Johan de Cock showcases great selection of piano music at fifth Ken Reed concert

By Chris Derrick in Arts

THE FIFTH Ken Reed Concert at Holy Trinity Church, Salcombe saw the accomplished musician Johan de Cock performing an eclectic programme on the piano.

Johan performed a balanced selection of music spanning the centuries, from classical to modernism and jazz.

The concert opened with Mozart’s Fantasia in D minor, a piece unfinished at the time of his death. The Fantasia explored a host of different emotions and showcased Mozart’s enormous breadth of style, from mournful to playful and almost humorous at times.

This was followed by a couple of elegant Schubert pieces and a selection of Chopin, wonderfully realised by Johan, who brought the music’s exquisite dynamics to life, particularly in the Nocturnes and the Polonaise in A flat major.

Johan de Cock was born in Namibia and studied piano, harpsichord and pipe organ at the University of Stellenbosch. He moved to London in 2000, and soon established himself as a composer, music producer, remixer and vocal accompanist.

He married a Salcombe girl in 2006, and has since made his home in England. He lives in Brighton where he teachers piano and music theory, composes and organises a variety of musical concerts and events.

The second half of the concert featured some lesser known music from the 20th century, including a left-hand arrangement of a song by French-Argentine singer, Carlos Gardel; a couple of pieces by the Spanish composer Enrique Granados and three lyrical pieces by Catalan composer Federico Mompou.

But it was the jazz that really caught the audience’s imagination, with The Man I Love by George Gershwin and a couple of Duke Ellington pieces receiving big cheers.

Johan’s encore of Ain’t Misbehavin’ was greeted with big smiles and tapping toes.

The concert was organised by the Friends of Holy Trinity, Salcombe - a registered charity which raises funds to maintain the church.

Ken Reed was a member of the congregation and a founder member of the Friends of Holy Trinity, Salcombe.

Ken had the idea of re-ordering the church as a concert venue. His taste in music was broad, from classical to barber shop, and everything in-between.

Tonight’s programme was a testament to Ken’s vision.

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