Musical Masterclass

Musical Masterclass

Benjamin Powell is an award-winning classical pianist whose many concerts have taken him from Aldeburgh to Paris via venues as prestigious as the Bridgewater Hall, the Queen Elizabeth Hall, and the Wigmore Hall. On Monday, it was the turn of the Musgrave Hall at Moreton Hall. Ben joined us, as part of the Barbirolli Society’s events, to take a number of masterclasses with Moreton’s enthusiastic pianists and to literally play a part in the Lunchtime Concert.

In what was undoubtedly one of the most memorable Lunchtime Concerts in my time at Moreton, Ben treated us to Debussy's L'isle joyeuse. It was wonderful to hear and watch this fabulous pianist bringing the Musgrave piano to life; the audience was spellbound by his music.

I was lucky enough to be invited to work one to one with Ben as part of his masterclass visit. I have been working on Debussy’s  Doctor Gradus ad Parnassum. As part of our session, Ben encouraged me to think about Debussy’s use of pedaling and how it can be used to ease the stress on the fingers in this incredibly fast and note-filled piece. He suggested new ways for me to approach the piece and really made me think about how the attention to detail on just a few bars can really transform a performance.

With the Oswestry Festival taking place this week, Ben’s advice and inspiration will help me, and I’m sure all the other pianists he worked with, as we progress with our instruments, not only through the competition but through our musical lives.

Georgie (U6)