ONE OF THE WORLD’S finest concert pianists is combining forces with one of the world’s greatest artists in a unique music and art collaboration on October 26 to raise funds for Westminster Cathedral in London.
British pianist Stephen Hough will give a piano recital of Bach, Franck and Chopin in the Cathedral against the backdrop of a new art installation by Peter Doig.
Mr Doig, whose retrospective at Tate Britain last year impressed both critics and crowds, is one of the highest-selling artists in the world. His painting White Canoe sold at Sotheby’s for £5.7 million in 2007.
Canon Christopher Tuckwell, administrator of Westminster Cathedral, said: “It is a wonderfully generous gesture of Stephen Hough to offer such a concert on behalf of the Westminster Cathedral building appeal.
“All of us who have the future well-being of the Cathedral at heart, both as a building and as a house of prayer, are extremely grateful to him for this. I hope that the evening will be widely supported.” The seed for the evening germinated when the two artists first met in London after a private recital by Mr Hough in April 2008. Peter Doig visited the cathedral this summer to see first hand the space where his massive painting will be installed. He toured the upper galleries to see the brickwork, marble, metalwork and glass that define the upper reaches of the building.
The painting, which will hang within the wide arch of the cathedral’s baldacchino, presents challenges for the team of designers who will install it. Gordon VeneKlasen, Mr Doig’s representative at Michael Werner Gallery in New York, said the evening presented a unique opportunity to experience two artists at the top of their game. “Two of the most important artists of their generation, in different disciplines, are uniting for something that is only there for a moment,” he said. “It is very exciting.” Stephen Hough is no stranger to Westminster Cathedral. His Missa Mirabilis was first performed at the cathedral in 2007. Winner of a MacArthur Fellowship and multiple international awards, Mr Hough recently performed Tchaikovsky’s complete works for piano and orchestra over four BBC Proms this summer. He is also a regular contributor to The Catholic Herald and the Tablet. His blog for the Daily Telegraph is widely read.
Christina White, director of the Friends of the Cathedral, said the project was inspiring. “Stephen has enjoyed a close relationship with the cathedral for some time,” she said. “We are privileged to have him and Peter Doig’s input will make this a very special evening.”