Musicians join forces to perform at Georgian Theatre Royal

Philippa Mo and Albert Lau are pictured in rehearsal ahead of their concert at the Georgian Theatre Royal.

Two top musicians are joining forces at Richmond’s Georgian Theatre Royal on Saturday 8 July at 7.30pm to present an emotive evening of late Romantic music.

Philippa Mo – a violinist described as “an international sensation” (Weekender) – and the pianist Albert Lau – a Steinway Artist – have both given memorable solo recitals at Richmond’s historic theatre but this will be the first time they have performed together.

The programme, entitled Devastation, Romance and Hope, has been chosen to include some of the very finest late Romantic chamber work composed during 1917 and 1918 and includes violin sonatas by Edward Elgar and Ottorino Respighi, as well as some salon pieces of the same era.

During these momentous years, the English composer Elgar was staying in a cottage in Sussex whilst his Italian counterpart Respighi was residing in a religious retreat in Rome. Both men were responding in their own way to a world changed by the ravages of war. Yet – alongside the undeniable frustration and desperation – the pieces also reflect great hope, love and tenderness.

“I am delighted to be returning to the wonderful Georgian stage,” said Albert Lau who performed at the Theatre’s re-awakening event when it re-opened after its auditorium refurbishment in September 2021.

“This promises to be an evening of moving and highly charged music in the intimate atmosphere of the Georgian with its wonderful acoustic.”

Philippa Mo is also no stranger to Richmond audiences. Recent solo tours have taken her to Australia, Brazil and China but The Georgian Theatre has a special place in her back list of prestigious venues, especially as it dates from the same era as her own beloved violin.

“My violin was made by the renowned Italian violin maker Giulio Cesare Gigli (1724-1794) in 1786. It has a beautiful, rich sound and it feels very special to be playing it at a concert at the Georgian built only two years later in 1778,” she said.

Tickets for the concert cost £21 and are available from the theatre’s box office on 01748 825252 or online at www.georgiantheatreroyal.co.uk