Colchester Classics – Classical Music Picks for March


Roman River Music Festival 2016

On March 5, one of the UK’s best-loved violinists Tasmin Little and eminent pianist and collaborator Piers Lane launch the Roman River Music Festival 2016 in a programme of Beethoven, Franck and Szymanowski. Young violinist Melinda Blackman, who was last heard in Colchester on 21 November in St Botolph’s Church, Colchester will open the concert.

Tickets: £8 – 24. Saturday 5 March, 7.30pm, Mercury Theatre, Colchester. Box Office (01206 573948).


Sam Moffit accompanied by Colin Baldy

On the same evening there is a chance to hear young trumpeter Sam Moffit accompanied by Colin Baldy at the new Hey Orgelbau organ in St Mary’s, Maldon. Sam was a Brass Finalist in BBC Young Musician of the Year finalist 2010.

Tickets: £10 – £12 (01621 856503)


Kingfisher Ensemble

Last Saturday (27 February) evening oboist Rob Rogers was one of the wind-powered soloists in the Puffin Ensemble accompanied by the Colchester Symphony Orchestra. This Sunday afternoon Rob joins the Kingfisher Ensemble in a concert including music by Gordon Jacob’s and Paul Carr.   Sunday 6 March at 2.45pm in the Lion Walk United Reformed Church, Colchester.

Tickets: £2 – £12 


Red Priest

Stour Valley Arts & Music have a real coup with the red-hot early music quartet Red Priest visiting on Sunday March 13. It is the only early music group in the world to have been compared in the press to the Rolling Stones.  Red Priest is led by Piers Adams, the world’s greatest recorder player and is renowned for being highly imaginative and presenting memorable concerts.   St Mary’s Church, East Bergholt on Sunday 13 March at 4pm.

Tickets: £8 – £16 (01206 298426)


Colchester Choral Society

Requiems, or Masses for the Dead, come in many shapes, sizes and styles including Fauré’s serene setting, Mozart’s most famous  emotional setting  but it is Verdi’s Requiem which is the ‘block buster’  choral masterpiece and is often labelled an opera in all but name.  One of the most memorable, powerful parts of the work is ‘Dies Irae’ (Day of Wrath) and has been used of late to dramatic effect in TV and films.

On Saturday 12 March the Colchester Choral Society, under its conductor Ian Ray, will perform this remarkable work with soloists Sarah Fox, Rebecca Afonwy-Jones, Daniel Joy and Simon Wallfisch accompanied by an enlarged Colchester Sinfonia.  The society has raised a substantial amount of money in special donations to help fund the cost of the large orchestra required for this performance on at 7.30pm in St Botolph’s Church, Colchester.

Tickets: £12 – £15 from Manns Music, Colchester or


A Celebration of Women Composers

In contrast with the Verdi’s Requiem,  Julia Usher and Jenni Pinnock will feature in a concert celebrating women composers, also including pieces by Judith Weir, Charlotte Bray, Cheryl Frances Hoad, Anna Boyd, Amy Beach, Clara Schumann and others. Soprano Corrina Dolso will be performing along with her new Equinox Voices pop-up choir, joined by Guest Soprano Naomi Scott de Moncloa and pianist Thérèse Miller, at Castle Methodist Church, Maidenburgh Street, Colchester CO1 1TT. The concert runs from 3-4pm.

Tickets (£5 or free for students) will be available on the door, or can be reserved by e-mailing


Choral Society Concerts

Here are just two of the many choral society concerts taking place on 19 March.  Following its exciting and sell-out concert of two Rachamaninov Piano Concertos, St Botolph’s Music continues its fiftieth year celebration with a performance of Haydn’s masterpiece, The Creation. Tickets £12 on the door.Saturday 19 March, St Botolph’s Church, Colchester.  Tiptree Choral Society presents its concert including John Rutter’s Requiem and a selection of Easter . St Luke’s Church, Tiptre.

Tickets £10 (01206 734625)


Bach’s St John Passion

The annual liturgical performance of Bach’s St John Passion in Maldon takes place on Good Friday 25 March at 7.30pm with a homily by the Bishop of Chelmsford. The Choir of St Mary’s Church and the Pegasus Baroque Orchestra with John Grave as the Evangelist and Gabriel Finn as Christus takes place at St Mary’s Church, Hythe Quay, Maldon.

Free entry with a retiring collection


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

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