Violinist putting Elgar in spotlight

Jennifer Pike, solo violinist
Jennifer Pike, solo violinist

A violinist hailed as a star of Britain’s classical music scene since she became the youngest-ever winner of the BBC Young Musician of the Year Award is returning to Alnwick for the fourth time next week.

Jennifer Pike was given the accolade at the age of 12 in 2002, and three years later, she made both her BBC Promenade Concert and London Wigmore Hall debuts.

Her fourth visit to the town is lined up for Tuesday, January 26, at Alnwick Playhouse.

She will be accompanied by her father, Jeremy Pike, head of composition at Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester. Jennifer, renowned for her interpretive flair and exemplary technique, has played with several major orchestras worldwide including the London Symphony, the Vienna Symphony, Manchester’s Halle and, locally, Gateshead’s Royal Northern Sinfonia under their prestigious conductors in the major concert halls of this country, Europe and beyond.

She is often accompanied by Martin Roscoe and Tom Poster, and she has recorded extensively on the Chandos label the violin sonatas of Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel, Cesar Franck, Johannes Brahms and Robert Schumann.

More recent recordings include the Jean Sibelius Violin Concerto with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra under Sir Andrew Davis and Leos Janacek’s complete works for piano and violin.

Jennifer, 26, is an ambassador for the Prince’s Trust and a patron of the Lord Mayor of London’s City Music Foundation, and she plays an active role in the Bridge Project which provides music tuition for primary school children in London.

A staunch supporter of her local community in Stockport, Greater Manchester, Jennifer is also a patron of Wellspring, a charity set up to help homeless people there.

At the age of 16, she won a postgraduate scholarship to study at the Guildhall School of Music in London and subsequently gained a first-class honours degree from Oxford University.

She plays a 1708 Matteo Goffriller violin provided by the Stradivari Trust.

The first half of Jennifer’s concert for Alnwick Music Society concentrates on Edward Elgar, firstly his Violin Sonata in E minor (Opus 82), followed by Sospiri (Opus 70).

Following the interval, she will begin with a piece her father composed specially for her on his 6oth birthday before turning to the famous Vaughan Williams piece Lark Ascending, a No 1 in the Classical Hall of Fame year after year.

She will end with HenrykWieniawski’s Polonaise de Concert in D Major.