The first concert of Chester Music Society’s Celebrity Concert season is on Wednesday, October 8 at 7.30pm in St Mary’s Centre with the welcome return of Jennifer Pike, the young internationally famous violinist.
Pike began playing the violin at the age of five, and after auditioning at the age of eight she gained a place at Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester.
At the age of ten she was chosen to play at a concert attended by the Prince of Wales at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.
She soon made her concerto debut, playing Haydn’s Violin Concerto in G with her school orchestra.
She has studied with David Takeno in London, and was awarded a scholarship to study at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
Her prodigious talent first gained international attention in 2002, when, aged 12, she became the youngest-ever winner of the BBC Young Musician of the Year following her performance of Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto with the BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sir Andrew Davis.
And she became the youngest major prize-winner in the Menuhin International Violin Competition.
Aged just 15 she made acclaimed debuts at the BBC Proms and Wigmore Hall, and soon after she became a BBC New Generation Artist.
In April 2012, Pike took part in a live concert in Glasgow, accompanying the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Andrew Manze.
The programme, which was aired through BBC Radio 3, included music of Bach and Ralph Vaughan Williams.
Berkeley Ranby of Chester Music Society said: “Jennifer has had considerable success with her playing of Vaughan Williams’ Lark Ascending which she plays for us in Chester.
“She played this during the recent Commemoration Vigil marking the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War which was broadcast live from Westminster Abbey on BBC Two.
“She also appeared in the Proms in the Park in Swansea on the Last Night of the Proms, playing the finale of Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto as well as Kroll’s virtuoso piece Banjo and Fiddle and the Sailor’s Hornpipe by Henry Wood. So we are very lucky to have her in Chester.”
Passionate about helping young people from all backgrounds enhance their lives through music, she is an ambassador for the Prince’s Trust and patron of the City Music Foundation.
In demand as soloist with top orchestras worldwide, she recently released the Sibelius with the Bergen Philharmonic and Sir Andrew Davis on Chandos to great acclaim.
At her Chester concert, she will be accompanied on the piano by John Poster, who is internationally recognised as a pianist of outstanding artistry and versatility, equally in demand as soloist and chamber musician across an unusually extensive repertoire.
As well as the Lark Ascending, they will play works by Beethoven, Ysaye, and Dvorak.
Tickets at £14 are available from 07831 710558, 01244 321570, the Visitor Information Centre, Town Hall Square, Chester or via the website www.chestermusicsociety.org.uk
St Mary’s Centre is just off Castle Street behind County Hall; free parking in Castle Square at CH1 2DW. Access from the Grosvenor Road roundabout.