The South-African born pianist Neil Hilgrove Colledge returns with a recital of popular classics at Deddington Church on Saturday.
The programme includes Schumann’s traumerei, Chopin’s nocturne in E flat, some of the music soundtrack to Ken Russell’s Escape from New York, Satie’s world-famous gymnaeopedie, plus compositions by Siloti, Schubert, Liszt and Rachmaninoff.
Neil has played at Trinity College, The Oxford Four Pillars and Sir Michael Caine’s former home in Wallingford.
He has also performed in Banbury, Buckingham, Bloxham, Stow, Bicester, Stratford, Towcester, Witney, Wallington, Woodstock, Evesham, Cirencester, Swindon, Tetbury and Malmesbury.
His significant break came after an invitation to perform alongside the legendary singer Yaffa Yarkoni during a state banquet marking The Jordan/Israel Peace Accord.
Soon afterwards, Neil Hilgrove Colledge was invited for two private audiences with the brilliant and distinguished multi-faith ambassador Sir Sigmund Sternberg.
Sternberg (who died earlier this year) was president of The Council of Christians and Jews.
He is the only person in history to organise a Papal visit to a synagogue.
He also negotiated official recognition of The State Of Israel by The Vatican.
Subsequent to the meeting Neil played for four kings, two state presidents and was introduced to every living British prime minister.
He said: “Even after 20 years have passed it is hard to comprehend just how lucky I was. London was like another city then and the work just flowed like milk and honey.
“After the banquet, my phone didn’t stop ringing for 10 years.
“It would be difficult for any music student to enjoy an equivalent level of access and volume of work today. The climate is different.
“It is still possible for an aspiring musician to realise their dream today... but the dream needs to be stronger and the determination to win needs to be much tougher.
“Only very few will succeed. It was easier for us.”
The show starts at at 7.30pm. Tickets to the concert are £8 and available at the door. Chocolate cake will served during the interval.