WISSAM BOUSTANY - FLUTE
One of only a few flutists to have launched a successful career as an international soloist, Wissam Boustany is a performer who inspires audiences with his energetic and communicative music-making. His flute has taken him on numerous tours to Europe, the Middle-East, Far East, USA and Latin America, where he continues to present many concerts, master-classes and workshops. He embraces a wide repertoire and has developed a keen interest in introducing the music of today within the context of imaginative program planning, combining the innovative with the traditional. Amongst the composers who have written for him: Beat Furrer, Alun Hoddinott, Simon Holt, Tarek Younis, Carl Witt, Houtaf Khoury, Bushra el-Turk, Sian Bracey, Pierre Thilloy and Boghos Gelalian. He has also given the world premieres of Paul Reade's Concerto, Hotaf Khoury’s Mirror of Eternity, Walid Howrani's Life Cycle, Peter Cowdrey's Land of the Prophets and Carl Witt’s This Invisible World. As an orchestral musician, Wissam Boustany was closely associated with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe under Claudio Abbado in the early 1980s, with whom he appeared as soloist on the award winning Deutsche Grammophone recording of 'Il Viaggio a Rheims'. Five solo CDs are currently also available: Wandering Winds, Sounds from Within, Vivaldi’s Children, Mirror of Eternity and This Invisible World.
Born in Lebanon, Wissam Boustany began his musical studies in Beirut with his stepfather. He moved to Britain in 1977 where he studied at Chetham's School of Music & the Royal Northern College of Music. He has received many awards, notably the Silver Medal in the 1982 Madeira International Flute Competition and (in the same year) the woodwind prize in the Royal Overseas League Competition. He was also the Silver Medallist in the Shell/LSO Competition and won the 2nd prize in the woodwind section of the first 'BBC Young Musician of the Year'.
Wissam’s experiences of the war in Lebanon have greatly influenced his outlook on both Life and Music. In 1995 he founded Towards Humanity, a multi-decade international initiative working with musicians and charities, helping communities who suffer from the tragedies of war. This project was inaugurated in February 1995 at the Royal Albert Hall, London. In 1997 he was awarded a knighthood by the Lebanese government (Chevalier de l’Ordre du Cedre) in recognition of his music and peace work. On 3rd February 1998 he was presented with the Crystal Award at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
In recent years Wissam has diversified into conducting and April 2018 saw the launch of his new orchestra, the Pro Youth Philharmonia, an advanced training orchestra for emerging musicians. Wissam continues to use his music as a powerful healing force to open the doors of inspiration between people and nations, and help us reflect on our common humanity.
Aleksander Szram - Piano
Winner of the 2004 Vlado Perlemuter Award, Aleksander enjoys a varied schedule of solo piano, concerto and chamber music performances across the world, having played in more than twenty-five countries over four continents.
Aleksander was born in Southampton to Polish parents, and has been playing the piano since the age of five. He was awarded the Wilner Scholarship to study at Trinity College of Music under Anthony Green and Douglas Finch, where he won prizes for piano, chamber music, vocal accompaniment and composition, including first place in the John Halford and John Longmire Piano Competitions, the John Ireland Chamber Music Prize and the Leonard Smith Duo Prize for Strings and Piano. He also came second in the inaugural PACA Piano Competition. Upon graduation, Aleksander was awarded the TCM Trust Silver Medal, as well as the Haynes Scholarship, the Stopford Scholarship and the Joan Greenfield Fellowship to fund his study for a MMus Degree, which he passed with Distinction. He was subsequently awarded the Worshipful Company of Musicians' Silver Medal for Excellence in Performance, and the Wilfred Stiff Prize. Aleksander has also studied with Martino Tirimo, Mikhail Kazakevich and Yonty Solomon.
Aleksander is particularly interested in the performance of contemporary repertoire and has given world premières of works by Frederic Rzewski, Daryl Runswick, Dai Fujikura, Harris Kittos, Anthony Green, Danny Ledesma, Bushra El-Turk and Hao Weiya among others, leading to several releases with the German label Fonorum. Solo programmes have included the complete Tippett Piano Sonatas and several works by Sorabji, Alkan and Ives. Aleksander has performed at the major UK venues, and for many concert societies, including collaborations with Wissam Boustany, Nora Cismondi, Ian Clarke, Paul Edmund-Davies, Philip Fowke, Leonid Gorokhov, Alexander Ivashkin, Jill Kemp, Lorna McGhee and Ian Pace, and concertos with Jan Latham-Koenig, Peter Stark and Andrew Morley. He has also accompanied masterclasses given by Maxim Vengerov, James Galway, Elly Ameling and Robert Cohen among others. He is one of few pianists who regularly accompanies from memory. With his group, The Lycydas Piano Trio, he gave the UK premiere of the Piano Trio in A minor by Sibelius, and worked with Roger Smalley, receiving an honorary award in 2003 from the Peter the Great Festival in Gröningen, Holland. The Lycydas Trio premiered the Piano Trio by Frederic Rzewski, and their recording of the work is available on itunes. Aleksander is an enthusiastic composer, having studied with John Ashton Thomas, Francis Pott and William Benjamin, and also electronic composition with Keith Hamel. He has performed with Gregory Rose's contemporary ensemble Circle, as well as with the Irish group Lost Music of the Gaels and the Japanese ensemble Shonorities. Aleksander completed his DMA on a full scholarship at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, where he studied piano with Jane Coop, and harpsichord and organ with Doreen Oke. As a harpsichordist he has performed with Rachel Brown and Dmitri Kontouras. His doctoral thesis constituted a guide to the performance of Cornelius Cardew's Octet '61 on the piano. He now teaches piano and lectures in performance practice at Trinity College of Music, London, and has also guest-lectured at the Royal Academy of Music, York University, the Juilliard School, and the Manhattan School of Music. He has appeared on BBC Radio 3, Classic FM, Channel 4 and also on Colombian television. He was recently made a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. His latest CD recording, of the Scafra Preludes by Daryl Runswick under the supervision of the composer, has just been released on itunes. Two CDs with the recorder player Jill Kemp are currently in production, and later this year he will be recording a double-album with Wissam Boustany. Aleksander is on the teaching faculty of the Cheethams International Summer School for Pianists, and also coaches young chamber groups at home in Kent, and in Bournemouth under the auspices of the Bournemouth Chamber Music Society.
Johann Nepomuk Hummel
Sonata in D Op.50
Allegro con brio
Suite Paysanne Hongroise
Moderato con moto
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