Japanese violinist Coco Tomito will be bringing the curtain down on this year’s Harrogate International Sunday Series with a programme featuring works by Poulenc, Beethoven, Ravel, Janáček and Clara Schumann..
Hosted by Harrogate International Festivals and staged in the Old Swan Hotel, the Sunday Series “coffee concerts” have been an annual fixture on the spa town’s classical music calendar since 1991.
Winner of the BBC Young Musician 2020 Strings Category Coco will be taking to the Harrogate International Sunday Series stage at 11am on March 26, opening her performance with Clara Schumann’s Three Romances.
Coco, who will be performing with pianist Simon Callaghan, said: “This is one of the last pieces [Schumann] ever wrote. I fell deeply in love with these pieces as it is so beautifully written for both the piano and violin. I was immediately drawn to its lyrical and sentimental quality and the way the two instruments complement one another.”
Of the works by Ravel, Janáček and Beethoven, the London and Berlin-based musician, said: “The Kreutzer sonata by Beethoven, and the Janáček violin sonata, have always been works that I wanted to challenge and get to know.
“They are ground-breaking sonatas in the violin repertoire, are both extremely unique in expression and story, and spark such a vast scope of imaginative colours and characters.
“I find that in The Pièce en forme d’Habanera, Ravel’s sound world is clearly captured and it has the most amazing ability to draw the attention of anyone in the room.”
Coco says her greatest musical achievement to date is recording her debut album, Origins, which received rave reviews and was described by The Strad as a ‘head-turning debut from BBC Young Musician strings winner’.
“The recording process was like nothing I’d experienced before, in the best way possible. It consisted of three intense days in the wonderful Menuhin Hall, working alongside a team of experts including the legendary Andrew Keener and Oscar Torres, and of course Simon Callaghan my collaborative pianist.
“The preparation leading up to the recording was demanding however, the amount of freedom and creativity that took place in real time during the recording was so unexpected and fun.”
Coco began her early training at the Yehudi Menuhin School with renowned pedagogues Natasha Boyarsky and Lutsia Ibragimova. The links between the prestigious music school and Harrogate International Festivals remain strong, with the 2023 Sunday Series having been opened by its Music Director Ashley Wass, who had previously performed at the Sunday Series as a Young Musician in 2007.
Coco, who will be closing the 2023 Sunday Series, said “Festivals, such as those staged by Harrogate International Festivals are a great platform for musicians. They give them exposure and an opportunity to perform recital repertoire, and to be a part of something absolutely innovative.
“As a young artist, I think it is important to be a part of events such as Harrogate International Sunday Series, as we are the next generation.”
Tickets can be purchased via our website here or through the Box Office on 01423 562303.