Pupils, friends, family and staff were thrilled to welcome International Pianist Irina Krasotina who flew all the way from Moscow to perform a piano recital and offer a mini-masterclass to some of our budding pianists. Irina graduated from the Moscow State Conservatory, where she is now an Associate Professor. She has also studied in Spain, Ireland and the USA and is particularly passionate about Spanish music and speaks fluent Spanish.

Irina opened her recital alongside the Carducci Quartet; together they played Piano Quintet in Eb major (1st Movement). This was one of Schumann’s most inspired works.  In the Allegro brilliante the part of the piano was composed especially for the composer’s wife, Clara, who was a great pianist and teacher. Irina then played Chopin, Mendelssohn and Glinka. The audience especially enjoyed Naughty Girl by Tchaikovsky, which included the familiar score for Swan Lake as requested by choreographer, Marius Petipa.

Several exquisite performances followed, which had the audience spellbound. Tim McVittie explained, “To have a professional concert pianist perform here at School is an honour and an inspiration. For the children to experience the standard of playing that Irina demonstrated, the melodies, her skill and empathy for the music will give them all a great deal to think about and to strive for. We are very grateful for her time.”

During the mini-masterclasses, Irina heard several pupils play. She played a duet with Emily Cox and suggested Emily try and sing the melody to help improve her playing. On hearing Ubani, Irina suggested he play the higher notes of his piece with more intensity and the lower notes more gently. Daniel played a Waltz and there was a big improvement to his playing when he learnt that this is a three step dance with one emphasised beat. Talia who played a very dramatic O Polichinelo from Villa-Lobos’ Prole do Bebe was asked to consider her posture and to try and relax her shoulders when playing.

Irina’s visit was a ‘once in a lifetime’ experience for many. The children learnt so much and we are all very grateful to her for joining us for the day.