In October 2020 the Trust reported that although the pandemic had forced us to suspend our programme of visitors, we had found new ways of providing support to students (see here). We knew, of course, that the circumstances had meant that many students were in even greater need than they would have been otherwise, and wanted to ensure that we could continue our work at a time when, if anything, it seemed more important than ever.
Another year has passed since that time and, of necessity, the visitors’ programme has remained suspended throughout. Thanks, however, to a refocussing of our activities, we nonetheless have much to report.
Resident Music Scholar – David Hedley
David Hedley’s studies at the Royal College of Music came to an end in summer 2021. Sadly, both his two years of study were blighted by the pandemic and the lockdowns, which prevented him from attending classes in person for much of the time, and from performing in public throughout. Nonetheless he had a busy year in 2020-21. From March onwards he worked on a freelance basis with the London Symphony Orchestra and Royal Northern Sinfonia, providing him with the opportunity to work with Gianandrea Noseda and Sir Simon Rattle. David was able to bring his studies to a successful conclusion and he was awarded a Master’s degree with distinction in June 2021.
One of the most disappointing aspects of the disruption to our programme of activities is that we were unable to host a summer concert at the Founder’s former home in Kensington as in previous years. The concerts have always been enormously enjoyable occasions, providing Dr Anderson’s friends, students and supporters of the Trust with the opportunity to meet, and for our resident music scholars to perform for them. Under normal circumstances David would have planned and performed the programme at events in summer 2020 and 2021 but owing to COVID neither was possible.
However, determined not to be put off entirely, David suggested that he instead record a virtual concert to be broadcast online. He and a group of fellow musicians from the College recorded performances of three pieces during July 2021. The recording is available via YouTube and below, along with further information about the programme and ensemble.
J. S. Bach
Concerto for Oboe and Violin in D minor, BWV 1060
David Hedley – Oboe
Viviane Plekhotkine – Violin
J. S. Bach
‘Kommt, eilet und laufet’ (Easter Oratorio), BWV 249
David Hedley – Oboe
Variations on a theme from Donizetti’s La Favorita
arr. David Hedley
David Hedley – solo oboe
Viviane Plekhotkine – Solo Violin / Violin 1
Emmanuel Webb – Violins 1/2
Lucy Holmes – Violin 2
Hattie Quick – Viola
Özgür Deniz Kaya – Cello
Video produced by Ashby Mayes.
David has decided to extend his studies by taking an Artist Diploma at Guildhall School of Music and Drama for which he has been awarded a scholarship. We all sincerely hope that the forthcoming year will not be affected by COVID and that this time David will be able to take full advantage of the opportunity of spending a further year studying in London. His biography now appears on the ‘Previous Music Scholars’ page here. We look forward to following his progress and wish him every success.
New Resident Music Scholar – John Paul Jennings
The end of David’s studies at the Royal College also brought about the end of his residential scholarship with the Trust and we are delighted to announce that the resident scholar for 2021-2 is John Paul Jennings. Supporters of the Trust will remember that ‘JP’ received the first Robert Anderson Trust Special Award in 2020-21. This was designed as a response to the pandemic, to support a student through these very difficult circumstances, and we are delighted to be able to extend our support to JP during the second year of his Master’s degree. JP’s biography and a recorded performance now appear on the Trust’s website here.
John Paul had a very busy year at the College and impressed the Trustees enormously with recorded performances and by enthusiastically reporting on his activities throughout.
Following a successful year of study, in June 2021, with financial support from the Trust, JP visited the Czech Republic to take part in a masterclass in Pilsen on Bizet’s Carmen. This was part of his preparation for the Blue Danube International Opera Conducting Competition, in Stara Zagora, Bulgaria later in the month in which he reached the semi-final. We are very much looking forward to following JP’s progress in the coming months.
A Second ‘Special Award’
In light of the suspension of the programme of visitors for a second year running the Trustees decided recently to make funds available for a second ‘special award’. We are delighted to announce that the award for the coming year is to be made to Anibal Vidal, a composer from Chile, who will be studying for an Artist Diploma at the College. We look forward to bringing you news of his progress.