Our AGM took place last night, 24 June 2019, at the Black Lion in Richmond.
The Chair (Nick Reckert), Concert Secretary (Anna Jackson) and Treasurer (Philip Wicks) reported a season which had been exceptionally successful in terms of concert quality, member numbers, audience numbers and finances. The Society's Annual Report, which is produced for the Charity Commission, was approved.
Trustees and Officers were re-elected with no changes.
The Divertimenti Quintet brought our season to a wonderful conclusion with a familiar favourite by Boccherini, a lively new work by the ensemble’s former viola player, one Sally Beamish, and Dvořák's brilliant Terzetto. The evening finished with a deeply moving performance of Schubert’s great C Major String Quintet. There was no encore. After a work like that, how could there be?
It’s been a great season for our Society, with appearances by the Chiaroscuro Quartet, Joanna MacGregor and Royal Northern Sinfonia among others, and larger audiences than we’ve had at any time in the Society’s 71 years. We hope you enjoyed it, and look forward to seeing you again next season.
Enjoy your summer!
We would really like to find one or more people to help with our publicity and marketing. This probably takes a couple of hours a week, averaged out over the year. It’s an enjoyable and rewarding role, and can be wide-ranging or quite focused, depending on applicants’ skills and availability. Would you like to know more? Please don’t be shy, and don’t under-estimate how much we’d like to hear from you. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org and we can tell you more.
We got news at the last moment that violinist Kati Debretzeni was unwell and would have to drop out of the concert on 2 March. Disaster! Then came news that the very distinguished Elizabeth Wallfisch was available to stand in. Saved, and in style! Trio Goya clearly have a very strong subs' bench.
As a result of the change, the planned work by CPE Bach was omitted, and Maggie Cole performed instead a wonderfully paced Haydn sonata on the fortepiano. It was a good evening, enjoyed by a large audience.
Here's a photo of the artists in rehearsal, courtesy of our excellent photographer, Jane Morris-Abson.
In January 2020 our concerts will move from Saturday to Wednesday. This will benefit audience members who regularly go to other artistic events. Yes, it does happen. For example...
Members are entitled to receive our concert programmes free of charge, by email, and we always send them out five days before a concert. Recently, though, a lot of those emails have been wrongly rejected as spam; in every case the member concerned had a btinternet.com email account.
We can work round this issue in future, but the functionality of the emails will be reduced. A pity - btinternet.com really should know better.
Dark nights and icy roads mean our January concerts sometimes get a thin audience. Not last night, though, when mild weather, a sparkling Mozartish programme and the pull of the name Royal Northern Sinfonia drew an audience of almost 280 to the Influence Church. And didn’t everyone, listeners and artists alike, clearly enjoy the recital of classical and neo-classical wind octets?
There’s a bit of a gap now until our next concert, by Trio Goya on 2 March. If you haven’t previously come across this period-instrument ensemble, that’s not surprising; their recordings are as infrequent as they are admired. Their Haydn came out way back in 2010, and now their recording of Beethoven’s Opus 1 Trios has been released by Chandos, to enthusiastic reviews in The Strad, BBC Music Magazine, Gramophone, Classical Music (“one of the finest performances anywhere” - beat that) and on Amazon, where you can discover listeners’ enthusiasm and find more detail. If 2 March isn’t already in your calendar, block out the date now.
A large audience enjoyed a lively and entertaining performance last night from these top-quality Norwegian musicians. The quartet was new to most listeners, but its members made a lot of new friends with their varied and beautifully played programme.
Here's a nice comment from Juliet Jopling, the viola player: "What a great venue! A real pleasure to perform in. And we are so impressed and grateful for the quantity AND quality of your audience!"
Take a bow, everyone.
A very full house enjoyed a wonderful recital last night. Joanna MacGregor held the audience spellbound with a generous and wide-ranging programme of works from Beethoven to the present day. The concert attracted enthusiasts from well beyond our usual catchment area, and is sure to have created even more among any audience members who hadn’t heard this fine musician before.
UPDATE *** Several people have asked what the lovely encore was. We believe it was the performer's own adaptation of a piece by Astor Piazzolla. If you know otherwise, please let us know. ***
Many thanks to the sponsors, Millgate House and Garden, and to Peter Denison-Edson and Hazel Smith, who helped provide the wonderful Steinway piano.
We were pleased to welcome a number of guests from local community libraries and information centres. (Pssst! We hope you’ll come back.)
Photo: Jane Morris Abson
What a wonderful concert that was last night - a lovely example of ensemble playing. For this listener the standout part was the second movement of the Mozart Clarinet Quintet, with impossible sweetness from Alina Ibragimova on the violin's top strings and some delightfully liquid burbling from Annelien van Wauwe on clarinet. No, "burbling" is probably not a standard music-reviewing term, but it should be.
Some of you may have been disturbed in the first half of the concert by the deep bass thumping coming from a wedding marquee in the grounds of the Cricket Club. We do apologise. It's the first time this has happened to us, and it won't be a regular occurrence. At the first opportunity we asked for the noise to be turned down, and hope no-one was troubled by it in the second half.
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