The AGM of Richmondshire Concerts took place last night - it was a brief affair, with no concerts to report on, no membership numbers and almost income or outgoings after the 2020-21 season! However, there were some personnel changes.
Two Trustees stood down: Andrew Bedford, who has been a constant source of good advice; and Patrick Pridmore, who has been our hard-working Concert Secretary for many years. We thank them both for all their work. We are delighted and relieved that Judy Moorhouse will take up the reins as Concert Secretary, welcoming artists to the venue, settling them in for rehearsals, feeding them, and making sure everything works smoothly on the night.
Tom Osorio was co-opted in January 2020, but Covid made an AGM impossible last year, so we were never able to regularise his position. We have now put that right, and are glad to welcome him as a Trustee.
Nick Reckert stood down as Chair after nearly 7 years in the role. He said it had been a privilege and hugely enjoyable for him to work with such a vibrant society and such good colleagues. He will remain on the Board to handle marketing and IT.
Chris Shaw was unanimously elected as the new Chair. Chris joined the Board in 2016. When not playing the double bass, or building one, he has been Membership Secretary, in which role he will continue, and has written many of our excellent concert programmes. Many congratulations to him on the appointment.
Anna Jackson (Concert Secretary), Philip Wicks (Treasurer) and Janet Hall (publications) were re-elected as Trustees. All in all, the Board feels robust, cheerful, and well resourced to resume the Richmondshire Concerts’ successful history, as we leave Covid behind and head towards our 74th season.
If you loved our last concert as much as we did (the Gould Piano Trio, with Robert Plane on clarinet) then you will rush to book tickets for the artists' miniature festival in Corbridge, from Friday 30 July to Sunday 1 August.
You don't know Corbridge..? It's a wonderful little market town, just over an hour's drive from Richmond, or easily reached by train from Newcastle; it punches way above its weight in terms of attractions, from its Roman town to its fine Georgian and Victorian buildings and, of course, its music.
The Gould Piano Trio and clarinettist Robert Plane gave us a wonderful concert last night: a beautifully paced programme, beautifully performed.
Debussy's Rhapsody for Clarinet and Piano was charming, capricious, wickedly difficult, elegantly and effortlessly played by Plane in just eight minutes of impressionistic gorgeousness.
Next, Huw Watkins's Four Fables... How many in the audience thought: "This is going to be the price we have to pay for the Beethoven which comes next"? And how many were won over by the lovely, lyrical work which we heard, each of the four 'fables' - miniature tone poems - with its own distinct tale to tell? (This listener went straight off to Idagio after the concert, to find more works by Watkins.)
Finally we were treated to Beethoven's mid-period Piano Trio Op. 70 No. 2, a work which grows and grows by degrees. The Goulds paced it well, and the programme notes (excellent, by the way) got it just right: "Beethoven pulls out his big finish by means of a wonderful crescendo; a whoop of delight, surely, and a splendid conclusion to this fine work." The audience was delighted.
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