A SPECIAL recital will take place in Peebles next month which pays tribute to world-famous composer, pianist, teacher, and musicologist Ronald Stevenson from West Linton who died in 2015.

His most famous work was the “Passacaglia on DSCH”, dedicated to Shostakovich, to whom he presented the score at the 1962 Edinburgh Festival.

This work is rated as one of the most taxing in the pianist repertoire – skilful dexterity and physical stamina are requirements to manage the 85-90 minutes of continuous playing, as well as maturity to cope with the many styles and moods of this epic opus.

DSCH is the German notation for the musical motif D, E-flat, C, B: the German transliteration of Dimitri Schostakovich’s initials ("D. Sch."). (Shostakovich used these four notes as a musical 'signature', for example in his Eighth String Quartet).

As a tribute, pianist James Willshire will play “Passacaglia on DSCH” at the Eastgate Theatre. Heralded as a ‘fabulous technician’ with ‘torrential virtuosity’, James Willshire has enthralled audiences in five continents with performances of ‘freshness and lucidity’, with ‘clarity and sensitivity of touch’ and ‘bravura technique’.

His recordings of contemporary British solo piano music have received universal acclaim, being reviewed extensively internationally and broadcast on BBC Radio 3.

Of all his successes, James is most proud of his recording of “Passacaglia on DSCH”. He says “It stands out, in the quality of the finished product, and in the sense of achievement in recording one of the longest and most difficult works for solo piano ever written. The work places colossal demands on technique, stamina, and the ability to pace a performance.”

Ronald Stevenson’s widow, Mrs Marjorie Stevenson will be invited as Guest of Honour to this rare recital.

A magnificent poster has been designed by local artist Philip Hutton from his portrait of Ronald Stevenson.

Philip was until recently the Chairman of the Ronald Stevenson Society which has worked hard to publish the work of this composer of whom Lord Yehudi Menuhin said in his foreword to the book, ‘Ronald Stevenson- The Man and his Music, A Symposium’ edited by Colin Scott-Sutherland, “Stevenson is one of the most original minds in the composition of music” and predicts that “his music will be appreciated more and more”.

The recital will be held onTuesday 2 November 7.30pm in Eastgate Theatre, Peebles

Tickets £15, discounts £7, Students under 26 FREE from Eastgate Box Office 01721 725777