Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Mikhail Johnson's Debut Piano Recital

Mikhail practising for the concert
Lovers of Classical Piano Music, if you weren’t in Mountambrin Theatre Gallery on Sunday, July 21, in the afternoon, you missed a treat, when Dr. Russell Gruhlke, Lesbert Lee and Friends presented Mikhail Johnson’s Official Debut Piano Recital, with works by Bach, Haydn and Rachmaninov.

The Programme
Of his choice of music, Mikhail said
“The first half of the programme commemorates the atmosphere of the Mountambrin Property… known for its serene environs.” (that includes the beautiful gardens adorned by Lesbert Lee's provocative sculptures, alongside natural habitats.) The acoustics of the Theatre Gallery enhance any musical performance there.

Mountambrin Gardens and Sculptures
Mikhail chose
Bach’s Partita No. 1 in B-flat Major and                                        

Haydn’s Sonata No.31 in A-flat major, XVI: 46 “Divertimento”
     Allegro Moderato
     Finale: Presto

The second half of the programme he dedicated to “the myriad of violent paintings dispersed throughout the gallery done the gracious host of this artist’s paradise, Dr. Russell Gruhlke.” Mikhail commemorated these graphic scenes by playing music by Sergei Rachmaninov:

Morceaux de Fantaisie Op. 3
- Elegie
- Prelude
- Melodie
- Polichinelle
- Serenade

Prelude in B minor Op 32 No. 10

Prelude in G- sharp minor Op. 32 No. 12

Mikhail’s interpretation of the works did indeed fit the mood displayed in the art works on the walls, and stirred the emotions of the listeners.

One of Dr. Russell Gruhlke's paintings

The theatre with Bunny Rose and Sharon Martini at a previous concert

About Mikhail

Mikhail, one of Jamaica’s promising young pianists, was born and raised in Montego Bay. While attending Herbert Morrison High School, as a member of the school band, he won numerous gold medals and national trophies in the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission’s Festival of the Performing Arts. He also earned himself the second highest score in the island for the CSEC Music Examination.

He graduated from Northern Caribbean University (NCU) with a B.Sc. in biological science and a minor in music. In June 2009, he was the winner of the Jamaica symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition for Young Musicians Senior Division, and the piano section of the Jamaica Music Teachers’ Association Music Competition in November of the same year. He studied classical piano with Kimberly Cann, Marilyn Anderson, Orrett Rhoden and Edison Valencia.

As an active and promising composer, he has received commissions from the NCU Music Department and other organizations. In 2008, his patriotic Anthem of Independence for mixed choir and orchestra was premiered by the NCU Chamber Choir.

Thank you, Mikhail, for your superb performance. Wishing you all the best in your future endeavours.

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