currently on the staff of the University of Minho, Braga. She has also studied ballet, and has been involved in projects that associate music to dance. She is especially devoted to the music of the French composer Erik Satie, and has performed works by him in various European countries. Some pieces by him will be heard on the 1st.

The two pianists are not going to play together, but both will contribute to the concert. Alice Maxwell, who was very helpful in getting this concert off the ground, will play the violin. She is local, from Lamlash, and is joined by two further island instrumentalists: David Simpkin on guitar and Jemma Totty, who will play the tambourine in support of some items. Apart from Erik Satie, there will be pieces by Arvo Pärt, John Cage, Liszt and Brahms. Gipsy music and some audience participation are also promised.

In conjunction with the event, the visiting musicians hope to tour Arran’s schools in the preceding week, with Alice Maxwell and Gamal Khamis offering string music workshops in Lamlash church hall at 10.15am and 1.15pm on Saturday December 2. For further details, contact Alice on 699329.

Tickets for the concert will be available on the door, but to be sure of a seat they can be bought in advance, online from Arran Events (www.arranevents.com),or from Inspirations of Arran shop in Brodick. Children are admitted free, together with one accompanying adult.