Two second-year music students will today (11th May) be appearing on BBC Radio 3’s ‘In Tune’ programme to talk about their current series of concerts, in which they are performing all 10 of Beethoven’s Violin Sonatas. Athena Hawksley-Walker (violin) and Tom Fetherstonhaugh (piano) have been invited to perform live and discuss this rare student music-making achievement with presenter Sean Rafferty. You can listen along here, they’ll be on about 6.15pm.
Tom and Athena are over halfway through their cycle, with two concerts and four sonatas remaining until they have completed a full cycle of these pieces, considered a cornerstone of the chamber music repertory. The concerts will take place on the 14th May and 22nd October 2018, both at 7.30pm in the Holywell Music Room. The first of these concerts will be preceded by a pre-concert talk from the Faculty’s own Prof. Daniel Grimley.
Both students at Merton College, Tom and Athena have a history of playing Beethoven together. When they first began playing, however, they were in ‘opposite formation’, with Athena on Piano and Tom on Violin.
Athena was the co-leader of the National Youth Orchestra. She studied violin and piano at the Royal College of Music Junior Department for nine years with Ani Schnarch and Neil Roxburgh, winning prizes in violin, piano and theory, both at the RCM and from the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music. In addition, she was awarded Kingston Young Musician of the Year and Richmond Young pianist of the Year and distinction in both violin and piano dipABRSM diplomas.
Tom is organ scholar at Merton College, Oxford, where is he is responsible for accompanying the college choir for BBC broadcasts, concerts, tours and services. He is a busy recitalist, giving solo concerts around the UK and Europe. Alongside his organ playing Tom is a conductor. He founded Fantasia Orchestra, a group of London musicians whose concerts have won critical acclaim: the Arts Desk has called the strings sound ‘already a thing of wonder’.