Amid the whirring of the coffee machines and the intense crowds of tourists leaving Harrods, Sunday afternoon at the National Geographic London Store saw flautist Katherine Bryan launch her new CD, featuring the first-ever British recording of American Christopher Rouse’s concerto.

Bryan gave a theatrical performance of the highest calibre, including Poulenc, Debussy, Martin and Rouse, and bringing out the drama in her chosen works. As she said herself during the concert, ‘I like pieces which don’t make the flute sound too pretty; I like grit’. The musical drama was matched by her flamboyant Vivien of Holloway skirt and Jimmy Choo shoes. Katherine’s guest article for Gramophone magazine features an excerpt of the CD and has more detail on her thoughts behind the music.

Katherine’s performance at the National Geographic London Store is part of a trend of in-store performances which have begun to grip London. Burberry’s flagship Regent Street store has launched Live at 121 with the Kaiser Chiefs playing last month, and the Regent Street Apple Store has also featured performances of Max Richter’s Vivaldi Recomposed with violinist Daniel Hope. 

 

The National Geographic London Store joined this movement with their newly-launched cultural calendar featuring concerts, talks and exhibitions, turning the shop and cafe into a cultural hub on the Brompton Road. Saturday’s concert had a wonderful spontaneous, informal feeling without damaging the artistic integrity of the performance; a perfect combination.

 

[Katherine’s CD can be purchased through Amazon and iTunes.]