A Soirée at Mr. Selfridge’s House!

I’m not the kind of person who can sit still for long amounts of time, the exception being a super entertaining film, comedy theatre or a strip show for that matter!

Annie Yim photo courtesy City University London
Annie Yim photo courtesy City University London

 So when my close friend Peter Green (a retired banker and now Gentleman of leisure!) invited me to a piano concert, I wondered if I should go. He assured me that I will enjoy it as I love classical music. I usually have it playing in the background while relaxing at home, reading a book or having dinner with someone.

So anyway, off I went to the Lansdowne Club, now made even more popular thanks to the hit TV show Mr. Selfridge. The legendary retail magnate Harry Selfridge lived in this building (formerly known as Lansdowne House). Some scenes of the TV series were also filmed here. This Georgian town house whispers elegance and style and was the perfect setting for a classical music concert.

Award winning pianist Annie Yim turned up in an elegant gown and started entertaining the audience right from laying her elegant manicured fingers on the keyboard until the last piece she played. Talent and good looks combined she has that classical eastern Asian look. Maybe she was a princess in the Ming dynasty in a previous life! Surrounded by smartly suited and distinguished gentleman and stylishly, lipsticked, pearled and coiffed ladies, I had a very enjoyable evening. 

A romantic Impromptus by Schubert was followed by Alban Berg‘s haunting piano sonata. Annie ended her recital with Debussy‘s legendary Estampes. Supported by renowned piano stockist Bluthner, this event was an experience I thoroughly enjoyed and it also felt very entertaining, yet relaxing at the same time. 

Annie Yim is the Winner of CBC Debut Young Concert Artists Series. She is also a recipient of the Cordwainers’ Musical Scholar 2014 award, given by the Worshipful Company of Cordwainers in recognition of her outstanding achievement and contribution to City University London. Click Here for Annie’s next FREE concert.

Kausikan Rajeshkumar
Kausikan Rajeshkumar

The first time I attended a piano recital was at the Southbank Centre’s Purcell Rooms. It was a recital by award winning pianist Kausikan Rajeshkumar who has won BBC Young Musician of the Year competition 3 times! My friend, fellow Sri Lankan and London based architect Senaka Weeraman told me about the concert and I went along with my friends Iain Clark and Russel Yates, with whom I worked on the pilot of the Emmanuel Ray Show. The recital was supported by the Martin Musical Scholarship fund for emerging talent in the classical music industry.

 I absolutely enjoyed Kausikan’s performance. Passion just oozes from his fingers and he is super talented. I couldn’t believe I sat through an entire recital, enthralled by his performance. He must’ve landed on the piano straight after he fell out of his mother’s womb! He is a doe eyed pretty boy by the way, with hair so glossy and lustrous, it made ME feel jealous.

Contact Bluthner via their website and request to be added onto their mailing list. The concerts are FREE but by invitation only (complimentary glass of wine included). You too can visit Mr. Selfridge’s House for an elegant and sophisticated evening. It’s the perfect outing for a date in the West End, before dinner.

You can also contact the Southbank Centre or the Philharmonia Orchestra and ask to be added to their mailing list to stay updated about the Martin Musical Scholarship recitals. It is best to CALL them first and get through to the person who handles these matters. When you book tickets online, you will be requested for a donation. It is not a must, but please donate what you can afford to support the scholarship.

Did You Know?

Kausikan Rajeshkumar is the first pianist to play A Cambridge Mass written by composer Ralph Vaughan Williams. It had never been performed before, and was first spotted in an exhibition at Cambridge University Library. The score was written by Vaughan Williams for his doctoral examination and has never been heard. It has been in the safe-keeping of Cambridge University Library for more than 100 years!

Annie Yim is the founder of  Minerva Piano Trio, with violinist Michael Cwizewicz and cellist Richard Birchall. Trio made their Purcell Room debut at Southbank Centre in 2014. Finalists in the 2013 Royal Over-Seas League Music Competition, the Trio have performed as Concordia Foundation Artists at St. Martin-in-the Fields, St. Paul’s Church Covent Garden and as part of the City University Concert Series. 

And finally, don’t forget to Google both Annie Yim and Kausikan Rajeshkumar and have a look at their Youtube videos. But nothing beats seeing them perform LIVE though!

Nominee, Positive Role Model 2013 (National Diversity Awards, UK). Nominee, London Personality of the Year 2012 (London Lifestyle Awards). Winner, Fashion Icon of the Year 2011 (Fashions Finest Awards, UK).

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