Russian pianist Sofya Gulyak plays at Autumn in Malvern Festival

Malvern Gazette: IN CONCERT: Sofya Gulyak IN CONCERT: Sofya Gulyak

SOFYA GULYAK was winner of the Leeds International Piano Competition 2009, the first woman who has achieved this distinction in the history of the competition.

Since then Sofya has appeared all over the world with many leading orchestras and conductors.

On Sunday 30th September at 3pm she will be appearing in the Great Barn Concert Room at Hellens Manor, Much Marcle, as part of the Autumn in Malvern Festival.

Her programme includes piano music by Chopin, Rachmaninoff and Prokofiev. Tickets are £20, which includes interval Cava and smoked salmon canape.

See contact details at the end of this article for booking information.

Established in 1989 the Autumn in Malvern Festival is a renowned series of artistic events held in the surroundings of the glorious Malvern Hills. 

Some of the most prestigious musicians, poets, writers, film makers, speakers and other artists perform innovative and stimulating programmes throughout October each year. The festival is classical music based with a prominent literary and visual arts element.

A continuing thematic strand over 23 years is to feature the many notable musicians, poets, writers and artists associated with the Malvern Hills countryside.

This year the festival features eminent people associated with the famous Malvern Festival of 1929 to 1939 including George Bernard Shaw, Barry Jackson, Dame Laura Knight and Edward Elgar. Shaw’s distinguished biographer, Sir Michael Holroyd, presents a talk at Stanbrook Abbey, near Malvern, where GBS often visited the Abbess of the Benedictine Community, Dame Laurentia McLachlan.

There are seven exhibitions in the district including a major exhibition of Laura Knight’s original work Laura Knight in the Open Air and photographs of the pre war festival, Stars in the Malvern Firmament, in Great Malvern Priory from the private collection of Professor Allardyce Nicoll and Lascelles Abercrombie, both of whom were associated with the festival. In Malvern Library Gallery, Barry Jackson’s inspirational costume and stage designer, Paul Shelving, has an exhibition devoted to his work.

The international award winning chamber choir, Aldwyn Voices, presents a sequence of music and literature on the history of the festival with the words of Barry Jackson, GBS, and Allardyce Nicoll, and music by Elgar and Vaughan Williams.

On the literary side, the Dymock Poets are strongly represented with three talks and a dramatic presentation on the American Poet, Robert Frost. After he saw a vision on the Malvern Hills, William Langland wrote his epic poem The Vision of Piers Plowman, 650 years ago. Actor and Playwright Peter Sutton has created a new work, marking this anniversary, for performance in Little Malvern Priory where Langland studied. Local historian, Pamela Hurle, launches her new book Malvern Women of Note.

On the musical front, Sofya Gulyak, winner of the Leeds International Piano Competition performs a recital of music by Chopin, Rachmaninoff and Prokofiev. Stephen Cleobury, Director of Music at King’s College Cambridge gives an organ recital in Malvern Priory where he is joined by Julia Hwang, a brilliant young violinist. Julia will play Vaughan Williams original arrangement for Violin and Piano of The Lark Ascending which she performed on BBC 4 Television recently with Charles Matthews.

The principal concert is to be given by the London Concertante in the impressive Great Hall of Malvern College . Entitled An English Idyll the concert celebrates the Diamond Jubilee Year with works by English composers including Variations on an Elizabethan Theme, Sellenger’s Round with variations by composers such as Britten, Tippett, Walton, Berkeley and others.

Numerous other events are held throughout October with street music, arts and crafts markets, free expert drawing tuition and a film workshop.

Once again the festival is supported by over 40 sponsors, many of whom have ensured the continuation of the festival over 23 years.

Tickets available from 1st August from the Central Box Office at Malvern Theatres 01684 892277 or direct from the Artistic Director. Click here to visit the website for programme details.

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