Tickets for individual concerts are now available for purchase online, through the Concerts and Tickets page. It's unlikely that anyone will want to buy five months in advance, but if you do then we're glad to oblige.
Season Tickets will become available on 1 August, online and at Castle Hill Bookshop, at £45 for six concerts. (For comparison, if you were to buy single tickets for each concert, you would pay £95.)
If you've had an email from us about the General Data Protection Regulations, please don't ignore it. Firstly, because these regulations do protect you, however tedious they may look. Secondly, if you don't give your consent for us to continue to hold and process your contact details and use them to send information and occasional feedback requests about membership and concerts, there will be two consequences:
(Still on the subject of GDPR: we've put our data protection and privacy policies online. They are still provisional, but you can view them at rsconcerts.org/gdpr.)
Many thanks to the Pelléas Ensemble for giving us a memorable end last Saturday to a memorable 70th season. If you were in the audience you'll have seen a preview of our next season, and you'll know what delights are in store. Give us a few weeks, please, to refresh our website, and all the details will be posted here.
A couple of admin matters:
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.
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