Toad Lane Concerts: A talented international trio

Date published: 26 July 2022

Two violinists teamed up with piano to produce a wonderful concert at St Mary's on Wednesday 20 July.

Vincent Che-Yang Chu was born in 1997 in Taiwan and started playing the violin at the age of seven. After graduating from the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire in 2020, he continues at the RNCM.

Che-Yang has taken part in concerts and masterclasses in solo and chamber music in recent years.

He plays an Italian violin made in 1901 by Luigi Montanari, which is loaned by the Chimei Museum in Taiwan.

Alessandro-Emilio Pacik was born in Leipzig but has lived in the UK for 12 years. The fourth-generation violinist in his family, he studies at the RNCM with Yossi Zivoni. He recently performed the Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1 with orchestra at Sheffield City Hall.

Pianist Harry Lai comes from Hong Kong and is completing a Master’s at the RNCM. A versatile keyboardist, he additionally studies conducting and has taken part in various masterclasses and already worked with orchestras in the UK, Dubrovnik and Belgrade.

Che-Yang and Harry opened with a mature and sophisticated performance of Violin Sonata in E minor by Mozart.

They were then joined by Alessandro for JS Bach’s Concerto for Two Violins in D minor, one of the composer’s most famous and best-loved works. The first and last movements were full of fiendish vigour and energy. The audience was transported by the haunting middle slow movement, with its sense of suspended animation from the two violins with simple piano accompaniment, beautifully captured by these outstanding young players. Sublime.

We were treated to a well-deserved and appropriate encore by Alessandro – Summertime from Porgy and Bess by Gershwin. A smouldering evocation of lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer, especially after a record-breaking heatwave!

The Queen’s Award-winning Toad Lane Concerts are every Wednesday at 12.30pm at St Mary in the Baum, Toad Lane, Rochdale, OL16 1DZ. Entrance fee is £6. No refreshments available now, but the venue is Covid-19 compliant. Contact 01706 648872 for further information.

To see details of forthcoming Toad Lane Concerts, click here.

Dr Joe Dawson

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