about this event
Already the recipient of several international prizes, Indira was recently selected to be one of only eight cellists worldwide to participate in the 2021 Verbier Festival Academy Soloist programme where she worked intensively with Frans Helmerson, Steven Isserlis and Alban Gerhardt. Indira has won Making Music’s 2019 ‘Philip and Dorothy Green Young Artist Award’, the 2019 RCM Unaccompanied Bach Prize, the 2018 RCM Concerto Competition performing the Elgar Cello Concerto and a Gold Medal in the 2019 Vienna International Music Competition. In the last year she has also won awards from the Hattori Foundation and the Countess of Munster Musical Trust and she is very grateful to be supported by Help Musicians UK. Other competition successes include winning prizes at the 2016 Royal Overseas League Competition, the 2014 Tunbridge Wells International Young Artists Competition and the 2012 Bromsgrove International Young Musicians’ Platform. She was awarded the Junior Guilhermina Suggia Gift on two consecutive occasions (2010 & 2012) and she won all available prizes at the Junior Royal Academy of Music, including the 2013 Concerto Competition.
She has been performing as soloist from the age of twelve working with conductors such as Stephen Cleobury, Jonathan Willcocks and Robert Max, and also frequently performs across the UK as part of the Grier Trio. Of mixed Indian and British heritage, Indira believes strongly in promoting diversity in classical music and has worked with Chineke.
Francis Grier used to be organist of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford, and gave the first ever Prom concert given over to a solo performer in 1985. He is now a psychoanalyst and composer. In 2006 his Passion, commissioned by the BBC and VocalEssence in Minneapolis was described by the Independent as "a work of vital attack, shivering beauty and compelling power...", and by the Minneapolis Star Tribune as "a modern masterpiece." He was awarded a British Composer Award for his Missa Brevis (2011) for St Paul’s Cathedral. As a chamber music pianist he has recorded with Joshua Bell and Steven Isserlis, and has performed with Colin Carr, Louise Williams and Andrew Marriner – as well as with his daughters. In June 2018 the Choir of King’s College Cambridge digitally released Lit by Holy Fire; in September a CD was released of his organ music performed by Tom Winpenny at St Albans Abbey. In October 2020, Francis performed the last three Beethoven piano sonatas, Op. 109, Op. 110, and Op. 111, at Saint Mary's, Perivale, in a web recital which was heard by many listeners in all continents except Antarctica. His new oratorio Before All Worlds which he has been writing with librettist Elizabeth Cook, was to have been performed and broadcast by the BBC Singers in November 2020, but, due to the pandemic, this performance has been postponed.
Beethoven G minor Sonata Op. 5, No. 2 26'
Beethoven A major Sonata Op. 69 27'
Brahms F major Sonata Op 99 26’
Beethoven’s early G minor Sonata (1796) was written when he was in Berlin at the court of Friedrich Wilhem II. He is thought to have performed it often himself with cellist Jean-Louis Duport. At this point Beethoven was twenty-six years old, and at the height of his fame as a virtuoso pianist. As was the norm at the time (seen also in Beethoven’s early violin sonatas) it is the piano that has the more central and virtuosic role of the two instruments. This piece takes us on a journey of extremes, from its darkly dramatic opening through to one of Beethoven’s most exuberant and playful finales.
Fast forward a decade to 1807, and we reach the year of the great A major Sonata. By this point, Beethoven was facing the tragedy of near total deafness. Only a few years earlier, he had written the famous Heiligenstadt Testament in which he contemplated suicide. Unbelievably given the devastating loss of his hearing, this middle period was a time not only of extreme musical productivity for Beethoven, but it was also a time when he wrote some of his most joyful music. The Pastoral Symphony and the Violin Concerto for example, were all composed around the same time as the A major cello sonata. This is the first sonata in history in which the cello and the piano are given completely equal roles throughout. Popular with audiences from its first performance in 1808, the A major is arguably still the most famous and well-loved of the five cello sonatas today. It is fascinating to hear these two works side by side and be able to listen to the development and journey from one to the other, both compositionally and emotionally.
Running Time: 110 mins approx (including 20 minute interval)