Rayfield Allied artists Jennifer Pike and Mahan Esfahani kicked off their tour of China and Hong Kong May 21st with a concert at Hong Kong City Hall. Reviews from the concert can be found below:
"Listeners were able to attune to the intimacy of the 1966-built harpsichord replica as Esfahani’s delicate, improvisatory opening to Bach’s Harpsichord Toccata in D major unravelled in all its majesty. The elaborate Allegro section that followed was a treat and the Adagio, played with eloquent poise by Esfahani, moved effortlessly into the playful, gigue-like Fugue, displaying his virtuosity to the fullest.
Not to be outdone for virtuosity, Pike’s reading of Bach’s Partita no. 3 in E major for solo violin showed her ever-reliable intonation and technique – stylistically modern as it is, rich in vibrato and barely hinting at early-music performance practice.
The contemporary works that followed the intermission almost stole the show. Neoclassical in style, with Stravinsky-like playfulness, the American composer Walter Piston’s Sonatina for Violin and Harpsichord from 1945 was relished by both artists." - Christopher Halls, South Morning China Post
Jennifer and Mahan bring their programme ‘Baroque meets Contemporary’, with works by Bach, Walter Piston and a specially commissioned new work by Jeremy Pike, to four cities across mainland China and Hong Kong this May. The partnership follows their successful collaboration at Wigmore Hall’s Polish Music Day 2018, curated by Jennifer Pike, and a duo recital at the Birmingham Conservatoire in April 2019.
The tour marks Jennifer Pike’s Chinese debut. Renowned for her unique artistry and compelling insight into music from the Baroque to the present day, recital highlights this season include Wigmore Hall, Katowice International Violin Festival, and Tetbury Festival. She also collaborates with sarod maestros Ayaan Ali Bangash and Amaan Ali Bangash in crossover Indian classical recitals at the Newbury Spring Festival, Swaledale Festival and Wigmore Hall. Her newest recital recording, The Polish Violin, was released by Chandos in January 2019 to critical acclaim.
Hailed as “sensational” and “magnificent”, harspichordist Mahan Esfahani has made it his life’s mission to rehabilitate the harpsichord in the mainstream of concert instruments. His performances have drawn the attention of critics and audiences worldwide, most recently for performances with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Japan Century Symphony Orchestra. Previous solo tours of China include performances in Zhuhai, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Beijing, Wuhan, and Hong Kong, where he played JS Bach’s Goldberg Variations, for which his interpretations and recording are highly praised. The Bach family are central to many of his programmes, with upcoming performances including Copenhagen, London, Edinburgh, the Netherlands.