Gemma Rosefield generously gave her time to perform a cello recital for the Akili Trust on the evening of September 12th. The recital took place in the former studio of the Austrian sculptor Siegfried Charoux in Hampstead Garden Suburb, North West London. Before the concert started, drinks were served in the garden to the audience which numbered 75 people.
Gemma chose a demanding programme of work by Bach, Britten and a piece written especially for her by the local composer David Matthews.
The first piece in the programme was Johann Sebastian Bach’s Suite No.3 in C. Gemma played this with intensity and exquisite musicality. There was total silence in the room and the audience was spellbound. Her playing was natural, confident and full of expression.
David Matthews introduced his own composition Journeying Songs, which is made up of three complex pieces, one of which was written expressly for Gemma. He talked engagingly about his process and inspiration. Gemma performed them with extraordinary energy and technical ability; and her understanding of the music demonstrated her sensitive awareness to the composers’ intention
The last composition Gemma played was the Third Suite for Cello by Benjamin Britten. The piece was performed without a break. This accentuated the intensity of the music and the transfixed silence of the audience. Much to everybody’s delight including Gemma’s, the only interruption came from the garden as the local owl joined in. It was quite magical.
The recital raised £1500 for the Akili Trust
Described in the Evening Standard as ‘a phenomenal talent’, Gemma made her concert debut at the age of sixteen. She studied with Ralph Kirshbaum at the Royal Northern College of Music, where she won the coveted Gold Medal. Gemma went on to win the prestigious Pierre Fournier award at the Wigmore Hall in 2007. Gemma has performed and given masterclasses in Kenya and is generously giving her time to supporting the Akili Trust.
David Matthews’s music is widely played in Britain and abroad and many of his works are recorded on CD. His 11th String Quartet was a St Jude’s Proms commission for the Carducci Quartet last year. His Seventh Symphony was premiered by the BBC Philharmonic to critical acclaim in April, and Dark Pastoral, a completion of the slow movement of Vaughan Williams’s unfinished Cello Concerto, was played at the BBC Proms by Steven Isserlis on September 5th. David has written books on Tippett and Britten and writes regularly on contemporary music. He is published by Faber Music.