Blog

Amici della Musica – Thursday 2 May

Amici della Musica
Philippe Graffin violin | Elizabeth Wallfisch viola
Raphael Wallfisch cello | Piers Lane piano

Mahler   Piano Quartet movement in A minor
Schulhoff   Duo for Violin and Cello
Smetana   Polkas de salon Op 7 Nos 2 & 3
Smetana   Caprice bohemien in F Op 12
Dvořák   Piano Quartet in E flat Op 87

 

Raphael Wallfisch, a favourite and regular Festival performer, brings his newly-formed group to Leamington. Both French violinist Philippe Graffin with Raphael, and Australian pianist Piers Lane with Tasmin Little, thrilled audiences here some twenty years ago, while Raphael’s wife Elizabeth has more often been heard in memorable concerts in Warwick.

The programme sets off the Festival themes admirably with Mahler’s powerful and rare foray into chamber music, Schulhoff’s atmospheric duo from 1925, followed by piano solos from Smetana in his big year, and ending with a glorious Quartet by Dvořák, one of his most attractive chamber works.

Generously supported by Paul & Jane Watts

£27 | £17
(£1 children / students)

Sacconi Quartet and Ben Goldscheider (horn) – Monday 1 May

Sacconi String Quartet with Ben Goldscheider horn
Ben Hancox and Hannah Dawson violins | Robin Ashwell viola | Cara Berridge cello 

Robin Holloway   First Partita Op 62 No 1
Mozart   Horn Quintet in E flat K407
Robin Holloway   Horn Quintet Op 135
Rachmaninov   String Quartet No 1: Romance
Schubert   String Quartet in D minor D810 ‘Death and the Maiden’

 

The Sacconi Quartet returns for its third concert in Leamington for three years and Ben Goldscheider plays here for the first time. Since being a Concerto finalist in the 2016 BBC Young Musician competition, his national and international rise has been meteoric. Chosen by the Barbican for the ECHO Rising Stars, he has performed at the most prestigious venues on the continent and he made his BBC Proms debut last year with the CBSO.

The Festival draws to a climax with two works by Robin Holloway, the beautiful Romance from Rachmaninov’s only completed string quartet, some delightful Mozart and one of Schubert’s greatest chamber works.

Join us in the Conservatory after the concert for a celebratory glass of wine!

Generously supported by Paul & Jane Watts

£26 | £16
(£1 children / students)

Greenwich Piano Trio – Monday 1 May

Greenwich Piano Trio
Lana Trotovšek violin | Heather Tuach cello | Simon Callaghan piano

Mozart   Piano Trio in G K564
Rachmaninov   Trio élégiaque No 2 in D minor Op 9

 

The award-winning Greenwich Piano Trio plays in the Festival for the first time, as we welcome back the Slovenian violinist Lana Trotovšek who thrilled our audience at a lunchtime concert last year, Heather Tuach, the Canadian cellist in the Fitzwilliam Quartet, and pianist Simon Callaghan who last played here in the 2016 Leamington Music Festival.

Opening with the last of Mozart’s six piano trios, completed in 1788, we follow with Rachmaninov’s monumental Trio written in 1893 and dedicated to Tchaikovsky who died in November that year. Earlier in the year, Rachmaninov’s opera Aleko was premièred at the Bolshoi Theatre and was warmly praised by Tchaikovsky. His death must have been a shock as only nine days before he had conducted the première of his sixth symphony in St Petersburg.

£17.50 | £12.50
(£1 children / students)

Sinfonia of Birmingham & Amy Dickson (saxophone) – Sunday 30 April

Sinfonia of Birmingham |  Michael Seal conductor | Amy Dickson saxophone

Tchaikovsky   Romeo & Juliet – Fantasy Overture
Glazunov   Saxophone Concerto in E flat Op 109
Rachmaninov   Symphony No 2 in E minor Op 27

 

The Sinfonia of Birmingham returns with Associate CBSO conductor Michael Seal, following a sell-out concert in last year’s Festival.

This is a mighty programme, taking full advantage of the opportunity of having a symphony orchestra. Tchaikovsky’s symphonic poem, completed in 1880, sets the scene for an evening of unabashed romanticism culminating in Rachmaninov’s glorious Second Symphony (1907).

In the midst of these two famous and much-loved works sits Glazunov’s beautiful Saxophone Concerto – his last completed work, and an absolute gem for the instrument. British-Australian saxophonist Amy Dickson comes to Leamington for the first time. Twice nominated for a Grammy™ award, Amy has been hailed by BBC Music Magazine as one of the world’s six best classical saxophonists ever.

£26 unreserved front nave | £16 unreserved rear nave
(£1 children / students)

Warwickshire Music Advanced Musicians – Sunday 30 April

Warwickshire Music Advanced Musicians
Annual Concert

 

A platform to showcase the cream of Warwickshire Music’s students from across the county, performing works that complement the Festival’s programmes and themes.

£4 students & children | £8 adults

Includes tea, squash and cake served afterwards

Helen Charlston (mezzo-soprano) & Sholto Kynoch (piano) – Sunday 30 April

We are very sorry to announce that Alessandro Fisher is indisposed and will not be able to give his lunchtime concert in the Leamington Music Festival this Sunday.

We are delighted, though, that mezzo-soprano Helen Charlston has been able to step in at such short notice.

Hailed “a rather special mezzo” by Music Web International, Helen is a young artist increasingly in demand in the UK and abroad.

She won first prize in the 2018 London Handel Singing Competition and was a finalist in the 2019 Grange Festival International Singing Competition, won the Ferrier Loveday Song Prize in the 2021 Kathleen Ferrier Awards and is a BBC New Generation Artist.

Helen was a founder participant of the Rising Star of the Enlightenment programme, working alongside the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment; a member of Les Arts Florissants Young Artist Programme (Jardin des Voix) for 2021/22; and is a 2018 City Music Foundation Artist.

This does mean a change to the advertised programme however, and so Helen will instead be wowing us with the following:

Felix Mendelssohn Auf Flügeln des Gesanges
Felix Mendelssohn Schilflied
Felix Mendelssohn Die Liebende Schreibt
Fanny Mendelssohn Im Herbste
Fanny Mendelssohn Nach Süden
Schubert Vier Canzonen D688
Nathan James Dearden the way we go
Rebecca Clarke Down by the Salley Gardens
Dilys Elwyn-Edwards The Cloths of Heaven
Joshua Borin Nature is Returning
Stephen Bick On His Blindness

£17.50| £12.50
(£1 children / students)

Andrey Gugnin (piano) – Saturday 29 April

Rachmaninov   Preludes Op 32
Tchaikovsky   Album for the Young Op 39
Mussorgsky   Pictures at an Exhibition

 

Andrey Gugnin was introduced to the Festival in 2019 by the violinist Tasmin Little and they launched it with a memorable concert. Three days later, Andrey gave a lunchtime concert which ended with a performance of Pictures at an Exhibition, which prompted an immediate standing ovation. He was invited back to repeat this work the following year and the following two, but the pandemic and bureaucracy intervened. He returns this year with important examples of Russian music before repeating the Mussorgsky, which will again lead us to the Great Gate of Kyiv.

Andrey studied at the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory and soon after leaving began to win an impressive number of prizes in Vienna, Sydney, Zagreb and many others. Valery Gergiev invited him to appear with the London Philharmonic and Mariinsky Orchestras and he has performed in many of the world’s most important concert halls.

Concert generously supported by Peter Glanfield

£26 | £16
(£1 children / students)

Roman Kosyakov & Tanya Avchinnikova (piano duo) – Saturday 29 April

Roman Kosyakov and Tanya Avchinnikova
four hands one piano

Mozart   Sonata for Piano duet in D K381
Schubert   Ave Maria D839
Glière   Douze Morceaux Op 48
Rachmaninov   Six Morceaux Op 11

 

Siberian pianist Roman Kosyakov was a Leamington Music Prize winner in 2019, and stepped in at the last minute to save the day last year giving a stunning concert to close the Festival with Ukrainian pianist Sasha Grynyuk. This year he teams up with his Belarusian wife, Tanya Avchinnikova, for a delightful afternoon duo concert.

Opening with a piece that Mozart regularly included in his own programmes when touring with his sister, Nannerl, as child prodigies, we follow his charm with some of Schubert’s characteristic warmth. Glière was born in Kyiv, of German and Polish descent, and this is a rare opportunity to hear these delightful pieces written in 1909.

Rachmaninov’s Six Morceaux Op 11 are an absolute must for this Festival programme. Written in 1894, they are among the best compositions of his youthful period following his studies at the Moscow Conservatory.

Generously sponsored by Maestro! Touring

£17.50 | £12.50
(£1 children / students)

Includes tea and cake served afterwards

Gemma Rosefield (cello) & Tim Horton (piano) – Saturday 29 April

Coffee Concert

Gemma Rosefield cello and Tim Horton piano

Beethoven   Variations on “Ein Mädchen oder Weibchen” Op 66
Rachmaninov   Vocalise Op 34 No 14
Rachmaninov   Cello Sonata in G minor Op 19

 

Two of the Festival’s favourite musicians met as members of Ensemble 360 and, with Benjamin Nabarro, formed the Leonore Piano Trio which opens the Festival.

Gemma Rosefield and Tim Horton bring a gorgeous programme for a Coffee Concert on a Saturday morning starting with Beethoven’s witty and virtuosic variations on Papageno’s aria from The Magic Flute, which are followed by Rachmaninov’s haunting and beautiful Vocalise. His Cello Sonata, written in 1901 is surely the most romantic ever written for the instrument, and no Festival focusing on his works could be complete without it.

Concert generously supported by Jennifer Lorch

£17.50 | £12.50
(£1 children / students)

Includes coffee – available from 10.30am

Viv McLean (piano) – Friday 28 April

Preludes, Nocturnes and Rhapsody

 

Bach/Busoni   Chorale Prelude “Ich ruf zu Dir, Herr Jesu Christ” BWV639
Chopin   Nocturne in E minor Op 72 No 1
Chopin   Nocturne in E flat Op 9 No 2
Gershwin   Three Preludes
Valentin Silvestrov   Nocturne
Rachmaninov   Prelude in G Op 32 No 5
Rachmaninov   Prelude in G sharp minor Op 32 No 12
Grieg   Notturno Op 54 No 4
Gershwin   Rhapsody in Blue

 

Unwind at the end of the first full day of the Festival with a glass of wine in this relaxed late-night concert.

Since winning First Prize at the Maria Canals Competition in Barcelona, Viv has enjoyed an extremely varied career as soloist and chamber musician, performing with most major British orchestras and many leading chamber groups. Viv last appeared in our Festival back in 2018, and one of his many admirers – Howard Skempton – proposed his return with a programme like this for us to round off a truly Festival day. We are pleased to include music by Valentin Silvestrov, who was born in Kyiv but currently lives in Berlin.

Generously supported by Howard Skempton

£16 unreserved
(includes a glass of wine)