Ian Fletcher's 70th Birthday Concert at The Temple Church London
What does a leading English and Scottish solicitor with three music diplomas in piano, singing and organ, do on his 70th birthday? He puts on a concert of course!
Ian Fletcher is extraordinary. Forget about his great contribution within the legal profession, it is his musical output that is worthy of mention. The program he put together consisted of Handel’s Zadok the Priest, Mozart’s Exsultate jubilate, Beethoven’s Choral Fantasie for piano, chorus and orchestra, Leroy Anderson’s The Typewriter and his own composition, The Solitary Reaper with words by William Wordsworth.
It was an extraordinary evening where Ian was the Conductor, the Singer, the Composer, the Pianist and Conductor and the Typist! He was joined by the National Symphony Orchestra, together with choral friends and soloists from the Royal Academy of Music, who all performed beautifully. Particular mention to the soloists from the Royal Academy of Music, being the tenors of Harry Ross and Edward Ross, the bass baritone of Charles Cunliffe, the mezzo soprano of Susannah Bedford and the sopranos of Meliza Metzger Gomez and Milly Forrest, the latter of whom produced a soprano of surprising quality and attack.
Ian’s conducting was exemplary and his piano playing in the Choral Fantasie was fabulous, even if one wanted slightly more shading of light and dark in the slower movements. In this respect, he was not necessarily helped by a very hard Yamaha piano. Interestingly, there was clear evidence here of themes that were expanded and became more famous in the choral part of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony.
As a Composer, his Solitary Reaper was immensely accessible and beautifully sung by the soloist, Edward Ross, which bodes well for his career ahead.
Altogether a wonderfully successful and emotional evening. Happy birthday Ian!