Summer of Festivals
Hello and Herzlich Willkommen to my latest blog entry, which is heavily influenced by my festival experiences over the last four months!
Before I start telling you about my summer, however, I would like to introduce you to diapason, a music academy for string players which focusses on the musical education of children from a very young age! It happens to be my family’s music school and also the place where I spent most of my childhood and youth, but very objectively, I do believe this is one of the best places in Germany to introduce your child to music, art, rhythm, harmony, and to all the talents that might still be hidden. Diapason is now also online! Besides their new revised website, you can also find them on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. One of their (slightly alternative) performance highlights is the tango trio, rehearsed by Sophie Ebel and performed by Luana Piroscia (violin), Laura Arheidt (viola) and Jasmin Blomenkamp (cello)…
There’s also a little YouTube treat from my last gig with Lucy Claire at St John’s Bethnal Green in London. This one is my improvisation ‘Voices of the Sea’ together with Lucy on piano:
In August, Lucy has also released her latest EP Selene: Music for Contemporary Dance which was done in collaboration with dancer and choreographer Imogen Bland. It features yours truly and John Garner on violins, Francis Gallagher on viola, Naomi McLean on cello, Gwen Reed on double bass, Rosanna Ter-Berg on flute, Chris Beagles on French horn and Lucy herself on piano. Josh Green once again so wonderfully recorded and mixed the album and Rebecca Freeman did the beautiful art work.
Another project I have recently become part of is Romain Malan‘s World Harmony Orchestra. This orchestra is made up of London-based musicians from all over the world and is performing to raise funds and awareness for refugees and refugee centres and organisations. Please check out their Facebook and Twitter pages and get in touch if you are a musician that wants to be part of the ensemble or if you would like to offer your support in any other way.
From orchestra to violin duo, Mainly Two has seen quite a few releases recently. Firstly, Laurence Osborn wrote a new duo for us at the beginning of the year which we premiered back in April. Here’s a live video of the third movement!
We also did a concert for Listenpony earlier this year which has been turned into the first EP from their new live series. With this release, Listenpony launched their record label and, besides Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Soundcloud, you can now also find them on Instagram!
The EP’s artwork was done by Daniel Strange and the record features music by Bartok and Prokofiev, as well as two Listenpony commissions for Mainly Two by Dani Howard and Lawrence Dunn. As part of the concert that night, we collaborated with HART and Eo Nomine for one of HART’s songs, arranged by the fantastic Josephine Stephenson. This is the result:
We feature on the track ‘man’ which we will perform again live with Benjamin at his gig at RADA on November 19th. More details here! We will also give a concert at Handel & Hendrix in Handel’s Music Room on November 24th. Find out more about it here!
Now on to the festivals! Four Plus Three finished their first UK tour in July at the TW12 Jazz Festival. Below is a video which features all of the artists that appeared at the festival, and here you can also find some photos of our show in this rather gorgeous looking venue!
Nora Jorba Soler has made a little documentary about Four Plus Three which summarises the idea behind the project:
Shortly after the TW12 Festival, I went down to Spain to give two concerts with the Sequoia Trio at the Fringe Festival in Torroella di Montgrí. We had a fantastic time in this beautiful little village! If you want to see what it was like, there are two photo albums; one by us and one by the festival.
We did two concerts there, one with Haydn & Mendelssohn and the second concert with Beethoven & Shostakovich with an improvised interlude between the two. The second movement of the Beethoven is now up on Soundcloud as part of my Sequoia Trio playlist:
In August, I had the pleasure of travelling to France with the Royal Northern Sinfonia to give the closing concert of the 67e Festival de Musique de Menton. This must have been the most impressive location of any stage I’ve ever played on! Those views…
Almost straight away, I went back to France with Ensemble Nova Luce. In Gensac near St. Emilion, we performed three concerts at the Orpheus & Bacchus Festival. The musical focus of the festival was on Johann Nepumuk Hummel, which led to our performances of his arrangements of Beethoven’s First Symphony and Mozart’s Sixths Piano Concerto as well as Weber’s overtures to Euryanthe and Freischütz. We had a fabulous time there and are looking forward to start the next season with three concerts in November; on the 8th at St Bride’s Church with some Dvorak as well as an improvisation; on the 21st at St Martin-in-the-Fields with Reger and Haydn; and on the 23rd at St Bodolph-without-Aldgate again with Haydn. We do now also have a brand-new website with more information!
A couple of days after Orpheus & Bacchus, I went to Romania with The Forna Quartet to finish off this year’s summer festival season at QuartFest in Cluj-Napoka. It was my first time in Romania, and I have to say I’m in love with that country! It’s so full of colour and character, and all Romanians I have met in my life so far have been wonderfully direct yet friendly people. At the festival, we performed a programme of Britten, Webern, Mendelssohn and Piazzolla. Watch this space for a possible repeat performance in the UK!
And last but definitely not least, my record label Turquoise Coconut has just signed their second artist, the MooK Ensemble. Short for Music of our Kind, this group makes music that combines modern jazz with Ethiopian folk and a whole lot of their own personalities mixed in. Highly recommended listening and such gorgeous watercolour art by Rosalia Aloguin Dols.
Finally, below a little preview of my upcoming concerts in October & November and, as ever, thanks for reading, listening, watching and clicking and hopefully until soon!
October 21 at 7.30pm, Huddersfield Town Hall: Royal Northern Sinfonia play Beethoven, Händel and Mozart
October 22 at 7pm, Bournemouth Pavillion: Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra play Beethoven, Dvorak, Massenet and Mozart
October 25 at 8pm, Birthday’s London: Lucy Claire & Marie Schreer
October 26 + 27 at 7.30pm, Lighthouse Poole + Portsmouth Guildhall: Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra play Martinu, Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky
November 2 at 6pm, Amaryllis Fleming Concert Hall, RCM London: Explore Ensemble play Michael Finnissy (Finnissy at 70)
November 8 at 1.05pm, St Bride’s Church London: Ensemble Nova Luce play Dvorak and improvise
November 9 at 1pm, St Guy’s Hospital: Mainly Two play new music for two violins
November 13 at 3pm, Bournemouth Pavillion: Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra play Bruch, Matthews, Rimsky-Korsakov, Sibelius and Tchaikovsky
November 15 at 8.30pm, 606 Club London: Four Plus Three feat. Gareth Lockrane & Mike Outram (London Jazz Festival)
November 18 at 7pm, Unitarian Church Cambridge: Four Plus Three (Cambridge Jazz Festival)
November 19 at 7.30pm, RADA Studios: Mainly Two play Benjamin Tassie (Marginal Play)
November 21 at 1pm, St Martin-in-the-Fields London: Ensemble Nova Luce play Haydn and Reger
November 23 at 1.05pm, St Bodolph-without-Aldgate: Ensemble Nova Luce play Haydn
November 24 at 6.30pm, Handel House London: Mainly Two play new music for two violins
November 26 at 7.30pm, Finchley Progressive Synagogue: Sequoia Trio play Haydn and improvise
More details on my calendar page…