Marsha de Thornley Head gives the second of Plymouth Concerts’ promotions at Stoke Damerel Church on Sunday 22nd October at 3pm, playing the splendid Grotrian-Steinweg piano recently installed in the church by the promoters.
A composer-keyboard player and lecturer in the history of keyboard music, Marsha studied and later taught piano at the Royal Academy of Music in London. At home she has assembled an extensive collection of 13 keyboards of different periods including clavichords, virginals, harpsichords, original square pianos and a full size Russian concert grand, reflecting her composing and playing styles from medieval to modern.
Marsha will be performing pieces by J. S. Bach, Dieupart, Mompou, Peter Maxwell Davies, and a selection of her very original compositions. These feature solo piano and include narratives and local stories illustrated with percussion and her own location recordings. Marsha loves animals. One piece to be played is a tribute to a wild she-wolf called Alawa, adopted in America by Marsha. Sadly Alawa died recently and this noble animal’s iconic howling inspires Marsha’s composition. A quote from John Dowland’s 16th century song of lamentation ‘Flow my tears’ is also incorporated as this so closely matches Alawa’s singing.
Her son Phineas, a composer, lecturer, performer and designer of specialist electronic music modules will assist her with percussion and sound effects.
Marsha’s music has been widely performed, broadcast and recorded. She often appeared in concerts promoted by Jeanie Moore MVO and, as this concert was originally intended for Jeannie’s final series before her retirement, we will hear two pieces composed by Marsha dedicated to her.