Here in Britain our Winter can feel like a bit of a struggle. It’s not that we have 10 feet of snow or no daylight but we do specialise in a light drizzle that will thwart any hair product known to man. Add to that the hibernation that occurs after Christmas and you basically have a nation of Vitamin D deprived souls hiding inside their houses and waiting for Spring to peek out from behind the clouds.
I found a great tool for beating the blues three years ago when a friend dared me to plunge into the Serpentine lake in Hyde Park.
Submerging yourself in ice cold water isn’t for everyone but I love my morning dips and couldn’t believe my luck when I got to swim in both snow and ice this week.
Outdoor swimming is having a bit of a moment culturally and next month a documentary maker has asked to film me swimming for a mini series that is going to be aired in Europe about eccentric Londoners!
This year kicked off with a great recital at the National Portrait Gallery with Bella Tromba. We’ve been in the studio too, producing a piece that was written for us by quartet member Becca Toft. We have plans to develop our YouTube channel and I have loved getting in front of the camera to try out my presenting skills.
Over the last few weeks I have found myself playing a lot of requiems – most recently the divine Durufle with the London Mozart Players as well as the better known Mozart and Verdi Requiems – each distinct in their own way. It’s amazing music but I am ready for some cheerful music and this weekend I’ll be playing the Haydn Trumpet Concerto at Rye Lane Chapel in Peckham - a lovely contrast!
Britten Sinfonia never fail to excite me with their programming and I can’t wait to play for three concerts next month that include music by Byrd, Stravinsky, Milhaud and Gershwin. If you are in the UK and hiding in your house, come out, hear some great music and put a spring back in your step.
Rhapsody in Blue with Jeremy Denk and Britten Sinfonia
Byrd/Gesualdo/Monteverdi arr. Denk
Concerto for piano and winds
A selection of piano solos
La création du monde
Rhapsody in Blue (original jazz band version)