Masterclasses are music to the ears of Perse students
7 Oct 2019
Roderick Williams OBE
Perse musicians have been treated to masterclasses from internationally-renowned baritone singer Roderick Williams OBE and leading pianist Costas Fotopoulos.
Mr Williams has sung across the globe over the last two decades and notably performed at the Last Night of the Proms in 2014. He won the Singer of the Year award in the Royal Philharmonic Society Awards in 2016 and was awarded the OBE for services to music the following year.
He began his vocal workshop by performing two numbers – The Vagabond by Ralph Vaughan Williams and an English version of Schubert’s Gute Nacht – to a spellbound audience of Perse singers.
Several soloists performed a range of operatic pieces, with Mr Williams providing them with useful advice on techniques to boost their delivery on an emotional level to connect more strongly with an audience. He also listened to the Perse Chamber Choir and Senior Chorale perform, highlighting both the power and joy that singing as a collective can bring.
Mr Fotopoulos is an acclaimed composer and pianist who specialises in playing the keyboard accompaniment to silent movies at the British Film Institute’s BFI Southbank centre (formerly National Film Theatre).
He listened to a number of the school’s talented young pianists perform pieces they had prepared to play as a backdrop to a series of short silent films and then showed them ways they could improvise or build on different themes and melodies, to better capture what was taking place on screen.
Following the masterclass, the pianists displayed what they had learned in front of an audience in the Lecture Theatre prior to Mr Fotopouolos’ evocative accompaniment of silent Buster Keaton classic The Cameraman.