Friday 21st June (7.00pm) – Trio Ekspromt

The Trio Ekspromt was formed in 2018, during one of Nicholas Walker’s visits to Russia, by alumni of the Moscow Conservatory. The string players are section leaders of the celebrated Russian chamber orchestra, Musica Viva. The programme offers a chance to hear what no doubt will be a thrilling performance of the Rachmaninoff Cello Sonata, Haydn’s sparkling Gypsy Rondo Trio and Beethoven’s magnificent Archduke Trio. There will also be a surprise piece, which promises to be memorable.

Lyubov Zhigunova – violin,
Emin Martirosyan – cello,
Nicholas Walker – piano.

Provisional Programme:
Rachmaninov – Cello Sonata
Haydn – Gypsy Rondo Trio
Beethoven – Archduke Trio

Emin Martirosyan was born in 1987 in Yerevan.

In 2006 he graduated from the Academic College of Music at the Moscow Conservatory. P.I. Tchaikovsky, specialty “Cello” (class Honored Artist of Russia, Professor AN Seleznev). In the same year he entered the Moscow State Conservatory. P.I. Tchaikovsky in the class of Professor A.N. Seleznev. While studying at the Conservatory simultaneously with playing the cello, he began to devote a lot of time playing the piano. At the inter-faculty department, the piano was engaged in the class of Honored Artist of Russia, student of J. Zack, Professor N. D. Yurygina. In 2011, he graduated with honors from the Moscow Conservatory and in 2014 graduate school (class of Professor A.N. Seleznev).

From 2010 to the present, he has been a soloist and artist of the Moscow Musica Viva Chamber Orchestra under the direction of People’s Artist of Russia Alexander Rudin.

Emin acts as a member of the chamber orchestra and various ensembles, as well as solo – as a cellist and pianist, often in the framework of one concert. As a pianist, he was the soloist with the Ural Youth Symphony Orchestra, as well as the Saratov Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra. In a duet with violinist Pavel Milyukov, he constantly participates in the projects of the St. Petersburg House of Music “Embassy of Excellence”. A special place in the career of a musician is the performance of chamber music.

In 2004 he became the winner of the II All-Russian competition “New Names” as part of a trio (Khanty-Mansiysk), in 2011 as part of a trio won the Grand Prix at the International Competition of Chamber Ensembles. M. Yudina (St. Petersburg).

Winner and laureate of various international festivals and competitions including the XV Canetti International Music Festival, Israel (1st prize, 2010), “Beethoven Days in Moscow” (2nd prize), etc.

He performs with many leading Russian musicians, such as Alexander Rudin, Alexey Lyubimov, Ivan Monigetti, Mikhail Beznosov, Irina Kandinskaya, Anna Kandinskaya, Natalia Yurygina, Alexander Galkovsky, Pavel Milyukov, etc.

He has performed on tours in Russia, as well as in France, Germany, Switzerland, Turkey, Moldova, the Czech Republic, etc.

Lyubov Zhigunova graduated in 1978 from the school under the Moscow State Conservatory named after P. Tchaikovsky (teacher Kira Vladimirovna Kuchakevich) and in the same year entered the Moscow Conservatory, in the class of professor Dmitry Mikhailovich Tsyganov (assistant – Zarius Shikhmurzayeva).

In the class of the chamber ensemble she studied with Professor Tatiana Alekseevny Gaydamovich, and in the class of quartet performing with Professor Raphael Rubenovich Davidian.

In 1984, she joined the Vladimir Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of V.I. Kornachev and became the leader of the second violin section. Shortly after she joined the Moscow Chamber Orchestra “Music Viva” under the celebrated Alexander Rudin.

In 2013 she received a letter of appreciation from the Minister of Culture V. Medinsky.

Nicholas  Walker was hailed by the London Evening Standard as a ‘prodigy, of awesome technical fluency backed by exceptional artistry’, Nicholas Walker possesses a rare combination of talents combining sensitivity with ‘the flair of a full scale virtuoso and a sparkling intelligence’ (BBC Music Magazine).

He studied at the Royal Academy of Music, where he won all the major awards for both piano and composition, and subsequently at the Moscow Conservatoire.

While still a student in Moscow, he won the First Newport International Piano Competition and has since played with many British Orchestras, including the City of Birmingham and National Symphony Orchestras, the Royal Philharmonic, London Mozart Players, the London Festival and New Queen’s Hall Orchestras, the Philharmonia and the BBC National Symphony Orchestra of Wales. As well as performing in all the major London concert halls, he has played in North and South America, France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Scandinavia, Australia and Russia. He has recorded for BBC Radio 3, Cirrus, ASV, BMG Arte Nova, Chandos, Toccata Classics and Naxos Grand Piano. Equally at home in chamber music, he is sought after as an imaginative and sensitive accompanist, and his CD with Lydia Mordkovitch of Russian violin music was Daily Telegraph CD of the week.

Although Walker’s performances of Beethoven have brought him special acclaim, and his performances of the lyrical and late romantic piano music have also been singled out for the highest praise, it is for his championing of the cause of the neglected leader of ‘The Mighty Handful’, Mili Alexei Balakirev, that he is best known. Described by David Murray in the Financial Times as ‘the nearest thing to a natural Balakirev performer’, Walker’s two discs of Balakirev piano music which he made for ASV received great critical acclaim, but his new series for Naxos Grand Piano is unique, in that it introduces music that has never before been performed or published, including a substantial sonata and works that Nicholas has completed himself. According to American Record Guide it promises to be the “reference set” and the CDs have so far garnered enthusiastic reviews: CD3 was CD of the week on Musiq3. He has also received high praise for his performances of other Russian composers, including his live recording of the Liapunov Sonata on Danacord (DACOCD 539), described by Jeremy Nicholas as ‘thrilling… a tour de force’.

In 2010 Nicholas devised and presented the Balakirev Festival at St John’s Smith Square in London, which included a number of world première performances. He continues with his project of preparing an edition of all Johann Baptist Cramer’s piano concertos, the first of which he played in the London Festival Orchestra’s ‘Virtuoso Pianists’ series; future recordings of these concertos are planned. Nicholas is also a gifted composer: his ‘Salvete Flores Martyrum’ Millennium commission from Godolphin School Choir can be found on this website here. He has also had several particularly successful collaborations with the Skomorokhi ensemble of St Petersburg, led by Viktor Akulovich who has arranged a number of works by Balakirev for his remarkable Russian folk orchestra.

Nicholas Walker teaches at the Royal Academy of Music in London, where he devised the celebrated keyboard skills course, the advanced level of which not only helps students to be proficient in all aspects of practical musicianship, but offers them the chance to learn how to improvise in various forms, such as minuets, variations, sonatinas and Mozart-type cadenzas, in addition to devising and performing a virtuoso transcription of their own.

Provisional Programme (detailed)

Sergei Rachmaninov – Cello Sonata in G minor, Op.19

  1. Lento – Allegro moderato
  2. Allegro scherzando
  3. Andante
  4. Allegro mosso

Joseph Haydn – Trio in G major (Gypsy Rondo) Hob. XV/25

  1. Andante
  2. Poco adagio, cantabile
  3. Rondo a l’Ongarese: Presto

Ludwig van Beethoven – Piano Trio in B flat major, Op.97 (Archduke)

  1. Allegro moderato
  2. Scherzo, Allegro
  3. Andante cantabile ma però con moto
  4. Allegro moderato – Presto