Freddy Kempf recital in Brighton honours the late Philip Wilford

The Brighton Phil welcomes international pianist Freddy Kempf to Brighton Dome for the second concert in their 2018/19 season, for a programme of music by Rossini, Beethoven and Dvořák.

Monday, 5th November 2018, 2:02 pm
Updated Monday, 5th November 2018, 2:06 pm
Freddy Kempf
Freddy Kempf

The concert is sponsored in memory of Philip Wilford, a sponsor in recent years with his wife Jane of the principal flute, who passed away earlier this year, aged 67, after suffering from cancer for four years. Philip was a big fan of Freddy Kempf and loved Beethoven.

The concert is on Sunday, November 11 at 2.45pm.

Jane said: “We have both had so much pleasure from attending Brighton Philharmonic concerts over many years. Music was part of our life together and we are all very lucky in this town to have such a wonderfully-enriching cultural scene, of which the Brighton Philharmonic is an integral part. Philip was very keen for the orchestra to go from strength to strength, and he left a bequest in his will to the Brighton Philharmonic Society of £10,000.”

The concert opens with the overture to Rossini’s opera Semiramide.

The orchestra’s artistic administrator Ian Brignall said: “This is full of tunes. It’s an orchestral showcase – everybody will be smiling at the end of this.”

Conductor Freddy Kempf agrees: “The opera is not so well known but I think everyone will recognise the overture. It’s been used in many Hollywood films, so people will definitely recognise the melodies. And as is typical with Rossini, although it’s not the most intricate writing, yet it’s so effective. It will really set the scene for the concert.”

Then Freddy will perform Beethoven’s dramatic Piano Concerto No.3 whilst directing the orchestra from the keyboard. This is a real favourite of his: “I love the Romanticism in the slow movement. I feel that he’s written it almost as an improvisation because there are a lot of incomplete things in the score, so I’m trying to improvise a little bit. And the fact that there isn’t a conductor there makes it a little easier for us because a lot of the time the orchestral players can pretty much sense what the soloist is doing and this way I don’t have to communicate that to a conductor to sort of reinforce that to the orchestra, so it should work really well. I remember when I was a lot younger and learning pieces for the first time I loved the Emperor [piano concerto] probably the most and now that I’ve played them all, now more and more I tend to love this third piano concerto.”

The concert closes with DvoÅ™ák’s Seventh Symphony which Freddy is looking forward to conducting: “This is probably my favourite DvoÅ™ák symphony and I’m really delighted to be able to do it in this concert. I love the way he incorporates so many folk melodies and folk rhythms, especially dances. I want to bring out what the strings can do, but I also want to concentrate on that dance aspect. I feel emotionally very close to DvoÅ™ák even though he didn’t write a mature piano concerto, and he didn’t really write anything for solo piano, he just used it in chamber music, so it’s a great way for me to experience DvoÅ™ák.”

Tickets are £12.50-£39.50 (50% student/U18 discount) from Brighton Dome Ticket Office, (01273) 709709,

Discounted parking (just £6) available at NCP Church Street Car Park between 1-6pm