Pianist Melvyn Tan and stage star Eve Best present an evening of music and word at Charleston

Melvyn Tan. Picture by Graham De Lacy
Melvyn Tan. Picture by Graham De Lacy

This spring sees the launch of a new music programme at Charleston with the acclaimed pianist Melvyn Tan.

To mark the launch of the recitals, Melvyn will perform an evening of evocative and painterly works for piano, ranging from modernist France to the classics.

Eve Best

Eve Best

The music will be linked with verse and prose presented by Eve Best, the multi award-winning actress and star of both the London and New York stage.

Music and Word with Eve Best and Melvyn Tan is in the Hay Barn on Saturday, April 6 (7pm).

A long-time supporter of Charleston, Eve appeared at the Festival in 2018 discussing Dora Carrington’s letters and played the role of Vanessa Bell in the BBC2 series – Life in Squares.

Melvyn said: “In this special, hour-long launch of Music and Word two art forms illuminate each other. Classic, timeless Beethoven evokes moonlight and Shakespeare, while Satie’s abstract and languid imagery chimes with the poetry of the 20th Century. Debussy’s painterly essays in sound invite contributions from Marcel Proust, Virginia Woolf and others. And the Bloomsbury group’s adoration of all things French, transports us across the Channel, for Cocteau and Poulenc’s cabaret-suffused tributes to an anguished Edith Piaf.”

He added: “It will be a thrill to strike the first notes and experience this musical awakening of the Hay Barn.”

About Eve Best

Eve is an English stage and screen actress and director.

She won the 2005 Olivier Award for Best Actress for playing the title role in Hedda Gabler. Eve made her Broadway debut in the 2007 revival of A Moon for the Misbegotten, winning the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Play, and receiving the first of two nominations for the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play. The second was for the revival of The Homecoming in 2008. She returned to Broadway in the 2015 revival of Old Times.

About Melvyn Tan

Exploration, insight and imagination are vital ingredients in Melvyn Tan’s blend of artistic attributes.

He established his international reputation in the 1980s with pioneering performances on fortepiano and continues to cast fresh light on music conceived for the piano’s early and modern forms. His performances of piano masterworks, whether on a late 18th Century fortepiano or today’s concert grand, reveal countless expressive nuances and rarely heard tonal contrasts. He has the ability to switch from fortepiano to modern piano, even in the same recital. But for Charleston he will be playing on his own Steinway Grand. Words for the concert have been chosen by author and social historian Virginia Nicholson, daughter of Quentin and Anne Olivier Bell, and by Paul Boucher, curator, research and creative director of the Montagu Music Collection at Boughton House.

The concert is the start of a year-round series of events in the barn, programmed by Melissa Perkins and inspired by Bloomsbury. There will be a live literature strand, new commissions , workshops and makers’ fairs.

“We are also working towards a children’s festival,” said Melissa. “But we felt the barn cried out for music.”

Tickets for the concert cost £35 (Friends £30). Visit charleston.org.uk or call 01323 815150. Tickets include free access to the two exhibitions in the Charleston galleries – Land by Philip Hughes and In Colour curated by Cressida Bell.

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