Darlington Piano Society’s penultimate recital of the season sees a Darlington debut for the husband and wife duo of Emma Abbate and Julian Perkins. Regular and frequent performers, they have given duet recitals at many prestigious venues including the Royal Opera House, St George’s Bristol, St John’s Smith Square, Hatchlands Park, the Russell Collection and for the Mozart Society of America. In addition, they have a substantial discography, including well known as well as neglected duet works. Their latest CD, ‘Tournament for Twenty Fingers’, features piano duets by 20th century British composers, and received a 5* rating in the BBC Music Magazine. Emma is a professor at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, a staff coach at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, and has taught at the Verbier Festival Academy. Julian is Artistic Director of Cambridge Handel Opera and Sounds Baroque, and in the USA of the Portland Baroque Orchestra in Oregon. He and Emma have each been awarded an Associateship of the Royal Academy of Music in recognition of their ‘significant contribution’ to the music profession.
Their programme begins with an early work by Beethoven, followed by the Fantasia in F minor by Schubert, probably the finest classical piece written for four hands at a single keyboard. They then include works by English and American composers, Constant Lambert, Amy Beach and Samuel Barber.
The Society’s chairman, Greg Johnson, said “Piano duets are very popular in the piano repertoire but obviously not so frequently performed as the solo repertoire. So, it is pleasing that we are welcoming our first duo in five years with a varied and exciting programme”.
The recital takes place in Central Hall, the Dolphin Centre, at 3pm on Sunday 19th February. Details of the full programme are available at www.dpiano.co.uk. Tickets can also be purchased through the website and will also be available at the door on the day, price £15, with under 21’s free.