Roman River Festival

Colchester Classics – Classical Music Picks for October



In Colchester and the surrounding area there always seems to be music available at various festivals, on-going series and visiting international artists at concert venues. Here is a sneak peek at some taking place in October in our musically rich region.

The 65th season of the Stour Valley Arts & Music 2016/2017 series begins with the Calder Quartet from America performing chamber music including Debussy’s only String Quartet (a work that takes me back to my A Level music class when it was one of the set works!) The Calder Quartet is widely recognised as an outstanding ensemble and this concert forms part of its European tour which also takes in London’s Wigmore Hall and concert venues in Zurich, Frankfurt and Madrid. Sunday 9 October 2016 at 4pm in St Mary’s Church, The Street, East Bergholt CO7 6TA.

(01206 298426)

Colchester’s Roman River Festival enters its final weekend of events with the usual varied mix of music.  Friday 30 September  sees Mahler’s Symphony No.1 being performed in a new version for fifteen players plus a rare chance to hear Bartók’s Miraculous Mandarin with its story of lust and power. This will be the first time a Mahler symphony has been performed at the Festival. Friday, September 30, 8pm in Stoke by Nayland Church

Saturday 1 October in the same stunning location, international cellist Tim Hugh performs Britten’s Cello Symphony accompanied by the Festival Orchestra. The orchestra will also perform Vaughan William’s heart-felt response to the horrors of World War Two with his Fifth Symphony. Saturday October 1 at 6pm in St Mary’s Church Stoke by Nayland

In complete contrast, the Festival Finale on Sunday 2 October at 4pm showcases much of the education and outreach work which has been taking place over the last few months with a folk-inspired musical journey around the British Isles and beyond.

To view the remaining concerts at the Festival and to check for ticket availability please contact (07759 934860)

Two lunchtime concert series begin early in October.  Firstly, Allan Granville and Christopher Roberts perform piano duets on the Boston piano with Borough Organist Ian Ray playing music by J.S. Bach, Herbert Howells and Alexandre Guilmant. Tuesday October 4 at 1pm, Colchester Moot Hall.

Admission is free with a retiring collection in aid of The Friends of the Moot Hall Organ.

Secondly, the following day also at 1pm Charles Hine (clarinet) accompanied at the piano by Ian Ray presents the first concert in the Autumn Lion Walk Church Lunchtime series. Wednesday October 5, Colchester.

Free entry with retiring collection.

Many Colchester musicians will be performing in the British Clarinet Ensemble’s 21st Anniversary special concert where Charles Hine conducts works including music by Colchester-based composer, Alan Bullard. Saturday, October 2016  at 7.3opm, Stapleford Granary, Bury Road, Stapleford, Cambridge, CB22 5BP.

Tickets from £8 (01572 756128).

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 and take a minute to watch their company video: 

Liz Leatherdale






Liz Leatherdale

Colchester Classics – Classical Music Picks

Our Classical Music columnist Liz Leatherdale, founder and owner of Colchester Classics, brings you her pick of August’s Classical Music events in, and around, Colchester.

Enrique Granados and Isaac Albeniz

Two of the most well-known composers of Catalan music from the last century are Enrique Granados and Isaac Albeniz.  On Thursday 6 August at 12.30pm, Peter Dollimore presents a concert of this style of piano music in St Peter ad Vincula, Coggeshall. Lunchtime concerts start at 12.30pm.. Light lunches available from 12 noon.

Admission is free – retiring collection


Gilbert and Sullivan’s – Iolanthe

On Sunday 9 August at 2.30pm Illyria Theatre Company returns to the beautiful walled gardens at The Minories, Colchester for Gilbert and Sullivan’s comic opera, Iolanthe, set half in Fairyland, half in Westminster will be performed. In typical G & S style, its surprisingly topical satire pokes fun at love, class, politics and how those from different backgrounds form uneasy relationships. All llyria productions are performed by a reduced cast with live piano accompaniment. Having seen Mikado at the The Minories a couple of years ago I can highly recommend Illyria Theatre productions of Gilbert and Sullivan. Iolanthe will be staged outside with some unreserved seating, so be prepared for an outdoor performance! Sunday August 9 at 2.30pm.

Tickets: £14 or £36.00 for a family ticket.  The Minories, 74, High Street, Colchester.  (01206) 712437


Organ Fest

Colchester Town Hall’s majestic Edwardian organ in the magnificent setting of the Moot Hall has been recently renovated to its former glory.  The inaugural ‘Organ Fest’ a series of four lunchtime concerts, began with organist Dr Gillian Ward Russell on Tuesday 21 July.  The final concert is on Tuesday 11 August when Andrew Cantrill performs Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on ‘Greensleeves’ and Walton’s Coronation March ‘Orb & Sceptre’. Full details on the restored organ and all the organists involved in this mini-festival can be found at Colchester Town Hall, High Street, Colchester.

Admission is free to the Organ Fest recital with a retiring collection for the Mayor’s Charities.


Summer Lunchtime – St Botolph’s

Summer Lunchtime concerts were recently launched at St Botolph’s, Colchester on 22 July and continue until 23 September. This month there is a Harp recital on Wednesday August 19 with performances by Louise Binks and Maria Creasey.


Roman River Festival – The Glories of the Moot Hall Organ

Tickets are now available for The Glories of the Moot Hall Organ – the Roman River Festival’s first ever organ recital. Young organist Tom Bell presents a varied programme including music by Bliss, Bridge, Duruflé and the winners from the Pipeworks competition (John Furse’s Moot Points and Mark Bellis’ Graduation Toccata). During the concert Tom will accompany the Colchester Chamber Choir in some popular music including Fauré’s Cantique de Jean Racine. Sunday 27 September, 5pm, Colchester Town Hall. Tickets: £12 (01206 729356). The Roman River Festival (17 September – 4 October) covers a wide range of music and actively encourages anyone under the age of 30 to enjoy concerts.

Tickets priced from £3


BBC Proms

Last but not least, do dip into the greatest Classical Music festival on earth, the BBC Proms: an eight-week summer season of classical music concerts held predominantly in the glorious Royal Albert Hall and available on TV, Radio and the iPlayer.

Yasmin Rowe

Young international pianist Yasmin Rowe presents an eclectic mix of music from Bach to Piazolla in St Botolph’s Church, Colchester, later in August. Yasmin’s family is celebrating various significant birthdays and this free concert will make these events even more memorable.

Yasmin was last heard in Colchester in 2008 as soloist in Grieg’s Piano Concerto.  Since then she has performed at various concert venues worldwide and recovered from surgery to her left hand.   The first half of the concert will be solo piano music and after the interval Yasmin will be joined by the highly regarded international cellist, Yelian He.  Saturday 22 August at 7.30pm, St Botolph’s Church, Colchester.

Admission is free with a retiring collection.


The same venue continues its Summer Lunchtime Concert series with a recital of Harp Music with Louise Binks and Maria Creasey. Wednesday 19 August at 1pm.

Admission is free with a retiring collection.


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 and take a minute to watch their company video:


Liz Leatherdale

Liz Leatherdale