Humanitas Visiting Professorship in Chamber Music
The Visiting Professorship in Chamber Music is made possible by the generous support of Lawrence Saper and is hosted by Peterhouse, Cambridge. Visiting professors include:
Mitsuko Uchida 2015-2016
Mitsuko Uchida is a celebrated classical pianist.
Mitsuko Uchida is a performer who brings a deep insight into the music she plays through her own search for truth and beauty.
She is renowned for her interpretations of Mozart, Schubert, Schumann and Beethoven, both in the concert hall and on CD, but she has also illuminated the music of Berg, Schoenberg, Webern and Boulez for a new generation of listeners. Her recording of the Schoenberg Piano Concerto with Pierre Boulez and the Cleveland Orchestra won four award, including the Gramophone Award for Best Concerto.
Amongst many current projects, Uchida is recording a selection of Mozart’s Piano Concertos with the Cleveland Orchestra, directing from the piano: all of the discs in this series have received critical acclaim including a Grammy Award in 2011.
Murray Perahia 2014-2015
Murray Perahia is an American concert pianist and conductor.
In a career spanning forty years, Murray Perahia has become one of the most sought after and cherished pianists of our time.
Recognised worldwide as a musician of rare musical sensitivity, Mr Perahia performs in all of the major international music centres and with the world’s leading orchestras. He is the Principal Guest Conductor of the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, and regularly tours with them as both conductor and pianist, with performances throughout the United States, Europe, Japan and South East Asia.
Mr Perahia is an honorary fellow of the Royal College of Music and the Royal Academy of Music, and he holds honorary doctorates from Leeds University, Duke University and an honorary Doctor of Philosophy from the Weizmann Institute of Science. In 2004 he was awarded an honorary KBE in recognition of his outstanding service to music.
Angela Hewitt 2013-2014
Angela Hewitt is a British/Canadian pianist.
One of the world’s leading pianists, Angela Hewitt regularly appears in recital and with major orchestras throughout Europe, the Americas and Asia. Her performances and recordings of Bach have drawn particular praise, marking her out as one of the composer’s foremost interpreters of our time.
In 2012/13, Angela Hewitt began a major project to perform Bach’s The Art of Fugue in two programmes in major halls worldwide, based around concerts at the Royal Festival Hall in London as part of the International Piano Series. This follows on from the celebrated project ‘Angela Hewitt’s Bach Book’ in 2010, where Ms Hewitt gave world premieres of six newly-commissioned works by leading composers at Wigmore Hall.
Angela Hewitt was named ‘Artist of the Year’ at the 2006 Gramophone Awards. She was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2000 and was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2006. She lives in London but also has homes in Ottawa and in Italy, where she is also Artistic Director of the Trasimeno Music Festival in Umbria.
In the video above Hewitt leads a performance of Ravel’s Trio in A Minor, played by Katherine Lee (violin), Ghislaine McMullin (cello) and Johnson Leung (piano).
Robert Levin 2013-2014
Robert Levin is a classical performer and Harvard professor.
Robert Levin is a classical performer, Harvard Professor of Musicology, composer, and is the artistic director of the Sarasota Music Festival. Professor Levin’s series focused around the theme ‘Encountering Mozart’. His opening lecture-recital, entitled ‘Improvising Mozart’, provided a fascinating insight into the challenging and – as Professor Levin explained – methodologically sophisticated task of analysing Mozart’s piano improvisations. Professor Levin’s second lecture-recital, ‘Composing Mozart’, dealt with the daunting task of completing Mozart’s unfinished musical pieces. Developing on the methodological approach to Mozart’s original manuscripts that he introduced in the first lecture, Professor Levin explained the foundations upon which musicologists can complete unfinished works.
To conclude the series, Professor Levin gave a masterful performance alongside the Academy of Ancient Music. To the delight of a full auditorium, Professor Levin and the AAM played Mozart’s Allegro from the Piano Sonata in B-flat major (‘Sophie Costanza’), Mozart’s Quintet in E-flat major for Piano and Winds, Mozart’sAllegro from the Piano Sonata in G minor, and Beethoven’s Quintet in E-flat major for Piano and Winds. The final concert was preceded by an open rehearsal in which Professor Levin showed his full potential both as a renowned musician and as a gifted teacher.
This video is Levin’s lecture on Improvising Mozart.
Alfred Brendel 2010-2011
Alfred Brendel is a pianist. His first lecture, On Character in Music, showed that the perception of character and atmosphere in musical performances is no less important than that of form and structure. In his second lecture, Light and Shade of Interpretation, he examined performance details such as sound, notation, rhythm and character through recordings and projections. In both, he played musical examples on the piano to illustrate his ideas.
Alfred Brendel’s series concluded with an open rehearsal and concert with the Szymanowski Quartet. In the open rehearsal Brendel and the Quartet discussed Beethoven’s Quartet in A Minor, Op. 132, which the Quartet performed in the concluding concert at West Road Concert Hall, University of Cambridge.