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Leia Zhu with the London Mozart Players (image: Kevin Day Photography).

London Mozart Players back in Hastings with violin virtuoso

The London Mozart Players return to Hastings for the first time in two years with a concert featuring 15-year-old violin virtuoso Leia Zhu at St Mary in the Castle on 29 January. Nick Terdre reports.

Leia Zhu, who made her solo debut at the age of four and is the London Mozart Players’ artist in residence, will make her debut at St Mary in the Castle on 29 January when the main work will be Mozart’s Violin Concerto in G Major.

Also on the programme are Bartok’s Romanian Dances, Coleridge-Taylor’s Four Novelletten, a series of dance-like pieces that recall Elgar and Dvorak, and Massenet’s moving Méditation from his opera Thaïs.

The concert is part of LMP’s ‘residency by the sea’. The orchestra previously played at this venue in February 2020, just before the first Covid lockdown, when they performed Jeff Moore’s Fiddler’s Hill with over 100 instrumentalists from the Hastings Music Centre.

The collaboration will be repeated this time when 33 young players from the Hastings Music Centre will join the orchestra for a performance of Bartok’s Romanian Dances, led and directed by Zhu, who will rehearse with them ahead of the concert.

Image: Kevin Day Photography.

“I’m so looking forward to making my debut in Hastings as part of LMP’s residency, performing Mozart’s sublime third violin concerto,” Zhu said. “It’s wonderful that everyone has access to these world-class musicians right on their doorstep and this superb concert programme has something for everyone.

“I’m particularly thrilled to be rehearsing with, and performing alongside, the talented young musicians from the Hastings Music Centre, and I hope it proves to be an inspiring and exciting experience for us all.”

The young violinist has performed with orchestras around the world, including the London Symphony Orchestra, to great acclaim. In October she gave a performance of Tchaikovsky’s violin concerto with the LMP which was broadcast on BBC Radio 3.

The LMP is the UK’s longest established chamber orchestra. They celebrated their 70th anniversary in 2019, when they also became artists in residence at Opus Theatre. The theatre is currently undergoing repairs after suffering water damage and plans to reopen in March, director Polo Piatti told HOT. It therefore made sense to transfer this month’s concert to St Mary in the Castle.

 

Mozart & More Leia Zhu, violin, with London Mozart Players, director Ruth Rogers. St Mary in the Castle, Saturday 29 January, 7pm. Tickets – £12 standard, £10 concessions, £5 under 18s, £30 family – can be booked here.

The London Mozart Players giving their first concert as artists in residence at the Opus Theatre in 2019.

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Posted 11:37 Thursday, Jan 13, 2022 In: Music & Sound

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