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Dates for Your Diary

Echoes Festival: ‘Goyescas’ - Music in the Time of Goya

The Spanish virtuoso pianist José Menor and The Latin Classical Chamber Orchestra mark the 2016 centenary of the great Spanish composer Enrique Granados (1867-1916) with an exhilarating musical journey to 18th-century Spain at St John's Smith Square on Wednesday November 2 at 7pm. This unique multi-media programme, inspired by the life and times of Granados’ greatest muse, the Spanish painter Francisco de Goya (1746-1828), is part of a commemorative world tour launched at New York’s Carnegie Hall in March.

In collaboration with the Latin Classical Chamber Orchestra and guests - classical guitarist Laura Snowden, soprano Christin Wismann and flamenco dancer and percussionist Nina Corti - this exuberant programme explores the elegant musical aesthetic of Goya's era and its intoxicating effect on the Romantic imagination of Granados’s contemporaries and beyond, to the 20th-century works of de Falla and the film music of Roque Baños.

Originally curated for The National Gallery as part of its 2015 exhibition 'Goya: The Portraits', this programme is accompanied by a projection of Goya artworks and will be introduced by Granados’s great-granddaughter Bárbara Granados. This event is part of Echoes Festival organised by ILAMS in collaboration with the Instituto Cervantes with the kind support of Acción Cultural Española and the Embassy of Spain.

 

Berlioz Society Study Weekend

Berlioz

'Berlioz and the Bards' is the subject of the Berlioz Society's 14th Annual Study Weekend to be held at the Art Workers’ Guild, 6 Queen Square, London WC1 over the weekend of November 26 and 27.

In the early 19th century, France welcomed not only the works of Shakespeare, but also a galaxy of remarkable Anglophone writers, not just English, but also American, Irish and Scottish, so the weekend will explore the influence of Byron, Thomas Moore, Fenimore Cooper and Sir Walter Scott, focussing on their importance not solely for Berlioz, much of whose music was rooted in Anglophone literature, but also for French cultural life more generally.

Speakers include author and society president David Cairns on Berlioz as a reader of Byron, Fenimore Cooper, Moore, Shakespeare and Scott; New College Oxford's Dr Andrew Counter on the impact of writers such as these on 19th century Paris, Olivier Feignier of the International Association of Byron Societies, on Byron and Stuart Kelly on Walter Scott, while New Berlioz Edition editor Diana Bickley will talk about Berlioz`s overtures, several of which are named after Scott`s novels; other speakers are Katherine Kolb, Professor Emerita at Southeastern Louisiana University and leading Berlioz scholar and author Peter Bloom.

As usual, one session will be devoted to an interview, and this year conductor Sir John Eliot Gardiner - a long-standing interpreter of Berlioz's music - will join the study weekend on Sunday. Gardiner conducted the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique in performances of the complete Roméo et Juliette Symphony this summer at both the BBC Proms in London and the Berlioz Festival in France. Further information/bookings: helenpetchey.berlioz@gmail.com: tel 020 850 40295.

 

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Eleventh Malcolm Arnold Festival Announced

Malcolm Arnold

'The Voice of the People’ heralds the 11th Malcolm Arnold Festival when the BBC Concert Orchestra and guitarist Craig Ogden return to play major British works at Royal & Derngate, Northampton during the weekend of October 15-16. See www.malcolmarnoldfestival.com

The Malcolm Arnold Festival is now a much anticipated annual fixture in the composer’s birthplace, Northampton. Taking place at the town’s impressive arts’ venue Royal & Derngate over 15th – 16th October. This year's celebration features a major concert given by the BBC Concert Orchestra with works by Sir Malcolm Arnold and Sir William Walton. Guest artists over the weekend include guitarist Craig Ogden, trumpeter John Wallace, and conductor John Gibbons.  The Festival will be launched by film composer, Nigel Hess. 

Director Paul Harris introduces this year’s theme: “We’ve called it ‘The Voice of the People’ - which of course sums up Sir Malcolm’s intentions as a composer.  He was always determined to write music that could be immediately appreciated and although he embraced many 20th century “isms”, his music remains utterly accessible.” 

Paul Harris, who is a composer himself as well as one of the UK's leading educationalists and Malcolm Arnold's co-biographer, has worked tirelessly over the last decade to present the composer's genre in an accessible and exciting format for both enthusiasts of the music and to introduce it to those who are less familiar with it. Arnold's music is known for extremes: high-octane multi-coloured invention, humour and occasional eccentricity and, by contrast, traumatic intensity of a searing personal nature.  The Festival also includes entertaining films and talks on this many-faceted composer and his work, as well as some surprising World Premieres; for example, the as yet un-performed opening 207 bars of his unfinished Opera, ‘Henri Christophe’.

Following last year’s unique ‘all-Arnold’ programme, this year’s Gala concert on October 16th showcases works of two of the giants of the 20th century when Arnold’s Overture, Tam O’Shanter, his Guitar Concerto and Serenade with soloist Craig Ogden, and Symphony no.6 are performed alongside Walton’s classic film scores from Hamlet and his Spitfire Prelude and Fugue.  The BBC Concert Orchestra is conducted by John Gibbons, who is ideally suited as a committed programmer, educator and enthusiast of British music himself.

The Festival’s popular ‘Family Concert’ features a specially commissioned work by Timothy Bowers, Carnival of Carnivores, together with Arnold’s Carnival of Animals by the Northampton Symphony Orchestra, again conducted by John Gibbons, and there will be a rare performance of Arnold’s Machines.  Audience favourites include A Grand, Grand Overture, which will feature one of the original vacuum cleaners, the English Dances, and music by film composer Nigel Hess, from his film Ladies in Lavender.

Guest artists include pianist Alice Pinto, soprano Claire Thompson, broadcasters Kriss Rusman and John Griff, the actor Nicolas Chagrin, the Janus Ensemble conducted by Ben Palmer, the Jenny Dyson Wind Quintet and the Northampton County Youth Orchestra.  Legendary trumpet player John Wallace, together with the four winners of his new ‘Malcolm Arnold Fantasies’ competition, will perform the composer’s Brass Quintet.

For more information on The Malcolm Arnold Festival and to book tickets: www.malcolmarnoldfestival.com   or contact the Box Office: Royal & Derngate, Guildhall Road, Northampton NN1 1DP, tel: 01604 624 811 e-mail: boxoffice@royalandderngate.co.uk   www.royalandderngate.co.uk.  Trains run frequently from Euston to Northampton (journey time: 50 mins).

 

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Juan Diego Flórez to appear at The Royal Albert Hall

Juan Diego Flórez

One of the world’s most admired tenors, Juan Diego Flórez, has confirmed he will perform at the Royal Albert Hall, on Friday June 2, 2017 at 7.30pm.

The tenor, who appeared at this year’s Last Night at the Proms, will draw from his most admired – including music by Mozart, Rossini, Donizetti, Verdi, Massenet, Gounod and Latin American classical scores.

Juan Diego Florez said: “Music has been my life since I was a child and there is no place in the UK that I would rather perform at than the Royal Albert Hall. There is a unique magic that comes with playing such an iconic venue and I can’t wait to share my exciting new programme with what is always a passionate, British audience.”

Tickets are on sale from 9am on Friday 9th September 2016. Tickets from £30 (incl. booking fees) www.royalalberthall.com / 020 7589 8212.

 

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New Piano Trios: Societies cooperate in presenting two world premières

Gloucester Cathedral Cloister

Christine Talbot-Cooper combines the roles of Administrator of the Piano Trio Society and Chairman of Gloucester Music Society and has been instrumental in bringing the two societies together for two autumn concerts featuring new piano trios.

The Piano Trio Society celebrates its 21st anniversary in 2016 and commissioned a new piano trio from composer and pianist Adrian Williams, who had long wished to write a piano trio and was delighted to receive the commission. It will be dedicated to the late Dr Christopher Wynn Parry MBE who did so much to help musicians with health problems and had been a great supporter and Vice President of the Piano Trio Society. The première will be at 3.00pm on November 5th at the Chapter House of Gloucester Cathedral by the Fidelio Trio, also members of the society, in a joint venture with Gloucester Music Society, which is well known for its promotion both of English music and of new music. The programme will include piano trios by Moeran and Stanford.

The two societies will collaborate on a further concert which includes the first performance of a new trio by Christopher Brammeld by the young and hugely talented Bedriska Trio, all members of the Piano Trio Society.

The premiere will take place on November 26 at the Gloucester Cathedral Chapter House at 3.00pm. Tickets may be booked via the Gloucester Music Society website: www.gloucestermusicsociety.org.uk or on the door, subject to availability. Enquiries to Christine Talbot-Cooper: 01242 620736

 

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