The current (Jan - Mar) issue of Musical Opinion includes a feature on our local composer Ian Venables, celebrating his 60th birthday - his photograph appears on the front cover. You can read part of the article here but you will need to subscribe to read the full piece.
Also mentioned are two forthcoming local performances of Ian's music:
"Further to Michael Bywater’s article on Ian Venables in this issue, two important premieres of the composer’s music take place within the coming months. On April 16th, at Worcester Cathedral, the first performance of the cantata Remember This, a work written to commemorate the fallen of World War I, will be given by Clare Prewer, sopano, and Richard Coxon, tenor, with the BPSO under Richard Jenkinson.
On June 30th in the concert hall of the Royal Grammar School, Worcester, the world premiere of Venables’ ‘Through these pale cold days’ Opus 46, for tenor, viola and piano, will take place, to be performed by Nick Pritchard, tenor, Louise Williams, viola and Benjamin Frith, piano."
Thanks to Christine Talbot-Cooper of Gloucester Music Society for drawing my attention to this.
Search the Chamber Music Plus website for more performances of music by Ian Venables.
I headed to Birmingham's Town Hall on Friday, looking forward to hearing Maria João Pires, a pianist I've admired through her Mozart recordings for a long time. She was to share a recital with her duet partner, a young Serbian who she met at a festival in 2007, Miloš Popović.
I bought my ticket (using a special offer from the THSH, thank you to them!) and only then realised that Maria had had to withdraw both from this concert and from her solo recital the previous evening - disappointment! I decided to stay as Miloš was to play solo instead - and I'm very glad I did. I particularly enjoyed his Haydn (Piano Sonata no.59 in E flat Hob XVI:49). Someone to look out for in the future.
Once Richard Hawley had introduced the recital, saying that Maria was suffering from shingles and asking the loyal audience to welcome Miloš for his UK debut, my disappointment had turned to sympathy. There was a lovely atmosphere in the hall and I'd encourage anyone who can to go along to these full-length lunchtime concerts. Richard also promised that they'd invite Maria back in a future season - so keep an eye out for that!
An excerpt from the programme notes:
"One thing we can say about music is that we can do our best to grasp it and teach it, but there will always be one thing missing this way - grace - the unexpected miracle which gives music its true worth...It is grace which attracts music lovers to come to concerts, to be part of a precious and unique event. Maria João Pires' Partitura project is all about creating favourable circumstances...proposing well-known musicians to foster young musicians, to invite them (as the name suggests) to share the concert platform. And it is precisely then that this miracle is accomplished, in the presence of an attentive audience, combining interpretations and in one moment traversing space and time."
Miloš: "I was practising a Mozart sonata for four hands when I heard Maria João Pires knock on the door looking for a piano to practise on. Having heard me practising alone, she asked if I would like to play that sonata with her! What a way to discover her tireless generosity and her desire to share her knowledge with someone she hadn't even met before! To be part of the Partitura project is an immense privilege for me".
Michael Brewer has sent me details of some forthcoming concerts featuring some of the artists he manages:
The ‘cello and piano partnership of Worcester resident Richard Jenkinson and Benjamin Frith are giving a concert including works by Saint Saëns, Britten, Worcester composer Ian Venables and Beethoven on Friday 4 March at 8.00pm
English Music Festival
The Jenkinson Frith Duo is included again this year in the English Music Festival with a programme of music by Ian Venables, Ivor Gurney, Frederick Delius, Ledbury composer John Frith, no relation of Benjamin Frith, William Alwyn and William Hurlstone on Sunday 29 May, 2.15 pm at The Silk Hall, Radley College
Worcester Concert Club
Odysseus Piano Trio are engaged to play a programme of trios by Mozart, Fauré and Dvořák’s ever popular Dumki Trio at 3.00 pm on Sunday 6 November in the Huntingdon Hall Worcester. This is a return to the club by pianist Clare Hammond who was acclaimed for her solo recital there in a recent season and has been featured in the film “The Lady in the Van” playing the younger version of the character played by Dame Maggie Smith.
Blog written by Jill Davies, who runs the Severn Muses project as well as Chamber Music Plus.
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