The music of the Great Romantics at the Festival of Chichester

Cellist Pavlos Carvalho and pianist Louisa Lam combine to offer The Great Romantics – Schumann, Brahms, Mendelssohn for this year’s Festival of Chichester.

Monday, 28th June 2021, 8:05 am
Cellist Pavlos Carvalho
Cellist Pavlos Carvalho

They will be performing in St Paul’s Church and Parish Centre on July 2 at 7.30pm – one of three contributions to this year’s festival from Pavlos, chamber musician with Ensemble Reza and soloist with orchestras including The Covent Garden Chamber orchestra and Royal Philharmonic.

His musical relationship with Louisa is one he relishes.

“Louisa and I have a long history. She is a wonderful pianist, a wonderful musician. She works mainly at the Guildhall. She is an accompanist, but really that’s not a good term. She is a chamber musician.

“I have known her since when after I left college I went to Ardingly College to teach and she got her first job there. She was teaching in the music department there, and then we lost touch and then we got together again ten years later and we have become really good friends.

“I love working with her. She is one of the most lovely and amazingly elastic and flexible people to work with. You just don’t have to talk much about what you are going to do. She can just follow you. She follows you, and you follow her.

“Sometimes (with an accompanist) you can feel a clash of ideas and you have to sit down and talk them through, but Louisa just feels the music so naturally. She feels what you are going to do. You don’t have to discuss it. She just has such an ear she can just sense it.

“And yet she is so low-key and humble a person that sometimes you just don’t realise how brilliant she is. She is not an eccentric performer but she is a better pianist than many of the solo pianists I have worked with. Everything is in her fingers. She is so graceful and flexible and unassuming that you can easily not realise just how difficult the pieces are that she is playing. It is remarkable. She will play this big epic Trojan piece of music and yet it just happens so easily.

“You have to develop a relationship (with an accompanist), and there are so many brilliant pianists, and I have played with many different ones. And I would say that there are maybe three or four that I have found where you can just sit down and rehearse and it doesn’t seem like rehearsing at all. Every rehearsal with someone like Louisa is not a rehearsal at all. It is all about just playing the music and enjoying the music.”