Violinist brings Beethoven, Prokofiev and Ravel to Hampstead Arts Festival

Anthony Marwood. Picture: Pia Johnson

Anthony Marwood. Picture: Pia Johnson - Credit: Archant

‘Eclectic’ virtuoso violinist Anthony Marwood plays Hampstead Arts Festival this Saturday

Struggling for an adjective to describe the virtuoso violinist Anthony Marwood, who plays Hampstead Arts Festival this Saturday, I turned to his website which offers “eclectic”.

But “collaborative” would do as well. Because although he does conventional concertos with conventional symphony orchestras, he’s more often found with chamber groups as leader/soloist/conductor. All in one.

At the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra, where he undertakes those three roles, he has the title Artist in Residence. At the Canadian-based Violins du Roy he’s ‘Principal Artistic Partner’ rather than ‘Music Director’, as they originally asked him to be.

“I like the feeling of being connected”, he says. “There’s an ethic of how you work with others musically that I absorbed partly from growing up with three siblings who all played, partly from my teacher Emanuel Hurwitz, who was deeply involved in chamber music”.

Unsurprisingly it’s as a chamber soloist that Marwood appears in Hampstead, in recital with the Serbian pianist Aleksandar Madzar. Sonatas by Prokofiev, Janacek, Ravel and Beethoven make up the programme. And it’s cause for comment that there’s nothing from the 21st Century, since Marwood’s career is probably best known for an association with modern work.

Having premiered the fearsomely difficult Violin Concerto by Thomas Ades in the Proms not long ago, he’s currently championing a concerto by the young American Samuel Carl Adams - son of John – which he premiered two years ago in California but is still waiting for an offer to play in here in Britain.

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“I totally believe in this piece”, he tells me, “and would do it tomorrow if someone asked”. An idea, maybe, for a future Hampstead Festival?

Anthony Marwood and Aleksandar Madzar at St John’s Downshire Hill, Sat 12th, 7.30pm.