About musicinnorwich

Music in Norwich is a website which offers a roundup concerts in and around Norwich. All of the music groups and venues have their own websites but this site gathers together most of the orchestral and chamber music concerts, organ recitals and choir performances. It is a maintained on a volunteer basis by Culture Shift Norwich as part of the Music in Norwich Forum, a collective of music organisations in Norwich

Britten Sinfonia has a new CEO and Artistic Director Meurig Bowen

Introducing Meurig Bowen

Meurig Bowen joined Britten Sinfonia last month from BBC National Orchestra & Chorus of Wales as the new Chief Executive & Artistic Director.

Find out a little more about Meurig below in this exclusive Q&A. 

WHERE HAS YOUR WORK TAKEN YOU BEFORE BRITTEN SINFONIA?
Over three decades, I’ve been really fortunate to work in a range of music management roles. First of all, there were six-year stints with The Hilliard Ensemble in London and the Australian Chamber Orchestra in Sydney. I directed the Lichfield Festival for four years and the Cheltenham Music Festival for a decade, and in between I was Head of Programming at the Aldeburgh Festival/Snape Maltings. Most recently, I’ve been Head of Artistic Planning for BBC National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales. Being close to all that hugely varied and classy music-making has been an enormous privilege.

DID THE INTEREST IN MUSIC COME FROM HOME OR ELSEWHERE?
My father was a concert and opera singer, and so music was a big part of my life from early on – it’s likely that I attended more Messiahs, Verdi Requiems and Gerontiuses than any other under-18 on the planet (and the cool-gang would say this is nothing to be proud of). I was a chorister in my local, North London parish church choir, and that set me up for getting a choral scholarship to King’s College, Cambridge, where I studied music. I am also a long-lapsed viola player. The high points were playing Lutoslawski’s Concerto for Orchestra with the London Schools Symphony Orchestra – conducted by the composer, no less – and hacking my way through Brandenburg 6 with fellow King’s string players in the college chapel.

WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO IN YOUR NEW ROLE?
Just as David Butcher did so brilliantly himself for so long, I aim to be an enabler for the musicians – to deliver for them the performing opportunities, and the audiences, so that they can be as fulfilled and inspiring as possible. That means keeping the programming as fresh as it’s always been, and striving to maximise the musicians’ contact points in the community. The social and geographical reach of Britten Sinfonia will be as important going forwards as its undoubted artistic range and quality.

WHAT ABOUT COVID AND ITS EFFECT ON MUSIC AND MUSICIANS?
Obviously, this six-month shutdown of music-making has been devastating – for the livelihoods of musicians as much as their sense of being and purpose. So many have missed the enriching effect that live, communal music-making can have. Lockdown montage videos online have been ingenious, but they were a means to an end, and we need to rebuild urgently the artist-audience bond of live performance. COVID presents us with great challenges going forward, but the need to create new live performance formats that are COVID-compliant is a great opportunity for resourceful and imaginative thinking. Watch this space…

WHICH COMPOSERS OF THE PAST ARE YOU MOST DRAWN TO?
I don’t know whether there’s a thread running through the following but here goes: Bach, Schubert’s songs and chamber music, Verdi and Puccini operas, Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov, Ravel, some Stravinsky and Shostakovich, a lot of 20th century British music. There are some very fine tunesmiths amongst those I guess, and little of it is overly cerebral. But in listing those, some of my most-loved music gets sidelined: Mozart concertos, Beethoven’s Eroica symphony, Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht, Strauss’s Metamorphosen…it’s so tough to narrow down! And I’m also drawn to the lives and music of a couple of musical oddballs, the eccentric visionaries Percy Grainger and Erik Satie.

AND THE LIVING ONES?
I was very fortunate to get to know Arvo Pärt when working for The Hilliard Ensemble. The best of his pieces really affect me (Tabula Rasa above all others), and so I’d rank him and Steve Reich as the two elderly greats of our time. Having said that, Birtwistle’s The Mask of Orpheus last year at ENO was mind-blowingly good, and the most recent new orchestral piece I heard that really made an impression was Anders Hillborg’s startling Through Lost Landscapes. I try to keep my ears open at all times.

WHAT ELSE, APART FROM MUSIC, FILLS YOUR LIFE?
If the COVID lockdown has delivered any positives, it’s been bonus time with my wife and daughter. That’s been very precious.

But generally…getting out into the UK’s more dramatic landscapes, travelling further afield when time allows, getting better in the kitchen, aiming for a balanced and nutritious diet of books (fiction mainly), TV and film.

And then there’s the sport. Cricket still captivates me, even if it has to be mainly via TV highlights and Test Match Special (I refuse to sign up to Sky). Rugby interests me less and less – it’s too calculating now, too pumped up. I used to play tennis, and still hope to do so again, and I manage to play golf a few times a year. The last time I played cricket was in a match I organised with David Butcher no less – Aldeburgh versus Britten Sinfonia. Each side enlisted some visiting Tibetan monks in Snape to make up the numbers. True…

MEURIG BOWEN has been appointed Chief Executive and Artistic Director of Britten Sinfonia, succeeding David Butcher.

Dr Jerome Booth, Chairman of Britten Sinfonia’s Board of Trustees comments:

“Britten Sinfonia has always been fearless in its approach to music making and Meurig shares our sense of energy and inquiry. He is an experienced and adventurous programmer and a passionate advocate for reaching wider audiences with music of the highest quality and ambition. The match between his dynamic approach and one of the world’s finest chamber orchestras is an enticing one and we look forward to welcoming him this summer.’’

Meurig Bowen comments:

“I’ve been a long-time admirer of Britten Sinfonia’s distinctive musicianship and the vitality and sheer excellence of its music making. It’s therefore a great joy to be able to follow in David Butcher’s footsteps and to work with Britten Sinfonia’s virtuoso musicians, highly committed staff and board to help shape an invigorating future for one of the world’s finest chamber orchestras.”

Meurig succeeds David Butcher, who has left Britten Sinfonia to take up the post of Chief Executive of Manchester’s Hallé Orchestra from September 2020.

Carolyn Sampson and Matthew Wadsworth at The Chapel Park Lane Sunday 20 September

There are just a couple of returns for each of these concerts on Sunday if anyone would like them – £20 each, Roger

SUNDAY 20th September at 2pm & 6.30pm

Carolyn Sampson and Matthew Wadsworth present a programme of some of their favourite 17th century songs, touching all corners of society. From  plaintive folk songs and ballads to the genius and depths of Dowland, Johnson and Purcell. Music was played and heard, in the street, at home, in religious settings and in the theatre, just like today. At the centre of the programme is Echos in air by Laura Snowden – a wonderfully hypnotic work for solo theorbo, written for Matthew Wadsworth in 2019.

PROGRAMME

Anon: I will give my love an apple

Paggingtons pound

Lord Willoughby’s welcome home

John Dowland (1563-1626)

Fortune my foe (lute solo)

In darkness let me dwell

If my complaints

Robert Johnson (1583-1633)

Away delights

O let us howl

Henry Purcell (1659-1695)

O solitude

Laura Snowden

Echos in air (solo theorbo)

Henry Purcell (1659-1695)

Amidst the shades

The fatal hour

Mad Bess

An evening hymn

ALSO PLEASE NOTE SLIGHT AMENDMENTS TO FUTURE CONCERTS

THERE WILL NOW BE TWO PERFORMANCES OF THE ZOFFANY QUINTET 

Sunday 8th November at 4pm & 6.30pm 

ZOFFANY ENSEMBLE

Manon Derome violin Catherine Musker viola

Michael Dussek piano Tony Pleeth cello

Beethoven; Piano Quartet No 3 in C major

Brahms; Piano Quartet No 2 in A major Op 26

AND CHIAROSCURO QUARTET  

Monday 16th November at 3pm & 7pm

CHIAROSCURO QUARTET

Mozart Prussian Quartets

No 21 in D major K575

No 22 in B flat K589

No 23 in F major K590

Two concerts at The Chapel, Park Lane, Norwich

Herewith details of two further Chapel concerts, programmed by Roger Rowe.

The distinguished soprano Carolyn Sampson, well known for her work with historically informed performances and Masaaki Suzuki’s famed Bach Cantata performances, gives a mouth watering concert preview with Matt Wadsworth, of her Wigmore Hall live stream later this month. 

The Mark Viner concert next Sunday is fully booked,  returns only – there are just a few seats left for the 6th September Beethoven cello Sonata series.

Lovely to be back with live music – do try it! Roger  

Sunday August 30th at 1pm & 4pm    

Returns  only

 MARK VINER (piano)

 Beethoven: Piano Sonata No 27 in E minor Op 90
Liszt:  Die Zelle in Nonnenwerth, elegie, S.534
Alkan: Trois petites fantaisies, op.40
Liszt: Hymne a Sainte Cécile de Charles Gounod, S.491
Deux Légendes, S.175
1. St. François d’Assise  2.  St. François de Paule marchant sur les flots

 

Sunday 6th September at 3pm & 6.30pm 
A few seats still available 

RICHARD TUNNICLIFFE cello  &  MAGGIE COLE piano

Beethoven Cello Sonatas I
Sonata No 1  in F major Op 5/1
Seven Variations on Mozart’s “Bee Mannern, welche Liebe fühlen”
Sonata No 4 in C  major Op.102/1

Sunday 20th September at 6.30pm
Booking now open

Wigmore Preview

CAROLYN SAMPSONsoprano    MATT WADSWORTH lute

Music Everywhere

A programme of  favourite  17th century songs, touching all corners of society, from plaintive folk songs and ballads to the genius and depths of Dowland, Johnson and Purcell. 

Music that was played and heard, in the street, at home, in religious settings and in the theatre.  

At the centre of the programme is Echos in air by Laura Snowden – a wonderfully hypnotic work for solo theorbo, written for Matthew Wadsworth in 2019.

Sunday 18th October at 3pm & 6.30pm 

Booking now open

MITHRAS PIANO TRIO

Haydn: Piano Trio in E flat in E major XV;28
Tchaikowsky: Piano Trio in A minor Op 50

Two outdoor concerts coming up soon at Wolterton Hall on 21/22 August 2020

At last some good news on the concerts front as so many have been cancelled or postponed in the last few months

These concerts have been organised by Hannah Perowne who has brought together a new ensemble of excellent musicians at Wolterton Park, just north of Aylsham, supported by the owners at Wolterton Hall.

Hannah says ‘ I am so happy to have some truly fantastic players involved. Every single one of us has been adversely effected by the crisis of the last few months and for all of us, these concerts will be our first public performances since March’. 

There are limited tickets available, to ensure that the rules surrounding public gatherings are adhered to and that everyone is as safe as possible. All the performers will be receiving a fee and the rest will go to Help Musicians, a charity who have been incredibly helpful to many of us over the last few months. 

For tickets, please book via the Eventbrite link below

The link to the website is:

Lockdown updates

Norwich Chamber Music

With true creative resilience, many organisations are bouncing back with online activities to keep us going during tis strange lockdown period. This post has been pulled together by Norwich Chamber Music group to give you an easy-access set of links

Although live concerts, as we know them, have been put on hold, you can get ready for a festival of delights– the Wigmore Hall will be presenting a lunchtime concert every weekday in June, played live to an empty house (In full compliance with current guidelines) and relayed via Radio 3.  Recitals will also be available on the Wigmore Hall website and BBC Sounds for the following month.  Perhaps an excuse to sit with a glass of wine and imagine you’re in the concert hall (with extra benefits!).  Please read the article below for further information.  A full programme of artists can be found on the Wigmore Hall website – many of the performers are alumni of the JIC concerts.
https://www.theguardian.com/music/2020/may/12/glimmer-of-hope-leading-performers-return-to-londons-wigmore-hall

For those of you who enjoy an occasional visit to the world of full orchestral music, American conductor Michael Tilson Thomas has created a series of video lectures, liberally illustrated by the San Francisco Symphony, exploring some of the symphonic masterpieces of the repertoire.  The series is called Keeping Score, and it’s well worth a look: https://michaeltilsonthomas.com/keeping-score/

Some of us are thinking regretfully of the cancelled 2020 Glyndebourne festival. But there’s some consolation in their programme of streamed past performances, which begins on Sunday 24th May.  See here for details:
https://www.glyndebourne.com/openhouse/
Why opera matters, a programme from Glyndebourne by Petroc Trelawny, first broadcast in 2014https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/b048bghw
Glyndebourne operas also available on Radio 3.

And here’s a reminder of the range of continuing on-line treats:
An excellent summary of global online resources featuring classical music, opera, theatre and dance is on Bachtrack:
https://bachtrack.com

This Guardian page automatically updates, so you can use the click-through week after week
https://www.theguardian.com/music/2020/mar/16/classical-music-opera-livestream-at-home-coronavirus?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

Great musicians have opened their houses or played in empty concert halls on a daily basis to share their music with audiences around the world.   We particularly enjoyed daily twitter concerts by Igor Levit (see recent New Yorker magazine article about this great pianist, link below).
https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2020/05/18/igor-levit-is-like-no-other-pianist?utm_source=onsite-share&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=onsite-share&utm_brand=the-new-yorker
 Igor Levit has now finished his two month run of nightly house concerts on Twitter (52 concerts), but you can still catch up with his wonderful series of mini recitals.

Lockdown listening
Whatever you’re listening to – whether on-line streams, forgotten or unplayed CD from the back of the shelf, recommendations from friends, familiar favourites, new discoveries, Radio 3 – we’d be delighted to hear something about your experience of music under lockdown.  Just send us a few sentences (or more if you’re feeling inspired) to share with the members of our community.  We’ll edit, and circulate in the next newsletter.  Think of it as an ongoing concert-interval conversation!

For now, we hope you’re all keeping well, enjoy the sunshine and we look forward to seeing you at the John innes centre for teh next season

Peter Lawson
Chairman

Norwich Chamber Music

Bach Players concert cancelled on Sunday 29 March 2020

Gotto presents

I am writing to let you know that the Bach Players’ concert at The Octagon Chapel on Sunday 29 March has been cancelled, because of the present Corona virus crisis. Those of you who have bought tickets online are being automatically refunded by TicketSource. If you have any questions, do get in touch by replying to this email.

We plan to hold this concert in March 2021, and we very much hope to see you later this year for our two further concerts at The Octagon Chapel.

Meanwhile, we can take solace in recorded music. From our own CDs, we have uploaded for public listening our recording of J.S. Bach’s Cantata ‘Widerstehe doch der Sünde’ (BWV 54), which we recorded in 2011 for our album Pachelbel and Bach. The singer is Sally Bruce-Payne. (This is the cantata for today: the 3rd Sunday in Lent – Oculi.)

To listen, click here.

With all good wishes,
Nicolette Moonen
The Bach Players

Chamber concert cancelled 22 March 2020 – message from the Chair

Norwich Chamber Music

The Health and Safety of our Members and audiences is our first consideration; therefore the concert by the Albion Quartet on Sunday 22nd March 2020 at 3:00PM has been cancelled. This is due to the UK government advice issued on 16 March 2020 in relation to the coronavirus outbreak.

If you have booked online, or by telephone with TicketSource, we will initiate a refund for the value of the tickets and booking fee. You will receive a notification of the refund process in a separate email.
We are grateful to the Albion Quartet for having offered to come to Norwich in place of the Brentano Quartet, and disappointed that we cannot now accept this offer.

Any decisions on the concert by Trio Wanderer on April 18th, and by Richard Goode on May 16th will be taken in light of circumstances nearer the time.

We are sorry to disappoint our audience but trust that you will understand our decision on this occasion..

With best wishes

Peter Lawson
Chairman
Norwich Chamber Music

Cancellations due to Covid-19

As you will no doubt already know, many public events are being cancelled, unavoidably, due the dangers of the corona-virus Covid-19.

Our thoughts are with those that are already affected and those that will be in the future, and we will try to keep you updated as and when our Music in Norwich members let us know – but do make sure you check with venues before you attend any advertised concerts in case they are cancelled too

Cancelled – due to Covid-19 Fauré Requiem and Saint-Saëns Organ Symphony at St Andrew’s Hall, Norwich Thursday 19 March

UEA Choir and Symphony Orchestra warmly invite you to join them for their spring concert ‘Fauré Requiem and Saint-Saëns Organ Symphony’ on Thursday 19 March at 7.30pm at St Andrew’s Hall, Norwich.

Massing more than 200 performers on stage, comprising students, staff and members of the local community, the choir and orchestra will perform Lili Boulanger’s noble graveside oration, Pour les Funerailles d’un Soldat, Gabriel Fauré’s gentle and profound Requiem and Camille Saint-Saëns’ glorious Symphony No.3 in C minor, Op.78.

Fauré is the presiding genius of this programme. The gentle, profound Requiem carries the title ‘Choral Favourite’ with grace and dignity. Its touchstone capacity to reflect a deeply human longing is seemingly inexhaustible. The meteoric Lili Boulanger was both a student and a musical confidante of Fauré. Her noble graveside oration comes from the same year as she became the first ever female winner of the Prix de Rome. Saint-Saëns’ Third Symphony comes from the years of his greatest fame. Glorious music conceals forward thinking, formal innovation and a search for musical unity.
The choir and orchestra will be joined in their performance of Fauré’s Requiem by Jenny Stafford (soprano) and Jake Muffett (baritone)

Tickets cost £4 – £12. Tickets are available to purchase: by phone or in person from St George’s Music Shop (Tel: 01603 626414, Address: St George’s Music Shop, 17-19 St Georges St, Norwich, Norfolk, NR3 1AB), online from www.uea.ac.uk/music-centre/events/tickets, or on the door (cash or cheque only).

For further information about the concert, please visit: www.uea.ac.uk/music-centre/events, email: musicevents@uea.ac.uk, phone: 01603 593948, or follow @UEAConcerts on Twitter and UEA Music Centre on Facebook.

Academy of St Thomas with Simon Papanas, Saturday 7 March 7.30pm

Greek virtuoso violinist Simos Papanas makes his UK concerto debut this March with AST at St Andrew’s Hall, Norwich.

The concert begins with Fauré’s rich and evocative Pelléas & Mélisande Suite, which includes the famous Sicilienne for flute and harp. Saint-Saëns’ lyrical Violin Concerto No.3 will be performed by Simos Papanas.

Rounding off the evening is Dvorák’s rarely heard and charming Symphony No 4 in D minor.  Full of Czech lyricism and rhythms, it has a beautiful slow movement influenced by Wagner.

BUY TICKETS HERE

or at St George’s Music Shop
by telephone or visit
Norwich NR3 1AB – Tel 01603 626414

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