Dear Members, supporters and friends,
Norwich Chamber Music is disappointed that because of Covid quarantine measures, Norwich Chamber Music must cancel the concerts with Jörg Widmann next weekend, and the visit of the Dudock Quartet. We share your sadness that these concerts cannot occur.
We are delighted to announce, however, that Pavel Kolesnikov, will now give two recitals in the John Innes Conference Centre on Saturday 7 November 2020.
Full social distancing procedures will be in place. His programme embraces many of the works originally planned for us on September 12th, and will include:
Liszt. Transcendental Étude No.8 (“Wilde Jagd”) and La Cloche Sonné S.238
Scriabin. Op.51 No.4, Danse Languide and Op.51 No.3 Poème Aile
Liszt. Transcendental Étude No. 6 (“Vision”) and Wiegenlied S. 198
Scriabin Sonate No.2 Op.19
Liszt Élegie No.2 S.197
Beethoven Sonata in D minor Op.31 No.2 (“Tempest”)
The 60 minute programme will be played twice, at 3pm and again at 6pm. To meet track and trace regulations for each performance, special ticketing arrangements are needed even for those with existing season tickets. Those without tickets cannot be admitted. Further information from St Georges Music Shop 01603 626414.
For everyone’s safety, the seating capacity in the Hall will be limited. Tickets will be available to all from 12.00 noon on Wednesday October 28th, The arrangements for Season ticket holder have been sent to them separately. The general price at either concert is £20, reduced to £15 for Members. We regret that under the current social distancing regulations, availability may be limited.
You should purchase your ticket in the normal way through our website or directly from Ticket Source https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/norwichchambermusic or at St George’s Music Shop in Norwich 01603 626414.
A limited number of seats will be available for wheelchair users or those unable to use stairs. Write to us at email@example.com to confirm availability.
What to expect at the concert:Entry only for those who hold tickets in advance2 metre distance to be kept wherever possibleClear signs and helpful stewards Audience members will be required to wear face coverings (unless exempt through Government guidelines).Hand sanitiser for your use on entryNo printed material will be used – no tickets on sale, no programmes or programme notes. Programmes will be sent online in advance.A “one way system” into and out of the Hall and for toilet facilitiesReduced capacity in the concert Hall, with socially distanced seating.You will be directed to a seat, and will not be able to choose itOnce in your seat, do not leave at the end until directed by ushers,Shorter performances (about 1 hour) with no intervalNo refreshments No socializing in John Innes foyerRegular and thorough cleaning of the Hall, foyer and toilets before and after concertsThe cloakroom will be closed
For our full policy on Covid-19 please refer to our website following this link www.norwichchambermusic.org.uk
Assuming no new regulations affect our plans, we are looking forward to two excellent performances by Pavel Kolesnikov. We hope you feel able to come, and if so, much look forward to seeing you on the November 7th
The Chair and Committee
Norwich Chamber Music
Mancroft Music returns in October with a series of organ and piano recitals,
on Saturdays at 1pm. Admission is free.
10th October – George Inscoe, organ
17th – Sohyun Park, piano
24th – Dr Anthony Gritten, organ
31st – Constance Chow, piano
Although there are still restrictions on numbers attending events at the church because of the need for social distancing, we are hopeful that all those wishing to attend in person will be able to do so.
However, if numbers are large, we’re unable to guarantee a place for everyone, and we’d advise arriving in good time so you can make sure of your seat. Or you can watch from home as the performances will be live-streamed on the St Peter Mancroft YouTube channel. You can set a reminder by following the link. St Peter Mancroft YouTube
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.
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.
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:
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:
This Guardian page automatically updates, so you can use the click-through week after week
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).
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.
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
Norwich Chamber Music
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: firstname.lastname@example.org, phone: 01603 593948, or follow @UEAConcerts on Twitter and UEA Music Centre on Facebook.
Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 February 2020
Beethoven violin sonatas
James Ehnes violin
Andrew Armstrong piano
Programme 1 Saturday 15 February 7.30pm
Sonata in F, Op.24 (‘Spring’) Sonata in A, Op.30 No.1 Sonata in C minor, Op.30 No.2
Programme 2 Sunday 16 February 3pm
Sonata in G, Op.30 No.3 Sonata in A, Op.47 (‘Kreutzer’) Sonata in G, Op.96
James Ehnes and Andrew Armstrong complete the cycle of Beethoven’s violin sonatas which they began last season. Among the famous works in these two concerts are the lyrical ‘Spring’ Sonata Op.24, the dramatic Sonata in C minor Op.30 No.2, and the ‘Kreutzer’ Sonata Op.47.
Iceland Symphony Orchestra
Yan Pascal Tortelier conductor
Jean-Efflam Bavouzet piano
Bizet L’Arlesienne Suite No. 2
Ravel Left Hand Piano Concerto
Prokofiev Romeo & Juliet
PRE-PERFORMANCE TALK: 6.30pm
in Targetfollow Room, Norwich Theatre Royal
For details of the whole Theatre Royal programme please check the website or pick up a brochure.
https://norwichtheatre.org/ to book
Box office Tel 01603 630000
Saturday 28 March 2020 7.30 pm
St. Peter Mancroft, Norwich
Wymondham Choral Society with the Amadeus Orchestra (London).
Haydn – The Creation
Claire Dixon (conductor)
Rob Goodrich (continuo)
Claire Lees (soprano)
Huw Ynyr (tenor)
Frazer Scott (bass-baritone)
Tickets £15 (under 16s free) available online at www.wymondhamchoralsociety.org.uk, at the door or from Nuts ‘n Bolts in Attleborough, Reeves in Wymondham and St George’s Music Shop in Norwich.
Supporting the charity Anon Street Team Norwich and homeless people in Norwich.
The first Assembly House Classical concert of the year is the Brodsky Quartet next Thursday, 9th of January at 1pm at the beautiful Assembly House.
The Brodsky Quartet are one of the top string quartets in the country. They have recorded soundtracks for film and TV as well as working with artists like Bjork and Elvis Costello and Paul McCartney. Start the year off by coming to this wonderful concert.
Booking details: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/brodsky-quartet-tickets-82832753997
Since its formation in 1972 the Brodsky Quartet has performed over 3000 concerts on the major stages of the world and released more than 60 recordings. A natural curiosity and insatiable desire to explore has propelled the group in many artistic directions and continues to ensure them not only a place at the very forefront of the international chamber music scene but also a rich and varied musical existence. Their energy and craftsmanship have attracted numerous awards and accolades worldwide, while ongoing educational work provides a vehicle for passing on experience and staying in touch with the next generation.
“There was a pause of almost a minute before the audience applauded – testimony to the spell that the new-look Brodsky Quartet had cast.
…it was obvious to all that the “new era” will be as exciting as all those that have gone before.”
“…the players gave unstintingly of their passion and energies, playing with a spirit so transformational you felt they were actually improving the world.” The Strad