COMING UP: THURSDAY 21ST FEBRUARY - ADAM WALKER (FLUTE) & ALASDAIR BEATSON (PIANO)
We welcome one of the great flautists of his generation, Adam Walker, who became principal flute of the LSO at the age of 21 and is now also a much sought-after soloist, earning plaudits from audiences and critics all around the world. Adam will be accompanied by the superb Scottish pianist, Alasdair Beatson, whose reputation as soloist and chamber musician has grown constantly in the ten years since since his teacher at the RCM described him as ‘one of the two most talented students I have ever encountered’. ‘I have never heard him give a performance which was not memorable and arresting, casting new light on the repertoire.’
In this much-anticipated concert, Adam and Alasdair explore the sounds and atmospheres conjured up for the flute by some of the 20th-century’s greatest French composers.
LUNCHTIME CONCERT: THURSDAY 7TH FEBRUARY - CALLUM SMART (VIOLIN) & RICHARD UTTLEY (PIANO)
Callum Smart attracted wide public attention at the age of thirteen having won the strings category of the 2010 BBC Young Musicians Competition performing Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and Vasily Petrenko. He is now a rising star amongst violin soloists on the world stage and the easy virtuosity he brought to Beethoven and Schubert in the first part of this concert confirmed that this reputation was well deserved.
Callum was joined by pianist, Richard Uttley: comments about his playing in International Record Review - ‘musical intelligence and pristine facility’ - seemed most apposite. The live performance emphasised that the two composers had written for themselves incredibly virtuosic piano parts and Richard rose to the challenge with some impeccable playing.
From the violin’s impassioned opening and the initial guitar-like chords on the piano, it was clear that the final piece in this outstanding concert, Ginastera’s Pampeana No.1, inhabited a completely different sound world. An entranced audience lapped up this spell-binding music and gave both players a huge ovation at the end of a glorious concert.
Read Leicester Concert-goer’s review here.
LUNCHTIME CONCERT: THURSDAY 24TH JANUARY - PIERS LANE
We welcomed to the Museum the Australian pianist, Piers Lane, born - and now based - in the UK. Piers has played in no fewer than five BBC Promenade concerts and appears frequently as a concerto soloist with the world’s great orchestras. He is a regular collaborator with the violinist, Tasmin Little, the clarinetist, Michael Collins and our December visitors, The Goldner String Quartet. They have recently been in the recording studio for Hyperion Records, for whom Piers has made many CDs.
Piers’ Leicester programme was a very appealing one. The beautiful Prelude & Fugue BWV883 from Book 2 of the Well-Tempered Clavier was followed by a generous helping of Chopin: a beautiful Impromptu and Nocturne; the sad and lovely Mazurka in F minor and the Sonata No. 2 in B flat minor. The concert, which was remarkable for the quality of its musical story-telling, concluded with the spectacular three-movement arrangement for piano of Petrouchka which Stravinsky made for Rubinstein.
LAST LUNCHTIME CONCERT: THURSDAY 10TH JANUARY - DORIC STRING QUARTET
After a beautiful performance of Mozart's Quartet No. 21 in D major, full of delicacy and lyricism, Bartok's fifth quartet left the audience stunned.
This was truly virtuoso string playing, but - more than that - the strength of the ensemble was of the very highest order.
LUNCHTIME CONCERT: THURSDAY 20TH DECEMBER
HELEN CHARLSTON, LAUREN LODGE-CAMPBELL & ASAKO OGAWA
Helen Charlston (mezzo-soprano) and Lauren Lodge Campbell (soprano), accompanied by Asako Ogawa (harpsichord), gave us a fine selection of Handel’s arias and duets in this lovely concert. If someone had the imagination to record this programme and issue it on CD, it would surely be a best seller!
Helen clearly relished the fiery castrato arias from the composer’s operas Rinaldo and Giulio Cesare in Egitto, delivering them with power, intensity and - bearing in mind the slightly melodramatic nature of these pieces - a beguiling twinkle in the eye!
Lauren, meanwhile, gave us a gorgeous O thou bright sun from Theodora and a sparkling Scolio d’immota fronte from Scipione.
Invoking the spirit of the season, we then enjoyed some highlights from Messiah, familiar but challenging pieces performed with real panache.
Harpsichordist, Asako Ogawa, who had been supporting the singers with attentiveness and agility, then had her moment in the spotlight with a Chaconne in G major HWV435, building inexorably in complexity and with more and more cascades of notes!
A memorable concert ended with an extended duet, Tanti stroll al men schocchi, its three contrasting movements giving each of our performers ample opportunity to shine.
There was warm appreciation at the end of an hour of lovely music: time to reflect on the excellent decision made by our Artistic Director, Nicholas Daniel, to invite these up-and-coming young musicians when he heard their prize-winning performances in the London Handel Festival. For their part, Helen, Lauren and Asako clearly relished their to perform in our superb gallery and this was reflected in a concert of high quality.
LUNCHTIME CONCERT: THURSDAY 6TH DECEMBER - GOLDNER QUARTET
We were thrilled to host Australia’s leading string quartet in Leicester - one of their two concerts during a visit to the UK to record a new disc for Hyperion with the pianist, Piers Lane (who we look forward to seeing in January).
Their performances of Shostakovich’s Quartet No. 1 in C major and Schubert’s Quartet in D minor, ‘Death and the Maiden’ were described as ‘electric’ by one listener and certainly received very generous applause from a capacity audience.
LUNCHTIME CONCERT: THURSDAY 22ND NOVEMBER - ELYSIUM BRASS
There wasn't a seat to be had at Elysium Brass' superb Lunchtime Concert today!
A full house at the New Walk Museum enjoyed some first class brass playing. Above all, there was so much joy in the music-making across a terrific range of pieces.
The audience particularly enjoyed the polychoral effect in Gabrielli’s Canzona per sonare No. 4 with the trumpets at the back of the gallery and Chris Claxton (tuba) serenading Alex Willett (French horn) in Paul Nagle's jazzy 'Jive for Five'.
Read Leicester Concert-goer’s review here!
LUNCHTIME CONCERT: THURSDAY 8TH NOVEMBER - CLARE HAMMOND
‘One thing is for sure, Clare Hammond has an instinct for constructing a deeply satisfying programme, the features of which are delivered with succinct introductions that hit nail after nail on the head.’
‘…the clear fact is we really must hear more of Clare Hammond in Leicester, preferably in a full recital, and to judge from the ovation she received I am certainly not alone in wishing that.’
Leicester Concert-goer was bowled over by a wonderful Lunchtime Concert at the New Walk Museum and Art Gallery.
Read the full review here.
LUNCHTIME CONCERT: 25TH OCTOBER - JULIAN BLISS & ROBERT BOTTRIELL
We were pleased to welcome the clarinetist, Julian Bliss and his accompanist, Robert Bottriell to the New Walk Museum for what proved to be an outstanding Lunchtime Concert. They presented a programme of music by Debussy, Poulenc, Brahms and the 20th century Romanian composer, Tiberiu Olah. An appreciative audience was then entertained by their virtuoso encore, Czardas by Vittorio Monti.
You can read a review of the concert by our good friend, Leicester Concert-goer here.
LEICESTER INTERNATIONAL MUSIC FESTIVAL: 20TH - 22ND SEPTEMBER 2018
After three days of stunning music, the 2018 Leicester International Music Festival came to an end.
Our musicians came together from all around the world - a truly international line-up - and the Victorian Gallery was filled with delicious sounds. Lunchtime and evening concerts were warmly received by enthusiastic audiences.
LIMF’s patron, Thea Musgrave, was a 'featured composer' at this year's Leicester International Music Festival - 'A New World: Composers who moved to America' (20th-22nd September 2018).
Thea flew to Leicester from across the Atlantic to be our very special guest at the Festival, with opportunities to hear her music at all five concerts.
You can now read Leicester Concert-goer’s comprehensive appreciation of the Festival here!