“The Nutcracker and I” by Alexandra Dariescu

Children’s TV presenter Lindsey Russell narrates the disc and accompanying book of The Nutcracker and I, by Alexandra Dariescu: the story has been written by the notable classical music journalist and author Jessica Duchen with artwork created by Yeast Culture, illustrated by Adam Smith. Early copies are available at the work’s world premiere on Tuesday 19 December 2017 with commercial release on Friday 27 April 2018 on Signum Records.

The premiere concert performance at the Guildhall School’s Milton Court showcases the groundbreaking multi-media piece for piano soloist, ballerina and digital animation: challenging the traditional concert format. This additional narration accompanying the CD and book further extends Dariescu’s desire to reach out to new audiences who might not have considered coming to a classical concert before. 

Jessica Duchen puts into words this very personal story which sees Dariescu re-imagine herself as Clara: from little girl dreaming to concert pianist: whilst the magic of the exquisite live digital animations is translated into the book’s artwork by their creators Yeast Culture, illustrated by Adam Smith. 

Tchaikovsky’s beloved ballet music features throughout and includes favourites such as Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy, Arabian Dance, Chinese Dance, Pas de Deux, and the Flower Waltz in 15 virtuosic arrangements by Mikhail Pletnev, Stepan Esipoff, Percy Grainger and three brand new variations by Gavin Sutherland.

Alexandra Dariescufrom London’s Royal Albert Hall to Carnegie Hall in New York, she’s recently named as ‘one of 30 pianists under 30 destined for a spectacular career’ (International Piano Magazine), dazzles audiences worldwide with her effortless musicality and captivating stage presence. 

In the 2016/17 season the enterprising young artist continues to forge new collaborations including her London Philharmonic Orchestra debut, her debut with Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra and Michael Francis, her debut with the Oslo Opera Orchestra under the baton of Clemens Schuldt, and her Tokyo Recital debut, as well as continuing established relationships with orchestras including the Royal Philharmonic and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestras. 

Two contrasting recordings released in autumn 2016 define Alexandra’s zest for exploring new, as well as the core repertoire: her first concerto recording with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra will feature Tchaikovsky’s piano concerto No. 1 and Mikhail Pletnev’s concert suite of arrangements from The Nutcracker (Signum Records). The second recording of ‘Mesmerism’ for piano and orchestra by British Composer Award winner Emily Howard, with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, is out on NMC Records. 2015 saw the release of Alexandra’s second volume of complete preludes by Shostakovich and Szymanowski as part of her trilogy of preludes project for Champs Hill Records.  

Always curious to continue learning, Alexandra receives advice and guidance from Sir András Schiff. She was mentored by Imogen Cooper through the Royal Philharmonic Society/YCAT Philip Langridge Mentoring Scheme, whilst a former artist of Young Classical Artists Trust (YCAT).  She was a Laureate at the Verbier Festival Academy in Switzerland where she won the Verbier CUBS Prize. In 2013 Alexandra received the UK’s Women of the Future Award in the Arts and Culture category and most recently became the youngest musician to receive the Custodian of the Romanian Crown Medal. Moreover, Alexandra has been appointed patron of Music in Lyddington.

A former graduate of the Royal Northern College of Music, as well as the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Alexandra was appointed an Honorary Associate Artist of the Royal Northern College of Music in 2016.

At the end of 2018, Alexandra will bring this wonderful show to Asia. Do not miss it!