Talent Unlimited Showcase Recital: Christopher Axworthy, November 2018

John Leech at 93 not missing an occasion to support young artists pictured with with Canan Maxton.

In the foto above John Leech and Canan Maxton. ”Birds of a feather” one might say. John with his wife Noretta Conci-Leech is founder of the Keyboard Charitable Trust. Canan Maxton founder of Talented Unlimited. Both dedicated to helping young talented musicians receive the recognition they deserve and need by bringing them before the public.


So it is Christmas for Canan Maxton’s remarkable array of talent that she so unselfishly helps and promotes all year round.In the beautiful church of St James’s in the heart of London where the Christmas frenzy is on as are the beautiful lights too in full blaze.

Every year Talent Unlimited too blazes the Christmas Trail to show off a few selected artists from the roster of young musicians that it helps in so many different ways. With encouragement, promotion via public concerts and sometimes even some financial help for studies.

Canan Maxton, Yuanfan Yang, Paola Gorbanova, Stavros Dritsas.

But above all knowing that there is someone to whom they can turn on their long sometimes lonely journey to realises their search for the impossible. Perfection! It does not and cannot exist in art and one can only strive to reach out for the end of that rainbow. But beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it is here that Canan Maxton via her Talent Unlimited aims to help.

Three very talented young artists shared the stage before a very large audience.

In the organ loft, unknown to all, were two other TU artists Petar Dimov and Thibault Charrin professionally recording the concert in audio and video Thibault’s own violin sonata, still fresh on the page, he will be performing in this same space on Wednesday 5th December at 1.10 pm. Petar Dimov, a disciple of Norma Fisher shared a concert a month ago too playing Schumann Carnaval Jest from Vienna.Both are composer pianists but today helping to record their colleagues in such an enthusastic and unselfish way following the example of their adored leader Canan Maxton.

The concert began with the young Greek pianist Stavros Dritsas playing Liszt “Ballade n.2 in B minor” followed by two movements from Bartok “Suite Out of Doors.”

Petar Dimov, Ivan Krpan, Thibault Charin share a workers late supper. Ivan winner of the 2017 Busoni International Competition.

Having studied in Athens and Paris now still only 22 he is completing his studies in London at the Guildhall under the renowned pianist and sometimes BBC commentator Lucy Parham.


Stavros Dritsas - Yuanfan Yang

Immediately evident was the beauty of sound and great sense of balance in the Liszt. Some wonderfully suggestive sounds in the Bartok “Night Music” where the magical sounds he created wafted into the vast space of St James’s creating a very special atmosphere .To be broken by the “Chase” where all of Stavros’ remarkable technical skill was needed in this pianistic show piece.

He was joined by the violinist Paula Gorbanova for a deeply felt performance of the Franck violin sonata. Paula the daughter of the ballet dancer Gennady Gorbanev at only 20 is completing her studies too at the Guildhall here in London.

Some beautiful playing from the question and answer of the opening through the extremely exciting technical demands of the Allegro second movement to the wonderfully lyrical interplay of the Allegretto finale. A very fine ensemble in which the piano was never allowed to overpower the beautiful sounds of the 19th century Italian violin on loan to Paula from Florian Leonhard Fine Violins.

Paula Gorbanova and Stavros Dritsas

After the interval the well known Scottish pianist Yuanfan Yang took the stage. At only 20 he is fast making a name for himself and only last month took first prize in the Rome International Piano Competition.

A student now at the RAM of that renowned teacher of so many remarkable pianists: Christopher Elton.

Yuanfan took Rome by storm recently not only with his very fine performance of Beethoven Third Piano Concerto but also by improvising on a theme given to him by the distinguished jury. He is at 20 not only a remarkable pianist but a composer too as we were able to hear tonight.

A glittering performance of the Haydn Sonata in E minor played with such subtle colours and ornaments that seemed to glisten under his hands. The multi coloured charm of the final Vivace was irresistable. The slow movement sang beautifully shaped but always perfectly in style.

“Scarborough Fair” alla Yang (as was his Waves from Three Aquarelles) was a kaleidoscope of magical sounds. Sometimes thunderous but mostly etherial from which a slight hint of our old favourite would emerge and almost be discernable to all of us that were drawn into his magic sound world of fantasy.

Schubert/Liszt “Litanei” of such ravishing beauty was a remarkable way of leading us into a truly monumental performance of the Brahms Handel Variations op 24. It was quite simply one of the most convincing performances I have ever heard. Not the great Brahms sound but the subtle sound world of his later pieces op 116/117. The great Brahms of course was present and even the more impressive because like all great pianists was held back until the absolute right moment. With the triumphant appearance of Handels little melody it was allowed to blaze out in all its glory with quite extraodinary full orchestral sound.

Sir Norman Rosenthal another great promoter of young musicians congratulating Yuanfan Yang

Never a harsh sound always careful as one must be on a fine Fazioli piano never to force the sound.

Some ravishing sounds in the variations alternating with some really transcendental piano playing. Never relaxing the tempo but always pressing forward to the triumphant final appearance before the Fugue.

A quite extraordinary performance from someone so young .Both mature and tender but with the same youthful passion and virtuosity that must have been so much part of Brahms’ early world.

Here is Sir Norman Rosenthal in a concert in Rome promoted by him. He also promotes young musicians in Valerie Solti’s house in London. Chiyan Wong will be giving a recital in Bob Boas house (by invitation by application ...see web site) on the 4th December Elisabeth and Bob Boas are other untiring promoters of young talent in London and Ivan Krpan, 2017 winner of the Busoni International Piano Competition in Bolzano was invited by them to their beautiful home to make his London debut this week.

Yuanfan Yang with Bobby Chen

Hats off to them all ......and a Merry Christmas to you all. Chapeau to Canan Maxton John Leech and Sir Norman for all their unselfish help to these wonderful young musicians.