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Bon Journal

Preparing for next concert

There's a big difference between playing the piano and practising for a concert. For a year now, I've been practicing Bach's Lute Suite transcribed for piano. Without a performance in mind, I've never perfected it. Yet when I was practising for Kiyoka's flute auditions, I noticed that I had improved enough to perform at my December concert.

So for my next concert, 30th March in Bussum, Netherlands, I'm practising two fresh pieces by the Dutch composer Heleen Verleur. They are fresh because they have just received their debut yesterday in Amsterdam. I met Heleen almost a year ago, just when she caught the composing flu. Since then she's been churning out one classical piece after another.

Last week in Amsterdam, the Dutch violinist Mira Roos and I sightread Heleen's Four Short Pieces for Violin and Piano. Once I returned to London I discovered that my first impressions had underestimated the piano part. The accidentals could not be sightread so easily, and I would need to figure the fingerings also.

Heleen's Prelude and Fugue in D minor for piano solo was mesmerizing the first time I heard it. But as I worked out the right and left hands, it has become quite addictive. It's exquisite in form.

The date has been set for Easter Weekend so that my friend Hari, who is meeting me in Amsterdam on her way back from Bonn, can attend. The Dutch guitarist Robert Bekkers arranged the place, time, flyers, distribution, publicity, sponsorship etc. Mira is doing the composer and music research for the programme. And I will edit Robert's English translations..

Until the week of the concert when we will get together to rehearse again, I shall be practising solo. Already the prelude is sounding legato.

4 March 2002 Monday

Saturday 30th March 2002
an afternoon of diversity
violin, guitar, piano
featuring recent compositions by Heleen Verleur, Robert Beckers, Anne Ku
transcriptions of Piazzolla's tangos for violin, guitar, piano trio
(as well as masterpieces of older composers)