The career of British pianist Christian Blackshaw is a most unusual one. Following studies at Royal Northern College of Music, the Royal Academy of Music, the St. Petersburg Conservatory and private work with his pianistic hero, the legendary Clifford Curzon, Blackshaw embarked on the concert circuit only to stop abruptly in 1990, partly due to the death of his wife from cancer, but also because of a reluctance to continue performing at any level short of the Platonic ideal he had set himself. (“A perfectionist with a reverence for the composer that verges on the crippling,” is how one critic described him.) Blackshaw made a remarkable comeback a few years ago, performing Mozart’s sonatas in London’s Wigmore Hall to tremendous critical acclaim. A supreme control of dynamics, great emotional depth, and a “singing soul” marked these performances. His recordings of this repertory have been described as “captivating,” “magical,” and “masterful.” The Guardian remarked that on the basis of the first two volumes, “if Blackshaw retired tomorrow he’d never be forgotten.” Volume 4 was named one of the Best Classical Recordings of 2015 in the New York Times, and Gramophone magazine named it one of the Top 50 Greatest Mozart Recordings. During the 2018-2019 season Blackshaw served as Artist in Residence at Wigmore Hall in London.
PROGRAMME:MOZART Fantasy in D minor, K. 397 (1782)
(1756-1791) Rondo in D major, K. 485 (1786) Adagio in B minor, K. 540 (1788)
SCHUMANN Humoreske in B flat major, Opus 20 (1839)
(1810-1856)SCHUBERT Sonata in B flat major, D. 960 (1828)
(1797-1828) Molto moderato
Allegro ma non troppo