Archived News for October 2011
03 Oct 2011
What a pleasure to take a couple of days out from preparing numerous October recital programmes at the piano, to play some continuo organ instead! The ambitious and spectacular Kohn Foundation Bach Cantata series continues, and it was a delight to perform three of these cantatas on Sunday, directed by Iain Ledingham and led by Rachel Podger.
03 Oct 2011
Very sorry that superb soprano Louise Alder has had to withdraw from our Oxford Lieder Festival recital later this month, but delighted that Julia Sporsén has stepped in, in the middle of the run of The Passenger at ENO!
05 Oct 2011
RAO's first production of the year is a double-bill of Vaughan Williams' Riders to the Sea and Britten's Curlew River, on which I have been assistant conductor and chorusmaster. Directed by John Ramster and conducted by Peter Robinson, this is a dark evening (two pieces exploring the grief of losing a child) but captivating and moving, and the cast are superb. It's particularly interesting to revisit Curlew River, having conducted another of the church parables, The Prodigal Son, in the Ryedale Festival's opera production (dir. Joe Austin) last year. This double-bill opens on Thursday; toi toi to all.
09 Oct 2011
The third season of the Music at St Peter’s recital series started this weekend. This was a varied programme of songs and arias from superb countertenor Jeremy Kenyon (the first countertenor at the series and the first countertenor encounter for many of the audience!) – and then oboist James Turnbull and violinist Clare Wheeler (something of a Christ Church reunion as we all studied there together) contributing Rubbra, Vaughan Williams and the Bach double concerto to the second half. An excellent start! Plans for the rest of the year include Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater, Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, Brahms’ Clarinet Trio and a range of songs and instrumental pieces. As ever all the concerts raise considerable sums of money for different local charities. Plans are also afoot for a weekend of choral workshops, and for projects in local primary schools linked to the recitals – an exciting year ahead!
24 Oct 2011
Lovely to be asked back to take tonight’s Oxford Bach Choir rehearsal for Nicholas Cleobury; having been the choir’s accompanist for two years as an undergraduate, then their Rehearsal Conductor for two years (and occasional concert conductor!), it was good to see lots of familiar faces (and an encouraging number of new ones too) after a few years away. Their Christmas concert is a glorious programme of Bach (Eb major Magnificat, Wachet auf, Lobet den Herrn, Part 1 of the Christmas Oratorio). Looking forward to regular choir conducting for the next few weeks as rehearsals kick off shortly with the Renaissance Singers for our Christmas concert, A Boy is Born.
28 Oct 2011
Pleased to be asked back as pianist for Sue Lowe's International Cello Course at Easter for the third year - and in the same week as piano tutor on the Oundle for Organists 'Advance' course. Both have been great fun in the past so looking forward to being back.
29 Oct 2011
October can mean only one thing for Lieder fans: time for the Oxford Lieder Festival! As ever it was an absolute joy to be back, this year performing two (very different!) recitals; a late-night Die Schöne Müllerin with Marcus Farnsworth in the atmospheric New College Chapel (part of the opening weekend dedicated entirely to Schubert), and then a lunchtime Wesendonck Lieder (plus some cheeky Wolf and extrovert Strauss!) in the Jacqueline du Pré Building with Julia Sporsén, as part of a two-day Wagner study. Then there was a repeat of last year’s successful student composition workshop, exploring the university music students’ song contributions, and Ciara Hendrick and I again represented the performers’ perspective in this, learning, performing and workshopping each composition, along with faculty professor Robert Saxton and the festival’s Composer in Residence, Charlotte Bray. The festival seems to be on outstanding form in its 10th year – many congratulations to Sholto Kynoch and the amazing team!