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Piano and violin unite

This Thursday the Pharos Arts Foundation will continue its series of concerts and recitals with a violin and piano recital by Erika Geldsetzer on the former and Ian Fountain on the latter at the Shoe Factory in Nicosia.

The two musicians are top in their field as Geldsetzer is the founder of the celebrated Fauré Quartett and has appeared as a soloist with famous orchestras in major concert halls around the globe, while Fountain is renowned for his talent as he the youngest winner of the Arthur Rubinstein Piano Masters Competition.

Ever since then, he has enjoyed a wide-ranging and varied career, performing extensively throughout Europe, the USA, the UK and the Far East with the world’s most renowned orchestras, such as the London Symphony and the Czech Philharmonic

The pair will perform Beethoven: Sonata in A major, Op.12, No.2. This piece is among the least frequently performed of his ten sonatas for violin and piano. He composed the three sonatas of Op.12 between 1797 and 1799, making them products of the high classic era, rather than the early romantic period.

Elgar’s Violin Sonata in E minor, Op.82, will also be part of the programme. The sonata was composed between 1918 and 1919, concurrently with this cello concerto, the string quartet and the piano quintet. The composer had been greatly depressed by the outbreak of the First World War and these compositions are markedly different from much of his earlier output, less self-confident and more contemplative.

The piano will bring new life to these pieces as Fountain was educated as a chorister at New College, Oxford and later at Winchester College. He studied piano under Sulamita Aronovsky at the RNCM.

Apart from performing with some of the world’s top orchestras, Fountain was also invited to open the 1992-1993 season of the Moscow Conservatoire, and in Poland, he marked the 150th anniversary of Chopin’s death by playing both Chopin Concertos in Krakow.

As a recitalist he has performed in New York, Chicago, Paris, Berlin, Madrid and Jerusalem, among others. He is a regular guest of international festivals and has performed an extensive repertoire of over 60 concertos, including the complete cycle of Mozart Concertos. As a chamber musician, he enjoys many long-standing collaborations with musicians such as David Geringas, Ulf Hoelscher and the Mandelring and Emperor quartets, performing in concerts and festivals throughout Europe, Japan and Korea.

In recent years, Fountain has also appeared as a conductor, mainly with the Israel Chamber Orchestra with which he has developed a close relationship and since 2001 he has been a piano professor at the Royal Academy of Music, London.

Gelsetzer started violin lessons at the age of six and at 12 she was accepted to the Music Academy Cologne, and went on to study in Karlsruhe with Prof Ulf Hoelscher. She followed postgraduate studies in London with Erich Gruenberg at the RAM and in Vienna with Prof Gerhard Schulz.

As chamber music was always her passion, Geldsetzer founded, in 1995, the Fauré Quartett (piano quartet). The Quartet enjoys a highly successful career and has performed in major concert halls ever since. It has participated in many festivals around the globe such as the Schleswig Holstein Musikfestival in Germany. The quartet has also recorded major works of the piano quartet literature.

Besides being a regular guest in various chamber music festivals around the world, Geldsetzer is in great demand as a soloist and she has performed with renowned orchestras such as the South West radio orchestra Germany and the University Orchestra Heidelberg.

As a Duo, Fountain and Geldsetzer have been playing together since 2011.They have been invited regularly to play in major concert halls in Germany and abroad.

Violin and Piano Recital
The Pharos Arts Foundation presents Erika Geldsetzer and Ian Fountain. February 26. The Shoe Factory, Nicosia. 8.30pm. €15/10. Tel: 22-663871

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