8th October: Lunchtime Concert: Emma Besselaar & Antonio Oyarzabal (Cello & Piano)

Our autumn season of concerts continues with a duo concert by cellist Emma Besselaar, who will be making her Tuesdays Till Two début, and pianist Antonio Oyarzabal, who last performed for Tuesdays Till Two at a solo concert in May 2018. Emma and Antonio gave a superb evening concert here together last September. This time they will be performing music by female composers, including centenary performances of two works composed in 1919: Rebecca Clarke’s and Henriëtte Bosmans’ sonatas for cello and piano.

As ever St John’s will be open for an hour before the concert begins, with volunteers from the pop-up café team offering lots of home made sweet and savoury treats as well as hot and cold drinks.

The concert will begin promptly at 1pm. Admission is free, but those who are able to afford it are asked to make a donation. The suggested amount is £5.


Henriette Bosmans – Sonata for cello and piano (1919)
Allegro Maestoso
Un poco allegretto
Allegro molto e con fuoco

Rebecca Clarke – Sonata for cello and piano (1919)
Adagio – Allegro

About Emma:

Emma Besselaar is currently a Guildhall Artist Fellow at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, London. In June 2017, she completed her Masters Degree at the same institution with Distinction, studying with Louise Hopkins. Previously, she studied with Quirine Viersen at the Conservatoire of Amsterdam, graduating in June 2014 with ‘very good results’. During her studies, she followed regular lessons with Dmitri Ferschtman and studied baroque cello with Viola de Hoog. From the age of 15, Emma attended the Young Talent Class at the Conservatoire of Amsterdam, where she took lessons with Maarten Mostert.

Emma attended masterclasses including with Raphael Wallfisch, Troels Svane, Adrian Brendel, Anner Bylsma and attended the International Musicians Seminar at Prussia Cove in April 2015, following masterclasses with Ralph Kirschbaum. She is a laureate of various competitions in the Netherlands and an active chamber musician – her piano trio was awarded the first prize in the St. James Chamber Competition and in July 2016 she performed Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time at the Torroella Festival (Spain) with another of her chamber groups, the Idiomelo Ensemble. In May 2017 she performed chamber works by Mahler and Webern in the Barbican Hall, London. In the Netherlands she regularly gives concerts for Kunst in de Kamer and Live Music Now and is involved in the Dutch chamber music initiative Cugnon Project. As an orchestra musician, Emma has been a member of the European Union Youth Orchestra, the Britten-Pears Orchestra (at Aldeburgh Festival) and the Dutch Youth String Orchestra, where she was the principal cellist.

Emma plays on a cello (Francesco Toto, Cremona, 2007) given on loan by the Dutch National Instrument Foundation. Her study in London is made possible by a scholarship from the Dutch Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds.

About Antonio:

Antonio Oyarzabal is an award wining concert pianist and sought-after musician based in London.
He was born in Bilbao in 1989. He started his piano studies with Cecilia Keller and Guadalupe López-Castelo. Later, he entered in Musikene (San Sebastian), where he obtained his Bachelor degree, mentored by pianists Marta Zabaleta and Miguel Borges, and also trained in contemporary piano repertoire with Ricardo Descalzo. During this period Antonio also completed a harpsichord Diploma degree with Honours, training with Loreto F. Imaz. He complemented his studies with pianist and CNSM Paris professor Denis Pascal and Armenian pianist Anahit Simonian, with whom he trained in piano improvisation.
After this, Antonio moved to London and graduated in Masters as a piano soloist at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, where he also recently obtained the exclusive Artist Diploma with Distinction, studying with Caroline Palmer.
Recent highlight solo performances include Mozart Piano Concerto n. 12 K.414 with The Arch Sinfonia in Lille (France), Shostakovich Piano Concerto in F with London Euphonia Orchestra and Ravel Piano Concerto in G with YMSO at St John Smith Square. He has also performed Mozart Piano Concerto nº23 with Aldwych Sinfonia in London. In Spain, Antonio performed Ravel Concerto in G and Mozart 9th Piano Concerto with JOL, Poulenc Concerto for two pianos and orchestra with Musikene Symphony Orchestra and Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue with European Union Youth Orchestra in Grafenegg (Austria). Antonio recently performed Ravel Concerto in G, with LEO in London (December 2018).

Antonio is also a passionate chamber music and collaborative musician.

As a freelance orchestral pianist, Antonio is very experienced and plays often with Southbank Sinfonia. He was named the pianist for the London Philarmonic Orchestra, Foyle Future Firsts programme 2016/2017. He trained in orchestral repertoire with LSO and LPO players, Catherine Edwards, Liz Burley and John Alley. Major performances include Mahler Symphony 4 (arranged by Klaus Simon) with LPO members at the RFH, conducted by Vladimir Jurowski, Petrushka with Basque Country Symphony Orchestra. Antonio was Principal Keyboard of the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester in 2014 and 2015. Past performances include concerts with ULSO in London, Guildhall School Symphony Orchestra; and the European Union Youth Orchestra (2014). Antonio was also the Principal Keyboard of the YMSO 2012-2017. During this time he has worked with many conductors, such as Vladimir Jurowski, Vasily Petrenko, Vladimir Ashkenazy, David Afkham, Jun Märkl, Peter Stark, John Wilson, Leo McFall, James Blair, Juan José Ocón, Pierre Cao etc. As an orchestral pianist, Antonio has performed in major venues such as Royal Albert Hall PROMS 2014, Casino Kursaal in Interlaken, Auditorio Nacional de Madrid, Fundaçao Gulbekian in Lisbon, Philarmonie Gasteig in Munich, Philarmonie Kasel, Grafenegg Auditorium, Barbican Hall, St John Smith Square, Royal Albert Hall and Royal Festival Hall in London, CERN in Geneva, and Musikverein in Vienna.
As a chamber music pianist, Antonio recently made his debut in LSO St Luke’s debut with LSO violist Lander Etxebarria and in Barbican Hall with the Klimt Quintet. He regularly performs with cellist Emma Besselaar, with whom he performed in Amsterdam and Ommen (Holland), at the London Strings Festival, in Peterborough and Stratford upon Avon recently. He is one of the founder members of Trisquel Arts Ensemble, with which he has been performing different recitals since 2013, both in the UK and abroad. Recently they had the chance to perform at the Festival Manuel de Falla in Cádiz (Spain). His experience also includes playing with different Spanish ensembles at the Euskalduna Palace in Bilbao, Fundación Botín in Santander, Sala Kutxa in San Sebastián, and at the Quincena Musical Festival in San Sebastián, 2010. Other highlights include concerts with pianist Caroline Palmer, LSO Principal clarinet Andrew Marriner, with viola soloist Matthew Jones, with flautist Vicente Cintero, with Allegri Quartet and Southbank Sinfonia.

As an accompanist, Antonio works often with different singers. He often performs with mezzo Chlöe Schaaf, with whom he has performed at the Leeds Lieder Festival, Song in the City Festival in London and in Academia Marshall, Barcelona, among other venues. With soprano Mirjam Mesak, Antonio has performed at Westminster Cathedral in London and they have been named finalists of the English Song Competition at the GSMD. Antonio took part in a Spanish Song and Zarzuela Gala concert at the Cervantes Theatre last year. He also had the opportunity to play with acclaimed singers Emily Magee and Christiane Karg during GMJO Spring Tour 2014.

Antonio is an active solo performer around London and abroad. He has performed in Paxos International Festival in Greece (2013); in Grafenegg International Festival in Austria (2014); at ‘Las Edades del Hombre’ Festival in Toro (Spain) 2016, Pirineos Classic Festival, Eutherpe Foundation in León, Aiara Festival, Fundación Botín in Santander, Toccatta en A (Madrid), Casa de Granada (Madrid), Ateneo de Madrid, Juventudes Musicales and Teatro Arriaga in Bilbao, Granados-Marshall Academy and in Casa Elizalde (Barcelona). His recitals in London include St Martin in the Fields, St James Piccadilly, All Saints (East Sheen) Concert Series, the Foundling Museum, Milton Court Concert Hall, Charlton House, St Clement Danes, National Physical Laboratory, St Bride’s church, Song in the City Festival, The Forge Camden, Southwark Cathedral, St James Paddington, St Stephen Walbrook, St John Baptist Church, St George Bloomsbury, St Lawrence Jewry. Across UK, he has also performed in Brighton (Sussex), Newport Cathedral (Wales), Bourneville (Birmingham), in St John’s Peterborough (Cambridgeshire), in Hastings (East Sussex), in Grange Park Festival (Hertfordshire), in Harlow and in Maldon (Essex), in King’s Lynn Music Society (Norfolk), in Bury St Edmunds Cathedral and Lavenham Church (Suffolk), and in Stratford upon Avon (Warwickshire). Antonio has recently made his debut at the Arriaga Theatre (Bilbao). Recently, Antonio made his debut at Fundación March in Madrid (Spain).
Antonio was awarded the Guildhall School Trust from 2012/2014. He was also awarded the Audience Special Prize and Finalist Prize in Campillos International Competition 2015, 4th Prize at the Eastbourne Young Soloist Competition 2013 and the 2nd prize at the “Concours International d’Ile de France” competition in Paris, 2008. He complements his training with masterclasses with pianists such as Anne Quéffélec, Émile Naoumoff, Jerome Rose, Luis Fernando Pérez, Denis Pascal, Josep Colom, Vladimir Bronewetzky, Bernard d’Ascoli, Paul Roberts, and Guigla Katsarava among others.
Antonio has recently recorded his debut CD, The Inner Child, with Orpheus Classical international record label; including music by Schumann, Debussy, Ravel and Mompou. The CD has received many good reviews and it recently received the Gold Melomano Award by prestigious magazine Melomano. He has recently recorded a second album with the works by Basque composer J. Martínez Villar with Arsis record label.