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Concerts made in our region

FREE PUBLICITY! 

If you are involved in music-making, we are privileged to offer a free publicity service to our local community with concert previews and reviews with weekly columns in printed publications such as the Essex County Standard and Colchester Daily Gazette and a monthly page in Essex Life. We also offer regularly contributions to websites such as Colchester 101.

If you have a concert of classical music you would like previewed, contact Liz Leatherdale on 0800 999 6994.


Final draft for the Classical Column on 28 June 2019 in the Essex County Standard and Colchester Gazette

A trio of contrasting orchestral concerts are on offer this weekend!

Conductor Tom Hammond has successfully guided the Essex Symphony Orchestra for the last decade but after tomorrow evening’s concert he will be passing the baton to Robert Hodge. Music for Tom’s final concert includes works by Glinka, Tchaikovsky and Lalo’s Symphonie Espagnole with soloist Philippa Mo. This takes place on Saturday June 28 at 7.30pm in Christ Church URC, New London Road, Chelmsford. Tickets: £14 on the door

Over in Sudbury its Symphony Orchestra makes a rare performance of Doreen Carwithen’s Suffolk Suite – commissioned over 60 years ago for the Queen’s visit to Framlingham School. Carwithen’s work is not as widely known compared with her husband William Alwyn’s music. Excerpts from two of Tchaikovsky’s Ballet Suites – Swan Lake and The Nutcracker – complete the programme. Sunday June 30 at 6pm in St Peter’s Church, Market Hill, Sudbury. Tickets £12 on the door

Last but not least, international pianist Noriko Ogawa will be the soloist in Rachmaninov’s romantic Second Piano Concerto accompanied by the Ipswich Symphony Orchestra. Tchaikovsky’s thrilling Fifth Symphony and Shostakovich’s Festive Overture complete this inspiring Russian concert programme. Saturday June 29 at 7.30pm in the Ipswich Corn Exchange. Ticket availability (01473 433100)

If orchestral music is not for you, then why not enjoy Sunshine after Rain from the Colchester Chamber Choir when it presents some beautiful a cappella choral works by Elgar, Bridge, Saint-Saëns and Kodaly. This takes place on Sunday June 30 at 2.30pm in St Edmund the Martyr, East Mersea, Church Lane. Tickets £12.50 (01206 820813)

Later the same day, children from Highfields Primary School, Manningtree, will be joined by members of Stour Choral Society in the story of Noah and his Ark in a light-hearted re-telling through Michael Flanders’ immensely witty and skilful libretto, brilliantly set to music by Joseph Horovitz. This takes place at 6.15pm in Old Hall, East Bergholt. Ticket information (01206 392820).

 

 

Tune in next week to hear about Clacton Choral going to the Proms and much more!

If you have a concert of classical music you would like previewed, please contact Liz Leatherdale on 0800 999 6994

 

 

 

Final draft for Friday 21 June column in the Essex County Standard and colchester Gazette The British Clarinet Ensemble has performed extensively in Great Britain, Europe, the USA and Japan as well as having recorded some highly

acclaimed CDs. Under its conductor Charles Hine, it presents varied and entertaining programmes including original works and classical favourites. This weekend there is the chance to hear this ensemble performing music by Liszt, Rossini and Alan Bullard’s Cyclic Harmony.  This concert takes place on Sunday June 23 at 3pm in the Headgate Theatre, Colchester. Tickets: £8 (01206 366000)

 At the heart of this year’s Maldon Festival’s programme is a Concert for Kieran. A Festival trustee, Maldon resident and much-loved husband, friend and colleague, Kieran died unexpectedly earlier this year. The concert features music composed specially to celebrate Kieran’s life including Alan Bullard’s Piano Prelude, Ivan Moody’s In Paradisum and also music by Byrd performed by The Choir of St Mary’s. More details at www.maldonfestival.co.uk

 Over in Harwich, international pianist Noriko Ogawa launches Classical Music at the Harwich Festival today with two concerts while next Wednesday the Piatti Quartet performs music by Purcell, Walton, Bridge and Mendelssohn. All three concerts take place in St Nicholas Church, Church Street, Harwich.  For further information and ticket prices visit www.harwichfestival.co.uk

This Sunday afternoon at 2.45pm the Kingfisher Ensemble presents a concert at Lion Walk United Reformed Church with music by Haydn, Rachmaninov and Clara Schumann. This takes place at 2.45pm and tickets are £12 on the door.

Tomorrow evening at 7pm in Liston Church, near Long Melford, A Right Royal Romance of Flute & Harp, featuring music from Bach to Bizet will be performed by Anne Denholm, the Prince of Wales’ Royal Harpist, and virtuosic Russian flautist Alena Walentin. Tickets £20 (01787 375900).

 Also tomorrow evening the Colchester Choral Society presents its Summer concert in Dedham Assembly Rooms while over in Tollesbury’s Congregational Church, the Tiptree Choral Society perform excerpts from Handel’s Messiah and other musical treats.

 Tune in next week to hear about three orchestral concerts and much more!

Final draft for the classical column in Essex County Standard and Colchester Gazette 14 June  After Witham Choral’s highly successful Night at the Opera in April, they now offer a visit to the topsy-turvy world of Gilbert & Sullivan. Tomorrow, under Patrick McCarthy (ex-D’Oyly Carte), they will present excerpts from two of the most popular Savoy Operas – The Mikado and The Gondoliers. These shows have retained their popularity since they were first staged over 130 years ago because of Sullivan’s charming music, Gilbert’s witty lyrics and the completely daft plots. Singers are welcome to join in (rehearse 3pm) and the performance is at 7pm at the United Reformed Church, Newland Street, Witham. For further information (01245 380958).

More G&S is available next month too! Maldon may be well known for its salt but also has a thriving music scene including its choral society and its annual Festival (more on that next week).  Gilbert & Sullivan’s comic opera “The Sorcerer” will be performed with soloists from Chelmsford City Opera on Saturday July 13 at 7.30pm at the United Reformed Church, Maldon. Gilbert’s passion for satirising the excessive focus of the English on class differences is introduced for the first time in this work, with a plot that turns the entire social order upside down and into complete chaos! Tickets from £12 (01621 856503)

Enjoy a Midsummer’s Night in the Minories Garden with music by Beethoven, Puccini and much more. The Kingfisher Ensemble is joined by mezzo-soprano Marie-Claire op ten Noort and baritone Themba Mvula. Tickets are £12, available at the door or online (www.theoperaexperience.com). This concert takes place on Friday June 21 at 7.30pm at the Minories, High Street, Colchester.

Tune in next week to hear about concerts with the British Clarinet Ensemble, a concert for Kieran with music by Alan Bullard and more from the Kingfisher Ensemble.

If you have a forthcoming concert of classical music you would like previewed, contact Liz Leatherdale by email liz@colchesterclassics.co.uk or freephone 0800 999 6994

 

 

Final draft for the Classical column in Essex County Standard and Colchester Gazette 7 June This year international pianist Noriko Ogawa launches Classical Music at the Harwich Festival with two concerts on Friday 21 June.  Her evening concert includes music by Debussy, alongside Mozart’s ‘Alla Turka’ and Kanno’s A Particle of Water and Myochin Hibashi Chopsticks. This concert takes place at 7.30pm.  Noriko will be signing CDs at the evening concert at a stand hosted by Colchester Classics. At 1pm on the same day, Noriko launches the festival’s lunchtime concert series with ‘Jamie’s Concert’ –  a  relaxed performance for those who experience or have Autism. Noriko is passionate about charity work and is the Cultural Ambassador for the National Autistic Society. Both concerts take place in St Nicholas Church, Church Street, Harwich.  For further information and ticket prices visit www.harwichfestival.co.uk

If you enjoyed the Russian repertoire performed by the Colchester Symphony Orchestra last weekend, the Ipswich Symphony Orchestra, and its Patron Noriko Ogawa, present more Russian music including Rachmaninov’s romantic Second Piano Concerto and Shostakovich’s Festival Overture.  This takes place on Saturday June 29 at 7.30pm Tickets available at www.ipswichcornexchange.com  

Next weekend the Lexden Choral Society are hosting a Come and Sing Messiah from Scratch. Here is your chance to sing in a choir and enjoy this popular work. This event takes place on Saturday June 15 from 9.45am at St Leonard’s Church, Lexden.  For full details and to register telephone (01206 543280) or email sarah.blake186 @btinternet.com

By the way, the following weekend the Tiptree Choral Society presents its final concert of the season which includes popular parts from Handel’s Messiah along with a variety of other musical treats. The concert takes place on Saturday June 22, 7.30pm at Congregational Church, Tollesbury.  Tickets are £7.50 on the door.

Tune in next week to hear about concerts including the music of Gilbert & Sullivan and an opera experience at the Minories, Colchester. 

If you have a forthcoming concert of classical music you would like previewed, contact Liz Leatherdale by email liz@colchesterclassics.co.uk or freephone 0800 999 6994

Final draft for the Classical Column in Essex County Standard and Colchester Gazette 31 May The elegant eighteenth-century Dedham Assembly Rooms are the venue for Colchester Choral Society’s Summer Serenade concert and its end of year celebrations. The choir will sing extracts from Purcell’s delightful Restoration opera, King Arthur accompanied by Peter Holman on the harpsichord.  More musical delights will be performed by soloists taken from the choir accompanied by an instrumental ensemble.  After the concert there is a chance to enjoy a cheeky glass of wine and some nibbles with the musicians.  This all takes place on Saturday June 22 at 7.30pm. Tickets: £15 from Manns Music or www.colchesterchoralsociety.co.uk

Essex-based composer Peter Thorne’s music for wind and piano will be performed next Wednesday by Jeffrey Wilson (saxophone), Samantha Christopher and David Chivers (clarinets), Mary Blanchard (flute) and Peter on the piano.  Wednesday June 5 at 1pm in the Cramphorn Theatre, Chelmsford.  Suggested concert donation £1 www.chelmsford.gov.uk

Next weekend the Pimlott Foundation’s Old House is open from 11am – 4.30pm for an opportunity to view its Gardens, an Art Exhibition and to listen to an informal Summer Soirée at 5pm performed by George Ireland (piano) Daniela Bechly (soprano), the Pimlott Family Choir and many more performers.  Enjoy all of this for £5. Saturday June 8. Pimlott Foundation, Great Horksley. www.pimlottfoundation.org  (01206 271291)

The following afternoon the Friends of the Moot Hall Organ present a Piano recital by Maria Kustas in Colchester’s Town Hall. Maria graduated from the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory and then studied at the Royal College of Music having completed a Master of Music in Performance. Tickets are strictly limited and available from the Friends’ Chairman, Nigel Chapman, nigelchapmanwine@hotmail.com

ext week’s column will include details of international pianist Noriko Ogawa performing two concerts at the Harwich Festival and also Rachmaninov’s sumptuous second Piano Concerto with the Ipswich Symphony Orchestra.

If you have a forthcoming concert of classical music you would like previewed, contact Liz Leatherdale by email liz@colchesterclassics.co.uk or freephone 0800 999 6994

Final draft for Essex County Standard & Gazette, 24 May Ravishing and resplendent Russian orchestral music will soon be resonating around the glorious acoustics of St Botolph’s Church.  

Russian composer Igor Stravinsky revolutionised 20th century music and is most noted for his incomparable series of ballet scores. His first ballet was ‘The Firebird’ and was composed in 1910 when he was just 27. Next weekend there is a chance to hear the musically exciting concert suite taken from the ballet performed by the Colchester Symphony Orchestra. This explosive music is contrasted with Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No.4. This symphony was written following a failed marriage and bouts of depression. As you can imagine the music is full of a strong sense of emotion and despair. This all Russian orchestral concert also includes Glinka’s thrilling overture to the opera Rusland and Lyudmila. This concert takes place on Saturday June 1 in St Botolph’s Church, Colchester. Tickets from £13 but are free for all under 25 year olds(01206 271128) As always the Colchester Symphony Orchestra will be conducted by Chris Phelps.

The two following weekends, Chris will be busy conducting the Hadleigh Choral Society in two charity concerts including music by Vaughan Williams and Butterworth. Full details here http://www.hadleighchoralsociety.org.uk/

 The first concert in the Suffolk Villages Festival 2019 series takes place on Bank Holiday Monday. It’s called Venetian Splendour and is a rare chance to hear some of the grand ceremonial motets and instrumental pieces for divided choirs written by Giovanni Gabrielli, along with works by Schutz, Praetorius and Scheidt. Music will be performed by Psalmody and The John Jenkins Consort directed by Peter Holman. This concert is on Monday May 27 at 6pm, at St Peter’s Church, Sudbury. Tickets are £18 (01206 366603).

In July the Festival presents its third Musical Tea Party. A lavish tea is promised accompanied by delicious seventeenth century music by Corelli, Purcell and their contemporaries performed by Crispian Steel-Perkins on trumpet with the John Jenkins Consort. Sunday July 14 at 3.15pm in the Dedham Assembly Rooms. Tickets: £20 (01206 366603) www.suffolkvillagesfestival.com,

If you have a forthcoming concert of classical music you would like previewed, contact Liz Leatherdale by email liz@colchesterclassics.co.uk or freephone 0800 999 6994

Final Draft for the Classical Colum in the the Essex County Standard and Colchester Gazette, 17 May

Live Classical Music will soon be heard in Frinton and the surrounding area over the May Bank holiday weekend. Festival Director Robert Max launches the event on Friday May 24 with a concert of J S Bach’s Cello Suites by candlelight in All Saint’s Church, Great Holland. The London Chamber Orchestra, who played to a global audience at Prince William’s wedding in Westminster Abbey, will be performing music by Beethoven with young musicians from Essex Music Services’ Tendring Community Music Centre sitting side by side. This contrasts with a family concert including Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf” narrated by John D. Collins, who is well known for his work on TV and at Frinton Summer Theatre.

The musicians of the Barbican Piano Trio, who are resident artists at the Frinton Festival, are joined by Maria Włoszczowska and Adam Newman to play music by Beethoven, Fauré and Dvorak in St. Mary’s Parish Church. The trio was delighted to visit Highfields Primary School in Manningtree and Tendring Primary School earlier this year to introduce the schoolchildren to some of the music they can hear at the festival. For full information on the Festival  please visit www.frintonfestival.com

Over in Chelmsford’s Civic Theatre, The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment featuring international tenor Ian Bostridge presents an evening of works by Henry Purcell and John Blow, including Purcell’s Overture and arias from ‘The Fairy Queen’ and pieces from Blow’s opera ‘Venus and Adonis’. Wednesday May 22 at 7.30pm. Tickets from £17.50 – (01245 606505)

Don’t forget that tomorrow there are two contrasting concerts taking place – Colchester Chamber Choir in St Botolph’s Church and Tiptree Choral Society in St Luke’s Church Tiptree as featured last week.

Tune in next week for information on a rare chance to hear some of the grand ceremonial motets and instrumental pieces for divided choirs written by Giovanni Gabrielli, a Musical Tea Party and also a Russian orchestral concert from the excellent Colchester Symphony Orchestra.

If you have a forthcoming concert of classical music you would like previewed, contact Liz Leatherdale by email liz@colchesterclassics.co.uk or freephone 0800 999 6994

Final copy for Classical columns in both the Essex County Standard and Colchester Gazette, 10 May 2019

Handel’s Dixit Dominus is one of his earliest choral works. It was written in 1707 when he was just 22 years old and many years before his most popular oratorio, Messiah. Dixit Dominus is Handel’s setting of Psalm 110 and is a dramatic and demanding work with vocal gymnastics required of the soloists and the choir. This month Tiptree Choral Society will perform Handel’s work from the early 18th century contrasting with Haydn’s Missa in tempore belli (Mass in Time of War), written when Austria was at war with France. Soloists Annabel Malton, Joanne Webber, Elouise Waterhouse, Michael Savage and Victor Sgarbi and organist Jonathan Eyre join the choir for this concert conducted by Malcolm Boulter. St Luke’s Church in Tiptree at 7.30pm on Saturday 18 May 2019. Tickets: £12 (01206 734625)

Next year the choir celebrates two 75th anniversaries in one concert on 7 November – the choir commemorates the end of World War 2 contrasting with its own 75th anniversary. Two years’ later the choir will celebrate Malcolm Boulter’s 50th year as Musical Director! 

Following its sell-out concert of Rachmaninov’s Vespers, the Colchester Chamber Choir’s next concert is entitled The Romantic Soul.  The evening includes three major works by Fauré, including the famous Pavane, short choral works by Clara Schumann and four works by Swedish composer Wilhelm Stenhammar. The choir will be accompanied by pianist John Paul Ekins who will also perform music by Fauré and Rossini. This takes place on Saturday May 18 at 7pm in St Botolph’s Church, Colchester. Tickets: £16 www.colchesterchamberchoir.org

At the same venue this Sunday at 3pm there is a free concert by young musicians who all recently achieved distinction in their ABRSM music exams and on Friday May 17 at 7.30pm a Men’s Choir from Hamburg will perform music by Vaughan Williams, Rossini, Schubert. This also takes place at St Botolph’s Church. Admission is free with a retiring collection.

Tune in next week for concert previews of the Frinton Festival and The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment comes to Chelmsford’s Civic Theatre

If you have a forthcoming concert of classical music you would like previewed, contact Liz Leatherdale by email liz@colchesterclassics.co.uk or freephone 0800 999 6994


Final copy of the Classical columns for the Essex County Standard and Colchester Gazette, 3 Ma 2019

The Pimlott Foundation was established 2007 in memory of Steven Pimlott, inspired by his versatility, passion and love of music making. Colchester New Music (CNM) is a co-operative of composers based in East Anglia. This month the Foundation will be hosting a CNM concert where its members will have their music premiered by harpsichordist Sara Stowe at her Music of Starrs and Skies concert. Premieres of music by Philip Joy, Peter Thorne, Laurence Glazier and Jenni Pinnock will be performed alongside Baroque to Classical music. The concert takes place on Saturday May 11 at 3pm at the Foundation’s Old House Barn, Great Horkesley.  Tickets: £11.00 (01206 271291). Also at the Old House Barn but next Wednesday evening the Foundation’s Family Choir begins rehearsing for its next event. Enquiries (01206 271291).

All Saints’ Church in Wrabness, which dates from around 1100, is the small but intimate venue for Quartet Solasta’s concert. This new String quartet will be playing music by Haydn, Janacek and Mendelssohn. This concert is on Sunday at 4pm. Tickets: £14 (01255 880791)  Double Bass player Joseph Cowie accompanied by Ian Ray at the piano launch the Summer series of weekly lunchtime concerts in Colchester’s Lion Walk United Reformed Church on Wednesday May 8. Flautist Mary Blanchard and oboist Gill Gerrard, often heard in local orchestras, will be performing in the same series on Wednesday May 29.  All Wednesday lunchtime concerts take place at 1pm. Admission is free with a retiring collection.  Colchester opera singer Marie-Clarie op ten Noort launches her Opera Experience with Hansel and Gretel in August but as a prelude to the event Marie-Claire will be joined by soprano Juliet Petrus in a concert including songs by Bizet, Bernstein and Verdi. This takes on Tuesday May 7 at 7.30pm at the Minories, High Street, Colchester. Tickets: £10 on the door.  Tune in next week to find out about two contrasting choral concerts both taking place on Saturday 18 May  As always, this is only a brief look at a few of the many concerts and festivals in our musically rich region. If you have a forthcoming concert of classical music you would like previewed, contact Liz Leatherdale on 0800 999 6994


Final copy of Classical column for Essex County Standard and Colchester Gazette, 26 April 2019

From its opening Representation of Chaos through to the making of the stars, seas and storms Haydn’s Creation is one of the great musical dramas. Last month Lexden Choral Society and the Kingfisher Sinfonietta performed Beethoven’s ‘Choral’ Symphony. This month the same musical forces perform this other masterpiece, The Creation, with its well-loved choruses including “The Heavens Are Telling The Glory Of God” and “Achieved Is The Glorious Work”. Clare Tunney and Michael Bell were both soloists at the Beethoven concert and for Haydn’s oratorio they will be joined by Tim Edlin. These soloists are students from the Royal College and Royal Academy of Music. I am sure John Chillingworth will masterfully inspire and guide the musicians in another riveting performance. This concert takes place tomorrow evening at 7.30pm in St Botolph’s Church Colchester. Tickets: £14 on the door.

In February Colchester Bach Choir and the Colchester Philharmonic under Patrick McCarthy also performed Haydn’s dramatic work at St Botolph’s with Gill Wilson, Tom Stapleton and Alan Loader as the Three Archangels. Next month Patrick will conduct another performance of The Creation, this time with the Ipswich Bach Choir and Chamber Orchestra but with the same excellent soloists. This performance takes place on Saturday May 18 at 7.30pm in St Andrew’s Church, Felixstowe. Tickets: £14 on the door (01394 271538).

By the way, The Creation will also be performed at the BBC Proms on Monday July 29 in the Royal Albert Hall!

This year the Trianon Music Group commissioned many works to celebrate its Diamond Jubilee including Ronald Corp’s Jubilant Song! which will be premiered tomorrow evening at the Ipswich Corn Exchange. This concert starts at 7.30pm and includes Aaron Copland’s Happy Anniversary and John Rutter’s Birthday Madrigals. Tickets from £10 (01473 433100) Tune in next week to find out about the Quartet Solasta performing at Wrabness Church, Tiptree Choral Society’s next concert and summer lunchtime concerts.  As always, this is only a brief look at a few of the many concerts and festivals in our musically rich region. If you have a forthcoming concert of classical music you would like previewed, contact Liz Leatherdale on 0800 999 6994

 


Final copy of column for Essex County Standard and Colchester Gazette, 5 April 2019.

This weekend, David Owen Norris, well-known for his TV work and programmes of English music, presents a concert as part of the Suffolk Villages Festival 2019. David will explore J S Bach’s influence on later music, such as Bax’s arrangement of Bach’s Fantasia in G, BWV 572 and Vaughan Williams’ arrangement of a Bach chorale. Hear David perform these works and more on a Broadwood fortepiano at 6pm on Sunday April 7 in St Mary’s Church, Boxford. Tickets from £12 (01206 366603).

Witham Choral, its four soloists accompanied by the Colchester Philharmonic present A Night at the Opera with a programme full of favourite operatic arias and choruses. Conductor Patrick McCarthy said “The choir will sing choruses from Aida, Trovatore and Cavalleria Rusticana. Soprano soloist Gill Wilson will give her celebrated performance of Mozart’s Queen of Night’s Aria, tenor John Pierce will sing from Verdi’s Rigoletto and also Puccini’s Nessun Dorma, Elaine Henson will be Carmen and young violinist Lui Papena will play Massenet’s famous Meditation.” This all takes place at Witham Public Hall, Collingwood Road, Witham, at 7.30pm on Saturday April 6 Tickets: £13 (0345 0178717).

Essex Young People’s Orchestra is the county’s training symphony orchestra and will be performing a programme including Schubert’s Symphony No. 8 ‘Unfinished’ on April 11 at 6pm in Braintree Arts Theatre. The following week Charles Hine conducts the Essex Youth Symphonic Wind Orchestra on April 17 at 7.30pm in the Swinburne Hall in Colchester Institute. Both concerts are free to attend and no need to book.

Charles Hine will be playing the clarinet with Beth Spendlove (violin), Nigel Clayton (piano) in concert including music by Khachaturian, Milhaud, Fauré and Stravinsky. This takes place on Sunday April 14 at 2.45pm in Lion Walk United Reformed Church, Colchester. Tickets: £12 on the door.
Beth Spendlove’s Kingfisher Sinfonietta will be in Colchester on April 27 accompanying the Lexden Choral Society in Haydn’s Creation. More on that concert and others when the column returns from an Easter break on 26 April.

If you have a forthcoming concert of classical music you would like previewed, contact Liz Leatherdale on 0800 999 6994

 


Final copy of column for Essex County Standard and Colchester Gazette, 28 March 2019.

Over the next few weeks the Colchester Symphony Orchestra, St Botolph’s Music Society Orchestra and the Sudbury Symphony Orchestra are all performing a variety of music.

 Early next month  the Colchester Symphony Orchestra will accompany the Hadleigh Choral Society in J S Bach’s St John Passion – music appropriate to Easter as it relates the story of the suffering and crucifixion of Jesus.  The choir will be joined by six soloists including soprano Elinor Rolfe Johnson, daughter of the English operatic tenor, the late Anthony Rolfe Johnson CBE. This concert takes place on Saturday April 6 at 7.30pm  in St Mary’s Church, Hadleigh. Tickets: £14 (01473 823791) www.hadleighchoralsociety.org.uk

 The following weekend, Elinor will be the soloist in Mahler’s Rückert Lieder accompanied by the Colchester Symphony Orchestra. Mahler’s work is a cycle of lyrical love songs setting poems by Rückert.  Elinor gave her debut recital at London’s Wigmore Hall in September 2013 and has since performed in various venues in both the UK and Europe. Mahler’s music is contrasted with Mozart’s Overture to The Magic Flute. This beautiful music can be heard on Saturday April 13 at 7.30pm in St Botolph’s Church, Colchester. Tickets £15 (free to under 25s) (01206 271128)

Following the sell-out  Gershwin Gala Spectacular last month, St Botolph’s Music Society Orchestra presents its next concert which includes Beethoven’s Symphony No.3 ‘Eroica’ and Schumann’s Introduction and Allegro Appassionato. Clarinettist Samantha Christopher joins the orchestra in a clarinet concerto by Handel arranged by John Barbirolli. This is on Saturday April 6 at St Botolph’s Church, Colchester. Tickets: £12 (01206 823662)

 

This weekend soprano soloist Catherine May will sing Dvorak’s Song to the Moon from Rusalka, Johann Strauss’ Czardas from Die Fledermaus and Vilja from Lehar’s Merry Widow. Catherine will be  accompanied by the Sudbury Symphony Orchestra who will also perform  Dvorak’s My Homeland Overture and his Symphony No.9 ‘From the New World’.  This concert is on Sunday March 31 at 6pm in St Peter’s Church, Market Hill, Sudbury. Tickets: £12 email events@sudburysymphonyorchestra.com

Tune in next week for concerts from the Witham Choral and the Suffolk Villages Festival.

 If you have a forthcoming concert of classical music you would like previewed, contact Liz Leatherdale on 0800 999 6994

 


Final draft for the Classical Music column in the Essex County Standard and Colchester Gazette, 22 March, 2019

Marin Alsop made musical history when she was the first woman to conduct the Last Night of the BBC Proms in 2013. For generations the position of conductor has been dominated by men but now things are changing and we have our own trio of local female choral conductors.

Stour Choral Society has recently welcomed Susie Hyman as its conductor following Duncan Archard’s retirement after several successful years with his back to the audience. Susie’s first concert will see her directing the choir in Dvořák’s beautiful Stabat Mater. This was the composer’s first composition of a religious nature, written at a time of great personal sadness and it is widely regarded as one of the most moving settings of the Passion story. This takes place on Saturday 30 March at 2.30pm in Mistley Church. Tickets: £12 (01206 392820).

Gillian Ward-Russell, conductor of Maldon Choral Society, has chosen Arthur Somervell’s The Passion Of Christ, with organ accompaniment by Duncan Archard, for its next concert. Gillian said “It is a lovely tuneful work and, like the better-known Stainer’s Crucifixion, it gives the audience opportunities to sing hymns with the choir. Although sacred in nature, our performance will be presented as a concert and not a service and we hope to attract those who enjoy choral music and those who wish to treat it as a devotional experience.” Saturday, March 30 at 7.30pm in All Saints’ Church, High Street, Maldon. Tickets £12 in advance (£14 on the door) (01621 856503)

At its Easter Concert, Clacton Choral presents a variety of music by the French composers Gounod and Fauré and by Franck from neighbouring Belgium. Musical Director Gilli Dulieu has chosen an appealing mix of familiar pieces and new delights including Fauré’s Cantique de Jean Racine, Franck’s Panis Angelicus and Gounod’s St Cecilia Mass. This concert takes place on April 13 at 7.30pm in St James’ Church, Tower Road, Clacton CO15 1DA. Tickets: £10 including programme (01255 221511)

Tune in next week to hear about two concerts with soprano soloist Elinor Rolfe Johnson conducted by Chris Phelps.

 


Final draft for Classical column in both the Essex County Standard and Gazette, 15 March 2019

Next month Chris Phelps will be conducting the Colchester Symphony Orchestra on April 13, and the weekend before he will have conducted Hadleigh Choral Society accompanied by the same orchestra.. More on these soon but before that he will direct the Kelvedon Singers in a programme entitled ‘I Was Glad’. This concert comprises music appropriate to the lead up to Easter, including Purcell’s sacred anthems – ‘I was glad’ and ‘Hear my prayer’- contrasting with Schubert’s last but glorious Mass in E flat, composed in 1828. As usual with the Kelvedon Singers, solos will be taken by members of the chamber choir. This concert takes place on Saturday March 30 at 6.30pm, St Albright’s Church, Stanway, Colchester. Tickets: £10 in advance (01376 561719), £12 on the door

Back to this weekend when Beth Spendlove will be leading the Kingfisher Trio in a programme of trios, quartets & quintets for string trio, flute and oboe with music by Mozart, Devienne, Pleyel, Sussmayr and others. This takes place on Sunday afternoon at 2.45pm in Lion Walk United Reformed Church, Colchester. Tickets: £12 on the door.

On the following Sunday, the Colchester Waits are joined by a specially formed chamber choir directed by Gregory Rose to perform music from England in the first half of the 16th century, including dance tunes and chansons from the court of Henry VIII as well as a new piece by Gregory Rose, based on the famous Westron Wynde melody and especially commissioned for the event. Sunday March 24 at 2.30pm in St Andrew’s Church, Marks Tey. Tickets: £12
Don’t forget that the Colchester Choral Society will be performing one of the greatest pieces for choir and orchestra ever written, Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius, tomorrow evening at 7.30pm in St Botolph’s Church, Colchester. Tickets: £15

Tune in next week to find out more about a trio of choral concerts conducted by female conductors, Dr Gillian Ward-Russell, Susie Hyman, and Gilli Dulieu. Other concerts and conductors are available!

If you have a forthcoming concert of classical music you would like previewed, contact Liz Leatherdale on 0800 999 6994


 

Final draft for Classical Music column in both the Essex County Standard and Colchester Gazette, 8 March 2019.

Since its  ‘Remembrance and Renewal’ concert last November,  the Anglia Singers have been preparing for their next concert of music by Faure and John Rutter. 

The seven sections of Faure’s Requiem present peaceful and calm music. The Pie Jesu is one of the most musically moving sections and on this occasion Gill Wilson will be the soprano soloist.  Gill will be joined by  soloists Muriel Kwint and Tim Gillott and the Anglia Singers accompanied by pianist Ashley Thompson and conducted by Chris Green. The programme also includes Feel the Spirit, a cycle of seven familiar spirituals arranged by John Rutter, including ‘Steal Away’ and ‘When the saints go marching in’. Sunday March 17 at 4pm in Our Lady Queen of Peace Church, Braintree. Tickets: £8 (01245 350988)

This Sunday the Stour Valley Arts & Music society (SVAM) starts its new season with  piano quartets by Mozart, Mahler and Brahms performed by the Rautio Piano Trio who are joined by the Sacconi quartet’s viola player, Robin Ashwell.  This concert takes place on Sunday March 10 at 4pm. The second concert in the new SVAM series is by the Manchester-based Zelkova Quartet who will be performing a programme of Mozart, Mendelssohn and Dvorak quartets and takes place Sunday March 24 at 4pm. Both concerts are in  St Mary’s Church, The Street, East Bergholt. Tickets: £15 each concert (01206 298426 ).

On Tuesday lunchtime, Dr Gillian Ward-Russell presents an organ recital taking us on a meteorological musical journey including ‘The Storm’ by Lemens and a drop of rain from Chopin on the piano.  Hear Gillian perform on Tuesday March 12 at 1pm on the Edwardian organ housed in the glorious Moot Hall, Colchester Town Hall.  Free entry with a retiring collection.  Look out for news coming soon about Gillian’s next concert when she will be conducting the Maldon Choral Society!

Don’t forget Tiptree Choral Society’s concert takes place tomorrow evening at St Luke’s Church, Tiptree; with music from Handel’s Messiah to songs from West End musicals. Tickets: £12 (01206 734625) or on the door.

Next week will be all about the Will Todd’s ‘Jazz Missa Brevis’ with the Chelmsford Singers and ‘I Was Glad’ with the Kelvedon Singers.

If you have a forthcoming concert of classical music you would like previewed, contact Liz Leatherdale on 0800 999 6994.

 


Final draft for Classical Music column in both the Essex County Standard and Colchester Gazette, 1 March 2019.

“We want to raise the roof at our Come and Sing Carmina Burana!” said Nayland Choir music director Emma Bishton.

Many will know the famous ‘O Fortuna’ that opens Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana because of its countless use in television commercials and films. At less than three minutes long, ‘O Fortuna’ is only one very small part of this colourful secular cantata. Here is an opportunity to learn and perform the work under the choral director Ben Vonberg-Clark, who recently directed a singing event for the Roman River Festival. This all takes place at Thomas Gainsborough School in Sudbury on Saturday March 9 starting at 10am and ending with a performance at 5pm.  The day costs £15 and registration is essential via naylandchoir.org  or emailing  naylandchoir@gmail.com

On the same day Tiptree Choral Society presents an evening of music ‘From Messiah to the Musicals! Conductor Malcolm Boulter has chosen a variety of choruses from Handel’s Messiah appropriate to Easter celebrations. Contrasting with these favourite choruses there will be songs from West End and Broadway hit musicals. The concert is on Saturday March 9 at 7:30pm at St Luke’s Church Tiptree. Tickets: £12 (01206 734625) or on the door.

Back to this weekend when Colchester Early Music presents the battle between Shrovetide and Lent in Music, Words and Song from 16th & 17th Century Britain. This afternoon concert includes music by Campion and Gibbons and readings by Gay, Hawkins and Shakespeare. This all takes place on Sunday March 3 at 2.30pm in St Andrew’s Church, Marks Tey. Tickets: £15 www.colchesterearlymusic.org.uk

Don’t forget there is a Beethoven Gala concert tomorrow evening at St Botolph’s Church Colchester at 7.30pm

Next week will be about the Anglia Singers performing in Braintree, Stour Valley Arts & Music concerts and organist and conductor  Gillian Ward-Russell.

If you have a forthcoming concert of classical music you would like previewed, contact Liz Leatherdale on 0800 999 6994.

 


 Final draft for Classical Music column in both the Essex County Standard and Colchester Gazette, 22 February 2019.

Generally acknowledged in this country as one of the greatest pieces for chorus and orchestra ever written, next month Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius will be performed by Colchester Choral Society conducted by Ian Ray. 

Nowadays a favourite of choirs and audiences alike, the first (under-rehearsed) performance disappointed the composer, baffled his friends and underwhelmed the critics. This performance promises to be a success with soloists Rebecca Afonwy-Davis (mezzo), Daniel Joy (tenor), Edward Grint (bass- baritone) accompanied by the Colchester Sinfonia. Saturday March 16, 2019 at 7:30pm in St Botolph’s Church, Colchester. Tickets: £15 www.colchesterchoralsociety.co.uk

Daniela Bechly and pianist Penny Cliff will be performing and discussing interpretations of Schubert’s song cycle Die Winterreise (A Winter Journey). This work for voice and piano is a setting of 24 poems by Wilhelm Müller and it all takes place on  Sunday February 24 at 5pm in The Barn, Old House Road, Great Horkesley. Tickets: £5 available from  www.pimlottfoundation.org or (01206 271291).

 Since winning the BBC Young Musician of the Year at the age of seventeen, Emma Johnson has gone on to become an international soloist renowned for her diverse range of repertoire. Early next month, Emma will be soloist in James Francis Brown’s Clarinet Concerto, Lost Lanes, Shadow Groves accompanied by the Essex Symphony Orchestra. Other musical treats in the same concert include Schubert’s Symphony No. 8 and works by Sibelius. This concert takes place on Saturday March 2 at 7.30pm in Chelmsford Cathedral. Tickets: £16. There are twenty free tickets available for this concert. Telephone (01245 601418) for tickets and more information.

 Next week will be about an evening of music from musicals to the Messiah with Tiptree Choral Society, a come and sing Orff’s Carmina Burnana  hosted by the Nayland Choir and a Sunday afternoon concert from  the Colchester Early Music group.

 If you have a forthcoming concert of classical music you would like previewed, contact Liz Leatherdale on 0800 999 6994


Final draft for Classical Music column in both the Essex County Standard and Colchester Gazette, 15 February 2019.

Next month there is another Gala concert at St Botolph’s Church!  This time it is a Beethoven Gala with the opportunity to hear two of Beethoven’s greatest works in a single concert – Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No.5 ‘Emperor’ and Symphony No.9 ‘Choral’. In addition to a full symphony orchestra, Beethoven’s last symphony is scored for four vocal soloists and a large choir.  John Chillingworth, who masterminded this whole project, will be conducting the musical forces of the Kingfisher Sinfonia, pianist Nigel Clayton, vocal soloists Katy Thomson, Holly-Marie Bingham, Michael Bell and Tristan Hambleton plus a massed choir comprising Lexden Choral Society, Colchester Royal Grammar School’s Sixth Form Choir and singers from Tiptree’s Thurstable School.  John’s wife Angela will be presenting a pre-concert talk at 7pm with the concert starting at 7.30pm. Saturday March 2, 2019 in St Botolph’s Church, Colchester. Tickets: £15 (01206 543280)

Last Saturday there was a full house at the glorious Gershwin Gala also at St Botolph’s  with many soloists and musicians including international pianist Noriko Ogawa who stole the show with Rhapsody in Blue.   Tomorrow evening the Colchester Symphony Orchestra presents a concert in the same venue including music by Wagner and Prokofiev and Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No.2 with soloist Alisdair Hogarth. Under 25s go free to all CSO concerts. Tickets: £15 (01206 271128) or on the door.  (By the way, Noriko will play the same concerto accompanied by the Ipswich Symphony Orchestra on June 29.)

Before accompanying Noriko, the Ipswich Symphony Orchestra is preparing for its Family Concert, providing a chance to explore  music from the movies including Jurassic Park, ET and Born Free plus orchestral favourites from Bizet to Bernstein.  This takes place on Sunday March 3 at 2.30pm in Ipswich Corn Exchange. Tickets: £10 (01473 433100)

Next week, I’ll include details of a performance of a work generally regarded in this country as one of the greatest choral pieces ever written, Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius, and also international clarinettist Emma Johnson performing with the Essex Symphony Orchestra.

 If you have a forthcoming concert of classical music you would like previewed, contact Liz Leatherdale on 0800 999 6994.

 


Final draft for Classical Music column in both the Essex County Standard and Colchester Gazette, 8 February 2019.

If your father is the celebrated pianist Alfred Brendel, then maybe the last instrument you should take up professionally is the piano? Alfred’s son Adrian sensibly recognised this and became a cellist. Adrian now enjoys a busy concert schedule as soloist, recitalist and chamber musician. This month he will be joined by pianist Noam Greenberg at the launch of the Roman River Music Festival 2019. These international musicians will be performing music by Beethoven, Debussy and Poulenc. Thursday February 28 at 7.30pm in the Mercury Theatre, Colchester. Tickets form £19.50  (01206 577006)

Earlier this month the next lunchtime recital in Colchester Town Hall will be given on the magnificent Moot Hall Organ. Honorary Borough Organist Ian Ray will be presenting a selection of music from J S Bach to Liszt with a cheeky nod to St Valentine’s Day thrown in. Ian is joined by the choral group, Amoroso. Tuesday February 12 at 1pm. Admission is free with a retiring collection in aid of The Friends of the Moot Hall Organ Fund. The following day, Ian will be accompanying soprano Emma Bishton at her lunchtime concert at 1pm in Lion Walk United Reformed Church. Admission is again free with a retiring collection.

Don’t forget tomorrow is the annual Gala Concert night at St Botolph’s Church but this year with a difference! International pianist Noriko Ogawa and her partner, pianist Philip Smith, will be accompanied by both the Phil Sweeting Swing Band and the St Botolph’s Music Society Orchestra in a Gershwin Spectacular Gala Concert. Saturday 9 February at 7.30pm, St Botolph’s Church, Colchester. Tickets: £15 (01206 577905)

Next week, I’ll include details on another Gala concert taking place in St Botolph’s Church. This one has been masterminded by John Chillingworth and includes Beethoven’s Symphony No.9 ‘Choral’ .

If you have a forthcoming concert of classical music you would like previewed, contact Liz Leatherdale on 0800 999 6994.


Final draft for Classical Music column in both the Essex County Standard and Colchester Gazette, 1 February 2019.

This month former Colchester Royal Grammar School student Alisdair Hogarth returns to Colchester as soloist in Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No.2. Alisdair made his concerto debut at the age of 15 with the London Philharmonic Orchestra at the Queen Elizabeth Hall. His performances have included recitals at major London venues and international festivals.

A few years back, Alisdair was soloist with the Essex Symphony Orchestra but this month he plays Rachmaninov’s romantic Second Piano Concerto with the Colchester Symphony Orchestra under Chris Phelps. This concerto is full of enchanting and charming melodies and has been used in many films and its main theme from the slow movement was used in the well-known pop song from the ‘70s, All by Myself. This beautiful concerto was last performed in St Botolph’s Church by Noriko Ogawa to a packed house (by the way, Noriko returns to the church next Saturday in the Gershwin Gala Spectacular Concert.). Colchester Symphony Orchestra’s concert also includes music from Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet Suites. This concert takes place on Saturday February 16 at 7.30pm. Under 25s go free to all CSO concerts. Tickets: £15 (01206 271128) or on the door.

Back to this weekend, when on Sunday the Sudbury Symphony Orchestra has a workshop where Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No.6 will be explored and rehearsed. These free workshops are a great introduction to playing in an orchestra! For further details on venue and times: (07802 793768) or events@sudburysymphonyorchestra.com.

Keep tuned in to these columns for news on more orchestral concerts next month with both the Ipswich Symphony Orchestra and the Essex Symphony Orchestra.

Next Wednesday guitarist Tim Pells presents the first concert in the Lion Walk United Reformed Church Wednesday lunchtime concert series for the Spring. Admission is free with a retiring collection.

Don’t forget tomorrow evening the Colchester Bach Choir and Colchester Philharmonic perform Haydn’s Creation in aid of the Colchester Mayor’s many charities at 7.30pm in St Botolph’s Church.

Next week, I’ll include details on the new concert series on the magnificent Moot Hall Organ housed in the Colchester Town Hall and news on Adrian Brendel coming to Colchester.

If you have a forthcoming concert of classical music you would like previewed, contact Liz Leatherdale on 0800 999 6994.

 


Final draft for Classical Music column in both the Essex County Standard and Colchester Gazette, 25 January 2019.

It is not every day that there is the chance to hear an international pianist, a swing band, a jazz vocalist and a symphony orchestra all in the same concert, but that is just what is happening next month in a Gershwin Spectacular Gala Concert!

International pianist Noriko Ogawa and her partner, pianist Philip Smith, regularly play in Colchester but this time they will be accompanied by both the Phil Sweeting Swing Band and the St Botolph’s Music Society Orchestra. Local musician Jonathan Abbott presented the idea to all the musicians and the concert has now become a reality!

Jonathan plays trumpet with the Phil Sweeting Swing Band and invited its founder Phil and jazz singer Lydia Bell to perform in this concert. Jonathan is also Deputy Director of Music at the St Botolph’s Music Society which was founded in 1966 by Colin Nicholson.
After a lot of planning and arranging of music, Jonathan has gathered all the musical forces, who have never performed together before, in a programme that promises to live up to its name of a Gershwin Spectacular Gala Concert. Noriko Ogawa is the soloist in Rhapsody in Blue, Philip Smith is the soloist in the Piano Concerto in F and there are instrumental arrangements of Strike Up the Band and Fascinatin’ Rhythm. Saturday 9 February at 7.30pm, St Botolph’s Church, Colchester. Tickets: £15 (01206 577905)

In complete contrast, Lizzie Gutteridge’s Consort of 1 brings more of her live-looped early music to the Colchester Early Music concert series. This time Lizzie presents a programme which promises to deliver the most fascinating and complex music of the 14th century. This takes place at St Andrew’s Church in Marks Tey on Sunday February 3 at 2.30pm. Tickets are £10. Www.colchesterearlymusic.org.uk

Back to this weekend, when Peter Seivewright performs the premier of Peter Thorne’s second Piano Sonata and music by J S Bach and Medtner. This is tomorrow afternoon at 2pm in the Swinburne Hall Colchester Institute Sheepen Road Colchester. Free entry.
Tune in next week for news of orchestral music in and around Colchester.

If you have a forthcoming concert of classical music you would like previewed, contact Liz Leatherdale on 0800 999 6994.


Final draft for Classical Music column in both the Essex County Standard and Colchester Gazette, 18 January 2019.

With so many concerts going on, I thought it would be appropriate to let you know of some next month so you can make space in your diary.

For 25 years the Colchester Bach Choir has been presenting an annual concert in aid of the Colchester Mayor’s charities and the next one is happening in February. The local charities this year include the Air Ambulance, Essex Wildlife Trust, the ABF, the Emergency Night Shelter, Action for Family Carers and the Colchester Hospitals Charity. The choir will be performing Haydn’s famous oratorio The Creation. The Colchester Philharmonic will accompany the angelic sounds of the choir and the Three Archangels (Gill Wilson, Tom Stapleton and Alan Loader). Conductor Patrick McCarthy said ‘The Creation is a great favourite with choral singers and audiences alike- it is alternately stirring and beautiful and not without touches of humour’. This performance is at 7.30 on Saturday February 2 at St Botolph’s Church, Colchester. Tickets: £12 from Red Lion Books, Colchester or (01206 546202).

The week after at St Botolph’s there is a Gershwin Spectacular Gala Concert with musicians including the international pianist, Noriko Ogawa, the St Botolph’s Music Society Orchestra, jazz singer Lydia Bell and the Phil Sweeting Band.  Saturday 9 February at 7.30pm, St Botolph’s Church, Colchester. Tickets: £15 (01206 577905)

Back to this month, when the Comalli Consort performs at The Pimlott Foundation’s first concert of 2019. This consort is an up and coming Historical Performance Ensemble focusing on music of the Renaissance period. Comprised of students and graduates of the Royal Academy of Music, including regular Pimlott Foundation performer Alice Trocellier on viola da gamba, the ensemble will feature arrangements of consort and madrigal repertoire in this concert including music by Dowland, Butler and Purcell. Tickets: £12 (01206 271291)

If you have a forthcoming concert of classical music you would like previewed, contact Liz Leatherdale on 0800 999 6994.


Final draft for Classical Music column in both the Essex County Standard and Colchester Gazette, 11 January 2019.

If one of your New Year’s resolutions was to hear more live Classical Music, you will be spoilt for choice this year! Just this weekend there are various musical offerings in our area but I’ve chosen to feature three contrasting concerts. These all promise to offer performances to a very high standard.

The Colchester Chamber Choir kicks-off its 10th anniversary year celebrations with one of the most challenging unaccompanied choral works –  Rachmaninov’s Vespers.  This powerful and evocative work consists of settings of texts from the Russian Orthodox All-night vigil ceremony.  Tomorrow evening the candlelit concert takes place in the glorious setting of St Peter ad Vincula Church, Coggeshall, and will be followed by complimentary Russian culinary delicacies.  Saturday January 12 at 7pm. Tickets: £16 (01206 820813).

I believe the Colchester Bach Choir were the last Colchester-based choir to take on the complicated choral challenges of the Rachmaninov’s Vespers.  Tune in next week to hear news on the Colchester Bach Choir’s next concert on February 2.

Tomorrow evening the Wind and Brass section of the Colchester Symphony Orchestra will join forces once again for a concert offering Mozart’s Serenade in C minor, Reinecke’s Wind Octet and arrangements of popular Classical favourites.  This takes place in St Botolph’s Church, Colchester at 7.30pm. Tickets: £15 (01206 271128). Under 25s are now admitted free to all CSO concerts.

Over in Ipswich, the Trianon Music Group begins its 60th year of music making with its founder, Chris Green, conducting a concert entitled Diamonds are Forever.  This Diamond Jubilee concert features film and TV music spanning 60 years performed by the group’s choir and orchestra.  It takes place tomorrow evening at the Grand Hall in Ipswich’s Corn Exchange.   Tickets: £14 (01473 433100)

 


Final draft for Classical Music column in both the Essex County Standard and Colchester Gazette, 21 Dec 2018.

If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to find out for yourself the benefits of singing, Clacton Choral has just the answer. At its Saturday Sing session, musicians will be introduced to Gounod’s St Cecilia Mass, Faure’s Cantique de Jean Racine and Franck’s Panis Angelicus.  These works and more will be performed at the choir’s next concert. Musical Director Gilli Dulieu says: “As usual, I will be playing recordings and giving background information for all of the pieces which will be included in our Easter Concert on 13 April 2019.  The aim is to try and sing through everything to get an idea of the concert as a whole – sometimes we’ll be singing along to recordings, and sometimes we’ll work on little passages in more detail. It’s a great opportunity for prospective singers to see if they would like to consider joining us for the term.”  To reserve your place at the Saturday Sing, Telephone (01255 427691) or email gill@gilljohn.co.uk.)  It takes place on Saturday January 5, 2019 from 1.30pm – 4.30pm in St James’ Church Hall, Tower Road, Clacton.

If you missed the opportunity to hear the Essex Youth Orchestra play at St Botolph’s in Colchester earlier in the year, here is another chance but this time in the glorious surroundings and acoustics of Chelmsford Cathedral.  The Essex Youth Orchestra is the flagship County Group for Essex Music Services and is conducted by Robin Browning. The concert programme will be shared with the Essex Youth Jazz Orchestra which all students from Essex Music Service’s Jazz Academy aspire to join. The concert will include film music from Pirates of the Caribbean contrasting with Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake Suite. This takes place on Saturday December 29 at 7.30pm in Chelmsford Cathedral, Duke Street, Chelmsford. Tickets: £10 on the door (07786 125700). This concert is in aid of Chelmer Bridge Rotary Club.    

As this is the last column until next year, I do hope that I have helped preview some of the many, many concerts we are privileged to enjoy in our most musical region.

If you have a forthcoming concert you will like previewed, contact Liz Leatherdale on 0800 999 6994. You can read more from Liz at www.colchesterclassics.co.uk

I’d like to wish you all a most merry and musical Christmas and a Happy New Year


Final draft Classical Music Column for Essex County Standard and Colchester Daily Gazette, Friday 14 December 2018

Earlier this year, Mark Padmore performed a sell-out concert as part of the Roman River Festival. If you missed hearing Mark then, there is another opportunity to hear him in Colchester

International musicians Mark Padmore (tenor) and Simon Lepper (piano) will be performing their concert programme on Monday evening in advance of their Wigmore Hall concert later in the week. The recital includes well known songs by Haydn (including two of his English songs), Mozart and Beethoven, contrasting with Schumann’s collection of 12 texts by Justinus Kerner. While entrance to this concert is by donation, your seat(s) need to be reserved in advance. Telephone (01206 271291) or (07814 506988). This concert takes place on Monday December 17 at 7.30pm at the Pimlott Foundation, Old House Barn, Great Horkesley.

After playing the merry organ at Colchester Choral Society’s concert last weekend, this weekend Gillian Ward-Russell will be picking up the baton and conducting  Maldon Choral in an evening of traditional Christmas music and carols. This concert takes place tomorrow evening at 7.30pm at All Saints Church, High Street, Maldon. Tickets: £7 (01621 856503).

Next Tuesday at 7.45pm, the Essex Concert Band conducted by Charles Hine will be presenting a programme of popular and classical favourites at Rowhedge Village Hall.  Free admission with a retiring collection.

Last week Neil had a feature on Fourtissimo, the Guitar Quartet who, after a 30 years break, plucked up the courage to perform again. Fourtissimo’s concert is on Sunday December 16 at 5pm at the Headgate Theatre, Colchester. Tickets: £8 (01206 366000).

Tune in next week for the last column of 2018 for news of a Saturday Sing with Clacton Choral and a chance to hear the Essex Youth Orchestra and the Essex Youth Jazz Orchestra in one concert.

 If you have a forthcoming concert you will like previewed, contact Liz Leatherdale on 0800 999 6994. You can read more from Liz at www.colchesterclassics.co.uk

 


Final draft Classical Music Column for Essex County Standard and Colchester Daily Gazette, Friday 7 December 2018

Christmas would not be Christmas without Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on Christmas Carols!  This work cleverly weaves English folk carols collected by the composer and his friend Cecil Sharp, into this popular work for baritone solo, choir and orchestra.  It will be performed by the University of Essex Choir along with Schubert’s Mass in G and Pergolesi’s Magnificat.  The choir will be accompanied by the London Mozart Players who will also perform Elgar’s Serenade for Strings and Grieg’s Holberg Suite.  Tickets: www.universityofessexchoir.org Saturday December 8 at 7pm in the Ivor Crewe Lecture Hall, University of Essex, Colchester.

A Musical Christmas is the title of Harwich & Dovercourt Choral Society’s concert, which also includes the Vaughan Williams, with baritone soloist, Patrick McCarthy. This takes place at All Saints Church, Dovercourt, at 7pm on December 15. Tickets: £8

Christmas is also coming to Tiptree tomorrow evening with its Choral Society presenting a selection of seasonal music including much-loved John Rutter favourites to less familiar choices. There is also a chance for audience participation in some of the well-known carols.  St Luke’s Church, Church Road, Tiptree at 7.30pm. Tickets: £12 (01206 734625)

Over in Clacton on Sunday, its Choral Society presents a joyful Christmas concert crammed full of English music for choir, harp and organ.  The main work of this concert is another popular Christmas choral work, Benjamin Britten’s Ceremony of Carols.  Originally written for treble voices, this performance uses the now standard choir (soprano, alto, tenor and bass) setting. Gustav Holst’s ‘Four Old English Carols’ and his lovely medley ‘Christmas Day’ are some of the other items in this varied concert. Sunday December 9 at 6.30pm at St James’ Church, Tower Road, Clacton.  Tickets: £10 (01255 221511)

Also on Sunday evening but at 6pm, The Pimlott Foundation presents its second offering in its Baroque Fest series called Christmas Concert by Candlelight with some seasonal music plus harpsichordist Dan Tidhar performing Bach’s Goldberg Variations. Before and after the concert there will be a Christmas Market.  Tickets: £12.00 (01206 271291)

Tune in next week to hear about more Christmas music and a recital with Mark Padmore accompanied by Simon Lepper.

If you have a forthcoming concert you will like previewed, contact Liz Leatherdale on 0800 999 6994. You can read more from Liz at www.colchesterclassics.co.uk


Final draft Classical Music Column for Essex County Standard and Colchester Daily Gazette, Friday 30 November 2018

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! The Suffolk Villages Festival presents ‘Bach at Christmas’ which promises a musical journey through the Christmas season with Cantata 61, a dramatic setting of Martin Luther’s Advent Chorale, and cantatas from the Christmas Oratorio, featuring a choir of woodwind instruments and hunting horns. This all takes place on Sunday December 9 at 6pm in St Mary’s Church, Dedham.  Tickets are from £12 (01206 366603).

More cantatas from J S Bach’s Christmas Oratorio will also be performed by the Ipswich Bach Choir and Ipswich Chamber Orchestra tomorrow evening. The concert will be completed by Mendelssohn’s charming Six Christmas Pieces and Vivaldi’s ever-popular Gloria. Soloists will include soprano Gill Wilson and mezzo Elaine Henson with tenor Paul Hazelgrove-Spurin as Evangelist. The conductor is Patrick McCarthy and tickets are £13 (01394 271538).  This concert is at 7.30pm in St John’s, Cauldwell Hall Road, Ipswich

Tomorrow evening in St Botolph’s Church, its orchestra presents a Christmas concert including Hely-Hutchinson’s joyful A Carol Symphony and Finzi’s Dies Natalis with soprano soloist, Susan Piggott.  This concert is at 7.30pm and tickets are £12 (01206 823662). This concert is at 7.30pm and tickets are £12 (01206 823662).

Go further back in time this weekend with a musical journey through the seasonal celebrations of medieval and Renaissance Europe with The York Waits including a selection of 15th-century English carols, works from Yorkshire manuscripts, uplifting chorales from Lutheran Germany and noels, folk songs and dances from the Mediterranean. Sunday December 2 at 2.30pm in St Andrew’s Church, Marks Tey. Tickets from £10.

Also on Sunday afternoon the Clacton Concert Orchestra presents ‘Frost Free’, a selection of popular Christmas orchestral music.  Sunday December 2 at 3pm at St James’ Church, Brightlingsea. Tickets: £8.

Tune in next week for details on the Colchester Symphony Orchestra’s concert and more Christmas music from the Clacton Choral Society and the University of Essex Choir. 

 If you have a forthcoming concert you will like previewed, contact Liz Leatherdale on 0800 999 6994. You can read more from Liz at www.colchesterclassics.co.uk

 


Final draft Classical Music Column for Essex County Standard and Colchester Daily Gazette, Friday 23 November 2018

Martin James Bartlett, the brilliant young British concert pianist who was BBC Young Musician winner in 2014, will be the soloist in Beethoven’s First Piano Concerto accompanied by the Ipswich Symphony Orchestra tomorrow evening. Since winning this prestigious competition Martin has performed all over the world including a private concert for the First Lady of China and other dignitaries, at the Queen’s 90th Birthday thanksgiving service in St. Paul’s Cathedral and at the BBC Proms.

Sibelius’s Fifth Symphony is one of his most inspiring works, and one of my personal favourites, featuring the famous ‘flying swans’ theme in the final movement and ending with one of the finest ‘conductor moments’ in classical music. Hear both Beethoven and Sibelius tomorrow evening at the Ipswich Corn Exchange at 7.30pm. Tickets: £13 www.ipswichcornexchange.com

If you can’t get to that orchestral concert, on Sunday there is an evening of Scandinavian music over in Sudbury. Grieg’s Piano Concerto is a firm favourite for both audience and players with its glorious solo lines and soaring lyrical passages.
Nielsen’s first symphony may not be as well-known as the Grieg but it is just as an expressive work. Hear the Sudbury Symphony Orchestra, soloist Jill Morton, conducted by Matthew Andrews on Sunday at 6.00pm in St Peter’s Church, Market Hill, Sudbury CO10 1TL Tickets: £12.

If you prefer choral music, tomorrow evening Chris Phelps will be conducting the Hadleigh Choral Society accompanied by the Colchester Symphony Orchestra in Haydn’s The Creation. Tickets: £14. St Mary’s Church, Hadleigh. Chris will be in conducting the Colchester Symphony Orchestra next month back in St Botolph’s Church. More on that asap!

Over in Nayland, its choir presents Airs for Armistice tomorrow evening at 7.00pm in St James Church, Nayland. This concert presents a selection of music by composers working at the time of WW1 and representing a wide variety of the nations involved in the conflict. Tickets: £10

If you have a forthcoming concert you will like previewed, contact Liz Leatherdale on 0800 999 6994. You can read more from Liz at www.colchesterclassics.co.uk


Final draft Classical Music Column for Essex County Standard and Colchester Daily Gazette, Friday 16 November 2018

Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 is one of the composer’s most famous pieces. Its opening has become classical music’s greatest calling-card. If you think you know the Fifth just because you’ve heard those four notes a thousand times, think again! Maybe you will be lucky enough to hear it for free performed by the Essex Symphony Orchestra. There are twenty free tickets up for grabs at the door to hear Beethoven’s Symphony 5, Dvorak’s Cello Concerto with soloist Kristian Ignatjeva and an ESO commission – Storr by Matthew Taylor. Saturday November 24 at 7.30pm in Christ Church, New London Road, Chelmsford. Tickets: £14 (01245 601418) or on the door.

A little nearer home, Witham Choral under Patrick McCarthy will be performing just one work at Witham United Reformed Church in Newland Street also on 24 November at 7.30 p.m. It is Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle which, perversely, is not solemn nor particularly short. But neither does it outstay its welcome as it is packed with stirring choruses and beautiful arias which will be sung by a fine team of soloists led by Gill Wilson, soprano, mezzo Elaine Henson, tenor Paul Bloomfield and bass Alan Loader. Tickets £12 (01245 380958)

Cardiff Singer of the World competition finalist John Pierce and Maldon Choral Society present a celebration of British music in the Last Night of the Proms tradition with opportunities for audience participation in some of the rousing anthems associated with the Proms. Saturday November 17 in All Saints Church, Maldon 4pm – 6.30pm. Tickets: £14 (01621 856503)

Don’t forget Colchester Choral Society will be performing Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem and Alan Bullard’s Images of Peace in St Botolph’s Church tomorrow. Tickets: £15 (01206 572783).

If you have a forthcoming concert you will like previewed, contact Liz Leatherdale on 0800 999 6994. You can read more from Liz at www.colchesterclassics.co.uk

 


Final draft Classical Music Column for Essex County Standard and Colchester Daily Gazette, Friday 9 November 2018

This weekend the nation marks one of the most important dates in Modern British History – the Centenary of the end of World War 1.  Over the last few weeks, I have highlighted various concerts including two at St Botolph’s Church in Colchester – Lexden Choral Society tomorrow evening and Colchester Choral Society on November 17 – and here is another one.

To mark this special anniversary, the Choir of Chelmsford Cathedral, the Chelmsford Singers and the Chelmsford Sinfonietta join forces to give the first UK performance of ‘Remembrance’ by Australian composer Michael Leighton Jones. It was commissioned to observe the centenary and sets words by WWI poets Rupert Brooke and Edward Thomas and a poem about Rupert Brooke and is scored  for choir, trumpet, and organ. Herbert Howells’s choral masterpiece Hymnus Paradisi, an epic and moving work, will also be performed. Figures from the ‘There But Not There’ national installation for the fallen will be seated in the audience to pay tribute to those who lost their lives. Saturday November 10, 7.30pm in Chelmsford Cathedral. Tickets: £5-£20 (0333 6663366) or at the door

 

Some of you may recall Leah Stuttard presenting her first lunchtime concert in Colchester’s Lion Walk United Reformed Church.   This weekend she will perform for the first time with the Colchester Early Music group in a programme of 13th and 14th century sacred music from England This is more an exploration of a harmonic world than a recreation of the sound of the Middle Ages and some music is liberally treated to a dose of improvisatory ecstasy, adding to its already meditative quality. Sunday November 11 at 2.30pm in St Andrew’s Church, Marks Tey. Tickets: £10 on the door.

 

And finally, the monthly lunchtime organ concert at the Moot Hall has come around again.  This time organist Florian Pagitsch explores the music of  J S Bach and others.   Tuesday November 13 at 1pm in Colchester Town Hall. Free entry with a retiring collection.

Tune in next week to hear more live music from our many choral and orchestral groups.

If you have a forthcoming concert you would like previewed contact Liz Leatherdale on 0800 999 6994. You can also read more from Liz at www.colchesterclassics.co.uk

 

 

 


Final draft Classical Music Column for Essex County Standard and Colchester Daily Gazette, Friday 2November 2018

Lest We Forget is understandably the theme of many concerts marking the Centenary of the end of World War 1. The glorious, rich and soulful melodies of Faure’s Requiem, Barber’s Adagio for Strings, Elgar’s Nimrod from the Enigma Variations and John Chillingworth’s For the Fallen will be performed by the Lexden Choral Society’s at its Remembrance and Thanksgiving Concert. The choir will be accompanied by the Lexden Symphony Orchestra led by Philippa Barton and conducted by John Chillingworth on Saturday November 10 at 7.30pm in St Botolph’s Church, Colchester.  Ticket: £13 (01206 543280).

 Young musicians from five Essex Schools and members of the City of London Sinfonia perform The Violin, a new composition marking the end of the Great War which musically describes the unique journey of one Essex soldier, Private Burchell and his violin, from leaving home, battles on the Front Line, the safe return home and looking forward to future peace. Private Burchell’s restored violin will be played at this Remembrance concert.  Music from composers associated with World War I such as George Butterworth and Vaughan Williams will be performed by the Sinfonia. Wednesday November 7 at 7pm in Chelmsford Cathedral. Tickets are free but need to be booked (01245 606505). Another premiere of music to mark the Armistice, will also take place at the same venue on November 10 with the Chelmsford Singers. More on that next week.

 

Many reports commend the benefits of how singing can help physically, emotionally and socially. Here’s a chance to find out for yourself at The Pimlott Foundation’s ‘Singing for Health Day’ from 11am – 3pm in the Old Barn, Great Horksley.  Telephone (01206 271291) for further info.

In complete contrast with the above, Matyas Bacsó launches his Contemporary Classical Piano CD, Patterns, on Sunday afternoon. This music is reflective and meditative inspired by the patterns found in life and nature. That’s at 3pm on Sunday November 4 at The Headgate Theatre, Colchester  Tickets: £5 (01206 366000

 


Final draft Classical Music Column for Essex County Standard and Colchester Daily Gazette, Friday 26 October 2018

Naturally, next month there are many music events focusing on the Centenary of World War 1. Here are two contrasting concerts taking place to mark the Armistice. More concerts with the same theme coming next week too.

Colchester Choral Society’s next concert commemorates the hundredth anniversary of the Armistice with Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem, written in 1936, an impassioned plea for peace with texts from Walt Whitman, the Bible and the Liturgy, and the premiere performance of locally-based British composer Alan Bullard’s new work, Images of Peace, commissioned by the choir, with texts by the seventeenth century poet George Herbert. Soloists for this concert are Lindsay Gowers and James Arthur accompanied by the Colchester Sinfonia conducted by Ian Ray. Saturday November 17 at 7.30pm in Colchester’s St Botolph’s Church. Tickets: £15 from Manns Music (01206 572783).

Colin Baldy is often heard as soloist in Colchester but next month he will be busy with his choir of St Mary’s Church Maldon in a joint concert with a choir from Ghent. Poignantly at this lunchtime concert the front row of the pews will accommodate There but not There figures – the inspiring and innovative outlines of World War 1 soldiers which are found all over the UK. This free concert, with a retiring collection, is at 1pm on Saturday November 3 and takes place in St Mary’s Maldon, Church Street. At 6pm the next evening in the same venue, the choir will sing Rutter’s Requiem as part of the weekend of Remembrance.

Later in the month, Colin Baldy will present a lunchtime concert accompanied by Ian Ray at 1pm on Wednesday November 14 in Lion Walk United Reformed Church, Colchester.Free entry with a retiring collection.

Tune in next week to find out about more music marking the centenary of World War 1, singing for your health and contemporary classical music at the Headgate Theatre.

If you have a forthcoming concert you would like previewed contact Liz Leatherdale on 0800 999 6994. You can also read more from Liz at www.colchesterclassics.co.uk


 

 


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