Violist David Aaron Carpenter made his London debut on 8 July, introducing the capital’s newest concert series and using a digital-age method of reading scores on stage.
Carpenter and members of his Salomé Chamber Orchestra, including his violinist siblings, Sean Avraham and Lauren Sarah, appeared on the podium at London’s Central Synagogue carrying tablet computers instead of sheet music.
Performers’ use of tablets with hands-free page-turning apps has become increasingly frequent at concerts in North America and the UK.
‘The iPad is able to hold hundreds if not thousands of pieces of music,’ explained Sean Avraham Carpenter, ‘and you can change the order of a programme or the notation with a flick of the finger.
‘It is also green when you don’t have a lot of paper and ink. We encourage other players and orchestras to use it because it is very advanced technology.’
Available on iTunes, forScore enables performers to read pdf scores, record what is played and much more. Hands-free page turning is enabled by AirTurn software, which uses Bluetooth to communicate action from a foot pedal to tablet screen.
Carpenter’s programme, Music of the Jewish Diaspora, is the first of seven organised by the synagogue and Inverne Price Music Consultancy. The synagogue, founded on its present site in 1869 and rebuilt in 1958 after being destroyed by bombing in 1941, has an excellent acoustic for chamber music.
All concerts in the series will have a Jewish theme, that on 10 September featuring Inon Barnatan playing Schubert’s last two piano sonatas, book-ending a new work by Avner Dorman.
Violinist Jack Liebeck and Danny Driver, piano, take the theme Hebrew Melody on 12 November to link works by Brahms, Mendelssohn, Bloch and John Williams. On 10 December, cellist Raphael Wallfisch and pianist John Yorke continue the exploration of Jewish links, playing works by Beethoven, Bloch and Schumann.
Mark Bebbington on 4 February reveals Jewish influences on the piano music of Bliss and Debussy, alongside Castelnuovo-Tedesco and Gershwin, and premiere works by Harriet Cohen.
The synagogue’s Wolfson Hall is converted into a café for a programme spanning Rachmaninov, Weill, Chopin and Milhaud, from pianist Lara Downes on 25 March. On 27 May, Avi Avital on mandolin and violinist Ray Chen fuse east and west in a programme of Bach, Chinese folk music and Jewish klezmer.