Events

Colchester Classics – Classical Music Picks for April 2018

OUR CLASSICAL MUSIC COLUMNIST LIZ LEATHERDALE, FOUNDER AND OWNER OF COLCHESTER CLASSICS, BRINGS YOU HER PICK OF APRIL’S CLASSICAL MUSIC EVENTS IN, AND AROUND, COLCHESTER.

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.

 

 

 

Colchester is Britain’s oldest recorded town and former capital of England. It has many visible connections and buildings from its Roman Heritage and the Siege of Colchester. In addition to being steeped in historical culture it has a thriving classical music scene with an abundance of musicians forming many choirs, ensembles and orchestras performing in beautiful venues such as the Old Barn at The Pimlott Foundation and St Botolph’s Church.

Roy Teed had been President of the Colchester Symphony Orchestra for over 20 years and much had been planned for a concert to celebrate his 90th birthday but sadly this was not to be as Roy passed away last year. His encyclopaedic knowledge of music was of great assistance to the orchestra for both concert repertoire and programme notes. He was a great admirer of Brahms and keen to promote young gifted soloists hence the choice of the Double Concerto with the young soloists Martyn Jackson (violin) and Rowena Calvert (cello). Given Roy’s considerable output as a composer (he was Professor of Composition at the Royal Academy of Music), it is most appropriate that his Phantasy for Flute and Strings will be included in the concert. Flautist Debbie Rogers gave the premiere  of this work and will also be the soloist on Saturday 21 April at 7.30pm in St Botolph’s Church, Colchester

Tickets: £15 (01206 271128) www.colchestersymphony.org.uk

Founded in 1984, Colchester New Music’s original aim was to support performances by local composers and also the students and staff from Colchester Institute’s then acclaimed Music Department. Now independent of the Institute, and known as CNM it continues with its aim plus develops projects in partnership with local organisations such as Firstsite, Colchester Arts Centre and the Friends of the Moot Hall Organ.

CNM has teamed up with the world’s busiest early keyboard duo, Francis Knights and Dan Tidhar and launched an international competition for keyboard music. The winning pieces will be performed at 3pm on Saturday 28 April 2018 at The Old Barn, Old House, Old House Road, Great Horkesley, Colchester CO6 4EQ.

Tickets: www.colchesternewmusic.com or contact Daniela at The Pimlott Foundation (01206 271291)

Wrabness is a small village near Manningtree and is home not only to Grayson’s Perry’s  A House for Essex but also All Saints’ Church, a 12th century building with its bells temporarily re-located in the 17th century to a wooden structure in the churchyard, where they remain today.

Twenty-five years ago, Liz Connah and her husband Trevor started the Wrabness concerts in All Saints’ Church.  Sunday April 15  4pm there is concert in memory of Liz who died suddenly before Christmas. The Archaeus String Quartet performs works by Beethoven, Rachmaninov and Schubert.

Tickets: £12 (01255 880791).  All Saints’ Church, Church Road, Wrabness CO11 2TG.

Saturday April 14 The Pimlott Foundation hosts an afternoon with Der Kleine Chor, a choir of fifteen singers from Bielefeld in Germany. The choir will perform music by Fanny, Felix and Arnold Mendelssohn which will be interspersed with songs selected and performed by Daniela Bechly and accompanied by George Ireland, one of the Foundation’s sponsored students. Saturday, April 14 at 5pm. Old House Barn, Colchester Co6 4EQ. Next Saturday the same venue hosts Colchester’s New Music concert at 3pm.

More info next week and here www.colchesternewmusic.com or (01206 271291)

Back to Sunday April 15 when in St Peter and St Paul’s Church, Felixstowe, there is a Come and Sing the Mozart Requiem. Rehearsal is at 12 noon and performance at 3pm. Tickets: £12 for singers and audience. (01394 670633). The following Saturday evening, April 21, the Halstead & District Choral Society under its new conductor James Davey will also perform Mozart’s Requiem in St Andrew’s Church, Halstead at 7.3opm.

Tickets: £10 (01787 478789)

Look out for more news in my weekly Classical columns in our local newspapers for latest news on concerts in April including the Clacton Choral Society accompanied by the Kingfisher Sinfonietta on April 28 in St James’ Church, Tower Road, Clacton.

Tickets £10 (01255 221511) www.clactonchoral.org.uk

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

To ensure you never miss out on our news, follow this link to sign up to our regular newsletter. We will not add you unless you do this.

Looking forward to helping you hear more music in 2018.

Liz Leatherdale

Colchester Classics & Classical Music columnist

 

 

 

 

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Colchester Classics – Classical Music Picks for February 2018 Part Two

OUR CLASSICAL MUSIC COLUMNIST LIZ LEATHERDALE, FOUNDER AND OWNER OF COLCHESTER CLASSICS, BRINGS YOU HER PICK OF FEBRUARY’S CLASSICAL MUSIC EVENTS IN, AND AROUND, COLCHESTER.

This weekend the St Botolph’s Music Society presents its annual Gala Concert with soloists Philip Smith (piano) and Melinda Blackman (violin).

Chopin wrote some of the most popular solo piano works of all time but only wrote two piano concertos (curiously the second was written before the first but published afterwards – don’t ask!) Philip will be performing the 2nd Concerto with its most beautiful second movement.

Mendelssohn’s celebrated Violin Concerto in E minor, nearly 150 years after he composed it, remains one of the most regularly performed concertos and it is the choice of young budding violinist, Melinda Blackman. Saturday 17 February 2018, 7.30pm St Botolph’s Church, Colchester.

Tickets: £15 (01206 823662)

In Leonard Bernstein’s 100th birthday year, many performances will take place in tribute to this hugely influential conductor and composer. Chris Green will be holding a one-day workshop about Bernstein at the Ipswich Institute on March 3.

Tickets £20 (01473 253992).

Bruckner’s Eighth Symphony uses a large orchestra and is considered by some to be the greatest of all his symphonies. It is sometimes known as “The Apocalyptic” but don’t let that put you off as it is essentially a breath-taking and awesome work. (I use awesome in its real sense, not in the commonplace overuse of the word.)

This month there is a rare chance to hear this symphony which is full of monumental grand passages, a dance-like Scherzo (with maybe a nod to Bruckner’s Viennese background), an Adagio with extensive use of the harp and an awe-inspiring Finale.  Chris Phelps trained in Vienna and will conduct the Colchester Symphony Orchestra in this epic work composed there in the 19th century. It will be performed without an interval on Saturday February 24 at 7.30pm in the magnificent acoustics of St Botolph’s Church, Colchester. After the performance, there will be an informal gathering with the chance to meet the orchestral players and Chris Phelps, and to browse through a selection of CDs from Colchester Classics.

Tickets: £15 (01206 271128) www.colchestersymphony.org.uk

Colchester Symphony Orchestra will be back at St Botolph’s Church on Saturday April 21 in a tribute to its late President, Roy Teed. The concert includes a performance of his Phantasy for Flute with soloist Debbie Rogers.

The Kingfisher Ensemble returns to Colchester on Sunday with a violin and piano recital including works by Schubert, Brahms and Walton.  Sunday February 18 at 2.45pm in Lion Walk United Reformed Church, Colchester.

Tickets from £10.

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

www.colchesterclassics.co.uk

www.facebook.com/ColchesterClassics

Twitter @ClassicalCDs

www.linkedin.com/in/lizleatherdale1/

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Start your love affair with Classical Music at www.colchesterclassics.co.uk and take a minute to watch their company video: 

Liz Leatherdale

 

 

 

 

 

 

Liz Leatherdale

Colchester Classics – Classical Music Picks for June 2017

OUR CLASSICAL MUSIC COLUMNIST LIZ LEATHERDALE, FOUNDER AND OWNER OF COLCHESTER CLASSICS, BRINGS YOU HER PICK OF JUNE”S CLASSICAL MUSIC EVENTS IN, AND AROUND, COLCHESTER.

Classics

June is bustin’ out all over with concerts and festivals so here are a few coming up for you in and around Colchester to add to your diary.

If, like me, you have enjoyed the Classical Guitar Recitals run by Tim Pells at the Headgate Theatre, on Wednesday 14 June, at a lunchtime you can hear Tim as one half of a guitar duo with Andrew Allen at Lion Walk United Reformed Church. The following Wednesday at 1pm (21 June) Lizzie Gutteridge will be presenting medieval and renaissance music. Lizzie performed at last month’s Lexden Arts Festival, and more recently at the Medieval Festival in Castle Park. Ian Ray will accompany his cellist son, Oliver at the final Summer series concert on 28 June.

Admission is free to the lunchtime concerts with an opportunity to donate as you wish to the church’s chosen charities.

Cellist Anup Kumar Biswas founded the Mathieson Music Trust and School in India over 20 years’ ago with the aim of providing education for poor children, with a focus on music. This weekend there are two free concerts in Colchester with retiring collections in aid of this Music Trust. Both concerts include music by Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Borodin and Jerry Noble and the performers are soprano Daniela Bechly, Anup Kumar Biswas and pianist and composer Jerry Noble.

The first takes place on Saturday in Christ Church, Ireton Road at 7pm and the second is at 3pm on Sunday 11 June in Lion Walk United Reformed Church. Telephone (01206) 618944 for further details.

Philip Prior is the Director of Music at St Peter ad Vincula, Coggeshall and  on Saturday from 7.30pm his fancy footwork and hands can be viewed on large TV screens as he performs music by Bach, Elgar and Howells. Next month the Roman River Music Summer Festival takes place in this beautiful church and will be recorded by BBC Radio 3.

Admission: on the door is £7.50. Further information about each concert and also news on the Autumn Festival can be found here romanrivermusic.org.uk

In the summer months, many choral societies move away from large-scale works with orchestra to more informal music offerings, often with piano accompaniment.  This month Colchester Choral Society, with its strong and stable conductor Ian Ray, are doing just that! Alan Bullard will be at the piano for many of Elgar’s popular part-songs and his charming early choral suite ‘Scenes from the Bavarian Highlands’. These beautiful choral songs use Elgar’s wife’s poems as the text and were inspired by their happy Bavarian holidays. During the concert, Ian Ray will pop to the piano and accompany Jessie Ridley in Elgar’s Violin Sonata in E minor – a work that was written at the same time as his elegiac and passionate Cello Concerto.

This Elgar concert feast takes place on Saturday 24 June at 7.30pm in St Botolph’s Church, Colchester. Tickets: £15 from Manns Music or www.colchesterchoralsociety.co.uk

Also on the evening of June 24, Tiptree Choral Society presents a delightful summer concert of music for everyone, to suit all ages and tastes. This concert, conducted as always by our Musical Director Malcolm Boulter and accompanied by our regular accompanist David Leveridge, is full of items the choir loves to sing. Many have in fact been suggested by choir members, so come along to St Luke’s Church at 7.30pm on June 24th and enjoy sharing with us a special selection of some of our favourite melodies. Elgar’s  Aeterna (Nimrod), Faure’s Cantique de Jean Racine songs from shows.

Tickets £10 from 01206 734625 or on the door.

Chris Phelps, who conducts the Colchester Symphony Orchestra and the chamber choir, the Kelvedon Singers, also conducts Suffolk’s Hadleigh Choral Society who will be performing a selection of light music including Bernstein’s West Side Story at Hintlesham Church on Saturday June 17.

Further information (01473 652566) and www.hadleighchoralsociety.org.uk

Witham Choral will be at Witham United Reformed Church on 10 June for a Come and Sing version of John Rutter’s popular and beautiful Requiem. Singers will rehearse at 3pm (£10) and then enjoy a strawberry tea. The performance (which also includes Parry’s I was Glad) is at 7pm (audience £5).

Telephone 01376 513713 for details www.withamchoralsociety.org.uk

On the afternoon of 17 June there is a summer afternoon recital of new clarinet music and song settings by Essex composers of words by Tolkien, Barrett Browning, Blunden, Blustin, Hardy, St Luke and the Taylor Sisters of Colchester. Music will be performed by Tim Torry (baritone), Charles Hine (clarinet) and Alan Bullard (piano).

This takes place at 3pm in the Castle Methodist Church, Maidenburgh St, Colchester CO1 1TT Free entry, retiring collection. Full details on: https://colchesternewmusic.com/2017/05/26/the-pale-enchanted-gold-17-june-2017-recital-programme-announced/

On Sunday 18 June at 3pm , pianist Philip Smith will be presenting a programme of Schubert, Beethoven and Brahms at St Botolph’s Church, Colchester.  This concert is in aid of the Tower Restoration Fund for this beautiful church.

Admission is free.

The ancient Essex town of Maldon is famous for the Hythe, home to many of the remaining Thames barges, and of course, its sea-salt, loved by chefs around the world, but did you know that since 2007 there has been an annual Music Festival? This year’s festival has a Russian theme to mark the centenary of the Russian Revolution. The St Peter’s Singers (now re-named Chorus Anglicanum) sang Rachmaninov’s Vespers in the festival’s first season and this year will open the festival with the same piece on 24 June.   This haunting work, also known as ‘All-Night Vigil’, is based on liturgy of the Russian Orthodox Church: it is a quiet, reflective and deeply moving and is for unaccompanied choir. If you are looking for a CD of the Vespers, Colchester Classics would highly recommend the Grammy Award- winning recording by the Phoenix Chorale and Kansas City Chorale (Ring 0800 999 6994).

For more details on this years’ festival which runs from 24 June and until 8 July please visit the Festival’s website.

The old historic seaport, Harwich, also has its own Festival which begins on the 22 June and ends on 2 July 2017 with a Last Night of the Festival Proms with favourites such as the Henry Wood Fantasia on British Sea Songs and Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with the Harwich and Dovercourt Choral Society and the Colchester Philharmonic conducted by Patrick McCarthy. Robert Atchison (violin) and Francis Rayner (piano) from the London Piano Trio return to play Brahms and Debussy Sonatas. There are also concerts by Royal Academy of Music organist, Edward Kemp-Luck and a performance of Il Matrimonio Segreto by Cimarosa from the Pop-up Opera touring company.

Full details www.harwichfestival.co.uk

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

Start your love affair with Classical Music at www.colchesterclassics.co.uk and take a minute to watch their company video: 

Liz Leatherdale

Liz Leatherdale

Colchester Classics – Classical Music Picks for March 2017

OUR CLASSICAL MUSIC COLUMNIST LIZ LEATHERDALE, FOUNDER AND OWNER OF COLCHESTER CLASSICS, BRINGS YOU HER PICK OF MARCH’S CLASSICAL MUSIC EVENTS IN, AND AROUND, COLCHESTER.

Classics

Music-making in March has most certainly sprung into action. Here are just a few of the concerts this month.

In February the Colchester Bach Choir presented An Evening of Mozart in St Botolph’s Church in aid of the Colchester Mayor’s Charities, raising £1,000. Later this month the Mayor, Julie Young, will be hosting a St Patrick’s Day concert. The Children of Lir, an Irish fairytale Cantata by world renowned Irish film composer Patrick Cassidy, will be performed by The Blessington Millennium choir from County Wicklow accompanied by Charles Pearson on the Moot Hall organ on 17 March at 7.30pm in the Colchester Town Hall.

Tickets are £10.00 (01206 282206).

By the way, Patrick Cassidy has composed some beautiful music including the enchanting Vide Cor Meum (See my Heart) first heard during the outdoor opera scene in the film Hannibal.

One of the excellent soloists at An Evening of Mozart was the soprano Gill Wilson.  Gill can also be heard on Wednesday 8 March at 1pm at her recital accompanied by pianist Ian Ray in Lion walk United Reformed Church, Colchester.

On March 11 Gill and also Roderic Knott will be the soloists with Witham Choral and the Colchester Philharmonic in the Last Night of the Proms concert full of favourites such as the Henry Wood Sea Songs Fantasia, opera choruses, Land of Hope and Glory and much more. This concert is on Saturday 11 March at 7.30 pm in the Witham Town Hall.

Tickets £12 (0345 017 8717)

J S Bach’s St John Passion tells the Biblical story of Jesus’ Crucifixion and was first performed on Good Friday in 1724. Rather than expecting the congregation, or, audience to sit back and take in the music, Bach included a number of hymn-like chorales so all could participate in the worship.

If you like your Bach oratorio sung in its original language, this month Colin Baldy will be the bass soloist with the Colchester Choral Society in the St John Passion sung in German accompanied by the John Jenkins Consort with Peter Holman (continuo) conducted by Ian Ray.  Saturday 18 March 2017 in St Botolph’s Church, Colchester (www.colchesterchoralsociety.co.uk)

Next month Colin Baldy will be conducting St Mary’s Church Choir in a performance of the same work in German but this time with five chorales sung in English by the choir with the congregation invited to sing too. This takes place on Good Friday, 14 April at 7.30pm with free entry at St Mary’s Church, Church Street, Maldon CM9 5 JG

By the way, Bach’s St John Passion is often sung in English in the UK and next month’s column will include details of a concert in Clacton and, after a forty-five year wait, information on a new CD of the work sung in English recorded by a Colchester-based international company

Sunday 19 March offers several musical treats such as the Colchester Chamber Choir at St Peter ad Vincula Church, Coggeshall with a programme of 16th and 17th century choral masterpieces including Palestrina and Monteverdi, interwoven with modern jazz improvisations from the internationally-acclaimed jazz guitarist Chris Allard.

Tickets:  £16, under 30s £10 and the concert starts at 7pm www.colchesterchamberchoir.org

Earlier that same day, Anglia Singers under Chris Green will be performing Handel’s much-loved oratorio, Messiah at Our Lady Queen of Peach Church, Braintree at 4pm. Tickets: £8 (01245 350988)

Also at 4pm on that same Sunday, Kammer Philharmonie Europa will be performing at St Mary’s Church in East Bergholt as part of the Stour Valley Arts Music concert series.

For ticket availability and more information please telephone 01206 298426

At 5pm on Sunday 19 March The Pimlott Foundation is hosting a concert in its recently refurbished Barn with a programme of Elizabethan Music by John Cooper, John Dowland and William Lawes and French music for the court  of Louis XIV, The Sun King.  This concert is at 5pm at Old House, Great Horkesley CO6 4EQ. Entry £11 includes refreshments.

Children and students free Tickets and further details; www.pimlottfoundation.org or phone 01206 271291.

World-famous harpsichordist Trevor Pinnock makes a welcome return to Suffolk Village Festival as part of his 70th birthday celebrations. He is joined by his long-term recital partner Jonathan Manson in a programme that brings together some of the greatest Baroque music for viola da gamba and harpsichord with two extraordinary pieces for solo harpsichord. J.S. Bach’s astonishingly bold Chromatic Fantasia and Fugue has been a favourite with virtuoso keyboard players ever since it was written, while Handel’s monumental Chaconne in G is one of his greatest keyboard works.

For further details contact Suffolk Villages Festival, 119 Maldon Road, Colchester, Essex CO3 3AX telephone: 01206 366603, email louise@suffolkvillagesfestival.com  Guess what date this concert is on? Yes, that is right Sunday 19 March at 6pm in St Peter’s Church, Sudbury. Tickets £18 (reserved), £12 (unreserved), reserved seats for two concerts £34.

Colchester Symphony Orchestra returns to St Botolph’s Church on Saturday 25 March, 7.30pm with soloist John Jermy. This concert includes Haydn’s Trumpet Concerto and Beethoven: Symphony No 6 in F major op 68 -The Pastoral. Tickets are £14 and can be reserved via telephone (01206 271128) or more info www.colchestersymphonyorchestra.org.uk

In contrast with the above, if you enjoy choral works the Tiptree Choral Society will be singing Mendelssohn’s Elijah in English– a work for large-scale chorus, soloists including numbers for an octet and women’s trio. The work depicts events in the life of the Biblical prophet Elijah and was composed in the spirit of Mendelssohn’s baroque predecessors Bach and Handel, composers he so admired.

Saturday 25 March at St Luke’s Church, Church Road, Tiptree. Tickets from £10 on the door.

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

Start your love affair with Classical Music at www.colchesterclassics.co.uk and take a minute to watch their company video: 

Liz Leatherdale

 

 

 

 

 

Liz Leatherdale