Based in the North East of England, Master Musicians International hosts recitals of classical musicians from all around the world. The photo shows Jonathan Middleton playing the theme from the film The Piano on the beach at Whitley Bay in Northumberland in 2012. The film itself was then shown in the adjacent Rendezvous Cafe.
How it all began
That wise old Greek, Plato, defined music as a moral law that gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, charm to sadness and life to everything.
Explain music whatever way you will, the reality is that we are all affected at some time in our lives by the powerful emotions and sheer pleasure that it inspires: and because of this MASTER MUSICIANS, has been founded in North Shields to bring to this region the best of music, LIVE, and at affordable prices.
Back in 1985, ERNEST SCOTT, our Concert Director, promoted a number of recitals by local artistes, at the Christ Church Centre, in North Shields, soon after it was opened… and from that modest beginning he set out to bring to the Centre some of the world’s finest young pianists.
The big break-through came in 1987 when he managed to persuade the American Marcantonio Barone, a finalist in that year’s Leeds International competition, to give a recital in North Shields before going on to perform at the Wigmore Hall.
Since then the number of recitals has grown steadily each year … and so, too, has Master Musicians’ reputation: and over the last decade we have been visited by musicians from America, Peru, Russia, Australia, Japan, China and France and of course, the best of young British talent.
The American MARK ANDERSON, who many thought should have won the 1993 Leeds competition, certainly proved a winner here.
SA CHEN, from China, a finalist in the Leeds when only 17 gave a stunning performance before a packed Christ Church audience… and another memorable recital featured the brilliant Russian pianist MARGARITA SHEVCHENKO.
NORIKO OGAWA, from Japan, inspired one critic to write: ‘for sheer beauty of sound and clarity of texture her performance would be difficult to beat’.
The Australian PIERS LANE has been another outstanding visitor…and always welcome are the British players JONATHAN PLOWRIGHT (a special favourite), ANDREW WILDE (compared by some with Myra Hess and Solomon), and GRAHAM SCOTT (described in Classic CD as a pianist of wide ranging musical sympathies and intelligence’).
Over the last thirty years I have felt as If I were unlocking the Tomb of Tutankhamen, in musical terms, and uncovering as I did so a wealth of treasures. I had tended to think that truly outstanding pianists were beyond my reach, but once I had made the breakthrough
with Marcantonio Barone, I discovered they were only too eager to visit and perform in so-called backwaters like North Shields.
Though playing host during their visits, I have found them warm human beings; as keen to share their talent with our smaller, but appreciative audiences, as they are with those attending the major concert halls. Many times they have told me how much they appreciate our unique approach to classical musicians…it makes them feel one of the family. That’s what makes it all worthwhile.
In this BLOG I will attempt to post updates and changes in Master Musicians events as they happen. A BLOG (short for weB LOG) allows changes to be made ‘on the fly’ much easier than on our website. It is FREE to use, you do not need to log in or give your email details. However you may see some advertising from time to time – there’s no such thing as a free lunch’.