Charles Owen will play a programme by four masterly Romantic composers all of whom took piano music to new heights of expression.
Robert Schumann’s mercurial imagination fills every bar of his early piano music no more so than in the energetic Carnaval, a vivid depiction of an enchanting, masked ball. Liszt & Chopin revolutionised the way pianists approach their instrument by writing music of immense poetry, virtuosity and originality. Tonight’s programme includes Chopin’s timeless Berceuse & Barcarolle complimented by Liszt’s Les jeux d’eaux à la Villa d’Este. The closing work by Cesar Franck, his Prélude, Chorale et Fugue, is a powerful piece combining a passionate spirit with a profound religious understanding.
Schumann – Abegg Variations, Op 1
Schumann – Carnaval, Op 9
Chopin – Berceuse, Op 57
Chopin – Barcarolle, Op 60
Liszt – Les jeux d’eaux à la Villa d’Este
Franck – Prelude, Chorale et Fugue
Charles Owen enjoys an extensive international career performing a wide-ranging repertoire to outstanding critical acclaim. He appears at many major UK venues such as Wigmore Hall, Bridgewater Hall, The Sage & Kings Place. Internationally, he has performed at the Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall in New York, the Brahms Saal in Vienna’s Musikverein, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, and the Moscow Conservatoire. His chamber music partners include Julian Rachlin, Alina Ibragimova, Steven Isserlis and Augustin Hadelich as well as the Vertavo and Takacs Quartets.
A regular guest at UK festivals such as Aldeburgh, Bath, Cheltenham, Three Choirs, Tetbury and Ryedale he has also performed in Australia at the Perth and Australian Festival of Chamber Music, Townsville and the Verbier Festival, Switzerland. Charles’ concerto appearances have included the Philharmonia, Hallé, Aurora and London Philharmonic orchestras. He has enjoyed collaborations with many leading conductors including Sir Mark Elder, Ryan Wigglesworth, Nicholas Collon and Martyn Brabbins.
Charles’ solo recordings comprise discs of piano music by JS Bach, Brahms, Liszt, Janácek, Poulenc and Fauré. Chamber music recordings include the cello sonatas of Rachmaninov and Chopin with Natalie Clein, the Stravinsky Piano Ballets and Rachmaninoff Suites with Katya Apekisheva and the world premiere of Jonathan Dove’s Piano Quintet with the Sacconi Quartet.
Charles Owen is a Professor of Piano at the Guildhall School, Guest Professor at RWCMD, Co-Artistic Director of London Piano Festival. He was appointed Steinway & Sons UK Ambassador in 2016 and is also an ambassador for the charity Help Musicians.
photo credit: Sim Canetty-Clarke
‘For his latest release, British pianist Charles Owen has chosen the nine pieces comprising Liszt’s 1855 Swiss Années, delivering a performance imaginatively rich, drenched with colour and thoroughly original in concept’
Gramophone, Editors Choice, November 2021