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On the evening of Thursday 5 May, internationally-acclaimed violinist Boris Kucharsky – a teacher at St John’s - and his accompanist Marcus Schlemmer gave an extraordinary recital of Brahms’ three violin sonatas as part of this year’s summer series of events.
The Old Chapel was packed with a generous mix of pupils, parents and staff, and it was a delight to welcome many of Mr Kucharsky’s fans from the local Yehudi Menuhin School.
Playing the “Baron Knoop”, an instrument made in 1735 by Carlo Bergonzi in Cremona, Mr Kucharsky had the audience transfixed with the sheer translucent beauty of Brahms’ work, though this was full-bodied stuff. The Adagio of the third Violin Sonata – surely one of Brahms’ great melodies – had an almost impossible expansiveness which held an utterly motionless audience. Pathos was here, too, but it was difficult not to sense the overwhelming sprightliness of the sonatas – and the audience responded to such vigour with near-wild acclaim.
As the Director of Music, Nicholas Smith, said in his introduction, St John’s had been lucky enough to secure a performer who Yehudi Menuhin described as a ‘beautiful violinist’, but what an extraordinary thing indeed to have him teach at St John’s week by week. It was a sumptuous evening that will live long in the memory of all who attended.
The summer series continues this Wednesday when the School welcomes Gerard Russell, author of Heirs to Forgotten Kingdoms and former Head and Spokesman for the Islamic Media Unit, to talk about Iraq and Syria. Further details can be found on our Arts and Events page.
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