St Bride's: Music - Giraldus Duo<br />Helen Schilsky – viola, Simon Reynolds – piano

St Bride's: Music - Lunchtime Recitals

Giraldus Duo
Helen Schilsky – viola, Simon Reynolds – piano

Friday, 11 January at 1:15pm - FREE ADMITTANCE - Retiring Collection

Giraldus Duo<br />Helen Schilsky – viola, Simon Reynolds – piano

R Vaughan Williams

Romance

J S Bach

Viola da gamba sonata in G minor, BWV 1029

M Bruch

Romance

E Elgar

Sospiri

Helen Schilsky was born in Dagenham, Essex and started playing the viola at the age of eleven. Whilst a pupil at the Purcell School of Music, she gained a place at the Royal College of Music Junior Department to study under Bridget Crouch, followed by full-time study with Margaret Major. Helen played in the RCM Baroque Orchestra at a Buckingham Palace Investiture for HRH The Prince of Wales and since leaving college she has worked with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the BBC Philharmonic, the Philharmonia and more recently was on trial with Scottish Opera.

Helen moved to North Wales with her husband and son in 2005 and has established herself as a much sought-after teacher, whilst continuing her professional performing with several Welsh orchestras and ensembles including Ensemble Cymru, with whom she accompanied the Welsh language Rap act GenodDroog at the WelshRap Awards. She has been performing regularly with her duo partner Simon Reynolds since they were sixth formers at the Purcell School of Music.

Simon Reynolds was born in Harrow and first studied the piano privately with Harrow-based pianist, Catherine Dubois. Following further study with Keith Swallow, Simon graduated from Leeds University in 1995 with a First Class Honours Degree in Music. Whilst at university, he specialised in piano accompaniment and chamber music and formed a piano quintet performing the Shostakovich Quintet in various venues including the Alhambra Arts Centre in Bradford and at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds. During this time, he also gained a Performer's Diploma from Trinity College of Music, London.

In 1998, he completed a Master of Music Degree in Performance at the London College of Music, specialising in another of his particular musical interests - 20th century and contemporary piano repertoire, and he was fortunate to study with one of this country's foremost exponents of avant garde music, Philip Mead. In addition to his involvement in liturgical music - he was organist and Director of Music at St Thomas More Catholic Church in Eastcote, Middlesex from 1998 to 2018 and has just taken up a new post of Director of Music at the joint parish of St Bernard's, Northolt and St Gabriel's, South Harrow - Simon is now pursuing a busy teaching career.  He teaches on the piano faculty at Harrow School. He has had a regular playing partnership with violist Helen since their A-level student days at the Purcell School of Music, Harrow-on-the-Hill, and they have been performing together as Giraldus Duo for almost 15 years. www.giraldusduo.com

Helen Schilsky and Simon Reynolds have been friends for nearly 30 years and performing together as Giraldus Duo for almost 15. During this time, they have played a great deal of the viola and piano repertoire and especially enjoy seeking out lesser-known composers and unusual works for this combination. Recent performances have included recitals at St Bride's Church, Fleet Street, St Chad's Church, Shrewsbury, The Gateway Arts Centre, Shrewsbury, St Faith's Church, Great Crosby, St Thomas More Church, Eastcote and Sheffield Cathedral. Aside from their recital playing, Giraldus Duo have also provided music for corporate events, including a private members' art viewing at the Landmark Arts Centre, Teddington and a champagne reception for a retiring head teacher in Southgate, North London. Please feel free to visit our website www.giraldusduo.com