LEADING award-winning South Africa pianist Ben Schoeman arrives in the Borders next week for a recital of Bach, Chopin and Rachmaninoff.

Ben has performed solo piano widely across Europe, North America and in Africa.

In collaboration with his duo partner, cellist Anzél Gerber, he was awarded first prize in the Ibla Grand Prize Competition in Italy.

The duo also played in the New York Carnegie Hall and received the gold medal in the Golden Music Awards for their recording of music by Anton Rubinstein.

Ben’s concert for Melrose Music Society begins with Bach’s French Suite No. 4 in E flat major, BWV 815, consisting of seven movements; following this, four of Chopin’s most loved pieces: Barcarolle in F sharp major, Op.60, Scherzo No. 3 in C sharp minor, Op. 39, Impromptu in G flat major, Op. 51 and the musically-demanding Polonaise Heroïque in A flat major, Op.53.

Of the latter piece, Chopin’s long-time lover and companion, Amantine Dupin (or ‘George Sand’), wrote (in translation): ‘"The inspiration! The force! The vigour!... From now on this polonaise should be… a heroic symbol!’.

Next comes Tchaikovsky’s ‘The Nutcracker’ Concert Suite, Op. 71, comprising eight memorable numbers from the much-loved ballet of the same title.

Ben will conclude his concert with Rachmaninoff’s romantic Sonata No. 2 in B flat minor, Op. 3. Technically in three movements, two ‘non allegro’ bridges link the movements together.

Ben will play at Melrose Parish Church Hall on Friday, December 14, at 7.30 pm.

Tickets at the door, for non-members of the Melrose Music Society are £14 and free for accompanied children of school age.