We've been busy stuffing envelopes, and Season Ticket postal order forms will start hitting doormats this weekend.
Can't wait? Tickets go on sale Friday, on this site - buying online is so simple.
If you prefer to pick up your tickets in person (and a new novel, maybe?) head to Castle Hill Bookshop in Richmond, with cash or a cheque, please. Again, sales start on Friday.
Season Ticket prices are frozen at £42 until 15 September. After that date, they're £45. That's still amazing value for six professional concerts, but it's a good reason not to delay. Be an Early Bird!
We've just had news that one of the young ensembles in our forthcoming season, the Pelléas Ensemble, has won the first ever Henderson Chamber Ensemble Award, given by the Royal Philharmonic Society. All the more reason for us to look forward to their concert in Richmond.
The Society's AGM took place last night at the Black Lion Hotel in Richmond.
Chairman Nick Reckert presented the Annual Report. Two Trustees had retired, and one new Trustee had been co-opted. Membership numbers were somewhat down, but revenue was up as a result of a strong increase in single-ticket sales.
Concert Secretary Anna Jackson reported on six well-received concerts, and our largest total audience number on record. She was particularly pleased with audiences' reactions to new and recent works.
Treasurer Philip Wicks presented Income and Expenditure reports which showed a small deficit; however, this was entirely covered by delays in Gift-Aid recovery and some sponsorship receipts. The Society's reserves and operating capital remain healthy.
All Officers and Trustees were re-appointed or confirmed in post, and a lightly revised Constitution was approved by the meeting.
The next AGM will be on Wednesday 13 June 2018, at 19:30; location to be confirmed.
Many thanks to all the local businesses and individuals who showed their support for the Richmondshire Concerts by sponsoring a concert in our last season. And many more thanks to all our 2017-18 sponsors. The corporate sponsors are AltBerg Boots, Gale & Phillipson, and Millgate House & Garden, and we do hope that all our regulars will give those local firms their business whenever possible. The individuals are returning benefactors David and Angelica Carr, and Peter Denison-Edson and Hazel Smith, as well as an anonymous Richmond-based newcomer. Many, many thanks to all of them, and we hope they get a great deal of pleasure from supporting 'their' artists.
If you are thinking of sponsoring a future concert, it's never too soon to put down a marker. Just take a look at this page, then drop a line to Nick Reckert, email@example.com.
It's always the final yard that's the hardest... But now our Concert Secretary, Anna Jackson, has signed off her negotiations with artists and agents, and our 70th anniversary programme is up on this website for all to see - and it's a good one. Just click the Concerts and Tickets link above for details.
The Carducci Quartet, on its sixth visit to the Richmondshire Concerts, delivered an exceptional evening. All the usual skills were there: extraordinary, almost telepathic cohesion; smooth, warm melodic lines; moments of raw anguish, particularly in Shostakovich's 11th Quartet; lightning-fast baton-passing along the line from first violin to cello... Just when you think these musicians are at their peak, they get even better.
It was telling that many in the large audience were suffering from spring colds, yet the auditorium was rapturously silent during the concert - quite spellbound.
This was a fine end to a fine season, and we can't wait for a seventh visit.
Update, 3 April: the musicians clearly had fun too. "Greatly enjoyed performing for Richmondshire Concerts yesterday - wonderful audience and atmosphere!"
The Universities of Newcastle, Edinburgh and Glasgow are mapping live musical activity across Britain. This is a timely piece of research, and one which is likely to be valuable, in an age when music education is in a dire state and listening is increasingly a digital experience.
To take part in the survey, as an audience member or musician, visit http://uklivemusiccensus.org.
The Piatti Quartet interrupted an extended tour of Ireland and Scotland to re-visit Richmond last Saturday. Today, Monday, after that lengthy diversion, the group is north of the border again, performing on the Isle of Skye.
19 concerts, 23 days away from home... Professional musicians do work hard.
The Piattis opened with a Haydn work (Op. 20, No. 2) which while not the full Sturm und Drang was perhaps more astringent than the famously cheerful composer's more familiar output. A pleasure to listen to. Next came the new work of the evening, Joseph Phibbs's String Quartet No. 1. Audience reaction during the interval was pretty consistent: "Some moments of English pastoral beauty, and some thrilling sections"; "A bit of a Curate's Egg, but essentially good". A success, then.
After the interval came Beethoven's 'late quartet' Op. 130, with the enormous Grosse Fuge finale, longer than all the other five movements together. (Is it a success, or does it unbalance the work? Discuss.) The demands made on the musicians are astonishing, but the Piattis' unflagging energy and skill were admirable, and they still looked fired up after the marathon performance. No encore, understandably, but loud applause from an enthusiastic audience.
Many thanks to the Piatti Quartet. They diverted, and we were enjoyably diverted.
Our member, the novelist Peter Robinson, has now appeared on Radio 3's Private Passions programme. (If you think you've read that before, you're right, but the BBC delayed the originally-planned broadcast.) Peter's novels are set in a fictional town which is loosely modelled on Richmond, with its Swaledale hinterland. Here's what the BBC has to say:
'Crime-writer Peter Robinson tops the best-seller lists year after year, across the world; in fact his detective, DI Banks, is probably even better known than he is. DI Banks is a straight-talking Yorkshireman with dodgy dress sense and a frustrated love life, and he's been solving murders in Yorkshire for some twenty years now. There are now twenty-three Banks novels, and several series on television with Stephen Tompkinson in the title role. So DI Banks is hugely popular, and central to his character is that he constantly listens to music - in the car, at home, in pubs. There's a memorable line where Robinson says of his detective - "He did his best thinking when he was listening to music and drinking wine." This, Robinson reveals, is autobiographical.'
'In Private Passions, Peter Robinson talks to Michael Berkeley about how music inspires his best thinking and writing, and why he's on a mission to get all his readers listening to the music he loves. He even creates online playlists of the music his detective listens to - including some of the music he chooses in Private Passions. Choices include Poulenc's Sextet for Piano and Wind, Beethoven's String Quartet in C sharp minor, Takemitsu, Miles Davis, and one of Schubert's last piano sonatas. Perhaps it's no surprise that he's drawn to last works - as a crime writer, his books begin with murder. Robinson confesses though that he regrets the increasing violence of the genre, and thinks the TV adaptations of his work go too far. And he reveals why Yorkshire is always the best place to hide a body.'
Peter's latest novel, When the Music's Over, is available at Castle Hill Bookshop in Richmond (and at thousands of other bookshops).
Click here to listen to Private Passions (until 10 March).
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