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Classical Music - Yoko Ono and Julia Graham

Apart from sharing a name and learning the piano from the age of four, Yoko Ono has little in common with her more famous namesake. When asked whether it was annoying to be constantly asked about her name Yoko Ono laughs and says “not at all… it has become really quite useful, it helps people remember me and has become fun. In Japan it is a very common name, like John Smith, so it is good that it creates a fuss here.”

Having lived in the UK for 25 years and studied at the Royal Academy, Yoko Ono has made a real name for herself as an exquisite concert pianist. She plays chamber music, solo and as part of an ensemble called Talkestra. On Tuesday she will duet with cellist Julia Graham in the Westgate Music Series’ last concert of the 2006 season. The concert will include Beethoven variations from Marriage of Figaro and Brahms’ Sonata in F Major. Julia Graham, who was the principal cellist with the BBC Symphony Orchestra will also play solo pieces from Passacaglia by Walton and Bach’s Suites. Yoko adds: “having just come from rehearsals with Julia I can tell you that she is an incredible cellist. I am really looking forward to the concert.” Commenting on the programme for Tuesday night she states emphatically “they are all gorgeous pieces, I have really enjoyed learning and playing them. Within the programme Brahms is my personal favourite - it is a fantastic piece. It is very difficult, but great to play.” KA

The Sonata of Julia and Yoko, at the Westgate Chapel
The Westgate Chapel, 92a High Street, Lewes
When? 7.30pm
How Much? £7, available on the door
(t) 01273 564824