DAME MYRA HESS DAY
Dame Myra Hess in the Barry Room of the National Gallery, 1940 Richard and John Contiguglia rehearsing in the Barry Room, 2008
Richard and John Contiguglia rehearsing in the Barry Room, 2008
ABOVE LEFT Myra Hess at one of her lunchtime concerts in the Barry Room of the National Gallery, 1940
Imperial War Museum London; 
BELOW LEFT, RIGHT  Richard and John rehearsing in the Barry Room, 2008 National Gallery, London

"Today is the now-annual Dame Myra Hess Day at the National Gallery here in London. Piers Lane - a Hess 'grand-pupil' via his teacher, the late Yonty Solomon - is artistic director of the event which commemorates Hess's daily lunchtime concerts held in the Gallery during World War II, with music performed in the Barry Rooms where her series took place - though we have the paintings back now.

This year's event also celebrates the vital contribution to that series of her friend Howard Ferguson the composer, whose Partita for Two Pianos will be performed at lunchtime by the Contiguglia Brothers from New York, themselves former pupils of Hess. There's a discussion chaired by Piers mid-afternoon, and this evening he and Tasmin Little will play war-scarred violin sonatas by Elgar and Poulenc."

 - Jessica Duchen's Classical Music Blog, November 25, 2008

John and Richard in front of the National Gallery, LondonJohn and Richard in front of the National Gallery, LondonJohn and Richard in front of the National Gallery, London
ABOVE John and Richard in front of the National Gallery, London, photographs by Gillian Barlow

Lunchtime saw an extraordinary performance by the Contiguglia Twins from New York, who played the socks off Howard Ferguson, Schubert and Beethoven. They came to Britain to study with Hess as young boys and played the Schubert Variations on an Original Theme for their Wigmore Hall debut. And... I've heard of identical, but this was quite something. I'm reliably informed that you can tell them apart when you know them well."

 - Jessica Duchen's Classical Music Blog, November 26, 2008

Dame Myra Hess Day, Program

"It was wonderful to meet you and John and I think that you made the day so special indeed - everyone was so totally excited about the day and I think it is going down as the most memorable." - Lee Riley, National Gallery contact

"May I reiterate what a huge pleasure it was to have you playing at the National Gallery. You are such wonderful probing musicians and pianists and people - and your listening and ensemble are extraordinary. So thank you, thank you, for bringing such pleasure and insight to our day." - Piers Lane, Pianist and Director of Myra Hess Day

Richard and John with Piers Lane at the National Gallery, LondonJohn and Richard at Trafalgar Square, London
   ABOVE LEFT Richard and John with Piers Lane at the National Gallery, London, photograph by Horst Kolo
   ABOVE RIGHT John and Richard at Trafalgar Square, London, photograph by Gillian Barlow

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