Best of 2015

5 January 2016

Pianist

School of Music concert and alumna feature in The Guardian’s highlights of the year

December is traditionally a time for reflection and for critics to choose their cultural highlights of the year.  In this spirit, The Guardian’s classical critics choose their favourite live events of 2015, performed either in the UK or internationally, and top of the list is Rian Evans’ choice of a piano recital at the School of Music.

Pianists Peter Hill and Benjamin Frith performed Messiaen and Stravinsky at the School in February 2015 as part of the City of Light: Paris 1900-1950, a festival collaboration between the Philharmonia Orchestra and the School of Music.

Evans gave the concert a 5-star review in February, describing it as “a virtuosic and beautifully poised performance of a Messiaen rarity.” Writing about the performance of The Rite of Spring for four hands at the piano, she said: “Rarely can this have been performed with such a raw and visceral quality, or clarity of colour and registration. Hill’s authority and Frith’s power made it unforgettable.”

Classical and opera critic Tim Ashley chose Northern Ireland Opera’s Salome for his Top 10 Classical Concerts and Operas list, highlighting soprano Giselle Allen’s “outstanding” performance in the title role.

Belfast-born Giselle graduated from the School of Music in 1992 and has gone on to a successful stage career.