Pianist marking 10 years since surgery failed to derail dream

Annie Ball and Victoria Robinson, who are both performing at the fund-raising concert.
Annie Ball and Victoria Robinson, who are both performing at the fund-raising concert.

A classical pianist from north Northumberland, who had open-heart surgery a decade ago, will be playing at a fund-raising concert this weekend.

Back in February 2008, then 17-year-old Victoria Robinson, from Felton, received a guaranteed unconditional offer to study at the prestigious Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Victoria Robinson during a previous performance.

Victoria Robinson during a previous performance.

This is a great achievement in any case, given that only six or seven pianists a year from across the world are accepted on the course, but it was even more remarkable for Victoria given that her audition came just a few months after open-heart surgery.

Fast-forward 10 years from that summer and Victoria has decided to do something special this year to mark the milestone of the surgery to repair her mitral valve.

Victoria said: “I have signed up to run – there will be a lot of walking too, I’m sure – the Great North Run and I am organising this concert to help raise as much money as I can for a cause that is incredibly close to my heart.”

The Spring Piano Concert, to support the British Heart Foundation and Hexham General Hospital, takes place at the hospital on Saturday at 2pm. Victoria will be joined in performing by fellow pianist Annie Ball and the pair will be playing works by Grieg, Saint-Saens and Boulanger.

Victoria was diagnosed with a heart condition when she was little and was on medication from the age of three. She was advised by her cardiologist at the Freeman Hospital, in Newcastle, to take up a non-sport-related hobby and so began having piano lessons aged nine.

She quickly became passionate about the instrument and at 16 started preparing for auditions to study at conservatoires in the UK.

Despite the surgery in summer 2007, which meant she went a month without playing before getting back on track, she has gone from success to success since then.

Victoria has completed a bachelor’s degree in classical piano performance and has spent five years as a freelance pianist working in Scotland and the North East of England.

She has also just been accepted to study at the Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen on the Masters course, starting on August 21 – exactly 10 years since the operation.

The suggested donation at the concert is £10 and refreshments will be available.

Tickets are available online from eventbrite.co.uk via the following link – http://tinyurl.com/y83gtecd