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BBC Symphony Orchestra Viola Players Premiere New Deborah Pritchard Work in St Peter’s College

8 February 2022

Student instrumentalists played alongside two professional viola players from the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Peter Mallinson and Matthias Wiesner
A group of instrumentalists at a recital.

St Peter’s College student instrumentalists performed alongside BBC SO professionals Peter Mallinson and Matthias Wiesner for the inaugural Canal House Recital hosted by the Master.

Last week the Master, Prof Judith Buchanan, and her husband hosted a small recital in Canal House. Two professional viola players from the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Peter Mallinson and Matthias Wiesner, performed viola duets and played alongside first-year St Peter’s College student instrumentalists Maanya Patel, Sophia Short, Charlie Potts and Alfie Fardell.

A highlight of the programme was the first-ever performance of 'The Heart', a new work by composer Deborah Pritchard. Deborah Pritchard herself was present for its premiere. She commented, ‘It was wonderful to hear violists Peter Mallinson and Matthias Wiesner of the BBC Symphony Orchestra premiere my new work for two violas ‘The Heart’ so brilliantly at the Master’s Lodgings in St Peter’s College Oxford. Congratulations to all for a fantastic concert.’

The audience was small, in deference to the times, but the response from performers and audience members alike was rapturous.

‘It was a memorably special evening,’ said Professor Buchanan, ‘and what a terrific opportunity for our students to be playing alongside such fine and generous professionals. Deborah Pritchard’s new work was very moving and we were delighted to have our sense that Canal House could be a wonderful venue for chamber music performance so emphatically confirmed. This was the first in a new Canal House recital series and we very much look forward to future events.’