118 enthusiasts braved the wintry conditions to get to our last concert, when they enjoyed a delightful performance by the Gildas Quartet and soprano Raphaela Papadakis. That was a tremendous turnout on a night when a number of local events were cancelled and we had been expecting maybe a dozen people... Our thanks to the artists, to the staff of the Influence Church, to our own volunteers and of course to the audience. And to those who weren't able to get there, we're sorry, but we're very glad you decided to play it safe.
It's been snowing again in Richmond, and it's bitterly cold today - but the forecast for our next concert, on 24 March, is "Sunny intervals and breezy" with a top temperature of 10°. That's more like it!
Sorry to be so late with this confirmation, but train services have been erratic, and our final musician has just arrived at Darlington Station. So we can now be 99.9% certain that tonight's snow-threatened concert will take place as planned.
We hope to see you shortly.
The musicians are en route, and tonight's concert is still expected to start on time. As soon as it's 100% certain, we'll email everyone on our mailing list and post another update here.
It's snowed a fair bit today, and tomorrow (Thursday) is forecast to be worse. After that, the weather is supposed to improve. We're not expecting our artists to be stuck by frozen points near Peterborough, and we look forward to seeing you for an excellent concert by them on Saturday.
Please check this website for any updates before leaving home. And travel safely!
Laura Snowden and Joo Yeo Sir played a varied programme for a large, rapt audience last Saturday - rapt, because many of the pieces were not of the firework variety so often heard in recitals involving the classical guitar, but were more quiet and contemplative. For this listener, the guitar pieces by Villa-Lobos and the lovely duo encore, adapted from a short piano work by the Catalan composer Mompou, were particularly memorable. Joo Yeon Sir's Paganini Caprices were technically impressive, but her own composition, Paganinia, was probably more engaging in its own right.
Back to that encore... It really was a perfect end to the evening, and sent the audience home on exactly the right note.
Membership numbers are at a record level, so we asked new Members why they joined - and we think you'll be interested in the results from the questionnaire.
"Was there one concert in particular in this season’s programme that tempted you to buy a subscription?"
"Which chamber music format do you prefer?"
"Where did you hear about us?"
And finally, we asked "What's your opinion on the pricing of our season tickets?"
We had a terrific concert last night from the New York-based Escher Quartet. There were no signs of jet lag as they dashed away into the contrapuntal richness of Mozart’s String Quartet No. 18. Then, after the briefest of pauses, they were off again, with Mendelssohn’s thrilling Op. 44 No. 2, a work they clearly know well. The ensemble’s rich texture was reminiscent of another great American quartet with a reputation for Mendelssohn, the Emersons.
After the interval came Grieg’s infrequently heard String Quartet. The Eschers gave it their all, and made a strong case for this big, powerful work to join the mainstream. Three curtain calls for the enthusiastic audience, and the musicians were off on the rest of their UK tour. It was an enthralling evening.
Our good friends at Ripon's Cathedral Concert Society have managed to secure the services of the baritone Roderick Williams and the superb pianist Iain Burnside for a performance of Schubert’s song cycle Winterreise in Ripon Cathedral on Monday 12 February - a good time for a 'Winter Journey'. Details are here.
One of our trustees, Janet Hall, who has been organising coach-and-ticket packages to Leeds, Newcastle and Gateshead for years, is offering just such a package for Winterreise, departing from Richmond. The price will be under £30. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
(This is not a Richmondshire Concerts initiative.)
Last night's concert by Royal Northern Sinfonia saw our largest-ever audience enjoying a superb programme of two Brandenburgs, an all-wind Mozart serenade and Richard Strauss's all-string Metamorphosen. Not just a superb programme, but also a very fine performance: "It was worth the membership fee just for this", was one comment.
(And not just a record audience, either. Our membership numbers, already at a record level, are still creeping up. We must be doing something right.)
We're expecting a big audience for the Sinfonia's concert on Saturday, but there should still be tickets available for sale at the door. If you have seat preferences, we suggest you arrive early. If you're a Member, you can spend the time reading your free, downloadable programme. (If you're not, you can enjoy your 50p programme and calculate the other benefits of becoming a Member.)
We're sure you'll enjoy what promises to be one of the best concerts of the year in the North of England.
Feel free to comment on any of these posts.
If you'd like to know whenever this page is updated, click the link below.