Celebrated pianist set for homecoming as he is announced in festival lineup

PUBLISHED: 08:02 13 July 2018 | UPDATED: 08:51 13 July 2018

Christopher Weston has perfomed in Germany, Paris and Hungary, amongst others. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Christopher Weston has perfomed in Germany, Paris and Hungary, amongst others. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Archant

An internationally renowned pianist and former Felsted pupil who made his concerto debut at 16 will play at Thaxted Festival this Friday.

Christopher Weston, who grew up in High Easter, will perform music inspired by, and written in early 20th century Paris with saxophonist Jeffery Wilson and soprano Catherine May.

Audiences can expect an evening of Debussy, Poulenc, Ravel, Milhaud, tango, and jazz.

Christopher, 38, a deputy professor of composition at Junior Guildhall, whose recordings feature regularly on TV, knew he wanted to be a pianist when he first tinkled the ivories at nine-years-old.

Many hours of practice and seven years later he was performing at the Barbican Concert Hall at 16.

He said: “At 18 I was playing about seven hours a day. Now I do about four hours. There’s an element of athleticism to playing, we have to condition ourselves. I know people that have had to stop playing because of injuries.”

Christopher says at school it was hard to find a way of balancing his academic work with music.

He said: “A lot of my peers were very interested in rugby but I already had found my vocation. It was tough because it makes you slightly unpopular with your peers, when you could be kicking a football around and instead you’re at the piano.

“I loved being able to solve the patterns. You sit with the instrument and work out the different movement and suddenly you have this wonderful sound. I used to wake up at 5am just to sight read through my grandfather’s old music books. My mother had to drag me from my stool.”

Christopher’s grandfather was a church organist and bass singer who made clothes for the military in the Second World War.

Not only will Christopher and friends be performing music from Paris between 1900 and 1970, they will also discuss what led composers to go to the French capital.

Christopher said: “Paris was a very interesting place around the 1900s, they were building the metro and there was interest in the far east, and composers put all these ideas into their music.”

Christopher Weston and friends will perform on July 13 at 8pm at Thaxted Parish Church.

For more information go to: www.thaxtedfestival.org.uk.

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