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SUITE CELLO: Day-long musical feast celebrating iconic composer to take place in Rickmansworth

 Published on: 22nd February 2024   |   By: News Desk   |   Category: Uncategorized

Some of the most talented teenage cellists in the UK are to take part in a day-long celebration of the life and work of Johann Sebastian Bach staged by Three Rivers Music Society on Monday, March 25.

Students from The Purcell School in Bushey – the country’s oldest music school – will play all six of Bach’s legendary cello suites during two afternoon recitals at Rickmansworth Baptist Church.

In the evening, pianist Julian Perkins will tackle one of the Himalayan peaks of classical music by performing Bach’s Goldberg Variations, which many regard as the greatest of all his keyboard compositions.

The event is timed to coincide with the week of Bach’s birthday and is the most ambitious musical celebration that the society has organised since its formation in 1976.

Dr Steven Halls, the society’s programme director, said: “I’m delighted that our audience will be able to hear all six of the Bach cello suites in one afternoon. I’m a cellist myself and I know that these suites are among the most wonderful works ever written for the instrument.

“The prospect of hearing Julian Perkins play the Goldberg Variations is exciting too. There have been hundreds of recordings of this phenomenal work but one never tires of it.”

Among the brilliant young cellists who have been chosen to play the six suites – three in each of the hour-long afternoon recitals – are Ivan Cherednichenko and Ella Harrison.

Ivan recently won the £3,000 first prize in one of the UK’s most prestigious competitions for under-18s – the Gregynog Young Musician of the Year. Ella is another of The Purcell School’s many award-winners, having won the Hertfordshire County Youth Orchestra String Competition.

Julian Perkins has also enjoyed great success since completing his musical studies at Cambridge University and the Royal Academy of Music. He has been dubbed “the Indiana Jones of Early Music” by BBC Radio 3 because of the adventurous spirit he brings to all his music-making.

Julian has performed at not only London’s Wigmore Hall but New York’s Lincoln Centre and the Sydney Opera House. He is artistic director of both the Cambridge Handel Opera and the Portland Baroque Orchestra in Oregon, USA.

The event will be held in the Baptist Church on Rickmansworth High Street. Each of the recitals, which will begin at 1pm, 2.30pm and 7.30pm, will be preceded by 15-minute talks on Bach’s life and works by Dr Halls. Admission (including programme and refreshments) costs £5 for each afternoon recital, £16 for the evening concert, or £20 for all three. Reduced prices for members and free for under-25s.

For further information, visit

Photo: Julian Perkins

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