'Voice of the British Isles': 11 Sept

Ellen Smith and Michael Grant open the 2016 Music at King Charles series with a luscious collection of folksongs, at 3:30pm on Sunday 11 September. Admission is free and there is a retiring collection.

You can get a taste of their music in this short selection of extracts on YouTube.

Inspired by the haunting sound world of Jan Garbarek, Ellen and Michael have reinterpreted some of the most enduring folk melodies from across the British Isles for the unique combination of voice, harp and soprano saxophone.

Ellen Smith graduated from University College London with a first class honours degree in Classics before pursuing a Masters in Music Performance at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama where she specialised in Early Music. Particular career highlights include London performances of the Handel harp concerto with the Clemens non Papa Consort, Britten's Ceremony of Carols at Westminster Cathedral, The Chapel of the Savoy and St. James’ Piccadilly with the English Chamber Choir, Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms with Vox Cordis at Holy Trinity Kensington and Ravel’s Introduction and Allegro in Blackheath. Frequent orchestral concert and tour engagements have taken her to the Salzburg, Istanbul and Gran Canaria Festivals, and further afield, to Beijing with the Orquesta Sinf√≥nica de Tenerife. A regular guest solo artiste aboard Cunard’s fleet since 2004, she has performed extensively throughout Europe and worldwide onboard Queen Elizabeth 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Mary 2.

Michael Grant is an international cabaret entertainer, multi-instrumentalist, recording artist, teacher and composer. After studying at the Royal College of Music and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, he went on to perform in many musicals and concerts in London’s West End and across the world. As a classical soloist he has performed in most of the UK’s most prestigious venues, including Wigmore Hall, Britten Theatre, Barbican, Queen Elizabeth Hall, St. Martin-in- the-Fields, St. James’ Piccadilly and the Queen’s Hall Edinburgh. As a jazz musician and cabaret entertainer Michael regularly performs his own swing show around the world as a guest artist for Cunard and P&O Cruise Lines. He has written three ballets, two musicals and several song cycles continuing the English song tradition of the early 20th Century.

This recital is part of a long-term recording project for Ellen and Michael. Their repertoire draws on a wealth of traditional song from across the British Isles but, with an unusual combination of harp and soprano saxophone, their collaboration has brought together traditional and modern influences, some unfamiliar tunes and complex harmonies. Inspired by the sea in his home town of Hastings and influenced by the strong English style of composers such as Vaughan Williams and Finzi, Michael has also composed a song cycle with words from John Masefield’s Salt-Water Ballads which will be premiered at this recital.

Where to find King Charles church.


Booking open for Autumn series

How to book:

ONLINE: Tickets for Music at King Charles concerts may be booked here, https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/mkctw. Prices are discounted when you book in advance, and there is no charge for under-18s.

BY EMAIL: contact us at kcmconcerts@blueyonder.co.uk for tickets or if you wish to leave/join our mailing list.

Tunbridge Wells International Music Festival
We are delighted that the TWIMF return to King Charles to host a concert by the amazing Schubert Ensemble, on Thursday 13th October at 7:30pm.  Book tickets for the Schubert Ensemble here: tickets are £15 on the door but just £13 when booked in advance.