Pianist Rhythmie Wong to perform for Worthing’s International Interview Concerts series

Rhythmie Wong (by Andrew Mardell)
Rhythmie Wong (by Andrew Mardell)

Worthing’s International Interview Concerts promise an open door into music that is often life-affirming, sometimes life-changing, promises series co-creator Richard Amey.

“They are not the spectator world of stadium rock, large concert hall or formal recital room, but great music in personal close-up.”

Pianist Rhythmie Wong is the next guest artist at St Paul’s Worthing on Sunday, November 18 (3.30pm for 4pm). As Richard explains, the principle is: “The performer sits with the audience as though in a large domestic room, and direct connection comes through personality-revealing conversation alongside the music performance. The informality creates a bond shared among the audience. Each Interview Concert celebrates its internationality and is creatively given its own presentation flavour, ambience and look. The feel is warm and inclusive. The Ask A Question section is for the audience. They respond, react and interact in the Mystery Music Spot. They can meet the artist afterwards.

“Pianist Rhythmie Wong creates a feast for the senses and imagination. A young native of Hong Kong, her poetry and virtuosity ignited and sent shimmers of admiration and anticipation through the Sussex International Piano Competition (SIPC) in May. She is one of the three finalists due automatically to appear in these keenly-awaited concerts.

“She also plays violin, clarinet, she composes – and has a sister called Melodie. She co-conceived the new feature Mystery Music Spot and brings from her base of Cologne a head full of exciting solo piano music in a remarkable programme of unaccustomed power, stature and atmosphere, entitled Dancing Fires & Fragrances.

“There is Russian fairy-tale ballet music from Stravinsky’s beloved The Firebird in Agosti’s transcription from the magical, mesmeric orchestral music. Another translation into piano comes from the highest French expert, Ravel – his own vivid ballroom costume drama, La Valse. Rhythmie’s account of this startling piece caught experts’ breath during the SIPC as she surmounted its multiple demands.

“She will bring alive songs, tunes, dances and fragrances in two extracts from the greatest Spanish piano music. Book 1 of Iberia by Albeniz and, by his friend Granados, The Maiden and The Nightingale, from his suite Goyescas, inspired by the paintings of Goya and later to spawn an opera. These nostalgic, pictorial pieces, range from nocturne and evocation, through fandango, jota and zapateado, to a full-scale public parade in Seville.

“She will become the first person to play Haydn at The Interview Concerts. It will be his expansive final Piano Sonata (No 52 in Eb). She plays him superbly.”

Seats unreserved. Doors 3.30pm. Tickets: St Paul’s cafe bar or at http://seetickets.com.