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World Premiere of Huw Watkins's Piano Quintet

Apr. 03, 2018

World Premiere of Huw Watkins's <em>Piano Quintet</em>

The world premiere of Huw Watkins's Piano Quintet will take place on April 10 at Wigmore Hall in a program that also includes works by Franz Schubert and Johannes Brahms. The performers include Alexander Sitkovetsky and Paul Huang, violins, Richard O'Neill, viola, Paul Watkins, cello, and Gilles Vonsattel, piano. The Piano Quintet will receive its US premiere at Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center on February 22.

Watkins was most enthusiastic about the commission, saying:

"I've been waiting to write a piano quintet for a long time. As a pianist who feels most at home performing chamber music, this is the medium I enjoy most of all. When CMS Lincoln Center and Wigmore Hall commissioned me to write a new piece, I jumped at the chance to write a quintet."

He describes the structure of the Piano Quintet in detail: 

"The first movement is the most substantial of the three. Its opening is rhythmically unsettled with a sense of urgency; but this mood soon makes way for calmer, more lyrical music. The opening material, with its impatiently cascading piano writing has to wait until later to be fully developed. The second movement begins serenely, with the first violin singing its melody against a gently moving piano accompaniment. Although the music reaches some powerful climaxes, the prevailing mood here is one of quiet sadness. The third movement is again fast,  but here the pianist's rapid figuration is more lightly acrobatic than in it had been in the first, at the outset, at least." 

Listen to Huw Watkins's Piano Quartet (2012) here: 

(Piano Quartet/Huw Watkins/Schubert Ensemble)

To learn more about Huw Watkins, please visit

Huw Watkins
Piano Quintet (2018)