Founded at Trinity College of Music, London in 2006, The Metropolitan Duo is known for their energetic and touching performances. Comprised of Prema Kesselman, Flautist and Tommy Harrington, Pianist, this exciting young duo were recently invited as guest artists for the Summer 2007 Cantiere Internazionale d'Arte di Montepulciano, Italy where they presented a duo flute and piano recital as well as performed with the Young Janacek Philharmonic Orchestra in orchestral and opera concerts under maestro Jan Latham-Koenig. Tommy and Prema were also specially featured in a performance of Carnival of the Animals by Saint-Saëns and The Lighthouse chamber opera by Sir Maxwell Davies.
At Trinity College of Music they presented a recital for the Open Day on 4 April 2007. They have participated in masterclasses with Andrew Nicholson, Principal Flute of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and have been coached by Wissam Boustany, Mikhail Kazakevich and Ian Mitchell.
The Metropolitan Duo bring together two virtuoso musicians whose passion and commitment produce a unique connection with audiences, not only in the standard works of the repertory, but also with rarely heard masterworks, such as Franz Xaver Mozart’s Rondo in E Minor, as well as provocative new pieces that broaden the repertoire for flute and piano duo. In their quest for expanding the flute and piano duo repertoire they have commissioned works by Mena Mark Hanna and Daniel Gil-Marca. Faryad by Mena Mark Hanna had its world premiere performance by the Metropolitan Duo in a highly successful evening concert at the prestigious Holywell Music Room, Oxford on 4 May 2007.
The ensemble takes its name from The Metropolitan Sinfonia which Tommy is Conductor and Prema is Principal Flautist. Prema performs on a Powell Handmade Silver Flute with Lafin Gold Headjoint.
Concert Review of The Metropolitan Duo in Recital
..."Following the organ part of the day we were honoured to welcome The Metropolitan Duo, Prema Kesselman Flute and Tommy Harrington Piano. Prema Kesselman was born in New York and began her musical training in Los Angeles where she attended the Colburn School of Performing Arts; she is currently principal flute of the Metropolitan Sinfonia as well as continuing her studies at Trinity College of Music. Tommy Harrington was born in London studying music from an early age with pianist and composer Keith Roberts. In 2003 he was awarded a place at Trinity College of Music where he is in his final year of a BMus. degree. Their recital included music by Bach, Mozart, Busoni, Fasman and Zyman. The opening Bach Sonata in B minor displayed Prema’s warm flute tone and richness of articulation, a quality that remains the province of instruments of human breath control, a sensuous quality which can evade a mechanically blown keyboard instrument like the organ. The opening Andante tripped rhythmically along leading to the Largo e dolce with its soaring legato phrases, before the final stunning Presto-Allegro with its cascading arpeggios echoed in the piano part. Adagio in B minor for piano by Mozart was sensitively played, with singing melodies wrapped in classical phrases, before we heard Bach’s Rejoice, beloved Christians BWV34a arranged by F. Busoni, an impressive virtuoso piano piece. Composed by Barry Fasman for the documentary film: His Love: Sathya Sai Baba’s Theme, this was music imbued with a modern cinematic romantic style, Prema’s captivating flute tone carrying the long legato passages. Prema Kesselman gave the debut of this engaging piece at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall New York in May 2005. The final work of the concert, in three movements, was Sonata (1993) by S. Zyman. The opening sparkling Allegro was followed by Lento e molto espressivo, the flute’s resonating tone soaring throughout the building, and a final Presto with stunning cross rhythms and arpeggios. The Metropolitan Duo had played with an outstanding musical technique, their playing reflecting an intimate knowledge and understanding of the music. Their music and playing remained fresh in our minds, providing an accompanying for our tea, providing an enjoyable conclusion to an undoubtedly successful Festival Day."