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Friends of Sidholme Music Room

Alex Wilson on Piano - 1st July 2018

By Alex Wilson Friends of Sidholme Music Room

Thursday, 5 July 2018


Friends of Sidholme Music Room Contributor


Sidholme Music Room – 3:30pm, Sunday 1st July 2018


Alex Wilson – Piano

The Banks of Green Willow: the piano music of Frederick Septimus Kelly

F.S.Kelly – 24 Monographs, Op. 11. 

No. 1 – 12


F.S.Kelly – 12 Studies, Op. 9

No. 3


Percy Grainger – English Country Gardens

Howard Skempton – The Durham Strike

Gustav Holst – Toccata

F.S.Kelly – 24 Monographs, Op. 11. 

No. 13 - 24

Alex Wilson is a musician with a passion for the unusual, new and unexplored: a versatile pianist with interests ranging from cutting edge new music to fascinating repertoire by forgotten composers.  Alex is a former British Contemporary Piano Competition finalist, Park Lane Group Young Artist and performer of new music across Britain and Europe as soloist and chamber musician.  His self-curated tour of music by the lost composers of World War One has achieved large audiences and received critical praise.  Alex studied for a music degree at York University, and graduated from the Royal College of Music with a MA (distinction) in piano performance in 2011, following studies with Andrew Ball. 

Alex directs, manages and performs with the Dr K. Sextet, curated the inaugural Cheltenham Music Festival Composer Academy and founded the music and visual arts collaboration ‘The Pierrot Project’.  Alex moved to Exeter in 2013 and has enjoyed making connections in the south west for the past five years, performing with Ruth Molins, Jade Gall, Claudia Alvarez Calderon and the ISCA Quartet alongside being a founding member of the Devon-based Trio Exe.  Alex teaches piano at Colyton Grammar School.

Since the start of the World War One Centenary in 2014 I have been performing the music of composers who died in battle as part of a project entitled ‘The Banks of Green Willow’.  I have performed these concerts around the country (and continue to do so), including works by Ernest Farrar, Cecil Coles and Frederick Septimus Kelly, all of whom died during the war, as well as music by Bridge, Parry, Gurney, Elgar and Ravel.

Of the less well-known composers I have explored, F.S. Kelly’s piano music is particularly intriguing.  A pianist himself, he was a prolific composer for the piano until his untimely death on the Somme in 1916, composing music full of virtuosity and passion, harking back to German romanticism as well as showing some progressive harmonic influences reminiscent of Scriabin and Rachmaninov. 

To conclude my project I will be making the first recordings of two of Kelly’s most significant works for solo piano – the 24 Monographs Op. 11 and the 12 Studies Op. 9.  These two works were written between 1909-1914, with the Monographs receiving a first performance by the composer at Aeolean Hall, London in March 1914.  They were amongst the last works he revised for publication during his final stay in London in early 1916, as he recovered from the Gallipoli Campaign and prepared for his active service in France.

I will be recording the Monographs and Studies in early 2019.  If you would like to keep updated on my progress and would be interested in supporting the project further then please sign up to the mailing list using the enclosed form.  I would be very happy to speak to you after the concert, and I will keep posting updates on my website www.alexwilsonpianist.com as they occur.

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Friends of Sidholme Music Room

Find Friends of Sidholme Music Room

Sidholme Music Room, Elysian Fields, Sidmouth, Devon, EX10 8UJ


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