Churchill Music!UK Registered Charity No 1121866
Patron: Peter Donohoe CBE

Ruth Rogers, violin; Katherine Jenkinson, 'cello; Martin Cousin, piano

Review: The world may be in global recession with cuts in spending becoming the norm for governments and individuals alike, but if you’re looking for a seriously good value for money night out, away from all the doom and gloom, look no further than Churchill Music! This tiny but brilliant arts organisation seems to have a knack of unearthing excellent performers from all over the UK, bringing them to a local audience at an affordable price, and in a beautiful and relaxed setting.

Churchill Music!’s latest 'find' is the Aquinas Piano Trio who performed a programme of Haydn, Debussy & Saint-Saens to a near-packed audience at St John the Baptist Church, Churchill on Saturday 9 May. Though recently formed, each member of the trio brings a wealth of experience, and it is evidently a match made in heaven. Ruth Rogers (violin) and Katherine Jenkinson (cello) played with relaxed and effortless musicality, supported by virtuosically meticulous piano playing from Martin Cousin. Listening to this trio performing as one, I couldn’t help thinking of the great violin virtuoso Yehudi Menuhin whose technique was so relaxed that every last drop of his musical soul was shared with his audience via the music. It was almost as if the Aquinas Trio was performing with us, not for us.
The programme was carefully chosen and suited the group (and the audience) beautifully. Haydn’s “Gypsy Rondo” trio was as gleefully spirited as its title suggests, with the final movement being such a delightful romp that one couldn’t help but grin from ear to ear. Next came an early work by Debussy in which the myriad of experimental musical devices, which occupied the young composer, were sensitively dealt with by the Aquinas. After the interval we were treated to Saint-Saens’ second piano trio – an exemplary canvas for the musician’s art, showcasing everything from broad-brush romantic schmaltz to meticulous counterpoint, and from delicate graceful lines, to complex interplay between the instruments. Totally in command of the considerable technical demands of the piece, the Aquinas launched themselves into it with maximum musical commitment and the result was breathtaking.
Rarely does one come across a group so relaxed and (rightly) confident in their technical abilities that they are able to focus so completely on the soul of the music. The Aquinas Piano Trio is one such group who not only satisfy the musical longings of the scores they play, but bring themselves closer to their audience; an audience which is surely set to grow as these young prize-winning stars take the stage with vitality and exuberance, as a Trio.
Bravo Churchill Music! on a fabulous find.

Cellist Katherine Jenkinson is no stranger to Churchill Music! She returns with the Aquinas Piano Trio, a new, exciting and versatile chamber ensemble. All are soloists in their own right and between them have won many prestigious prizes and performed at leading concert halls worldwide. The trio has received interest both in the UK and abroad and they have been asked by composer Thomas Hyde to record his new piano trio for the Toccata Classics label. They will perform Haydn - Gypsy Rondo, Debussy - Trio and
Saint-Saens Trio No. 2 in E minor.

Event details
7.30pm - 9.45pm (approx.)
Saturday 9 May
St. John the Baptist Church, Church Lane, Churchill Somerset
There will be one interval.

£10.50. £8.50 Under 18's £4.00 * CAVATINA Ticket scheme £2.00
Tickets available from: Ursula Dornton 01934 852919

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