Event details
Concert details
5.30pm: Annual Concert in partnership with the Institut français d’Ecosse (members, guests and *non-members are welcome).
6.30pm : La Galette des rois (members and guests only).
Wednesday 10th January
Fête de l’Epiphanie / La Galette des rois
Concert de musique française
Mark Bailey (Cello), Nicholas Ashton (Piano)
(Members and *non-members are welcome)
Please confirm your attendance in an email to: francoscot@btinternet.com no later than Friday, 5th January 2024.
*Non-members are very welcome to attend our talks, we usually levy a small charge of £5 per person/£3 per student per meeting.
Concert programme
Mark Bailey, cello and Nicholas Ashton, piano present a programme of three pieces of French late 19th century early 20th century music.
The Music
César Franck: Cello Sonata for Cello and Piano, A major (1886) Movement 1: Allegretto ben moderato
Gabriel Fauré: Élégie (1880) op. 24
Claude Debussy: Sonata for cello and piano, D minor, (1915) Prologue, Serenade, Rondo
About the performers
Mark Bailey and Nicholas Ashton worked together many times as a result of the Edinburgh Quartet’s residence at Edinburgh Napier University.
Les musiciens
Together, they have performed many of the most established works in the medium of piano quintet/quartet, including those by Schumann, Elgar, Dvorak, Faure (no 1), Dohnanyi (no 2), Schnittke, Shostakovich and Mozart, as well as new works by contemporary composers. A premiere recording, for Delphian Records, of the Robert Crawford Piano Quintet, was very highly praised.
Since then Mark and Nicholas have often discussed forming a duo and this concert is to be first in what they both hope will be an exciting project!
Performer's biographies
Nicholas Ashton (Piano)
Nicholas Ashton was educated at Chetham’s School, Royal Northern College of Music, and on postgraduate scholarships at the Conservatoire de Musique, in Geneva, and the Musikhoschschule Frankfurt-am-Main.
He performed throughout Europe in an early soloist and subsequently worked as a teacher, translator and assistant music agent.
He assumed an academic role at Edinburgh Napier University, where he worked as a Lecturer and Senior Lecturer for the B.Mus Honours in Classical Music for nearly 30 years.
He combined his teaching career with extensive solo and chamber music performance. He was encouraged in this endeavour by Murray Perahia and Menahem Pressler.
Nicholas was a regular performer at the Hamburg Chamber Arts Association, and performed more than 80 separate programmes as soloist and chamber partner in the city. He has given recitals throughout the UK, Germany Italy and Lithuania, and is also in demand for masterclasses and adjudication.
Since 2020, Nicholas has taught principal study piano at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and at the University of Edinburgh.
He has recorded many times for the BBC, on German, Swiss and Lithuanian and US Radio as well as commercially.
Nicholas has a strong interest in contemporary music for two pianos, enjoying a partnership with the Lithuanian pianist, Lauryna Sableviciute.
Mark Bailey (Cello)
Born in London, Mark Bailey has performed throughout Europe, the UK, USA & Canada, the Far East and Middle East, both as soloist and cellist of the Edinburgh Quartet.
The Edinburgh Quartet is one of the UK’s longest running chamber ensembles and celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2021. The Quartet has received the much-coveted Gramophone Editor’s Choice for their recordings of the complete string quartets of Hans Gál and Mátyás Seiber. Mark studied at the Royal College of Music on a Foundation Scholarship where he won all the major cello prizes.
He was then invited by Paul Tortelier to study with him in France for two years, attracting scholarships from the British Council, the Countess of Munster and Suggia Trusts and the Martin Musical Scholarship Fund. There he was awarded the Premier Prix de Musique de Chambre de Nice.
Later he worked with William Pleeth and Jacqueline du Pré, as well as performing in master classes with, amongst others, Zara Nelsova and Johannes Goritzski.
Mark has broadcast for French & Spanish Radio and recorded recitals for the BBC. Works have been recorded under Meridian, Delphian and The Divine Art labels.
As a soloist, Mark has given recitals in the Purcell Room and Wigmore Hall, and appeared as soloist in many leading British festivals.
Mark was lecturer for many years at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and now teaches cello and coaches chamber music at the Universities of Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Glasgow, and in Stirling- where the Edinburgh Quartet is Quartet in Residence.