ON A rather bleak evening following a day of gales and lashing rain, when the whole of Middlesbrough town centre had been plunged into darkness, shops and computer tills knocked out of action, a slightly smaller, but no less appreciative audience, turned out to hear this brilliant young pianist.

The programme looked seriously good, and as we settled down to anticipate an evening of great music on to the platform walked an improbably youthful-looking pianist.

Ugnius Pauliukonis, from Lithuania, started playing the piano at the age of six and is now studying at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. He has achieved significant success in a number of international piano competitions.

Among the works he presented were some terrific Scarlatti sonatas, together with sonatas by Mozart and Scriabin and Deux Poemes, also by Scriabin.

After the interval, we were treated to Rachmaninoff’s Six Moments Musicaux, three pieces from Winter Sketches by Lithuanian composer Balys Dvarionas and Vallee d’Obermann by Franz Liszt.

The Lithuanian composer was new to me, and I greatly enjoyed the three pieces all with a snow theme. They were delightful, light and sparkling, perfectly representative of snow and all beautifully executed.

This young pianist is really one to watch. His ability is quite spellbinding and he has great ‘presence’ on the platform. Without a doubt we shall hear more of him.

The next concert is on Wednesday, January 29, wth pianist Gina Gataveckait.

Irene MacDonald