The 2019 Leamington Music Festival opens on Friday 3 May with a concert by one of Britain’s favourite violinists, Tasmin Little. This concert has taken on extra significance since Tasmin announced her retirement in summer 2020 and it is proving very popular at the box office.
Tasmin will be accompanied by the young Russian pianist Andrey Gugnin, a prize winner in many competitions, including the 2016 Sydney International Piano Competition. This led to concerto dates with the great Russian conductor Valerie Gergiev with the Mariinsky and London Philharmonic Orchestras.
Richard says, “I have over the years put Tasmin Little on in four of the festivals that I have directed. These were at Charlecote Park, in Warwick and Leamington and she was the concerto soloist in 1991 in the last of the Festivals I directed in Norwich, a highlight in my career.
“Tasmin has recently performed in Birmingham and Stratford-upon-Avon and a week before the Leamington concert, she will play a concerto by Mozart with the European Union Community Orchestra at Warwick Arts Centre.”
The Festival concerts take place in the refurbished Royal Pump Rooms on the Parade in Leamington and the programme for 3 May reflects various strands of programming that run through the Festival. This includes the second Violin Sonata by Delius. His Cello Sonata will be played by Raphael Wallfisch and Late Swallows by the Fitzwilliam Quartet in concerts that follow.
In the Royal Spa Centre Studio on Sunday 5 May, there is a showing of Song of Farewell, the classic documentary about Delius made in 1982 by Nick Gray, who has recently retired to Leamington. This tells the true story of Delius and how the young Eric Fenby came to assist the composer in his last years. The film features a contribution from Yehudi Menuhin and an appearance by Tasmin Little when she was a student at the Yehudi Menuhin School.
The programme also contains a violin sonata by Prokofiev, one of ten works by Russian composers included in the Festival and Andrey Gugnin plays a Moment Musicale for piano by Schubert, who makes several appearances as the Festival hosts the Schubert Institute UK, bringing music lovers to Leamington from all over the United Kingdom.
The Leamington Music Festival celebrates 30 years of festival events held over the first Bank Holiday weekend in May, having started life as the Warwick Schubert Weekend in 1990, and it has been the annual flagship event of Leamington Music since 2007.
Tickets for all Festival concerts are available at the Visitor Information Centres at the Royal Pump Rooms, Leamington
and the Court House, Warwick.
Call 01926 334418 or go online at www.leamingtonmusic.org or www.royalspacentreandtownhall.co.uk
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Blog written by Jill Davies, who runs the Severn Muses project as well as Chamber Music Plus.
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