Friday, January 19, 2018

Winner of the Berliner Competition

Sergey Sobolev
Friday, January 19th and Sunday, 21st

Winner of Berliner International Music Competition, 2017

and prizewinner of the Tchaikovsky and Queen Elizabeth Competitions, among others

Friday 19th January, 6pm
Romantic Variations
Haydn: Andante with Variations in F minor

Written in 1793 at the time that Beethoven started taking lessons with Haydn, this piece is described by British composer, John McCabe as, "Haydn's most extended and most resourceful work for the keyboard". This is an enchanting work, starting with two very simple themes and working up to a bold climax that gives cause to wonder whether the pupil influenced the teacher. Strictly speaking this is not a work from the Romantic period. It misses by about a decade. But it is getting close to romanticism and probably one of the most romantic pieces that Haydn wrote. 

Beethoven: 'Eroica Variations'

Beethoven's Variations and Fugue in E Flat, opus 35, written in 1802, is one of the composer's most brilliant and virtuosic set of variations, based on a theme from the Finale movement of Symphony No. 3, Eroica. It is praised by musicologist Charles Timbrell for its grandeur and originality. He writes, "they are bold, cheerful and often humorous" and show none of the torment that Beethoven felt at the time upon realizing that he was slowly going deaf. Although written only nine years after Haydn's F Minor Variations, with this set of variations we can clearly say that we are in the romantic period.

Schumann:  Etudes Symphoniques, opus 13 was published in 1852 and is one of the great works in Schumann's piano repertoire, as well as being at the height of the romantic period. Legend has it that Schumann got the dirge-like theme of the work from the father of a 16-year old girl with whom he was infatuated, Ernestine von Fricken. He was also infatuated with Clara Wieck, at the time. But that's another story.

The Symphonic Etudes combines the variation form with that of the etude, in that each variation poses a technical challenge in the manner of Chopin's Etudes. This is a work that went through numerous permutations. Schumann removed five of the variations. Brahms decided to put them back in. Sergey will play the extended version with the five opus posthumous etudes.

Sunday, 21st January, 5pm

Six sonatas of Alexander Scriabin

 Numbers 2, 6 and 10 and  4, 9 and 5, in that order.

Alexander Scriabin lived a brief 43 years, from 1872 to 1915. But he composed ten piano sonatas as well as a multitude of miniatures for solo piano. The sonatas are his most substantial output. They are often divided into three periods: 

  • first, the early period which is romantic with a clear influence of Chopin 
  • second, the starting to get crazy period where Scriabin explores new tonalities and rhythms and then,
  • finally, the really crazy period, where melodies are more fragmented and the mood is always mysterious and yearning, as with late Liszt.
Scriabin was in a world of his own. But his music always communicates something lyrical and passionate. Even the late sonatas contain romantic melodic fragments.

We will hear six of the ten sonatas, which fit comfortably within a concert program and provide a good selection of all periods.

Sergey playing Scriabin's piano at Scriabin House, Moscow

Sergey Sobolev has visited Eelswamp on three previous occasions and needs no introduction to those who have attended his recitals.  According to at least two members of the audience Sergey's Scriabin was the best they had ever heard. Not surprising as Sergey is a student of one of the great Russian pianists and pedagogues, Mikhail Voskresensky, who was also the teacher of Yury Favorin (whom we heard last May). Voskresensky won a prize at the first Van Cliburn Competition in 1962 and is head of the piano department at Moscow Conservatory. 

Last year Sergey won first prize in the piano section of the Berliner International Music Competition. He performed his winning recital in the Berlin Philharmonic Hall. He is also a prizewinner of two of the world's most prestigious piano competitions: the Tchaikovsky Competition, Moscow and The Queen Elizabeth Competition, Belgium. Sergey has also won prizes in The Liszt Weimar Competition, Nikolai Rubinstein Competition, Scriabin International Competition Moscow and the Santander Competition.

Sergey puts a lot of thought into his programs, making them interesting and thematic and always considering the enjoyment of the audience. Please join me for these two wonderful programs.

Reservations: 1,200 baht for one concert. 2,000 baht for two in the same series. 

Email or call 038 069681 office hours. Due to limited number of places payment must be received before the day.

Tickets: No tickets will be issued for concerts. Admission to the music room on the day of the concert will be in accordance with the sequence of receipt of payment (ie, who pays first goes in first and can select their desired seat).

Cancellations and credits: Credit will be allowed for future concerts in the event of cancellation provided that the concert for which the original booking was made breaks even.

Directions to Eelswamp: search for 'Eelswamp' on google maps. Directions can be found at the bottom of this page:

Taxi service to EelswampGrabtaxi Just enter "Eelswamp" in the destination box.

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Monday, January 1, 2018

Eelswamp Calendar 2017

Calendar 2017 - second half


"Epic Variations of the 20th Century"
"Early Beethoven and Late Chopin"

Evgeny Starodubtsev, piano
"An accomplished and probing artist" New York Times"
Third visit to Eelswamp

Winnner of at least fifteen International Piano Competitions, Evgeny will be making his third visit to Eelswamp to perform two grand programs.

Friday 29th September, 6pm

"Early Beethoven - Late Chopin"

Variations on the Theme, "Tändeln und scherzen" from Franz Xaver Süssmayr's opera Soliman II 
Sonata no. 2 in A major op.2 no.2

Three Mazurkas op. 56
Sonata no. 3 in B minor op. 58.

Sunday October 1st, 6pm*

Frederic Rzewski, 36 Variations on the theme, 
"The People United Will Never Be Defeated"

Frederic Rzewski
This set of variations was written in 1975. It was inspired by a Chilean protest march, Bach's Goldbergs and Beethoven's Diabelli Variations but resembles Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition, with its recurring rhapsodic theme. It is one of the great epic masterpieces for piano of the 20th century; stirring, dramatic, romantic and quite accessible to the listener. A recording of the work, last year, won the Gramophone Recording of the Year award. Don't miss this performance!

1200 baht for one concert. 2000 baht for both: Book Now!

*Note the slightly later weekend starting time in order to enable Pattaya Players audience and cast to attend.


Friday, 20th October, 6pm

Piano Duo from Mexico: Duo Petrof

Anatoly Zatin and Vlada Vassilieva, piano

Winners of Nikolai Rubinstein Medal, Moscow
Global Music Awards, Silver Medal for Outstanding Achievement

Bach: Sheep may safely graze, BWV208
Beethoven: Variations on a theme by Count Waldstein WoO67 
Schubert: Fantasy in F minor Op.103
Rachmaninov: Barcarola and Scherzo Op.11
Tomás León: “Laura”: Waltz
Mendelssohn: Andante and Allegro Brillante Op.92

1000 baht Book Now!


Mozart Sublime

Sunday 19th November, 5pm.

Born Lau and the Pro Musica Quartet

Mozart: String Quintet in C major, K 515
Mozart: String Quintet in G minor, K 516

Two of the most sublime works of Mozart. 

1000 baht Book Now!


1+1=3 Two brilliant musicians - three concerts

 Ilya Kondratiev, piano and Erzhan Kulibaev, violin

Friday, December 8th, 6pm

Erzhan plays mostly solo

“Dressed elegantly in black, with a Stradivarius in his left hand, the young Kazak violinist, with a strong sound that swirled around each member of the audience, shone with an outstanding technique and convincing and emotional peformance of Tchaikovsky to finish with a standing ovation from the Argentinian crowd.” (La Nacion)

Bach: Sonata no. 2 in A minor and arrangements of works by Albeniz, de Falla and Piazzolla, followed by Paganini'Variations on “Nel cor più non mi sento”, two works by Tchaikovsky and finishing with the Ysaye 3rd Sonata, 'Ballade'.

Saturday December 9th, 5pm 

Ilya plays solo

Recently awarded the Beethoven Medal by the Beethoven Piano Society of Europe
Second visit to Eelswamp

Beethoven: Sonata op.81a ‘Les Adieux’
Chopin: Scherzo no.1 op.20 
Chopin: Scherzo no.3 op.39
Liszt: Fantasy and Fugue BACH
Liszt: Sonata in B minor

Sunday December 10th, 5pm 

Ilya and Erzhan together: violin and piano

Schubert's charming and sonorous Sonata in A major D. 574
Stravinsky's spicy 'Divertimento' based on his ballet, 'The Fairy's Kiss"
Respighi's superbly dark masterpiece from the Great War period: Violin Sonata in B minor

1,200 baht for one concert, 2000 for two, 3000 for threeBook Now!

Recent history below

Calender 2017 - first half of the year

January 2017

Romantic Bach and beyond
Bach competition winner, Daniel van der Hoeven

Friday 20th January, 6pm
Romantic Bach: The Toccatas: the seven Toccatas of JS Bach

Sunday, 22nd January, 5pm
Mozart Sonata K457 in C minor, Beethoven Sonata Pathetique and Ravel


Gugnin Victorious

Andrey Gugnin returns, after his victory at the Sydney Piano Competition last year, one of the major international piano competitions. Andrey won first prize and five other prizes, including audience prize, chamber music and Mozart concerto prizes. He will play one solo recital and one one chamber music/solo recital with Tasana and guest cellist, Iris Regev.

Friday 10th and Saturday 11th

Andrey's Solo performances include Schubert Sonata in D major, Shostakovich Sonata no.1 Desyatnikov, 'Reminiscences of the Theater' and Mussorgsky's 'Pictures at an Exhibition'.
Rachmaninov Trio Elegaic no. 2 with Tasana Nagavajara, violin and Iris Regev, cello

More information:


"A formidable achievement"

Friday 3rd and Sunday 5th March

Maria Lettberg, piano

Maria is one of the few people to have recorded all of the Scriabin's solo works. The 8-cd box set was described by Gramophone magazine as "a formidable achievement". I have spent three years arranging her visit.

1. Friday 3rd March: All Scriabin Program: with works spanning the whole of Scriabin's creative life.
2. Sunday, 5th March: Works by Liszt, Chopin and Beethoven

1685: Scarlatti, Bach and Handel

Sunday 12th March, 5pm

Michele Benuzzi returns to Eelswamp to perform a program of harpsichord music by the three grand masters who were born in the same year, 1685, Scarlatti, Bach and Handel.

Blog post

All-Bach and last sonatas of Mozart, Beethoven,Schubert

Michael Tsalka 

Friday 31st March: The Bach Trio Sonatas for piano: six works for organ, transcribed for piano. These are delightful, joyous works.  


Sunday, 2nd April: The last sonatas: The last sonata of Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert

Friday, May 5th and Sunday May 7th

Before the Van Cliburn Competition

Yury Favorin, competitor, 15th Van Cliburn Competition
One of 30 selected from 290 applicants, and a strong contender to win a prize, Yury will play two programs for us, featuring works by Beethoven, Rachmaninov, Prokofiev, Shostakovich among others.

Blog post with full program:

Sunday, May 14th

Pro Musica Quartet 
Leo Phillips, Rueychai Saengow, violins
Tasana Nagavajara, viola
Iris Regev, cello

Haydn: Quartet op.76 no. 3, 'The Emperor'
Tchaikovsky: Quartet no. 3 op. 30


Hélène Tysman, piano: works by Bach, Chopin, Ravel and Debussy

I have been following the career of Hélène Tysman since I saw her compete and win a prize in the Hong Kong International Piano Competition in 2008. Since then, she was awarded a Distinction in the 16th Chopin Competition among other prizes. She is a wonderful musician with so much wonderful repertoire it's going to be hard to narrow down a few choices.

Friday 2nd and Sunday 4th June.

Another Great Cycle - The Ysaye Six

Graf Mourja, violin

Saturday, 24th June. Only one concert!

Eugene Ysaye 
Graf Mourja

Graf Mourja is one of the most remarkable violinists you will ever see or hear. He thrilled the audience last year with his performance of the 24 Paganini Caprices. Graf will perform the Six Sonatas for Solo Violin by Belgian composer, Eugene Ysaye, one of the great cycles for solo violin.

And others who are keen to come and for whom I'm trying to find a slot
Chen Moye

Marina Horak
Aleksandr Djermanovic
Jianing Kong
Sasha Kasman
Alessandro Taverna
Lydia Jardon
Tra Nguyen

Duo Petrof - October