Decorated pianist set for a magical return

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The imminent arrival of pianist Julian Clef has sparked excitement amongst suitors of The Crossing.

The musician, who is set to tickle the ivories on the grand piano at the Newcastle Street venue on Saturday 15th January, has been labelled a ‘wizard’ by concert programmer David Jordan.

“He continues to amass awards that reflect his technical and interpretational brilliance,” he said.

“Julian is bringing a programme of Bach, Chopin and Ives to us this time.”

“His unassuming talents are breathtaking and we look forward to seeing and hearing how he has developed.”

Now in the third year of a music honours degree course at Manchester’s Royal Northern College of Music, Julian has won various awards including winner of the European Piano Teachers’ Association United Kingdom Cup (2007), winner of the Beethoven Piano Society of Europe (2008), first prize in William Mathias Festival Piano Competition in Wales (2009) and winner of Royal Northern College of Music Concerto competition (2010).

Julian explained how he grew up with music at home in Kerala, India.

“My father, who gives piano classes at home, is a devotee of western classical music and Beethoven, Mozart, Chopin.”

“The sound of piano music always filled our home and from the age of five, my life has revolved around the instrument,” he added.

Julian is in the UK under the care of his guardians Dr Celestine John and his wife, Linda, who raised the finances for his studies via a trust fund.

On holiday in India some years ago, the couple recognised the young boy’s talent and invited him to London to scout for opportunities to hone his skills. It was while he was on the lookout for such an opportunity that he was accepted into the prestigious Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester in 2006.

And so at the age of 16, Julian left home for the UK.

One performance he cherishes is the one in which he played Chopin’s Fantasie Op. 49 at Buckingham Palace in April 2009.

He said: “The palace had an air of grandeur and the hall in which we performed was festooned with decorations.”

“I had butterflies in my stomach before I performed and Prince Edward said he hoped to hear more of me soon.”

An Evening with Julian Clef at The Crossing will begin at 7.30pm, doors open at 6.45pm.

Tickets £8, concessions £7, children and students £4 and can be purchased from the venue, by telephone on (01909) 475421 or by email to info@crossingmusic.org.

Visit www.crossingmusic.org for the January to April concerts brochure.

David Jordan added: “It’s really good to be in on the ground floor of such a potentially glittering musical career.”