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Viva Regondi music for Concertina and Guitar

PUBLIC PROGRAMS AT THE GRADUATE CENTER


The Center for the Study of Free-Reed Instruments presents

VIVA REGONDI - Music for Concertina and Guitar


Concertinas: Allan Atlas, Douglas Rogers, Guitar: Alexander Dunn with
Elizabeth Bell - Soprano and Pianists Joanne Last and Jin-Ok Lee
Friday, March 17, 2006
7:30 PM
Elebash Recital Hall
The Graduate Center,
The City University of New York
Co-sponsored by The Barry S. Brook Center for Musical Research and Documentation; The
Office of Continuing Education and Public Programs; The Button Box (Sunderland, MA)

THE PROGRAM
I.
"Les Oiseaux," Morceau de concert, Op. 12 (1851)
Remembrance, Solo for the Baritone Concertina (1872)
Douglas Rogers
Joanne Last
One of only two pieces for concertina to which Regondi assigned an opus number, Les
Oiseaux became something of his "signature" piece. He performed the piece for the first time
in June 1851, with The Musical World (21 June 1851) wasting no time in giving it a favorable
review: "[it is] remarkable for the brilliancy of the passages. . .[and] will, without doubt, become
a pice de rsistance for all performers on that favorite instrument." The "stars" of the piece
are, as the title implies, our feathered friends, who alternately chirp (trills) and sing lyrically.
Remembrance is one of three works that Regondi composed for unaccompanied baritone
concertina. Its structure consists of an expansive introduction, a theme, and four variations,
which combine to exploit fully both the chordal and the Contrapuntal capabilities of the guitar.
II.
Ten tudes
No. 1 in C major, Moderato
No. 4 in E major, Adagio cantabile
Deuxime Air vari pour la Guitarre, Op. 22 (1864)
Alexander Dunn
The Ten tudes were not published during Regondi's lifetime; and indeed, even their existence
remained unknown to most guitarists and scholars (outside a small circles of Russian and
German aficionados) until Matanya Ophee publicized his rediscovery of an 1882 manuscript
copy in the former Soviet Union in 1989 and set the stage for the publication of the entire set
one year later. Though undated, they are, to judge from their harmonic style, probably late
works. In all, they represent a summa of nineteenth-century composition for the guitar.
Regondi first performed the Deuxime Air vari at the Hanover Square Rooms in May 1862; as
well as any of his other pieces for the instrument, it illustrates his imaginative use of variation
technique. Like Remembrance for the concertina, it begins with an extended introduction, this
followed by a simple theme and a set of variations that range in style from almost strict partwriting to a stunning minor-key variation to the toccata-like finale that shows Regondi's virtuoso
conception of the instrument. According to the review in The Musical World, the piece was
encored.
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III.
Introduction et Caprice pour la Concertina
avec Accompangnement de Piano (1861)
Douglas Rogers
Joanne Last
Although there is no record of Regondi having performed, it comes from a very fertile period in
which he composed and premiered other large works for both concertina and guitar. After a
slow introduction that exploits the contrapuntal capabilities of the instrument, the remainder of
the piece is indeed "capricious," as technical fireworks alternate with one of Regondi's typical
cantabile melodies. The closing section consists of, as Douglas Rogers has called it, "nonstop knockabout!"

INTERMISSION
IV.
Les Concerts de societ (1854)
No. 61. Moritz Ganz (1806-1868)/arr. Regondi
"Wiegenlied"/"Lullaby"
and
No. 54. Ignaz Lachner (1807-1895)/arr. Regondi
"berall du"/"Everywhere thou art"
Fabio Campana (1819-1882)/Regondi (1878)
Quando da te lontano: Romanza
Elizabeth Bell
Allan Atlas
Jin-Ok Lee
In 1845-1846, the London publisher Wessel & Co. issued a series of sixty-one songs entitled
Les Concerts de societ. Almost entirely by minor German composers, the songs had
obbligato parts for violin and were published with texts in both German and English. The series
must have been a commercial success, for the decade that followed saw the obbligato parts
adapted for cello, flute, horn, and clarinet, and in 1854, Regondi set about arranging a number
of the songs for the concertina. In adapting the obbligato parts, Regondi took a different
approach in each of the two pieces we perform this evening. In Ganz's "Lullaby," he remained
more or less faithful to the violin's original single-line "whisper" (though there are some nicely
voiced chords in the Introduction); in Lachner's "Everywhere thou art," on the other hand, he
thickened the obbligato part with liberal doses of three- and four-note chords and streams of
two-part writing.
Born in Livorno and educated in Bologna, Fabio Campana immigrated to London in 1850 and
enjoyed a successful career as a voice teacher and composer of songs. Although the title
page of Quando da te lontano states that the obbligato is for concertina or violin, it is so
idiomatically appropriate for the concertina that it seems unlikely to be an adaptation; rather,
we may speculate that
the song as we hear it this evening came about through a process of true collaboration
between the two composers.
V.
Rverie. Nocturne pour la Guitarre, Op. 19 (1864)
Alexander Dunn
Nocturne-Rverie (1871)
Transcribed for piano by Frdric D'Alquen (1821-1887)
Jin-Ok Lee
The Rverie, Op. 19, which may be the first work for guitar to utilize three-note tremolo
technique, is probably Regondi's best-known work for the instrument. In its own day, its
popularity was such that the pianist Frdric D'Alquen-one of Regondi's closest friendstranscribed it for piano, and, in a shrewd "political" move, dedicated it to Arabella Goddard, the
wife of J.W. Davison, chief music critic for both The Times and The Musical World. Indeed, the
Musical World for 21 October 1871 was effusive in its praise for both Regondi's original
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composition and D'Alquen's transcription


This is a pianoforte adaptation of Giulio Regondi's Nocturne-Rverie, Op. 19, one of the most
melodious, charming, and ingenious effusions ever written for the guitar, of which Regondi is
and has always been far and far away the most accomplished master. No amateur need be
told what this truly admirable artist has in time been able to do, with the instrument of his
predilection-or, rather, one of the instruments of his predilection, remembering as we do, that
his mastery of the guitar is scarcely exceeded by his mastery of the concertina. But above all,
Signor Regoni is a musician of the truest stamp. The pieces he writes for his two favorite
instruments have the genuine ring in them. They are not merely successions of notes "ad
libitum", but are real music, the offspring of atruly elegant and cultured mind. The nocturne
before us, dedicated to Madame Arabella Goddard. . .is a highly finished and attractive piece.
How Signor Regondi plays the Nocturne himself upon the instrument for which it was
expressively composed, it would be superfluous to say-just as superfluous as to say that he
play it in a manner which no one else, under any circumstances, could hope to rival. In its
present shape, as carefully and effectively "transcribed" for the pianoforte by his friend M.
Frederic D'Alquen, it is a boon for pianists who desire something combining expression with
brilliancy for public performance, and who at the same time possess manual dexterity enough
to master it with ease.
It is probably safe to say that this is the first time that the guitar and piano versions have been
performed back to back since Regondi's lifetime.
VI.
Selections from Verdi's Operas Il Trovatore and La Traviata,
Bk. 4, for two treble concertinas and piano (1859)
Allan Atlas
Douglas Rogers
Jin-Ok Lee
From the Concertina Quartet (Regondi, Richard Blagrove, George Case, and Alfred B.
Sedgwick) that received critical praise at its debut in 1844 to amateur duets in the home,
concertina ensembles were very much in vogue in Victorian England, as witness the notice
signed "J.J., East Temple-chambers, Whitefriars-street, E.C.," that appeared in The Musical
Times on 1 April 1863: "An amateur, playing the Bass concertina, wishes to join some other
Amateurs of the Concertina for the practice of concerted music." In fact, Regondi's
arrangement of Verdi's operas was published with a part for the bass concertina, which,
however, can be omitted on the grounds that it spends most of its time doubling the left hand
of the piano part. Book 4 of the series offers five excerpts from La Traviata: Germont's "Di
Provenza il mar" and "Dov' il mio figlio. . .O quanto peni!," Violetta's "Addio del passato," and
her (with Alfredo) "Parigi, o cara" and "Dio! Morir s giovine."
THE INSTRUMENTS
All the concertinas and guitars heard this evening are "period instruments." Douglas Rogers
plays Wheatstone No. 10389, a steel-reed treble that was apparently sold for the first time to
one Mr. Hornblow on 29 July 1858 for 9.9.0 (Wheatstone sales ledger C1051, p. 32); his
baritone concertina has brass reeds and was manufactured by George Case, No. 3168, circa
1860; both instruments are maintained by Steve Dickinson (Stowmarket, UK), the present-day
proprieter of Wheatstone & Co. Allan Atlas plays Wheatstone, No. 18090, which has tapered
steel reeds (and thus its "wispy" tone) and dates from May, 1866 (Wheatstone production
ledger C1054, p. 134); the instrument was recently restored by Wim Wakker of Concertina
Connections (Helmond, NL), and retuned from its original equal temperament to Thomas
Young's "well temperament No. 1," as described in his "Outlines of Experiments and Inquiries
Respecting Sound and Light"', Philosophical Transactions, 90 (1800). Alexander Dunn
performs on a copy of a Georg Stauffer Viennese guitar from the 1820s (the copy by Gary
Southwell , Nottingham, UK); Regondi himself owned such an instrument, which he apparently
left to his doctor and pupil, T. Gaisford, M.D., on 15 April 1871; Stauffer is notable for having
taught the luthier C.F. Martin, who began his own famous company in Philadelphia in the
1830s.
(Wheatstone's nine extant sales ledgers, one production book, and two salary books are
preserved in the Wayne Archive, The Horniman Museum, London.)

GIULIO REGONDI (1822-1872)


A BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE
Douglas Rogers
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Had Giulio Regondi lived to a ripe old age-he died just short of his
fiftieth birthday-he might have left his mark on the musical
consciousness of our grandparents and even parents; we could
have heard his pure and vigorous playing on early recordings or
perhaps seen him on film. In fact, there was an old lady in the
1930s who had heard Regondi and remembered him as playing ".
. .like a God!" And yet, for all this temporal proximity, his world of
the Victorian concertina-and even guitar-seems very distant,
perhaps irretrievably lost.
Regondi's career had begun at an age redolent of the nursery
rather than of the concert room, and by the time he arrived in
England at age eight in the summer of 1831, he was already an
accomplished and internationally renowned performer. Not only
was he admired by the celebrated guitarists Fernando Sor and
Matteo Carcassi, but he soon acquired another fan in that devilish
fiddler-guitarist Nicol Paganini, who was touring England at the same time. So complete was
Regondi's success in fashionable society that he remained for two or three more seasons,
eventually settling in London. Within a few years he had appeared on the concert platform with,
amongst others, Mendelssohn and the Schumanns-Clara and Robert (he played the concertina
at the 1841 Leipzig concert at which the latter's "Spring" Symphony was premiered)-as well as
with the virtuoso pianist Sigismund Thalberg and Luigi Lablache, the most famous basso of his
generation. Indeed, during the course of his career, Regondi performed with, met, or at least
heard most of the great musicians of the Romantic era, figures whose stature virtually places
them-like him-into the far realms of mythology.
This subjective sense of historical remoteness, however, is not the whole story. With Regondi
in particular it seems true to say, as his friend Mary Fauche put it in the obituary notice that
appeared in The Musical World on 25 May 1872: "All he did has died with him."
To counter this notion we might perhaps set survival of a copious body of original compositions
(including two concertos) and transcriptions for concertina (for which he also published two
seminal method books), as well as five concert works and a set of ten tudes for guitar. We
can also point to several portraits (but where is the bust from the 1859 Royal Academy
exhibition?), some letters, vignettes of his early career (he never quite outgrew the childprodigy reputation), and countless, always effusive reviews of his performances. Not only do
many of the halls where he played still stand, but also some of the houses where he lodged,
including the one near Hyde Park where he lived for the final nine years of his life; and, finally,
there are entries for him in such standards reference works as Scholes, New Grove, and the
Dictionary of National Biography..
But what is Regondi's true legacy that seems so removed, so impossible to fathom-the lost
legacy to which Mary Fauche referred, and which prompted his friend Richard Hoffman to write:
"His fame was too closely allied to his personality to endure after him. . ." ? It is quite simply
the awesome power that he must have wielded over his two "unpromising" instruments, which
often prompted the critics to bemoan the "waste" of such a talent! And though Regondi taught
both concertina and guitar, he left no musical progeny. In fact, he was quickly forgotten even
within the comparatively unbroken historical continuity of the guitar, as, without his living
example, his published works, regarded as too difficult, remained dormant and became mere
curiosities. He fared just as badly-in some ways worse-with concertinists: although many of
his works were still available from Wheatstone's in the 1960s, few tried to play them, and his
method books went unused, as the concertina largely turned its back on its "classical"
heritage and eventually found a niche-after excursions in the Salvation Army, marching bands,
and the music hall-in various folk traditions.
Thus it seems that the only way left for us to comprehend his performance and to pick up the
broken threads is to take the Victorian critics at their word. They consistently compared him
favorably with the Rubinis and Ernsts (that is, with the great singers and violinists) of the time,
and we, then, must try to weigh in our imagination the ghost of his sound against that of our
own great artists.
Giulio Regondi was a talented draughtsman and a fine linguist in French, Italian, and English.
He was delicate and graceful, to judge from the portraits, with small hands (an advantage on
the concertina), and always innocent and boyish in appearance. He was rather shy-even
retiring-but had a wicked yet gentle sense of humor, and his features "beamed with good
nature." He found devoted pupils and friends amongst the aristocracy; gave generously to the
needy, and was esteemed by all who came into contact with him. No doubt the mystery of his
past added to his attractions: Was he really born in 1822 in Geneva as he himself believed?
Who was the shadowy Joseph Regondi who traveled everywhere and even performed with himthis so-called father, who robbed and deserted him, but who, when dying, begged him for
charity, which the compassionate Giulio tendered? Three decades later, Giulio bore his own
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final, dreadful illness with patience and courage for twenty months, supported in turn by the
kindness of friends and daily injections of morphia. He never married.
Introduced to the Wheatstone Patent Concertina at the age of nine or ten by the inventor of the
instrument himself, Regondi appears to have mastered it completely by his early teens, and it
seems incredible-and indeed tragic-that the unique musical microcosm that he created and
perfected was lost and that his original and complex guitar textures such as the tremolo in his
Rverie Nocturne, a piece that bewitched his contemporaries, were utterly overlooked until
relatively recently. Since the death of his friend and rival Richard Blagrove in 1895, there have
been few who could play his two wonderfully extravagant concertos for concertina, while his
unpublished guitar arrangements, including two of Thalberg's works and Rossini's Semiramide
Overture, have simply disappeared. And in all hisperformances of these and other
stupendously demanding works, he would throw off the most difficult passages with
consummate ease and "immense execution," whilst his cantabile "breathed the true sentiment
and poetry of music." In his hands, we are told, these "inconsequential" instruments became
truly great.
As Mme Fauche wrote: "[his] performance can never be equaled. . .No other. . .great musician
with the same scientific talent would be likely to devote year after year to the enormous
amoung of practice which he bestowed on his fingers. And when will an individual arise
possessing the taste and refinement which perfected this wondrous union of means to an
end?"
( Douglas Rogers, 2005)
REGONDI: A SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY- DISCOGRAPHY
(The bibliography is highly selective and focuses on publications since the 1980s; the discography lists only those
items that are devoted either entirely or largely to Regondi.)
A. BIBLIOGRAPHY
Amisich, Alessandro Boris. "Giulio Regondi," GuitArt, ii/8 (Oct/Dec 1997), 23-49.
Giulio Regondi (1822-1872): concertista e compositore del romanticismo- Documentazione (Milan, 1995).
"Giulio Regondi: Dieci studi ed una foto," Il Fronimo, xix/76 (July 1991), 38-45.
"Giulio Regondi: Compositore e concertista," Il Fronimo, xvi/62 (January 1988), 28-40.
"Giulio Regondi: La carriera concertistica negli anni '40," Il Fronimo, xv/58 (January 1987), 38-43.
"Giulio Regondi: Un bambino prodigio," Il Fronimo, xi/45 (October 1983), 32-34.
and Helmut C. Jacobs. "La prima tourne europea di Giulio Regondi: Nuovi elementi," GuitArt, viii/29
(Jan/Mar 2003), 32-37.
Atlas, Allan W. "A 41-Cent Emendation: A Textual Problem in Wheatstone's Publication of Giulio Regondi's
Serenade for English Concertina and Piano," Early Music, 33/4 (2005), 609-17.
"Signor Alsepti and Regondi's 'Golden Exercise'," Concertina World: Newsletter of the International
Concertina Association 426/supplement (2003), 1-8.
"Giulio Regondi: Two Newly Discovered Letters," The Free-Reed Journal, 4 (2002), 70-84 (also online at
www.concertina.com/atlas/index).
"Collins, Count Fosco, and the Concertina, " Wilkie Collins Society Journal, new ser., 2 (1999), 56-60 (also
online at www.concertina.com/atlas/index).
The Wheatstone English Concertina in Victorian England (Oxford, 1996).
Button, Stewart. The Guitar in England, 1899-1924. Outstanding Dissertations in Music from British
Universities (New York, 1989).
Heck, Thomas F. "Regondi, Giulio," in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, rev. ed., ed.
Stanley Sadie and John Tyrrell (London, 2001), xxi, 122.
Jacobs, Helmuth C. Der junge Gitarren- und Concertinavirtuose Giulio Regondi: Eine kritische
Dokumentation seiner Konzertreise durch Europa, 1840 und 1841 (Bochum, 2001).
"Regondi, Giulio," in Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart, rev. ed., ed. Ludwig Finscher (Kassel, 2005),
Personenteil, xiii, cols. 1443-45.
Lawrence, Tom. "Giulio Regondi and the Concertina in Ireland," Concertina World: International Concertina
Association Newsletter, 411 (July 1998), 21-25 (also online at www.ucd.ie/pages/99/ articles/ Lawrence/pdf
and www.concertina.com/Lawrence/index).
Regondi, Giulio. Selected Works for Guitar, ed. Ojiri Masahiro (Tokyo, 2004).
Ten Etudes for Guitar, ed. John Holmquist (Columbus, OH, 1990).
The Complete Works for Guitar, ed. Simon Wynberg (Monaco, 1981).
Rogers, Douglas. "Giulio Regondi: Guitarist, Concertinist or Melophonist? A Reconnaissance," Guitar

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Review, xci (Fall 1992), 1-9; xcii (Winter 1993), 14-21; xcvii (Spring 1994), 11-17.
Wollenberg, Susan. "Giulio Regondi at Oxford," Papers of the International Concertina Association, 3
(2006), forthcoming.
B. DISCOGRAPHY
Giulio Regondi: Airs Varis, Rverie, Etude No. 4; Johann Kaspar Mertz: Polonaises, Rondino, Ricardo
Gallen. Naxos, 8.555285 (2005).
Giulio Regondi: Introduction & Caprice, Ten Etudes, Fte Villageoise, John Holmquist. Naxos, 8.554191
(2001).
Giulio Regondi: Guitar Works, Leif Christensen. Paula Records, no serial no. (1981).
Regondi: Complete Guitar Works, Masahiro Ojiri, guitar. Octavia Records, OVCL-00116 (2003).
The Great Regondi: Original Compositions by the 19th Century's Unparalleled Guitarist & Concertinist, The
Giulio Regondi Guild, Douglas Rogers, concertina; David Starobin, guitar; Julie Lustman, piano; D'Anna
Fortunato, mezzo-soprano. 2 CDs, Bridge Records, BCD 9039 and 9055 (1993- 1994).

THE PERFORMERS
ALLAN ATLAS is Distinguished Professor of Music
at The Graduate Center of the City University of
New York. The author of Renaissance Music
(W.W. Norton, 1998), the standard undergraduate
textbook on the subject, and many articles on
fifteenth-century music and the operas of Puccini,
he has lately focused his research on the
concertina. Among his concertina-related
publications: The Wheatstone English Concertina
in Victorian England (Clarendon Press, 1996);
"George Gissing's Concertina," Journal of
Musicology, 17 (1999); Contemplating the
Concertina: An Historically-Informed Tutor for the
English Concertina (The Button Box, 2003); "A 41Cent Emendation: A Textual Problem in
Wheatstone's Publication of Giulio Regondi's
Serenade for English Concertina and Piano," Early
Music, 33 (2005); and the forthcoming "The Gendered Concertina in Victorian England: Ladies
in the Wheatstone Ledgers, 1835-1870), which will appear in the Research Chronicle of the
Royal Musical Association. He edits the Papers of the International Concertina Association,
and performs with the NEW YORK VICTORIAN CONSORT, of which he is one of the cofounders.
ELIZABETH BELL was hailed by The Boston Herald as "delightful" for her portrayal of Flora in
a recent New England Conservatory production of Benjamin Britten's The Turn of the Screw.
Among her operatic roles: Juliette in Gounod's Romo et Juliette, Marie in Donizetti's La Fille
du Regiment, Pamina in Mozart's Die Zauberflte, Brigetta in Gilbert and Sullivan's Iolanthe,
and Poppea in Monteverdi's L'Incoronazione di Poppea, and as a member of the Los Angeles
Master Chorale, she sang under the baton of Zubin Mehta and Esa-Pekka Salonen. She
received the M.M. degree with honors from the New England Conservatory in 2005, having
studied with Luretta Bybee, and is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Musical Arts degree
at The Graduate Center of The City University of New York.
ALEXANDER DUNN has performed to critical acclaim throughout the Americas, Asia, Europe,
and Africa, with major recitals at such venues as the Aspen Music Festival, the Darmstadt
Ferienkurs fr neue Musik, and the Salzburg Sommerakademie der Hochschule Mozarteum,
as well as performances at Vancouver New Music, the International Guitar and Lute Institute,
the Stetson International Guitar Workshop, and the Guitar Foundation of America International
Conference. A specialist in the guitar repertories of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries (and
an advocate of performing nineteenth century guitar music on period instruments), he
premiered Gyrgy Ligeti's Guitar Sonata, gave the first Canadian performance of Steve Reich's
Nagoya Guitars with David Tanenbaum, and recently recorded early nineteenth-century
arrangements for guitar of Beethoven's Serenades, Opp. 8 and 25, with members of the
Lafayette Quartet. He holds the M.M. degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music
and a Ph.D. in Musicology from the University of California, San Diego. He currently heads the
guitar programs at the University of Victoria and the Victoria Conservatory of Music in British
Columbia, Canada.
JIN-OK LEE made her professional debut in her native Korea at age fifteen with a performance
of Beethoven's Third Piano Concerto. She followed this with a series of solo and chamber
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music recitals, and, upon winning the Taejon Philharmonic Orchestra's Concerto Competition,
performed Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini with that orchestra. Prior to
emigrating from Korea, she received her Bachelor's and Master's degrees with honors from the
University of Mok-Won. Once settled in the United States, Ms. Lee earned another Master's
degree from the Manhattan School of Music. Among her notable performances are those at the
Villa d'Este in Tivoli (outside Rome) in 2000 and a New York debut recital at Carnegie Hall's
Weill Recital Hall in 2001. She has taught piano at Hunter College of The City University of
New York, and is currently completing the Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the CUNY
Graduate Center.
DOUGLAS ROGERS AND JOANNE LAST form the CONCERTINA & PIANO DUO, under
which name they have been performing together worldwide for about fifteen years. Their
repertory extends from the vast body of original nineteenth-century music for the concertina
(and includes works by Regondi, Richard Blagrove, Bernhard Molique, George Case, et al.) to
modern works that they have commissioned and many of their own transcriptions and
arrangements.
DOUGLAS has lectured and broadcast extensively, recorded two CDs (see the Discography),
performed the Molique Concerto No. 1(composed for Regondi) with orchestra, and has wielded
the concertina at the Proms. He also plays the guitar (on which he first discovered Regondi's
music) and the Edwardian banjo, on which he performed at the 1996 Bath Guitar Festival. He
was recently appointed an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music.
JOANNE accompanies choirs, singers, and instrumentalists throughout the UK while, at the
same time, managing a successful career as an artist. She is an instinctive and talented
colorist whose abstracts and landscapes hang in private and corporate venues throughout the
world. She exhibits regularly at arts fairs and galleries, and published prints of her works are
available from a number of major international retailers. Her website, www.joannelast.co.uk, is
well worth a visit; Douglas's website, www.englishconcertina.co.uk, is under construction.
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