King Charles Festival 2016

As part of the annual commemoration of the death of King Charles I, who was executed on 30 January 1649, we present two special concerts of music of his time, as well as two organ recitals celebrating the recent renovation of the church's splendid Walker organ.

Sunday 24 January 5:30pm: Organ Recital by Michael Bacon

Saturday 30 January 7:30pm: Music of the Stuart Age

Saturday 6 February 7:30pm: Masters of the Baroque

Sunday 28 February 3pm: Organ Recital by Jamie McVinne

Booking information will be posted here in January.


Past Performers 2006-2016

Music at King Charles has been privileged to host so many distinguished artists over the last ten years. As a matter of record, they are:

Adriano Graziani  | Aiso Quartet  | Alessandra Testai | Alex Metcalfe | Amanda Pitt | Anthony Zerpa-Falcon  | Archduke Trio | Barbirolli Quartet | Callum Smart | Cambridge Taverner Choir | Cantabile | Cellists of the RPO | Charles Wiffen | Chelys Viol Ensemble | Chris Hatt | Clio Gould | David Campbell | Daniel Tong | David Owen-Norris | David Maw | David Owen Norris | Decimus Consort | Dulcinea Quartet | Eleanor Alberga | Ellen Smith | English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble | Felicity Lott | Follia | Frances Yonge | Gary Branch | Giles Davies | Gilfillan family | Greg Tassell | Guy Johnstone | Jamie McVinnie | Jane Gomm | Jennifer Snapes | Jong-Gyung Park | Karina Lucas | Kate Semmens | Katie Stillman | Kokoschka Trio | Konevets Quartet | Ken Aiso | King Charles Singers | Lianna Jeffrey | Liz Partridge | London Bridge Ensemble | Margaret Faultless | Martin Fogel | Matchbox Opera | Michael Bacon | Michael Collins | Michael Grant | Michael McHale | Nigel Clayton | Owen Rees | Paul Clark | Paul Jeffrey | Paul Guinery | Pentagon Ensemble | Peter Arnold | Peter Barker | Rachel Stroud | Raphael Wallfisch | Richard Egarr | Richard Uttley | Robin Jeffrey | Roselyne Martel-Bonnal | Rose Trio | Sara Lois Cunningham | Sarah Stuart-Pennink | Sasha Grynyuk | Simon Lane | Sophia Lisovskaya | Steven Devine | Temenos Chamber Choir | Teresa Caudle | Tim Gill | Tim Lines | Tom Bowes | Tom Foster | Trajecti Voices | Unexpected Opera | Yeo Yats Soon | Yukiko Shinohara


Ellen Smith and Michael Grant 12 Dec 2015

Music at King Charles is delighted to recommend a lovely concert at St Luke's church in Tunbridge Wells on Saturday 12 December, at 7pm.

The wonderful harpist and soprano Ellen Smith, who is a regular performer at King Charles, is joining saxophonist Michael Grant to play Christmas favourites, folksongs and other classics.

Definitely a great evening's entertainment!

St Luke's church is on St Luke's Road, TN4 9JH. Tickets are just £10 including refreshments and are available from the church or from Britten's Music, or on the door.

Meanwhile, details of concerts in early 2016 at King Charles will be released very soon.


Concerts this Autumn

As well as another superb line-up of concerts at King Charles, we look forward to similarly high-class chamber concerts at nearby venues by our friends in neighbouring venues.

Music at King Charles

Saturday 19 September: Music by the Bach Family, with Margaret Faultless and Rachel Stroud (violins) and Tom Foster (harpsichord).

Thursday 24 September: Recital by Felicity Lott, Michael Collins and Michael McHale (in partnership with Tunbridge Wells International Music Festival)

Saturday 10 October: "Evening in the Palace of Reason" - Johann Sebastian Bach at the Court of King Frederick the Great, with "Follia" (flute, violin, viola da gamba and harpsichord.

Saturday 17 October: Carl Nielsen 150th Anniversary Recital, with Peter Arnold (piano) and Liz Partridge (violin).

Booking information at https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/mkctw

Tunbridge Wells International Music Festival

TWIMF is in full swing from 11 September with a jazz concert at Trinity, and including on Sunday 4th October the RTW Symphony Orchestra with Leonard Elschenbroich (cello) at the Assembly Hall Theatre featuring Dukas - Fanfare for La Peri; Dvorak - Cello Concerto; Holst -The Planets.

CODA at Rose Hill School

Sunday 13 September: recital by James Noble (clarinet) and Simon Callaghan (piano) presented by CODA.

At West Malling

20-27 September: 'Music at Malling' festival includes a number of Bach Pilgrimage recitals, concluding with a Family Concert 'Nordic Myths and Legends' on Sunday 27 September.


Saturday 26 September: The King Charles Singers present 'Music of the English Cathedral Tradition' at the church of St Mary the Virgin, Buxted.


Friday 2 October: Jazz at the Oast presented by Beult Concerts.


Music by the Bach Family

Saturday 19 September, 7:30pm

Music for Awhile - Margaret Faultless and Rachel Stroud (violins) and Tom Foster (harpsichord) -  present music by JS Bach, his sons, cousins and extended family.
Tickets £15.00 (£12.50 in advance)
Book tickets here

Since its first performance in 1996, and continuing under its Artistic Director Margaret Faultless, Music for Awhile continues to inspire audiences and performers alike with concerts in a variety of venues and at its own Summer Festival in the magical setting of All Saints, Alton Priors. Musicians from Europe's most acclaimed ensembles come together to perform a wide range of repertoire spanning over two centuries. Music for Awhile has specialised in performing English Opera from Purcell's time and thanks to sponsorship from the Cecil King Memorial Foundation it also features the music of J S Bach in churches around the country. Tonight's recital is one such concert. Music for Awhile expands to form a larger orchestra enabling it to perform major works in venues such as Westminster Abbey, Bath Abbey, Exeter, Gloucester, Hereford and Bristol Cathedrals. It also has its own chamber music series, formerly held at Conock Manor.

Margaret Faultless is co-leader of The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and regularly directs the orchestra. For twelve years, Margaret led the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra under Ton Koopman, as concert-master and soloist in their ten-year project to perform and record J.S Bach’s Cantatas. She is a regular director of the European Union Baroque Orchestra (for whom she is Director of Studies), Philharmonie Merck, and is the Artistic Director of Music for Awhile. A passionate chamber musician, she was a member of the London Haydn Quartet for ten years. A graduate of Clare College, Cambridge, she is Director of Performance Studies at the Faculty of Music at the University of Cambridge, Artistic Director of the University Collegium Musicum, a Bye-Fellow of Girton College, and Musician in Residence at St John's College. She is an Honorary Fellow of Birmingham Conservatoire and Head of Historical Performance at The Royal Academy of Music.


Dame Felicity Lott

Thursday 24th September, 7:30pm

With the Tunbridge Wells International Music Festival we are immensely privileged to present a unique opportunity to hear three of the country's most eminent and celebrated stars of the classical music world, with a stunning programme tailored for this intimate, historic setting.

One of Britain’s best-loved sopranos, Dame Felicity Lott, will be joined by world renowned clarinettist Michael Collins and accompanied by the brilliant Irish pianist Michael McHale.

Their programme includes music by Schubert (The Shepherd
on the Rock), Spohr, Poulenc, Saint-Saens and Offenbach.  This will be a very special evening of exceptional music.

Book your tickets here
£15 (£13.50 in advance, with a limited number of £5 tickets for under-18s)


Evening in the Palace of Reason

Saturday 10th October, 7:30pm

Chamber music by J S Bach, C P E Bach, Quantz, F Benda, Janitsch and Frederick the Great, performed by Follia

Tickets: £14 on the door, £12 in advance

William Summers (baroque flute)
Diane Moore (baroque violin)
Ibrahim Aziz (viola da gamba)
Yeo Yat-Soon (harpsichord)

In 1747 the aging Johann Sebastian Bach visited the cosmopolitan court of the young and highly musical King Frederick the Great of Prussia. This was the catalyst for the composition of his great late work Musical Offering dedicated to the king. This programme explores the contrasting styles of Frederick’s court composers, including Bach’s son Carl Philipp Emmanuel and the king himself. It culminates with Bach’s monumental Trio Sonata from Musical Offering.

FOLLIA is a baroque ensemble with a flexible combination of instrumental and/or vocal musicians as appropriate to the repertoire being performed. It is made up of experienced specialists in their respective fields. Programmes are based on specific themes drawing on the fascinating links between the music of each period and the historical context of contemporary thoughts, events and developments in the other arts. The music performed ranges from the early 17th century to the late 18th century.


Carl Nielsen 150th Anniversary Recital

Saturday 17th October, 7:30pm
Peter Arnold (piano) and Liz Partridge (violin)

This celebratory concert has been compiled specially by local musician Peter Arnold to showcase a wide range of works for piano by Denmark’s greatest composer. Each period of Nielsen’s varied and interesting life is represented.

Tickets £12 on the door, £10 in advance from https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/date/EKEHMH

Peter Arnold was born in North London and studied at Trinity College of Music with John Bingham where he won several prizes for piano. The award of a Hungarian Government scholarship provided him with a further two years of study, at the Liszt Academy in Budapest. He has played in master classes for Vlado Perlemuter, Tamas Vasary, and Andre Tchaikovsky, and on Danish television playing Nielsen for the composer’s protégé Hermann Koppell. Concert appearances have included the Purcell Room, St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Cheltenham Town Hall, and Egeskov Castle in Denmark. Peter has taught for Kent Music School since 1980, and is a professor at Trinity College of Music Junior Department.

Liz Partridge began her musical education as a junior at the Royal Academy of Music, and subsequently went to Trinity College of Music on a scholarship, where she studied both the violin and the piano. Whilst at college she co-founded the Court String quartet and still thrives on playing chamber music whenever possible.
Positions in the BBC concert orchestra and ENO were followed by ten years at the Royal Opera House as a sub-principal first violin, where she had the privilege of working with such luminaries of the conducting world as Bernard Haitink, Georg Solti and Carlos Kleiber and listening to Joan Sutherland, Luciano Pavarotti and Placido Domingo. For several years now she has been a freelance musician, working mainly in London with the major orchestras, in west end shows and in recording studios.
Recent solo recordings have included work with the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst and recordings of the most recent Trinity College violin exam syllabus. Other projects include commissioning and editing a new series of quartets for young people, with Boosey and Hawkes.
She has led many orchestras during her freelance career and also directed chamber groups from the violin. Teaching and examining feature in her portfolio, and she currently sits on council for the ISM.


Callum Smart & Richard Uttley

Callum Smart
(photo: Patrick Allen, Operaomnia.co.uk)
Thursday 23 July, 2015, 7:30pm

Programme to include music for violin and piano by Ravel and Poulenc.

Tickets: £10 on the door (under-18s FREE) or pre-book here

Callum Smart attracted wide public attention at the age of thirteen having won the strings category of the 2010 BBC Young Musicians Competition. Also, in 2010, he became the top European prize-winner in the Oslo Menuhin Competition.

He has since appeared at a number of European festivals including the Dvorak Festival in Prague, the Menuhin Festival in Gstaad, Les Sommets Musicaux in Gstaad and the Valdres Sommersymfoni Festival with pianist Gordon Back, Mecklenburg Vorpommern with the Polish Chamber Orchestra and the Malmö International String Festival with Jonas Vitaud. UK recitals include Birmingham, the Cheltenham Festival, Glasgow, Leeds, the Lichfield Festival, Manchester, Newport and Perth. In March 2016 he gives recital performances with Richard Uttley in Birmingham, London’s Wigmore Hall, Konzerthaus Berlin and the Auditorium du Louvre in Paris.

Last season Callum made his Royal Festival Hall debut with the Philharmonia Orchestra performing Beethoven’s Triple Concerto under Michael Collins. Previous concerto appearances include venues such as Cadogan Hall and Queen Elizabeth Hall, London and performances with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales with the Glazunov Concerto under Grant Llewellyn and Mozart Violin Concerto No. 5 as part of a North Wales tour with Nicholas Collon, Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No.2 in Liverpool with Vasily Petrenko, Mozart’s Violin Concerto No.5 with the European Union Chamber Orchestra, and Britten’s Violin Concerto with the Chethams Symphony Orchestra at Lichfield and Cheltenham Festivals and the Bridgewater Hall, Manchester. In 2013 he made his North American debut with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Grant Llewellyn, as well as performing Tchaikovsky’s Concerto with the Orchestra of Welsh National Opera.

Born in Bradford, Richard Uttley studied at Cambridge University, graduating with a double first, and at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama where he became a Fellow between 2010-2012. He was selected by YCAT in 2011. Over the last year Richard has performed Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring with Rolf Hind in Galway, premiered a new collaborative work by Dobrinka Tabakova at the South Bank Centre and in Glasgow, and returned as soloist to Wigmore Hall. He has given recitals at The Sage Gateshead and Wigmore Hall with Mark Simpson broadcast live by Radio 3, and with Huw Watkins for the BBC Symphony Orchestra.

A passionate exponent of new music, Richard has recorded music by Andriessen and Ferneyhough for Radio 3 and released two discs of 20th and 21st Century piano music to critical acclaim. In 2014 he was invited to join Thomas Adès’s class at IMS Prussia Cove, and this autumn releases a third CD exploring symmetry and life cycles including Marvin Wolfthal’s Lulu Fantasy.


Lunchtime Recital 20th June

Ellen Smith (soprano) and Paul Clark (piano)
Saturday 20th June, 12:30
at King Charles

Free entry

Art songs and chansons by Frank Bridge, Michael Head, Ralph Vaughan Williams, John Ireland, Sergei Rachmaninov, Gabriel Faure, Claude Debussy, Henri Duparc and Francis Poulenc.

This event is being held as part of the King Charles the Martyr Creative Arts Week, which also features a special Songs of Praise service at 6:30pm on Sunday 21st June.


Bach Concerts in Penshurst Church

We are delighted to promote the "Soundness Festival" in neighbouring Penshurst.

Tuesday 16th June 7:00 pm
Sunday 28th June 7:00 pm
Ken Aiso, violin, and Andrew Skidmore, cello

Tuesday 16th June
J.S. Bach Sonata No.1 in g minor for violin solo
J.S. Bach Partita No.1 in b minor for violin solo
J.S. Bach Suite No.2 in d minor for cello solo
J.S. Bach Sonata No.3 in C major for violin solo

Sunday 28th June
J.S. Bach Sonata No.2 in a minor for violin solo
J.S. Bach Partita No.2 in d minor for violin solo
J.S. Bach Suite No.3 in C major for cello solo
J.S. Bach Partita No.3 in E major for violin solo

Venue St. John the Baptist, Penshurst TN11 8DL
Tickets £10 on the door: reservation by email to kenaiso@gmail.com


Autumn Season 2015: dates for diaries

Here is some advance notice of current concert plans this autumn.

Saturday 19 September: Music by the Bach Family, with Music for Awhile: Margaret Faultless (violin), Rachel Stroud (violin) and Tom Foster (harpsichord). This concert is generously sponsored by The Cecil King Memorial Foundation enabling all proceeds to go towards the upkeep of the church.

Thursday 24 September: Recital by Felicity Lott, Michael Collins and Michael McHale (Tunbridge Wells International Music Festival)

Saturday 10 October: "Evening in the Palace of Reason" - Johann Sebastian Bach at the Court of King Frederick the Great, with William Summers (flute), Diane Moore (violin), Ibrahim Aziz (viola da gamba) and Yeo-Yat Soon (harpsichord).

Saturday 17 October: Carl Nielsen 150th Anniversary Recital, with Peter Arnold (piano) and Liz Partridge (violin).

Booking information at https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/mkctw


Spring Concert, 25 April

Saturday, 25 April, 7:30pm

For the Spring season, we present a concert of favourite works from the cathedral repertoire, with the King Charles Singers.  We'll be singing music from across the centuries, and showing how the English choral tradition benefits so greatly by its imports from abroad!

This event is to raise finds for the next concert season, so all support is hugely welcome.

The King Charles Singers are accompanied by Michael Bacon.

Tickets may be purchased on the door, at £10. There is no charge for under-18s. Drinks will be available.


Soundness Festival

We are delighted to recommend the Soundness Festival 2015, run by violinist Ken Aiso.

17-19 April
Hourne Farm, Crowborough, East Sussex TN6 2SR

Music affects us at many different levels - from being pleasing to the ears to benefiting mental and physical health at deeper level. At the Soundness Festival, we can experience receiving and giving music in a friendly and informal setting.

info@soundnessfestival.co.uk / 07561 860104


"A wonderful occasion to relax from the everyday life, and dive into interesting musical concept and meditative spheres."