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Geoffrey Allan's blog

Rehearsals in full swing for Violin at the Movies

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Since I wrote my last blog, Gavin Sutherland and I have had two rehearsals for our concert The Violin at the Movies, one at his home near Oxford, the other yesterday at my home near Manchester.

Tuning up for Violin at the Movies

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One of the best things about The Violin at the Movies for me is that I’ll be working with my old friend Gavin Sutherland. Long term followers of Northern Ballet will remember that Gavin used to be Assistant Conductor here many years ago, before leaving to pursue a freelance career as conductor, pianist and arranger.

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Music, Milstein & The Handshake Principle

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I finished my previous blog with the piano tuner about to arrive at my home in preparation for the rehearsal with pianist Benjamin Frith last week. That job has needed doing for a while, and I was glad that the rehearsal pushed me to finally make the call. I’m not much of a pianist myself to be honest, but quite enjoy messing around at the keyboard, often trying to improvise on the songs of Gershwin, Rodgers and Hart, Jerome Kern etc. However, after my session with Ben I felt as if my piano was looking at me rather disdainfully as if to say, “Now that’s PROPER piano playing!”

A very musical summer

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On the last occasion that I was writing on this page, I was hard at work preparing for the previous concert at Quarry Hill along with my colleagues Sue Hall and Sasha Volpov. That was in June, and it seems quite a long time ago now. The Northern Ballet season had just finished, and here we are only a couple of weeks away from our first rehearsals for Hamlet. Now I am focussing on preparing for the next event in the series, my violin and piano recital with Benjamin Frith on 1 September.

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