A particularly high proportion of ensemble work with instrumentalists and singers, throughout her training and from the earliest stages of her performing career, has been perhaps the strongest influence on Helen Cawthorne as a musician and pianist. Apart from engagement with a very broad repertoire, from classical staples to the sight-reading of complex new scores, it gave her invaluable insights into the particular musical strengths, technical characteristics and colour palettes of a wide variety of instruments and voices, as well as exposure to the teaching of a large number of distinguished musicians outside her own particular instrumental discipline.

Thus, her introduction to a great European piano tradition when taught, as a teenager, by Annekate Friedlander and then, at the Royal Academy of Music, by Alexander Kelly, Rex Stephens and Jeremy Brown, was greatly enriched by involvement in lessons and coaching sessions with oboist Janet Craxton, cellist Jacqueline du Pré, contralto Janet Baker and violinist and quartet leader Sidney Griller among many others. Then, as a young rehearsal and masterclass accompanist, she worked, for example, with Sir Neville Marriner in rehearsals with distinguished concerto soloists, with Richard Hickox in rehearsals of the London Symphony Chorus, with leading instrumentalists such as violinist György Pauk (Cheltenham Festival) and in both early music and contemporary repertoire with recorder player Michala Petri.

The breadth and depth of these influences has informed all of her subsequent work both on the concert stage and as a teacher and coach.




Concert Arts