Wells Cathedral School
Type: Concert
Date: Friday 19 June 1998

Wells Cathedral School young musicians
Mei Yi Foo: Piano
String players included Timothy Shepherd cello

Haydn: Fantasia in C for piano
Shostakovich: Piano Trio in D minor Op. 49
Brahms: Variations and Fugue on a theme of Handel Op. 24
Saint-Saëns: Septet Op. 65


The second concert of the 1998 Festival was presented by Wells Cathedral School and was a concert that David Parkhouse would have relished: highly-talented young musicians performing music in which he himself excelled, in an ideal setting, St Peter's Church, Shaldon. The carefully balanced and well-chosen programme was throughout performed with both professional polish and considerable panache.

The undoubted and popular star of the programme was the young Malaysian pianist Mei Yi Foo who firstly presented the unjustly neglected Haydn Fantasia with sparkle and bravura on a difficult piano. She returned at the end of the concert to play the Brahms Handel Variations with intelligence, charm and complete technical control. I for one would willingly pay to hear her play an entire recital - and she deserves a better instrument which would do justice to her outstanding control of colour. Her platform manner is unfussy and entirely focused, and she treated the enthusiastic audience to a jewel of an encore.

The other works performed by the Wells Musicians were the curiously scored and neglected Saint-Saens Septet, played with lyricism and a sense of fun, and the bleak Shostakovich Piano Trio, a demanding work for young musicians but presented here with understanding and virtuosity. Honours must go to the cellist b>Timothy Shepherd who from the opening harmonics to the driving rhythms of the finale seemed to control and instinctively project the complex journey that performing and hearing the Trio entails.

Paul McClure

(Footnote. Aged 18 when she appeared at the Shaldon Festival, Mei Yi Foo has gone on to establish her career as a concert pianist. Hailed as a "pianist to watch” by BBC Radio 3, “Rising Star” by International Piano, and the winner of the Maria Callas Grand Prix 2008 in Athens, Mei Yi Foo has captivated audiences across Europe, the Americas and Asia.)

Parking Map for St Peter's Church, Shaldon


St Peter’s Church, Bridge Road, Shaldon, TQ14 0DB


1. Long Stay Public Carpark ½ mile from the church, reached through the village or off the A379 coast road to Torquay, postcode TQ14 0HP – 381 spaces, “pay & display” during the day but free after 6.00pm. Allow 15 minutes for the blue walking route shown.
2. Short Stay Public Carpark, opposite the church, postcode TQ14 0BP – 48 spaces, “pay & display” subject to a short stay 4 hour limit during the day but free after 6.00pm.
3. Extra parking – limited space adjoining the recreation ground reached from Ringmore Road but with easy pedestrian access to the Church along the estuary embankment. If using this area, please park “tidily” to maximise the usable space; this area is only available for parking as a special arrangement for the Festival.


Please telephone Malcolm Watson on 01626 873492 if you need help with letting someone alight at the church and/or need seating space for a wheelchair. In addition, there are a very few parking spaces close to the church which we can reserve for those with mobility difficulties on a first come, first served, basis.