An outstanding Performance by one of Guyana's Most Talented Sons

For the second time in just over a year eminent pianist Ray Luck has given of his time and talent completely free in support of the fund-raising efforts of QC alumni associations to assist the school, Ray's alma mater. The first occasion was in Toronto in early 1997. The second concert - our first collaborative effort with the Bishops’ High School Association - was at St John’s, Smith Square, London, on 31st May.

An appreciative audience of around 370, including High Commissioner Lall Singh, Lady Ramphal, ‘Ram John’ Holder and other prominent members of the community, were treated to a superlative rendition of works from Fauré, Schumann, Poulenc and Liszt, a selection which allowed the range of the performer's virtuosity to be amply displayed. To quote from one of the many letters received after the concert: ‘A memorable evening of wonderful music-making from an outstanding performer. Ray Luck communicated with his audience throughout, and captivated us with his remarkable talent.’ A more fitting description of the evening would be difficult to construct.

Net profits amounted to £1910, with £1318 accruing to this Association and £592 to BHS - divided proportionate to the numbers of tickets sold by each organisation. At the post-concert supper at which Ray was presented with an Association tie as a memento, Association Chairman Gary Ramprashad neatly encapsulated the sentiments of all present when he said to Ray: ‘Thanks for the concert, thanks for the generosity, and above all thanks for the memory’.

Ray attended Queen’s from 1954 to 1961. His musical talent was apparent from an early age, and he was the first (and according to Laurence Clarke’s Record the only) pupil ever awarded school colours for music. On leaving school he proceeded to the Royal College of Music, London, where he gained his Batchelor of Music degree with honours. He was then awarded a French government scholarship to study at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique in Paris, after which he did further graduate study at Indiana University, gaining a DMus with distinction. Dr Luck is currently Charles A Dana Professor of Music at Randolph-Macon Women’s College in Virginia.

Ray has performed in several major music venues of the world where he has won both public and critical acclaim, including New York’s Alice Tully Hall, Paris’s Théâtre des Champs-Elysées and London’s Queen Elizabeth and Royal Albert Halls. He has appeared as a soloist with L’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Paris Conservatoire Orchestra and the City of London Sinfonia, and has collaborated with ensembles such as the New World String Quartet and the Lark Quartet in chamber music performances. His concert tours have extended through Europe, the Americas, Asia and the Caribbean. The most recent tour to eight Caribbean countries coincided with his tenure as Fulbright Senior Scholar to the UWI. He has conducted master classes at McGill Conservatory of Music in Montreal, the National Music Academy in Sofia, the National Conservatory of Music in Athens, at three colleges in Japan, and at the St Lucia School of Music where he will return as artist-in-residence this autumn.

Among the many awards Ray has received are First Prizes in Piano and Chamber Music from the Paris Conservatoire, Master Teacher Certificate from the American Music Teachers’ National Association, and the Guyana national award of Cacique’s Crown of Honour (CCH).