Autumn 2018 concerts


October 5    


Roza Bene (harpsichord)   Byrd the bells;  Quadran pavane and galliard                                                              Tomkins  pavanes and a galliard                                                                                    Louis Couperin chaconne in C

Thomas Tomkins of Worcester was composing the pieces in this programme during the same years as the origins of Quakerism, which  took place in this part  of the country. In addition to some of  his most serene pieces, Roza will play the “sad pavan for these distracted times” written two weeks after the beheading of King Charles I in 1649. 

Roza Bene is a Hungarian harpsichordist resident in England since 2015 and who has made a special study of early English harpsichord music, winning many prestigious prizes  e.g.  Sir Anthony Lewis Memorial Prize (London), the Leamington Music Prize, and the Town Hall Symphony Hall Prize (Birmingham)  Recently she has  been studying at the Birmingham Conservatoire and performing with orchestras in both Great Britain and Hungary.  

October 19

Jack Dolan (tenor) Robin Bowman (piano)                                                                 

Mozart misero, o sogno (concert aria)  Finzi a young man’s exhortationthe sigh        Schubert an den Mond  Bellini bella Nice, che d’amore  Faure poeme d’un jour Donizetti tombe degli avi miei…..  fra poco a me ricovero (Lucia di Lammermoor)

Jack Dolan began his musical life whilst at school as a rock and blues guitarist.   However, by the age of 15 he was performing in amateur musical theatre productions. Regular singing lessons with Claire Surman from this time  onwards awaken him to the excitement of the standard classical repertoire.  At the conservatoire, where he studies with Maureen Brathwaite,  he has performed in a wide range of staged opera scenes, and took the lead role of Raoul de Gardefeu in a complete staged performance of Offenbach’s la  vie parisienne . Outside the conservatoire he performs as soloist with a network of choral societies and orchestras, and will shortly perform Mozart’s Requiem with Michael  Seal in Birmingham Symphony Hall, and Purcell Dido and Aeneas in Malta.  He won second prize in the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire’s esteemed Mario Lanza Opera Prize.

November 2

Samuel Bristow (organ).

A brilliant young Birmingham organist performs

Buxtehude Praeludium in d minor  Byrd Fantasia in a  minor

Wagner (arr.Liszt)  Pilgrim’s Chorus                     

Tchaikovsky  (arr.Samuel Bristow) Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy       

 Walter Hilse in Memoriam: Duke Ellington  F E Bache Introduction and Allegro

F E Bache was another brillliant young Birmingham organist, who died at the age of 24 in 1858.

More about Samuel Bristow

Formerly organ scholar of Cirencester Parish Church, and then Coventry Cathedral, Samuel is  currently organ scholar at St. Philip’s Cathedral Birmingham.  A final-year student at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, he studies with Henry Fairs and Daniel Moult.

He was a finalist in the 2017 Northern Ireland International Organ Competition, and has  broadcast on BBC Radio 4, BBC WM Radio, BBC Radio Coventry and Warwickshire,  and recently made an appearance on BBC One’s “Songs of  Praise”.  In September 2019 he will take up  the organ scholarship at Salisbury Cathedral.

Recent recital engagements include the cathedrals of Truro, Bristol, Portsmouth and Glasgow, Blenheim Palace, Orgelpark  Amsterdam, and St Petri Kirche inHamburg.  Future concerts include St. Mary Redcliffe, Bristol, Blackburn Cathedral and St.  George Hanover Square, London.

November 16

Eric McElroy (piano) 

Ravel valses  nobles et sentimentales   Bax  piano sonata no. 2

For our concert that is nearest to the date of the signing of the armistice 100 years ago, Eric McElroy will play major contributions to the solo piano repertoire written roughly a hundred years ago during the decade of the First World War.

This recital is a return visit by the brilliant young American pianist who recently gave us Bax’s first piano sonata in one of our lunchtime concerts. 

For further information about Eric please look at his website

December 7

Claire Bowman (soprano) Robin Bowman (piano)

A recital of songs based around the themes of evening and night.

Purcell evening  hymn

Armstrong Gibbs  a song of shadows;  five eyes; silver

Howells King David   Warlock the night

Debussy nuit d’étoiles  Fauré clair de lune

Mozart deh vieni, non tardar (le nozze di Figaro)

Schumann Zwielicht; im Walde; Frühlingsnacht

Bachelet chère nuit

After gaining undergraduate and postgraduate diplomas at London’s Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Claire undertook further study with Pierre Bernac, and since then has been performing up and down the country, including at the Wigmore Hall in London, and the  Turner  Sims Concert Hall in Southampton.


December 21  

Paul Carr  (organ)

a CHRISTMAS organ recital.