Viktor Bijelovic at St Cecilia's

Award-winning pianist Viktor Bijelovic returns to the Fringe for a short series of concerts at St. Cecila’s Hall. These are his first performances since his debut in 2010 and this particular appearance saw him join with violinist Magdalena Filipczak for two lunchtime concerts. Beginning with Brahms’ Sonata No. 3 for violin and piano, they quickly established both their skills as performers and their rapport as complementary musicians and friends.

The sound of Bijelovic’s prodigious piano playing blended beautifully with Filipczak’s violin as they took us through the four movements of the sonata. From the outset, both the musical choices and Bijelovic’s style proved that he was an incredibly generous performer. The first two movements of this sonata require the piano to take an accompanying role as the violin is placed at the forefront. Bijelovic’s opportunities to take centre-stage and show off his talents came soon enough, but he was a performer unafraid to let others shine. This made for both an exceptional and an endearing concert: it was hard not to be wrapped up in and be lifted by the music.

Playing together for most of the concert, Bijelovic and Filipczak led the audience through two further pieces – Despic’s Kostanina Pesma and Wieniawski’s Fantasie Brilliante on Gounod’s Faust before their encore. From soaringly beautiful, delicate moments, to more rousing or even humorous sections, they showed to its full extent how uplifting classical music could be. The historic surroundings of St. Cecilia’s added to the grandeur of the playing without overpowering the intimacy of the performance. Generous to the last, Bijelovic ensured at the encore that even his page-turner received applause, much to her delight. Deserving of a wider audience, Bijelovic is a performer at the height of his powers and an hour in his company shows how glorious classical music can be.

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The Blurb

The award-winning young pianist, who has performed in Buckingham Palace, Sadler’s Wells and worldwide, received a standing ovation on his 2010 Edinburgh debut. This concert includes Chopin, Liszt, Despic, and his own arrangement of Handel.

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