, ,



Rochdale Music Society: fifteen years of reviews

MATTHEW KAM: classical pianist.

Norman Warwick ´Marks The Music´.

It was as part of  the narrative dialogue of The Merchant Of Venice that  Shakespeare  wrote

“The man that hath no music in himself, nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds, is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils; The motions of his spirit are dull as night, and his affections dark as Erebus. Let no such man be trusted. Mark the music.”

Because of the diligence of various members of The Rochdale Music Society (RMS) I find myself with the opportunity to follow the Bard´s advice and to simply ´mark the music´.

RMS are updating and enhancing their on line records and are finding new ways to share such information with their members.

Sidetracks & Detours hope to introduce you to many of the artists who have performed for RMS since the founding of the organisation in 1980. We hope that each ´concord of sweet music´ we are able to bring you from the RMS  will send you to read more of their on line site. We are confident, too, that you will want to learn more about these ephemeral players and the transitory nature of live music.

PHOTO 1 So let us first introduce you to an international classical pianist who Matthew Kam who in 2010 opened Rochdale Music Society’s new season in style. he was already being spoken of as a rising star in the classical music world,

Born in Borneo but brought up in Australia from the age of 11, Matthew Kam graduated from Melbourne University in 2005 by which time he had won several prizes and achieved international notice. He then moved to the UK’s RNCM becoming a Junior Fellow from 2007-9, continuing to attract acclaim.

His opening work was, unusually, by a living composer: Carl Vine’s Piano Sonata (1990) is a brilliant piece of piano theatre, full of energy and references to jazz and popular music styles combined with pure percussion, even extending to a forearm smash! This could have been an inaccessible modern experiment but Kam’s skill, control and communication proved just how fresh fruit on the Vine can be.

Sonata No 3 in B minor Op 38 by Chopin brought us back to the nineteenth century tradition and demonstrated why this player has become so highly regarded.
After the interval we continued in Romantic mode with Prelude and Fugue in E minor Op 35 No 1 by Mendelssohn, atmospheric impressions of Oiseaux tristes by Ravel and Three concert pieces by Faure, which are heard played live all too rarely. A further vignette by Faure served as a delightful and thoroughly deserved encore. The music sounded all the better because of the Steinway grand piano specially hired for the occasion.

 More than twenty years later Rochdale Music Society still exists to bring live music from first class performers to the borough. It would appreciate your support to continue to do so. Have a look on line to learn about the concerts

Matthew, meanwhile is already having a very busy 2024 playing live at a variety of venues. In February he gave a recital at the Royal Northern College Music (RNCM) in a Memorial Concert for Nigel Evans, playing in ensemble with two violinists, a viola player, a cellist and a horn player and other musical friends. The programme included Elgar, Bach, Beethoven, Debussy and Morrconni.

Kam and his friends performed the concert in his loving memory on what would have been Nigel’s 62nd birthday. All proceeds of the event were donated to the RNCM Library, RNCM Student Wellbeing, and the PSP Association.


0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.