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Scriabin at 150: Jonathan Powell (piano)

Scriabin at 150: Jonathan Powell (piano)

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  • Date 10 Nov 2022
  • Time 7.30pm - 9.30pm
  • Category Music and performance

International Concert Series 2022-23

Straddling the periods of late Romanticism and early Modernism, Scriabin’s piano works have inspired some of the greatest performers – including Ashkenazy, Horowitz, Ogdon, Richter and Sofronitsky – to give their most noteworthy performances; as a whole, his ten sonatas are arguably the most remarkable statements in the genre after Beethoven. As an innovator Scriabin developed schemes for the manipulation of heady, brightly-hued harmonies and opened up huge, previously unheard vistas of sensual sound. After 1900, Scriabin’s language developed with ever increasing pace; by 1910 his sophisticated yet highly seductive style was at the vanguard of musical exploration and European Modernism, and his path of exploration was comparable to similarly rapid transformations in the work of Debussy, Bartók, Schoenberg, Busoni and others.

Scriabin sought in his music to create the sensation of a transporting burst of energy, propelling the listener to ecstasy and divine transfiguration. This makes Scriabin emblematic of the visionary aspects of Symbolism; he was regarded as a highly charismatic, legendary figure (due in part to the many years abroad) and, as a composer of readily apparent originality, he was anointed figurehead of Russian modernism on his return to the country after years of exile. Join pianist Jonathan Powell for this evening celebrating the innovative music of Scriabin. 

Pre-concert talk

Please join us at 6.30pm for a pre-concert talk with pianist Jonathan Powell, in conversation with Professor Stephen Downes from the Department of Music. 

Event programme

Alexander Scriabin (1872 - 1915): Sonata No. 2 Op. 19 
Alexander Scriabin: Preludes Op. 15 No.4 & Op.37 No.3
Alexander Scriabin: Sonata No. 4 Op.30
Alexander Scriabin: Poème Op. 32 No.1 & Poème languide Op. 52 No.3
Alexander Scriabin: Sonata No. 5 Op. 53
Alexander Scriabin: Albumleaf, Op. 58
Alexander Scriabin: Sonata No. 7 Op. 64, ‘White Mass’
Alexander Scriabin: Poème Op. 69 No. 1 
Alexander Scriabin: Sonata No. 10 Op. 70
Alexander Scriabin: Guirlandes Op. 73 No. 1 & Prelude Op. 74 No. 4
Alexander Scriabin: Vers la flamme, Op. 72

About the performer

Jonathan Powell’s recent activities include tours of Messiaen’s Vingt regards sur l’enfant Jésus and Albeniz’ Iberia. In 2015 he gave numerous performances of Beethoven’s Hammerklavier sonata and Reger’s Bach Variations. Following years saw a tour of the complete piano works of Xenakis and, in 2017, Liszt’s Sonata, and Stockhausen’s Klavierstücke. In 2018 he gave six performances of Shostakovich’s 24 Preludes and Fugues. Solo recitals taken him to the Festival Radio France Montpellier, the sold-out Kammersaal of the Elbphilharmonie, the Raritäten der Klaviermusik am Schloss vor Husum, Vredenburg Muziekcentrum in Utrecht, across the US, Musica Sacra in Maastricht, and the Fundación BBVA series in Bilbao. In recent years, he has broadcast for Radio France, Radio Netherlands, Radio Deutschland Kultur, the BBC and Czech Radio.  His recording of Sorabji’s Sequentia cyclia over seven discs, on Piano Classics was received rapturously by critics and was awarded the German Critics’ Disc Prize (Preis der Deutschen Schallplatenkritiken); he was invited by pianist Igor Levit to perform the work at the 2022 Heidelberger Frühling. Recent CD releases include the première recording of Hans Winterberg’s 1st Piano Concerto, with the Berlin Radio SO under Johannes Kalitzke, for Capriccio. In July 2022 he recorded Xaver Scharwenka’s 1st Piano Concerto for CPO with the Poznań Philharmonic with conductor Łukasz Borowicz; the autumn of that year is devoted mostly to a wide-ranging tour of Europe playing Scriabin’s 10 sonatas. Read more. 

Car parking

When you arrive for a College event at our Egham campus, please park in car parks 12 or 4.

Car park 12 can be accessed by turning right as you enter the main College gates and is located next to the tennis courts. If this car park is full, please drive further onto our campus to car park 4, which can be accessed by turning left at the mini-roundabout behind the Students’ Union. We would advise that you bring the College map to campus with you and give yourself plenty of time to park.

Blue Badge holders can find designated parking spaces in Car park 1W, as well as between Gardeners Lodge and the Williams Annexe. You can find these locations by looking at our campus map opposite. If you require any assistance on arrival, please contact our premises team in advance of your visit by emailing: and they will be happy to help.

Please note that we operate an Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) system on certain parts of our campus, however if you are here for an organised event, parking is unrestricted for event guests in car parks 12, 4 or 14 (or display your blue badge permit if parking in a disabled bay). If you have any questions about parking, please email:



Event schedule

6.30pm - 7.15pm Pre-Concert Talk
7.30pm - 9.30pm Concert

Further information

Booking is essential.


Ticket prices are £12.50 (standard); £10.00 (Concession; over 60s); £5.00 for Royal Holloway alumni and non-Royal Holloway students; FREE for Royal Holloway students, Royal Holloway staff and children under the age of 16. Season Tickets apply to this event.

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