Meet Team Tchaikathon

Rehearsals are in full swing ahead of Tchaikathon! Local conductors Craig Lawton and Paul Ingram return to Turner Sims for the 4th instalment of their epic musical marathon fundraisers on Sunday 3 March.

Following the successes of Haydathon (2009), Beethovathon (2015) and Orchestral Decathlon (2017), the pair return for Tchaikathon. Over just 1 day, a hand-picked orchestra will perform some of Tchaikovsky’s most famous works across 3 concerts.

Ahead of the main event, discover some of the performers you will see take the stage…

Rehearsals at Christ Church, Freemantle with Millbrook

I’m taking part because I enjoy the challenge and being involved raising money for charity, it’s a fun bunch of people and I’ve taken part in similar marathons in the past. A Tchaikathon is particularly exciting for me as certain bits of his music connect me strongly to my childhood, right back before I’d ever even picked up an instrument. Swan lake, Romeo and Juliet, the Nutcracker, they have excerpts everybody knows- but to me as a child there was some sort of mysterious magic about their sound, and the feeling created by the music. Those famous excerpts had been used on one of those short-story cassette tapes I had (for long journeys in the car before the invention of smart phones!!…) I listened to them over and over, somehow the music made me see the stories in my head the same way every time. I didn’t notice then, but I now believe that those short excerpts were my first introduction to orchestral music.

Claire Woodhead, violin
Paul Ingram, Conductor

Paul Ingram studied at the Universities of Southampton and Leicester, reading Music and Management respectively. He began conducting in 1995, working with the orchestras of Southampton University. In 1997, Paul founded the Southampton University Sinfonietta and remained Music Director until 2004. In 1999, he reached the final of the British Reserve Insurance Conducting Competition and has been Music Director of Southampton Concert Orchestra since 2001. Paul was Principal Conductor of Per Piacere from 2007 to 2017 and has recently been appointed Principal Guest Conductor of the professional chamber orchestra, Nova Foresta Classical Players.

Craig Lawton, Conductor

Craig Lawton is a lively and enthusiastic conductor working in the South of England. Firmly believing in the power a musical experience can give someone, he tirelessly brings this passion to rehearsals, concerts and projects.

2022 saw Craig’s Royal Albert Hall debut as part of the Teenage Cancer Trust series supporting British band DON BROCO. Craig made his professional conducting debut in Europe with the Ostfold Symphony Orchestra in Norway. Continuing to enjoy podium time in France, Berlin, Bulgaria and most recently in Milan with the Charity Symphony Orchestra. Craig is Artistic Director of the professional ensemble Romsey Sinfonietta.

I’m looking forward to this – I’m very familiar with all of the chosen works, and not only the first violin part – I’ve been a rehearsal solo violinist for the concerto and hacked my way through the last movement in an informal concert, played the celesta part in Sugar Plum Fairy, and conducted a rehearsal of the 6th Symphony (including the “5/4 waltz”, which I somewhat controversially beat mostly in 2 1/2 – that is as two long beats and one short in each bar!). The public is probably fortunate that I didn’t have the strength and stamina to perpetrate anything similar with the piano concerto.

Jonathan Scott, violin
Laura Rickard, soloist

Acclaimed British violinist Laura Rickard is crafting a multifaceted international career as a highly sought-after chamber musician and soloist, festival director, and passionate teacher. In demand as a concerto soloist, she regularly appears with orchestras across the UK, with recent performances at Royal Festival Hall and the Purcell Room. She has been featured soloist on BBC Radio 3, Classic FM, and NBC, and was also recently elected as an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music in recognition of her remarkable contributions to the field.

Laura is the founder and Artistic Director of the Romsey Chamber Music Festival, one of the UK’s leading festivals of its kind, which brings world-class artists to her hometown each Spring, featuring an imaginatively curated and diverse programme of chamber music. The festival’s activities continue throughout the year with an ambitious education programme which has reached over 3000 children in Hampshire, regular winter residencies and concerts, and commissions of new works by composers.

Keelan Carew, soloist

Pianist and broadcaster Keelan Carew balances a love of piano playing with a broad interest in popularising classical music. Born and raised in Medway, Kent, Keelan began his piano studies at age 7, later graduating from the Royal Northern College of Music with Dr Stephen Savage.

Keelan has found success in recitals across London, throughout England, Madrid and beyond, including an especially extraordinary event at the Royal Festival Hall in 2011, featuring Lang Lang, 99 other young pianists, and over 50 Steinway Grands across the stage. He maintains a broad repertoire and a ravenous appetite for discovering music new, and lost. J.S.Bach is his favourite composer.

Book your tickets for Tchaikathon, Sunday 3 March, 11am, 3pm, 7.30pm

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