Old Cliftonians launch album with special concert

Old Cliftonians launch album with special concert

Julia Hwang and Charles Matthews

The College was delighted to welcome back Julia Hwang and Charles Matthews, two illustrious Old Cliftonians, to launch their new CD Subito with a special recital.

The concert included The Lark Ascending by Ralph Vaughan Williams, a piece Julia performed for BBC4 in a documentary about the nation’s favourite composition. The performance was truly breath-taking and the audience were treated to a varied programme including works from Beethoven, Lutoslawski and Faure and finishing with Concert Fantasia on themes from Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess.

The album is released by the St John’s College Cambridge label in conjunction with Signum Records, and is the first soloist album to be featured on the imprint. It’s also the first CD produced by a label focusing on Oxbridge collegiate choirs that solely features instrumental music.

Julia Hwang (Hallward’s House, 2014) had her professional solo debut at the age of 9 with the English National Baroque Chamber Orchestra. She has played the violin across the globe and, recently, she performed pieces from Subito on BBC Radio 3’s In Tune.

Julia began her violin studies at the age of 7 in Clifton’s Preparatory School and is an undergraduate and academic scholar at St John’s College, Cambridge, where she received the Larmour Award for all-round excellence.

Charles Matthews (East Town, 1983) was at Clifton College for ten years before studying at the Royal College of Music, London, and was an organ scholar at Trinity College, Cambridge.

He has won numerous awards, notably first prize in the 1999 Franz Liszt Organ Interpretation Competition in Budapest. Charles is organist of St Catharine’s Church (Chipping Camden), a piano accompanist and organ tutor at the Birmingham Conservatoire, and conductor and contemporary music coach at the Annual Curso Internacional at San Lorenzo de El Escorial (Spain).

Reflecting on Julia and Charles’s work, Clifton College Director of Music Dan Robson said: “The quality of music making on show on BBC Radio 3, on the album Subito and indeed in their recital at Clifton, leaves none of us in any doubt as to the fabulous talent of Julia and Charles. It is so exciting to see a musician as young as Julia releasing a first CD and appearing on a national radio show, and I have no doubt that a dazzling career as an international soloist beckons for her. We were delighted to welcome them both back to Clifton and hope to hear them again soon"

Copies of the CD can be obtained online from Presto Classical.