Roderick Williams talks about opera, prior to his forthcoming title role in Britten's Billy Budd with Opera North, in an interview for Opera Now. Roddy is a regular concert recitalist not least in the Chamber Music Plus area - hear him in Warwick for Leamington Music on 13 November (Schubert Winterreise), and at Malvern Concert Club on 26 February (Schubert Die Schöne Müllerin). On both occasions Roddy is accompanied by Iain Burnside.
Also a composer, the Choir of Clare College, Cambridge will be performing one of his pieces for Leamington Music on 17 December.
We're pleased to include some Oxford concerts in this year's Chamber Music Plus - they include the wonderful Oxford Lieder festival, which runs from 14 to 29 October. Artistic director Sholto Kynoch is interviewed in The Guardian about his musical loves.
What’s been your most memorable live music experience as an audience member?When I was at school, my mum worked in Cheltenham and during the holidays I would go the music festival. I cut my musical teeth there and have countless amazing memories, hearing Alfred Brendel, Grirgory Sokolov, the Florestan Trio, the premiere of Thomas Adès Powder Her Face and much more besides. Playing there for the first time recently was the fulfilment of a long-held ambition.
If you had to pick one work to introduce someone to the wonders of classical music, what would it be?
Bach's B minor Mass
(which you can hear performed at Birmingham Town Hall on Sunday 6 November by Ex Cathedra)
I had the pleasure of hearing the first Stratford concert this season by the Orchestra of the Swan, conducted by David Curtis - the repeat performance at Birmingham Town Hall the following day was reviewed by David Hart for the Birmingham Post: "it’s this chamber music experience that has made OOTS so distinctive. Over the years Curtis has moulded his players into a unified ensemble of individual musicians untrammelled by the histrionics of an egocentric conductor...One of Curtis’s greatest strengths has always been his empathy with soloists. On this occasion the lucky recipient was Laura van der Heijden who, in Haydn’s D major Cello Concerto, displayed a maturity and technical assurance far beyond her nineteen years.
In this remarkable performance (beautifully supported by Curtis and OOTS) the work’s technical difficulties were subsumed by the warmth, elegance and sheer poetry of van der Heijden’s playing. Even the obvious virtuosity of her own first-movement cadenza took the underlying poignancy of Haydn’s original material to new levels of expressive power, while the Rondo’s lilting charm and grace were delivered with the lightest of touches. Absolutely delightful."
The next concerts by OOTS are on 11 October (Artshouse Stratford) and 12 October (Town Hall Birmingham)
Blog written by Jill Davies, who runs the Severn Muses project as well as Chamber Music Plus.
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