Sunday, June 9, 2013 Dr. Babatunde Sosan, Great Grandson of Dr. T.K. E. Philips, Performs 'In Fond Memory of a Master' Prof. Raymond Banning

Babatunde Sosan in Piano Recital
By Vanessa Obioha
As he struck the black and white keys of the piano, Babatunde Sosan made quite an impression on the audience. The event was a piano recital, titled Romantic Classics, which held at the Agip Recital Hall of the MUSON Centre in Onikan, Lagos. 
Held the penultimate weekend, it was in fond memory of his mentor and former instructor Raymond Banning, who passed away last year. Pieces by celebrated composers like Schumann, Chopin, Debussy and Rachmaninoff added colour to the evening.
Opening with the exquisite melody line of Schumann’s “May, Charming May”, Sosan set the mood for a night of romantic classics. Like an adventurous sailor, he led his audience on a romantic voyage by playing pieces of Mendelssohn, Chopin’s   “Formidable No. 1 G minor ballade”, Poulenc’s “Novelette”. A subtle approach that reflects the romantic influences in his personality seeped through his rendition of his own composition, “Precious Jewel”. Closing the first section before an interval with a “Concertino for trumpet and piano” with Michael Oladugba as the trumpeter, the pianist gave his audience – already seated before the second section began – a foretaste of what was still to come.
Back to the stage, he opened with a brooding Rachmaninoff “Prelude in C sharp minor”, which was followed by Evans’ “Peace Piece”, the most romantic ballad of the night. With his skilful fingers, Sosan lured his audience into a flirtatious tempo, adding embellishment to the notes, stretching the romantic ambience with his textures.
In a special dedication to Raymond Banning, a song he said was his late mentor’s favourite, “La cathedral egloutie”, Sosan once again drew inspiration from his inner being with the ascension of the notes into a melodious harmony.

Sosan is the acting director of the MUSON School of Music and also the MUSON Centre’s resident pianist. He is the great grandson of the music legend Dr. T.K.E.  Philips.   His musical career was influenced by his grandmother Arinola Sosan and his church organist and master of music, Cathedral Church of Christ, Lagos, Mrs. Tolu Obajimi. Though he graduated from the Lagos University Teaching College of Medicine as physiotherapist, he proceeded to Trinity College of Music Greenwich, England where he was privileged to be tutored by the late renowned pianist and teacher at the college, Raymond Banning. He graduated with a Bachelor of Music in piano and organ performance.
-  Obioha writes from Lagos.

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