Pavel Kolesnikov and Samson Tsoy at Wigmore Hall (detail) View full image

Pavel Kolesnikov returns to Wigmore

Pavel Kolesnikov was one of the first musicians through the doors of Wigmore Hall for its new lunchtime recital series which started last week, the first live music in the hall since lockdown in February. He performed a programme of Brahms, Schubert and Beethoven with his partner Samson Tsoy.

Kolesnikov described the experience in a Facebook post:

'We went on stage and sat at the piano in front of the empty auditorium. Somewhere there in the shadows were two people, but we knew thousands were listening. And we relished the golden resonance of one of the world’s finest concert halls and played some of our most beloved pieces for those people we couldn’t see.
In all the times of extreme hardship we can think of, the arts and music were always there to console, to support, to uplift. As a mean of blissful distraction. As a vital waft of fresh air. As a call to action. As an evidence of humanity and promise of tomorrow. Now there is no more live music, live dance, live theatre. But even when performing arts are facing true apocalypse of magnitude never imagined before, this still remains as ever. Art is there for you to be able to carry on, whether your loss, your struggle, your sorrow is big or small.
This extraordinary series of concerts that run throughout June is not just another wonderful concert series. It is a generous and historical undertaking. We say a huge thank you to Wigmore Hall and BBC Radio 3, and all the noble people who were, and are, making efforts to make it possible, to make it all work.

Erica Jeal from The Guardian gave the concert five stars in her review, describing their Brahms being 'brought to life with an unfaltering sweetness of touch and an easy, unobtrusive sense of momentum – qualities present in everything these two played'.

Paul Lewis performs at Wigmore Hall on Wednesday 10 June and Allan Clayton on Friday 19 June. Watch the recitals on Wigmore's YouTube channel or heard on BBC Radio 3 from 1pm.

Pavel Kolesnikov and Samson Tsoy at Wigmore Hall