Michael Barker

Piano Concert

Warwick Hall

If you only go to one Classical concert this summer, make it this one!

Leamington’s own virtuoso pianist Michael Barker returns for an unmissable one night only at Warwick Hall. 

A Classical concert with a cabaret style layout - the piano positioned off the stage and no need to climb over other audience members to get to your seat. Enjoy the pop-up gallery, then order a glass of wine and sit down at a candle-lit table. Tickets available individually or book a whole table for you and some guests. (Tables seat up to 8 - see bookings page.)

The programme includes the world premiére of Barker’s latest composition. The Gerstls is a “semi-immersive” piece - ambient sound and video support the solo piano. More than 2 years in the making, this very visual composition was inspired by 10 original watercolours by the expressionist artist Arnold Gerstl (1888-1957), who fled to England from Nazi Germany in the 1930s. These highly striking watercolours will be on public display for the first time ever in a pop-up gallery in the foyer of Warwick Hall before the concert and during the interval.

Returning by popular demand, Barker’s La settimana was composed in one week in November 2020. The 7 short pieces are in the modern Classical style and trace a musical journey through the strange emotional world of lock-down. From self-isolation through apprehension, reflection, introspection and pressure-cooker loneliness - ultimately there is hope for something different.

Opening the concert is Franz Liszt’s iconic and technically ferocious Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2. Immortalised by such legends of the piano as Rachmaninov, Cziffra, Horowitz and Lang Lang, this dramatic virtuoso showpiece draws on the rich Magyar musical heritage and gypsy scales of Hungary. Its popularity allowed it to transcend cultural boundaries; appearing in animation (Tom & Jerry, Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny all played it), jazz improv, rock, comedy, and even advertising (Stella Artois used both the “Lassan" and “Friska" sections in their “ice-skating monks” campaigns). It even turned up onThe Muppets. 

Please note this performance will be filmed.

Event Details

  • Fri 19 Jul 2024, 7.30pm

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