Sunday, 14 August 2022

Young pianist to play one of greatest works ever written

EDWARD REEVE started playing piano when he was just seven but less than 10 years later he’s now limbering up

EDWARD REEVE started playing piano when he was just seven but less than 10 years later he’s now limbering up to perform one of the most challenging pieces of piano music ever written.

The 17-year-old from Henley will take centre stage to play Brahms’ Piano Concerto No 2 with Woodcote-based orchestra Langtree Sinfonia at their spring concert at Dorchester Abbey on Sunday.

He said: “It’s a piece that I like a lot. It’s generally considered one of the greatest works in the piano repertoire simply by its length and the human emotions it conveys, as well as the different colourings for piano and orchestra. It should be fulfilling and exciting to play.”

Edward, who lives in St Andrew’s Road and attends Reading Blue Coat School in Sonning, took up playing the cello as a young boy but decided to give the piano a try because, he says, “it seemed a very fine instrument to play.”

He never looked back. By the time he was 13 he had completed the traditional ABRSM exam course by passing his grade eight, and a year later he completed his diploma. He has entered twice for the BBC Young Musician Of The Year competition, with success in the regional auditions. This year, after completing his A levels, he will spend his gap year taking up an organ scholarship at Salisbury Cathedral, before going on to read music at Queens’ College, Cambridge in September 2014.

He said: “Going to Cambridge should be a wonderful opportunity. They have so many ensembles going on that there will be plenty of opportunity to play and perform with different groups.

“I haven’t yet decided what path I want to take in the future. I may try to become a concert pianist or I may move into some other form of music, such as becoming a conductor. I want to see how Salisbury and Cambridge go first.”

He practises for about an hour a day on the Broadwood upright piano at his home, but says the best instrument he has ever played is the Steinway concert grand at London’s Royal College of Music.

Although he does not have a favourite piece of music or composer, he enjoys playing music by Brahms, Mendelssohn and Beethoven, and for easy listening he tunes into operas by Richard Strauss or Puccini.

The concert, on Sunday, June 9 at 7pm, opens with the overture to the opera Genoveva by Schumann, before moving on to Brahms’ Symphony No 3 followed by his Piano Concerto No 2. Tickets (£10 adults, £5 students, U16s free) are available on the door or by calling 0118 941 5498.

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