American cellist and composer Clancy Newman, the son of Australian parents and a regular visitor to this country, summed it up when he told the audience: “It’s so good to be back here in the City Recital Hall”.

And by the end of this much-delayed Selby & Friends concert, aptly titled Back from the Brink, that was how we were all feeling. Three magnificent works performed magnificently by three magnificent musicians – pianist Kathryn Selby, violinist Dene Olding and Newman – marked the return to live performance after almost a year of lockdowns, cancellations and frustrations.

Dene Olding, Clancy Newman and Kathryn Selby performed in the Selby & Friends concert Back from the Brink Back from the Brink

Selby chose the program of works by three composers – Amy Beach, Antonin Dvořák and Maurice Ravel – known for their determination to kick against the pricks and break new ground. For Beach, a brilliant pianist as well as being America’s foremost female composer, her creative career had...