29.10.20

Catch up with our concerts online

Thank you to everyone who has attended or watched our latest concerts. Here's how to catch them while they are still online - for a limited period only!

View the first two concerts here vimeo.com/user/118615689/folder/2516702 
- Kate Semmens and Steven Devine's Italian Baroque concert (available until 17 November) 
- Alex Metcalfe's piano recital of music by Mozart, Chopin, Liszt, Debussy and Ravel (available until 24 November). 

Watch the TW International Music Competition recital by Emma Halnan and Charles Wiffen here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SqGMqyDkQkE&feature=youtu.be Available until 4 November - for one week only.

We will continue to do what we can to keep music live in these difficult times. Please follow this site for further updates, or find us on Twitter, @musicatkcmtw

Donations, however small, are welcomed to help with getting money to performers. 

They can be made for Music at King Charles (first two concerts) here https://www.gofundme.com/f/music-at-king-charles-concerts-october-2020 

15.10.20

October dates for live and online concerts

Alex Metcalfe
Here's what's coming up in the rest of October. Many thanks to all our supporters for joining us in person and online!

To support our concerts, please consider making a donation to Music at King Charles and to Tunbridge Wells Music Competition.

Saturday 17 October, 7pm. Online premiere of our first concert, Virtuosic love in the Italian Renaissance - a dramatic and sensuous selection of 17th century keyboard music and songs by Kate Semmens and Steven Devine (available until 17 November).  vimeo.com/user/118615689/folder/2516702 

Wednesday 21 October, 7pm. Live concert at the church by Emma Halnan (flute) and Charles Wiffen (piano), a fund-raising concert for Tunbridge Wells International Music Competition  Ticket information 

Saturday 24 October, 7pm. Online premiere of Alex Metcalfe's piano recital or music by Mozart, Chopin, Liszt, Debussy and Ravel (available until 24 November). vimeo.com/user/118615689/folder/2516702 

Wednesday 28 October, 7pm. Online premiere of Emma and Charles's recital, link to be announced.

With concert venues only gradually reopening, to small audiences and with safety precautions in place, we're thrilled to be playing our part in bringing music back to real life. 

The last six months or more have been incredibly challenging for the arts, and we want to give musicians every encouragement. The number of people who can be accommodated at a live concert - and possible income - is quite limited, so please show your support by watching their performances online and making a donation, however small, in response. (Links will be given alongside the recordings.)


11.10.20

Concert 14 October: Alex Metcalfe

Piano recital by Alex Metcalfe
Wednesday 14 October, 7pm
Ticket information

PROGRAMME

Mozart: Sonata in F, K.332
Chopin: Etude in E, OP.10/3
Liszt: Etude de Concert S.144/3 'Un Sospiro'
Debussy: La Cathedrale Engoutie
Ravel: Jeux d'eau

Alex Metcalfe studied at the Royal College of Music with Raymond Fischer (piano) and William Mival (composition). He subsequently gained Nelly Ben-Or Foundation scholarship to study the application of Alexander Technique to the piano. As a soloist and chamber musician he has performed extensive around Europe and the UK at venues including Kings Place, LSO St. Luke’s and St James’ Palace, and played with the London Sinfonietta and the London Symphony Orchestra. His piano playing has been featured on BBC Radio 3’s In Tune and BBC 2’s The Culture Show. His current CD release, Four Ogives and other works by Erik Satie is available from alexmetcalfe.com

If you are unable to attend the concert, do tune in to the recording, which will be premiered on 24 October at 7pm here vimeo.com/user/118615689/folder/2516702 

NEXT CONCERT

Emma Halnan (flute) and Charles Wiffen (piano) 
Fund-raising concert for Tunbridge Wells International Music Competition 

One of a series of streamed recitals by young musicians who were finalists in the Competition during the past ten years. 
Music by Arnold, Prokofiev, Kriesler and Georges Hüe 
Live concert: Wednesday 21 October, 7pm 
Recording premiere: Wednesday 28 October, 7pm

Ticket information

With concert venues only gradually reopening, to small audiences and with safety precautions in place, we're thrilled to be playing our part in bringing music back to real life. 

Every precaution is being taken to ensure the safety and confidence of our audience. The concerts will place midweek so that the church is not busy on consecutive days, to reduce further the risk of infection. The same, now familiar, procedures that are in place for services will be followed at the concerts, such as distanced seating and the wearing of face coverings.

6.10.20

Concert 7 October: Virtuosic Love in the Italian Renaissance

Kate Semmens (soprano) and Steven Devine (harpsichord)

Music by Frescobaldi, Caccini, Monteverdi and others

Live concert: 7 October, 7pm SOLD OUT

"The Italians, more than any other nation, pushed the expressive capabilities of music from the Renaissance. Virtuosic demands, searing dissonances, pictorial word-setting: all these combined with rhythmic structures to paint music that strikes at the heart. This programme contrasts written-down keyboard improvisations with charming ballads and soulful laments.”

If you are unable to attend the concert, do tune in to the recording, which will be premiered on 17 October at 7pm here vimeo.com/user/118615689/folder/2516702 

PROGRAMME

Toccata Seconda (Book I – 1637)
Se L’aura spira (Primo libro d’arie musicali... 1630)
 Cosi mi disprezzate – Aria di passacaglia (Primo libro d’arie musicali... 1630)
Girolamo Frescobaldi (1583-1643) 

Pavana ‘Fusi’ & Gagliarda ‘El Poverin’ (Intabolatura Nova di Balli 1551)
Anonymous 

Canzonetta: O vive rose
Francesca Caccini (1587-c1641) 

Capriccio supra l’aria di Ruggiero
Girolamo Frescobaldi 

Io mi son giovinetta – ballata di Domenica Ferrabosco (1542) Keyboard Divisions by Scipione Stella (1558 – 1622), Gio[vanni] Dom[enico] Montella (c.1570 – c.1607) and Ascanio Mayone (1565 – 1627)     

Si dolce tormento (Quarto scherzo delle ariose...)
Claudio Monteverdi (1567 – 1643) 

Che si puo fare
Barabara Strozzi (1619 – 1677) 

Cicaonna
Bernardo Storace (fl.1664) 

O rosetta (Scherzi Musicali 1607)
Claudio Monteverdi

OTHER CONCERTS

Alex Metcalfe (piano) Music by Mozart, Chopin, Liszt, Debussy, Ravel 
Live concert: Wednesday 14 October, 7pm 
Recording premiere: Saturday 24 October, 7pm 

Emma Halnan (flute) and Charles Wiffen (piano) 
Fund-raising concert for Tunbridge Wells International Music Competition 

One of a series of streamed recitals by young musicians who were finalists in the Competition during the past ten years. 
Music by Arnold, Prokofiev, Kriesler and Georges Hüe 
Live concert: Wednesday 21 October, 7pm 
Recording premiere: Wednesday 28 October, 7pm

Ticket information

With concert venues only gradually reopening, to small audiences and with safety precautions in place, we're thrilled to be playing our part in bringing music back to real life. 

Every precaution is being taken to ensure the safety and confidence of our audience. The concerts will place midweek so that the church is not busy on consecutive days, to reduce further the risk of infection. The same, now familiar, procedures that are in place for services will be followed at the concerts, such as distanced seating and the wearing of face coverings.

12.9.20

Live music is coming back!


This Autumn, Music at King Charles is bringing live music once again to the church of King Charles the Martyr. 

With all necessary measures in place, in line with government guidance on live performances, we are hosting three concerts in October, with the promise of more to come. 

Tickets available here

PROGRAMME 

Kate Semmens (soprano) and Steven Devine (harpsichord)
Virtuosic Love in the Italian Renaissance
Music by Frescobaldi, Caccini, Monteverdi and others
Live concert: Wednesday 7 October, 7pm SOLD OUT
Recording premiere: Saturday 17 October, 7pm 

"The Italians, more than any other nation, pushed the expressive capabilities of music from the Renaissance. Virtuosic demands, searing dissonances, pictorial word-setting: all these combined with rhythmic structures to paint music that strikes at the heart. This programme contrasts written-down keyboard improvisations with charming ballads and soulful laments.”

Alex Metcalfe (piano) Music by Mozart, Chopin, Liszt, Debussy, Ravel
Live concert: Wednesday 14 October, 7pm
Recording premiere: Saturday 24 October, 7pm 

Emma Halnan (flute) and Charles Wiffen (piano)
Fund-raising concert for Tunbridge Wells International Music Competition

One of a series of streamed recitals by young musicians who were finalists in the Competition during the past ten years.
Music by Arnold, Prokofiev, Kriesler and Georges Hüe
Live concert: Wednesday 21 October, 7pm 
Recording premiere: Wednesday 28 October, 7pm

Concert venues have been silent for nearly six months, and, as you’ll have seen at The Proms, their re-emergence is thrilling, even if the performing conditions are more restricted. As things stand, we will be able to include a live audience, which makes such a crucial difference to the whole experience, especially for the performers themselves. And with people making fewer trips to London concerts, we hope that in the coming months we can fill some of that gap. 

We are very grateful to the Vicar, Churchwardens and PCC of the church for agreeing in priciple that concerts may resume. The church reopened for services last month but is rightly taking every precaution to ensure the safety and confidence of its parishioners. The concerts will place midweek so that the church is not busy on consecutive days, to reduce further the risk of infection. The same, now familiar, procedures that are in place for services will be followed at the concerts, such as distanced seating and the wearing of face coverings.

Nowadays, anything that anybody plans may be subject to change. But, no matter how unpredictable the way forward, we will persevere in our mission of bringing the highest standard of classical chamber music to Tunbridge Wells' most historic venue.

2.8.20

Recordings of July concerts available until 7 August

With many thanks to everyone who has supported our series of online recitals during July, we're delighted to make the recordings available again for a short period, until 7 August. 

8 July: Jong-Gyung Park and Anthony Zerpa-Falcon (piano duet: Schubert Fantasie in F minor)
15 July: Ruth Beedham and Marcus Andrews (cello and piano: Bridge cello sonata)
22 July: Alessandra Testai and Robin Jeffrey (voice and lute/guitar: songs from Italy and England)
29 July: Rachel Threlfall and Martin Bloor (cello and viola: Telemann, Beethoven etc)

The funding page for any donations (which are shared equally among the performers) will close on 7 August. Click here to donate

Future plans

It is possible that we will be able to hold concerts in King Charles church again this autumn, in the same way that services are taking place within the government's guidelines. These may involve an audience in due course, and may be broadcast live or recorded. Whatever the solution, we will keep you informed via this blog.

Read more here about the how and why to do concerts online.

26.7.20

Martin Bloor & Rachel Threlfall online recital 29 July

In the last of our four mini-recitals during July, Rachel Threlfall and Martin Bloor (cello and viola) play a varied programme of four short duos. Scroll down for programme notes.

Click this link to join us on Wednesday evening 29 July, online at 6:30pm for a 30 minute event, including a quick conversation with the artists. This will take you straight through to a Zoom conference in watch/listen mode.

Click here for the recording on Vimeo. Their exclusive performance has been recorded in advance. The recording will be available for seven days from the concert start time.

Click here to donate to our music series, if you wish to show your appreciation. We'll share funds equally between each of our four online concerts. No matter how small, your contribution will show our musicians how much you value their talents at this difficult time. All the money we receive goes to them.

Find out more about why we think this is so important here.

Thank you very much for your enthusiasm for chamber music and your support for all those who make it possible. We are planning for concerts to be broadcast or recorded in King Charles church again this autumn, and look forward to welcoming you to a live concert in person as soon as that is possible!

PROGRAMME NOTES

Telemann Canonic Sonata No. 1 
Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767) ranked among the most successful composers during his lifetime, completely overshadowing J. S. Bach whose music was not fully appreciated until some years after his death. George Frederick Handel once said of Telemann that he could write a work in eight parts as easily as anyone else could write a letter. The six Canonic Sonatas are a collection originally entitled "Six Canons or Sonatas for two German Flutes or two Violins, Compos'd by Georg Philip Telemann." Each movement of these sonatas is a two-part canon in which both musicians play precisely the same lines, one bar apart.

Rebecca Clarke – Lullaby from Two Pieces for Viola and Cello 
Rebecca Clarke (1886-1979) was an English viola player who had a worldwide career as a soloist and chamber musician, performing with the most well-known musicians of the time, including Pablo Casals and Artur Rubinstein. She formed an all-female chamber ensemble, The English Ensemble, who performed all over Europe and is recognised as one of the viola’s greatest exponents, both as a player and as a composer. Debussy is often mentioned as an influence, as well as her friends Bloch and Ravel. The two pieces for viola and cello were composed in 1918 and premiered by Clarke and the cellist May Mukle a year later in New York’s Aeolian Hall.

Shostakovich – Prelude from 5 pieces for 2 violins and piano 
These five pieces were collected and arranged for two violins and piano by Lev Atovmyan, a friend and assistant to Shostakovich, with the composer’s permission. The lush, almost Brahmsian Prelude is taken from Shostakovich’s score to the 1955 film The Gadfly, in which the famous Romance can also be heard.

Beethoven – Duet “With Two Eyeglasses Obligato”
Beethoven wrote this duet around 1796-7, but it was published only in 1912. Most certainly he wrote it for his friend and cello player Baron Nikolaus Zmeskall von Domanovec. Beethoven played the viola so it’s very likely that he intended the duo for them to play together. Nikolaus Zmeskall was one of the first people Beethoven met when arriving in Vienna. He was secretary in the Hungarian Chancellery and remained Beethoven’s friend all his life. He was a skilled amateur cello player and composer. In one of Beethoven’s letters he apparently teases Zmeskall for his short-sightedness, saying “je vous suis bien obligé pour votre faiblesse des votre yeux” (“I am most obliged for the weakness of your eyes”), and this could be the reason for the title “Eyeglass Duet” as it has become known.

Rachel studied with Leonid Gorokhov at the Royal College of Music and performed in master classes with Stephen Isserlis, Raphael Wallfisch and Mstislav Rostropovich. Since graduating in 2002 Rachel has pursued a busy freelance career in London. She has worked regularly with a variety of ensembles and orchestras including The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, The London Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Concert Orchestra and Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.

Rachel toured for several years with English Touring Opera and the Carl Rosa Opera Company as solo cello. As a chamber musician Rachel has performed in some of the UKs most prestigious venues including St Martin in the Fields, Queen Elizabeth Hall, St James Piccadilly, National Gallery, Conway Hall and the music room at the V&A museum. She gave the world premiere of Nicola Moro’s composition War: eight poems by Harold Pinter and has also performed in art exhibitions including collaborations with Turner Prizewinner Martin Creed.

As a recording artist Rachel’s solo projects have included several recordings for BBC Radio, including collaborating with playwright Joanna Lawrence for Radio 3’s “The Wire” and she appeared as solo cello on the soundtrack to Radio 4’s production of Les Miserables. Recent solo engagements have included performances of Vivaldi concertos with Ensemble Precioso d’Alsace in Strasbourg and Coswiller, France.

As well as pursuing an active performing career Rachel is committed to teaching and education. She has held teaching posts at leading schools including Stowe School and has been involved in educational projects with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Philharmonia. She currently teaches cello at Tunbridge Wells Girls Grammar School. Rachel performs on a George Crask cello made in the mid 19th Century.

Martin studied at the Royal Northern College of Music and as a student was the recipient of the Rachel Godlee Memorial Prize for Viola as well as being awarded all the available prizes for chamber music. He studied chamber music with musicians including Vilmos Tatrai, Alexander Baillie and Shmuel Ashkenasi and Richard Young of the Vermeer Quartet.

Upon graduating he took up a position with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. This was followed by an appointment to the Royal Northern Sinfonia. During his time at the orchestra he was involved in frequent chamber music projects with other Principal members of the orchestra as well as small scale concerts with such artists as Heinz Holliger, Thomas Zehetmair, Ruth Killius, Christian Zacharias, Nikolai Demidenko and Heinrich Schiff including performances in the Proms at the Royal Albert Hall. He also performed as soloist with the orchestra.

Since leaving Royal Northern Sinfonia in 2007 he has led a busy and diverse career based in London. Frequently in demand as a Guest Principal he has performed with orchestras including RTE Concert Orchestra, London Concert Orchestra, London Musical Arts Orchestra, Mozart Festival Orchestra, Lancashire Sinfonietta, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the Philharmonia and Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. He was recently invited to join La Folia, Orchestre de Chambre d’Alsace and has performed with the Soloists of the Philharmonia. More recently he has focused on chamber music and solo work, performing throughout the UK and Europe.

Recent solo performances have included the Kings Lynn and Stratford Festivals and he has performed world premieres of works by composers including Brian Elias and Howard Blake. Concerto performances have included Bach Brandenburg Concerto No. 6.

Martin held a teaching position at Wycombe Abbey School for several years and has taken part in education projects for the Philharmonia Orchestra. Having a young family, he now teaches in Tunbridge Wells and privately at his home in East Sussex. He performs on a viola by Mark Robinson which he commissioned in 1987.

1.7.20

Online concerts, July 2020

Join us online in July, as we reopen Music at King Charles and do our bit to keep chamber music alive in Tunbridge Wells.

We've invited some of our favourite past performers to present a short, early evening recital, and also to have a quick conversation about musical life in lockdown.

Click this link to join us on Wednesday evenings online at 6:30pm for a 20-30 minute event. This will take you straight through to a Zoom conference in watch/listen mode.

Links to recordings will be published on this page after each event.

8 July: Jong-Gyung Park and Anthony Zerpa-Falcon (piano duet: Schubert Fantasie in F minor)
15 July: Ruth Beedham and Marcus Andrews (cello and piano: Bridge cello sonata)
22 July: Alessandra Testai and Robin Jeffrey (voice and lute/guitar: songs from Italy and England)
29 July: Rachel Threlfall and Martin Bloor (cello and viola: Telemann, Beethoven etc) 

Click here to donate. You will be pleased to know that we are inviting a donation as a way of expressing your support for our musicians. When you make your donation, do include a short message. We'll share funds equally between each concert. [DONATIONS CLOSE ON 7 AUGUST]

No matter how small, your contribution will show our musicians how much you value their talents at this difficult time. All the money we receive goes to them. Meanwhile, Music at King Charles will be making a donation to the charity Help Musicians from existing funds.

Find out more about why we think this is so important here.

Thank you very much for your enthusiasm for chamber music and your support for all those who make it possible. We look forward to welcoming you to a live concert in person in the not too distant future!

ALSO:  see http://codatw.co.uk/ for online concerts

28.6.20

Plans for online recitals

You may have seen my recent post Bringing the music back, in which I discussed a response to the immense difficulties facing concert venues looking to reopen for live music, and the mental and economic struggles that musicians are going through at this time.

I wrote: "For many musicians, whose livelihoods have been so suddenly interrupted, performing online has become an unexpected necessity. It doesn’t suit everybody. But not being able to perform isn’t just about not earning a living: it’s about not properly living at all. It’s about not being able to express yourself; not fulfilling your purpose. I’ve talked to players who speak of the frustration and emptiness when all the music around them is just on the pages of books and on their music stands, not vibrating and flowing from their instruments and voices."

Let's all encourage and thank musicians who are experimenting with different methods of reaching audiences online whenever we can. If you see an online performance of any kind that asks for a financial contribution, do make that donation, however small. The vote of support and encouragement it gives is worth more than any amount of money. 

So, for our part, Music at King Charles will be opening its virtual doors in July for a series of short online recitals. Please watch this space! 

Rupert Preston Bell