On Thursday 15 May The Menuhin Hall was once again sold out in anticipation of the concert schduled to be given by Valeriy Sokolov & Friends as the penultimate event in our 50th Anniversary Celebrity Alumni Concert series. Unfortunately Valeriy informed us only hours prior to the concert that he had been unable (as a citizen of Ukraine) to obtain his visa in time. Despite herculean efforts by his agent and by us we could not alter this situation.

Fortunately, thanks to two other alumni Vlad Maistorovici and Agata Darashkaite, the concert went ahead with the programme unchanged. Vlad (who was already scheduled to play in part of the concert) stepped in as violinist in Beethoven's “Archduke" Trio and second violin in Dvořák's Piano Quintet in A Major Op 81 (niether of which he had been preparing to play), and was joined by Agata, who had only one full day’s notice, in Prokofiev's Sonata for Two Violins.

Despite missing Valeriy, the concert was the most wonderful evening of music-making and a real testimony to the strength of the legacy that Yehudi Menuhin and his School have established over the 50 years of its existence within the world of music. Valeriy very much hopes to return to The Menuhin Hall as soon as possible for another recital.

As always, we have received a number of letters and emails from members of the audience who wanted to let us know how much they enjoyed the concert. One couple who attended, both Friends of the School, wrote:

We should like to thank and compliment everyone in the School, and the past pupils, for pulling out all the stops to produce such a memorable concert last night in the unfortunate and enforced absence of Valeriy Sokolov. The efforts, the enthusiasm, and excellence of performance were outstanding.

The initial video clip of Valeriy playing Prokofiev was an inspired and kindly thought... The resilience of the School in adversity and the happy atmosphere they engendered, redound to its credit.

19 May 2014

Agata Darashkaite - Kevin Laitak

David McCarroll - Kevin Laitak

Tetsuumi Nagata - Kevin Laitak

Vlad Maistorovici - Kevin Laitak

Pau Codina - Kevin Laitak

Miho Kawashima - Kevin Laitak