King Edwards Schools concert review

FULL FLOOD OF SOUND

KING EDWARDS SCHOOL, KING EDWARDS HIGH SCHOOL FOR GIRLS
Ruddock Hall, Edgbaston ****
Large school halls are difficult spaces in which to suit needs of eager numbers of performers. Such is the case with Ruddock Hall, King Edwards Boys fine Performing Arts Centre, used for numerous and varied events.
This Sexagesimal performance celebrated sixty years of music-making by young people from both distinguished schools, but one suspects that not enough time was given for individual practice or indeed, listening to the massive sounds whirling around. Possibly more input from conductor Martin Leigh would have helped (inspired?) throughout this challenging programme, well familiar to a large majority of the audience. Not the starter however, Sixteen year old Christopher Churcher's special celebratory Sexagesima! delighted listeners and challenged players. Balance a problem, however, (i.e. inaudible marimba) – more listening and rehearsal time please.
The true star was piano soloist Lauren Zhang who took the evening by storm with Beethoven's Emperor Concerto. Her fiendish runs and seemingly insurmountable technical wizardry were a true part of Beethoven's familiar favourite – matching beautifully with bright woodwinds and sweeping strings. Lauren began her piano lessons aged four, is still at school, but already a world traveller . . . watch this space!
Brahms Symphony No 3 finished this amazing concert with a full flood of sound in the massive resonant hall. Stamping and cheers from the audience!
Maggie Cotton

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