Listen and learn

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In the 25th of a series of articles, David Bird discusses the work of Redbridge Music Society and introduces pianist John Paul Ekins and cellist Timothée Botbol, who will perform in Wanstead this month

Redbridge Music Society continues its current programme of bringing high-quality musical events to the borough with a recital to be given by prize-winning young musicians, pianist John Paul Ekins and cellist Timothée Botbol, at Wanstead Library this month. The recital is dedicated to the memories of Dr Don Hoskins MBE and Manuel Villet, Redbridge Music Society’s past president and vice-president, who did so much to bring music to the local community. Music to be performed will include works by Debussy (Clair de Lune) and Mussorgsky (Pictures at an Exhibition).

John Paul Ekins is in much demand as a concerto soloist and chamber musician and has performed at many prestigious venues in the UK and abroad, including the Wigmore Hall and Royal Albert Hall, the Southbank and the Zurich Tonhalle. He graduated from the Royal College of Music in 2009, and in 2011 obtained a Master of Performance degree from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He made his Royal Albert Hall debut in 2013, performing Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with the Southbank Sinfonia. He has won 19 prizes at international competitions and has received generous support from organisations such as Making Music and the Keyboard Charitable Trust.

Besides teaching piano at St Paul’s School, John Paul also undertakes extensive educational and outreach work via workshops and masterclasses. During the recent lockdown, he raised money for the NHS and Help Musicians UK via a series of highly successful online recitals. He was particularly honoured to be presented to the Queen at a reception for young performers at Buckingham Palace.

Swiss cellist Timothée Botbol studied in Geneva and Lausanne, continuing his studies at the Royal College of Music on the Artist Diploma Programme. He has given many solo performances in the UK and across Europe at venues including St John’s Smith Square, the Purcell Room and the Royal Albert Hall. Timothée has appeared as principal cellist with the Welsh National Opera Orchestra and the Collegium ensemble. He is also a chamber musician performing with violinist Vilde Frang and the renowned violist Lawrence Power. In 2017, he was awarded the Grand Prize Special from all categories at the Augustin Aponte International Music Competition in Tenerife. In addition to cello, he also gives recitals as a baritone, and recently performed as a guitarist in the West End show Waitress. Timothée is currently a Park Lane Group Young Artist.

This event will be a very special evening of music-making. I do hope you can join us.

John Paul and Timothée will perform at Wanstead Library on 15 March from 8pm (tickets on the door; visitors: £10: members: £7). Call 07380 606 767. Redbridge Music Society is supported by Vision RCL and affiliated to Making Music.