Category Archives: International Impact

News, views and stories about our international Music Scholars, students, visitors and events

Scholar’s Spotlight livestream: Ridima Sur and Jonathan Mayer

The lunchtime concert on Weds 16th March is the second in our Scholar’s Spotlight series, and features international student and Hindustani singer, Ridima Sur.

As well as welcoming a live audience, the event will be livestreamed and may be watched for free on our YT channel here:

In her third year reading Astrophysics, Ridima is joined by sitarist and composer Jonathan Mayer, with tabla-player Denis Kucherov. The livestream opens at 1pm, and the concert begins at 1.10pm.

Supporting an international student musician: Aline Kellenberger

One of the excellent facilities the Music department is able to offer is particular support for international students involved in extra-curricular music at the University, thanks to the Barry Wright Legacy fund. Here, woodwind player Aline Kellenberger reflects on her experience with the University Symphony Orchestra and Concert Band this year.


One year ago I started to plan my Study Abroad at the University of Kent. As I was looking into all the different societies the university offered, I saw the music society with the Orchestra and the Concert
band. That day I decided not to join as it would be complicated to bring my oboe with me, both in luggage space and out of fear of something happening to my instrument.

I arrived in England last September for the autumn term, I joined different societies, met new people and overall enjoyed my time abroad. But two weeks into the term I already missed playing music. So I decided to get into contact with the Music Administrator of Kent, Sophie Meikle, and asked if I could rent an oboe for myself. She immediately answered me and told me that the music department would like to rent it for me. A few weeks later they also offered to rent the cor anglais!

One of the greatest things here at Uni has definitely been being able to practice together with so many people. Due to Covid all group rehearsals and concerts over the last years were cancelled, so it felt
really great to play with other people again. Especially being able to perform the Christmas Concert at the end of last year’s term together with the choir in front of an audience! I have now started my second term here at Kent and have another three months to look forward to playing with the Orchestra as well as the Concert band. If somebody had told me one year ago that I would get to play in the
Cathedral of Canterbury I would have not believed them.

The Symphony Orchestra rehearsing before the concert, conducted by Dan Harding. Photo: Jeni Martin

I am extremely grateful for the warm welcome I got from everyone in the music society and especially for this opportunity. Since I am an exchange student I was not able to bring my own instrument with me, this was due to the amount of luggage I could bring with me. The University of Kent gives me the chance to not only study abroad and improve my English, but also allows me to continue my hobby of 17 years. Playing with the Orchestra as well as the Big Band gives me new experiences, helps me keep up with practice and helps me improve my English. It is also a very good opportunity to improve my own skills by playing with so many different people.

Members of the Symphony Orchestra backstage before the performance

I decided to come to the University of Kent specifically for its language department and now I am so happy that I got the
opportunity to also join the music department.

Aline Kellenberger, University of Bern

Composer and sitarist Jonathan Mayer to mentor University Music Award Holder

The Music Department is delighted to reveal that composer and sitarist, Jonathan Mayer, will be mentoring one of the University’s Music Award Holders during the coming academic year.

Image: (c) Matt Wilson / University of Kent

An active composer exploring connections between traditional Indian music and Western instruments, Jonathan’s Sitar Concerto No.2 was recorded with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales last year, as part of his continuing synthesis of east-west musical idioms.

Ridima Sur singing in Colyer-Fergusson Hall

Following his recent concert in Colyer-Fergusson to launch the new season of Lunchtime Concerts, Jonathan will be working with Ridima Sur, (pictured above), a third-year student at the University reading Astrophysics. Hailing from the Hoogly district, West Bengal, Ridima holds a Music Award at Kent, and last year was filmed as part of the Scholar’s Spotlight series of short performances in Colyer-Fergusson Hall given by some of the students.

“I’m really grateful for the opportunity, and to have met with Jonathan,” enthused Ridima, “we talked about my vocal range and all the ragas I’m currently doing. He’s going to support me in my music-making this year, and we will also plan a few performances. My mum’s sister was a classical singer, she professionally pursued Hindustani classical music and was my motivation to keep following music myself; partially a reason I am trying to continue my music is a tribute to her.”

Three musicians in Indian dress standing in the foyer of Colyer-Fergusson Hall, including third-year student Ridima
Third-year Physics student, Ridma Sur, with Jonathan Mayer (r) and tabla-player., Denis Kucherov (l)

The extra-curricular Music department provides opportunities for its Music Performance Scholars and Award Holders to develop their musicianship alongside their academic studies, and runs a vibrant provision for all students and staff, as well as members of the local community, to be involved in University music-making. Thanks to the generosity of the donors who support the Music Scholarship Scheme, it promises to be an exciting mentorship, and a unique opportunity for one of the University’s students to learn with an established figure on the British musical landscape.

Scholars’ Spotlight: Ridima Sur

Our Scholars’ Spotlight series highlighting Music Performance Scholars and Award Holders continues on Friday, with a mesmerising performance by second-year Physics student, Ridima Sur.

Ridima performs Raga Yaman Bandish – Piya, an evening raga celebrating love, filling Colyer-Fergusson Hall with an extraordinary musical soundscape. The film will remain online after the screening.

Filmed in Colyer-Fergusson Hall at the University of Kent.

Filmed and edited by Thomas Connor, Luke McCann and George Morris.

#Beethoven250: Music Performance Scholar plays Beethoven

An historic moment on the 250th anniversary of the birth of Beethoven; first-year Music Performance Scholar, Michael Lam, in the Kent and Medway Medical School performs the Piano Sonata no.28 Op 101.

Filmed in one single, continuous take in Colyer-Fergusson Hall, Michael plays from memory one of the most formidable challenges in the piano repertoire.

 

Filmed by Thomas Connor, Luke McCann and George Morris.

You can watch a series of performances by Michael in a dedicated playlist here, including pieces from the Anna Magdalena Notebook.

Baby, It’s Cold Outside: a jazz recital for Christmas now online

It’s not Christmas without a performance in the Music Department of Santa Baby, and we’re delighted to bring that annual tradition round again this month, albeit in a slightly different format.

Although we can’t bring you the traditional Christmas Swingalong, we hope you enjoy this short jazz session, featuring third-year singers Elle Soo (reading Social Anthropology) and Robbie Frederick (Comparative Literature and Drama) in a handful of festive favourites, concluding with the evergreen seasonal duet, Baby It’s Cold Outside.

A little festive cheer for us all…

 

Filmed in Colyer-Fergusson Hall; with thanks to Thomas Connor, Luke McCann and George Morris.

Music Performance Scholar to mark Beethoven anniversary

A remarkable event next week, in our first ‘virtual’ Lunchtime Concert – first-year international pianist from Canada and Music Performance Scholar at Kent and Medway Medical School, Michael Lam, will mark the occasion of the 250th anniversary of the birth of Beethoven next week with a filmed performance of the mammoth Piano Sonata in A major, Op.101.

A keen enthusiast of Beethoven’s rich repertoire for piano, the performance, which was filmed in Colyer-Fergusson Hall earlier today on the University’s Steinway piano, will be Premiered on the Music Department’s YouTube channel as part of this year’s Beethoven anniversary celebrations.

Michael’s performance will be a continuous, unedited take, of the first of Beethoven’s Late Period piano sonatas, rich in complexity and a formidable challenge to pianists everywhere.

The Premiere is free to watch online on YouTube on the Music department’s channel here: to whet your appetites, you can watch Michael performing three pieces from Bach’s Anna Magdalena Notebook, filmed earlier this term, online here.

Going digital: part two

Filming of some of this year’s Music Scholars and Music Award Holders has continued this week, featuring third-year Film Studies student and pianist, Kiyan Agadjani:

and second-year Physics student and Indian classical singer, Ridima Sur.

Both students will be appearing in a special filmed performance by some of our student musicians which we will be presenting online shortly.

Part of their sessions were also livestreamed over on our Instagram IGTV account, a charming piano piece by Schumann and a mesmerising raga, both of which you can see here:

Stay tuned…