Autumn 2019 concerts

September 6 

Minori Nakaune  (violin)

Ysaye  obsession, (from sonata in A minor Op.27 no.2)    J. S.  Bach  chaconne (from partita no. 2, BWV1004)        Japanese Songs and Asian Affection  sakura, sakura; song of the beach;  red dragonfly

Minori  Nakaune is a violinist from Hiroshima who studied in Tokyo and Prague and has performed concertos by Beethoven and Mozart with orchestras in eastern Europe, and made two CDs of sonatas by Beethoven, Brahms and Dvorak, and music by other Czech composers. She has also been the leader of  the Hiroshima Symphony Orchestra, and currently leads the Sevcik Players, (named in honour of the Czech pedagogue who inspired many generations of violinists and in whose life and work Minori is an expert)  who perform each year in England and in the annual festival of Japanese culture held  at Pisek in the Czech Republic. Minori is delighted to come  to Bournville as part of her current visit to England.

Bach’s monumental chaconne (perhaps THE high-water-mark of the solo violin repertoire) is surrounded by lighter pieces  from the west and from the east.        

September 20

David Saint (organ)

Mendelssohn prelude and fugue in c minor; Albinoni Adagio in g minor;                                Karg-Elert Nun danket alle Gott; Leyding variations on ‘Von Gott will ich nicht lassen’;  Thalben-Ball elegy; Bach/Vivaldi concerto in a minor

David Saint, a pupil of Dame Gillian Weir, was the first organ scholar to be appointed  for Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral.  Since 1978 he has been organist and director of music at St. Chad’s Cathedral, Birmingham. Many years teaching at the Birmingham Conservatoire (now the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire) were crowned by a period as the principal, a post from which he retired in 2015 with the award of Fellowship of the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. Recent recitals include Sankt Wendel Basilika, St.  Eligius Völklingen, Frankfurt Cathedral (all in Germany), Lancaster Priory, McEwan Hall Edinburgh, Leamington Festival, Keimyung University (Korea) and St. George’s Hanover  Square and Westminster Cathedral in London. He gave  the centenary recital for the organ in the Bournville Quaker Meeting House in 2015, and  returns to inaugurate the organ newly refurbished after its first major clean for thirty years!

October 4

Song recital by two senior vocal students from the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire

Alexandra Anusca (soprano)   Samantha Lewis (mezzo-soprano)                                                                       Beth Haughan and Robin  Bowman (piano)

Purcell from rosy bowers Michael Head  a green cornfield;  the estuary      Gurney  the fields are full  Howells  King David   Britten the last rose of summer

Bizet  (Carmen)  je dis que rien ne m’épouvante (Micaela)                                                                Massenet (Manon) adieu notre petite table (Manon)  obéissons quand leur voix appelle (Manon)    Charpentier (Louise)  depuis le jour  (Louise)

Alexandra Anusca is a Romanian soprano currently in her second year of Masters in Vocal Performance at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. She started her musical training at the age of 15, and was admitted to the National University of music in Bucharest in 2014.  In 2017 Alexandra won the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire’s prestigious Mario Lanza prize whilst an Erasmus exchange student. In 2019 Alexandra had her operatic debut as Pamina in Mozart die Zauberfloete, at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, was invited for a British Youth Opera workshop and had a month of intensive training at the Berlin Opera Academy.

Samantha Lewis from Oswestry won the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire’s 2019 English Song Prize.  She is currently a member of Birmingham’s ex cathedra choir, and has also just embarked on her second year of Masters in Vocal  Performance at the conservatoire, having performed the leading role of Fanny Price in Jonathan Dove’s  Mansfield Park, the conservatoire’s summer 2019 opera production.

Beth Haughan is also in her second year as a postgraduate student at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire studying with Margaret Fingerhut and Pscal Nemirowski,  having gained a first class undergraduate degree from the Royal College of Music in 2018. She has performed in the Southbank Centre, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Leeds International Chamber Series and the Southwold  Arts Festival.

Robin Bowman is a member of the Bournville Lunchtime Concert organising committee, whose international career as a vocal accompanist spans nearly fifty years.  Among his performing partners have been Gérard Souzay, Henry Herford and Dawn Upshaw. He is currently a visiting tutor at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.

October 18 

Bournville Clarinet Choir

Director; Nigel Wood

Dvorak (arranged Nigel Wood) wind serenade Op.44  Rameau danse des sauvages  Fauré  in paradisum  Eric Coates Dam busters march Nigel Wood Jadar and Serban Nichifor  Klezmer dance.   

Bournville Clarinet choir began as a community music project founded in October 2015 by local musician Nigel Wood. A  Bournville Village  Trust “Vision Award” helped to get this project started. The twenty-strong choir welcomes players aged 16 or  over and of grade  8+ or equivalent standard of playing, and meets on a fortnightly basis. The choir continues to build  a reputation both locally and further afield.  In 2017 it featured in the More4 TV series ‘All Gardens Great and Small’, and has  been involved in numerous local and  charitable events, including Bournville   Heritage Day and the National Gardens Scheme (Bournville Village Gardens)

Nigel Wood  specialised in performance and teaching as a clarinettist and saxophonist at Birmingham Conservatoire, becoming a saxophone teacher there on  completing his studies. He later founded the group Saxtet and its publishing company Saxtet Publications which he owned and managed  for twenty years. Nigel also founded and was  musical director of the National saxophone  Choir of Great Britain. As a leading player of the word’s smallest saxophone, the soprillo, Nigel released the first solo album ‘Soprillogy’, a pioneering CD of this unique instrument.his compositions have been performed  in the UK and abroad, and have been broadcast on both radio and television. Nigel currently spends most of his time composing, arranging, directing the Bournville  Clarinet Choir and tending to his award-winning garden.

November 1 

Allan Schiller and John Humphreys (piano duet)

Mozart Sonata in B flat K358  Schubert Duo (Lebensstürme) D947  Poulenc Sonata for  piano four hands  Fauré dolly suite  Dvorak two Slavonic dances

The duo of Allan Schiller and John Humphreys is well known to Bournville audiences, and we are honoured that they are always keen to return to us with repertoire that they have not previously performed in these concerts..  Today’s programme is made up of four contrasting pearls of the piano duet repertoire.

November 15

Naoko Mitsumori (organ)   Bach Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme: An Wasserflüssen Babylon: Prelude and fugue in G major;   Buxtehude Nun komm,der heiden Heiland: In dulci  jubilo; Walther Lobe den Herren, den mächtigen Koenig der Ehren;  Heinrich Lang Es ist ein Ros’ entsprungen;  Carolyn Hamlin Es ist ein Ros’ entsprungen; Lobe den  Herren, den mächtigen Koenig der Ehren.

An organ recital in preparation for Christmas.

Much Lutheran organ music is intimately bound up with the seasons of the church year, a fact often not appreciated by those listening to the music.  Today’s programme, brought to us by the Japanese organist Naoko Mitsumori on her annual visit, consists mostly of chorale preludes on  hymns about Christmas or the preparation for Christmas.  Music by Bach and two of his contemporaries is balanced by examples from nineteenth-century Germany,  and the present-day American composer Carolyn Hamlin.  In the middle of the programme we will also hear Bach’s joyous and monumental G major prelude and fugue.


December 6

Boglarka Gyorgy (violin) and Brigitta Sveda (piano)

A  piano and violin recital including the César Franck sonata (written as a wedding present for the violinist/composer Eugène Ysaÿe, one of whose compositions is featured in the first of our concerts this term).


The Royal Birmingham Conservatoire is sending Boglarka Gyorgy on a visit to China which includes the date  of this concert.   We are able  to present these two artists in a programme including the César Franck sonata at a later date (April 3 2020)

Instead,  Brigitta Sveda (piano) will perform Schubert-Liszt soirées de Vienne – valse-caprice and Liszt les jeux d’eau a la villa  d’Este and Lixin Liu (soprano) with Robin Bowman (piano) will  perform songs by Richard Strauss (Mädchenblumen Op22 nos 1 -3, and  the three Ophelia Lieder Op67) Erik Satie (Sylvie) and Eva Dell’Acqua (villanelle).

As well as writing his own piano music, Liszt  was also renowned for virtuoso arrangements of the music of Schubert. Brigittta Sveda gives us an example of each in this concert. Strauss’s little-known early Mädchenblumen explore correspondances between flowers and young women, and are followed by his later Ophelia songs, setting three fragments from Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Many of you will be familiar with mad scenes in opera, so here are  three mad songs. Sylvie is one of Satie’s  serenest minimalist works, and  the Eva Dell’Acqua villanelle is a virtuoso “soufflé” display piece which, if it were English, we might describe as exquisite Victoriana.

Birgitta Sveda was born in  Hungary in 1992. At the age of seven she started  her piano studies, and entered the junior class of the Franz  Liszt  Academy of Music when she was fourteen. During this time Brigitta won the first prize in the International Piano Competition in Zagreb. She graduated from the Franz Liszt Academy in  2017 with highest honours. Birgitta is  now a  second year  postgraduate student at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, studying under John Thwaites and Pascal Nemirovski.

Lixin is in the last weeks of her advanced  professional diploma course at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire studying with Amanda Roocroft, having previously studied at the Royal Northern College of Music under Mary Plazas. She was “Queen of  the Night” in the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire’s Mozart “Magic Flute” production in spring of this year.  she also numbers Frasquita (Carmen), Clorinda (la cenerentola), Sophie (Werther), and Soeur Constance (les  dialogues des Carmélites) among her operatic roles.  During last  academic year she won first prize in both the Edward Brooks Lieder Prize and  the Cecil Drew  Oratorio Prize. Whilst at the Royal Northern College she won the Claire Croiza Prize for French song. Her solo experiences include singing at Cadogan Hall,  the o2 Arena,  the Bridgewater Hall, Newcastle Town Hall and Leeds Town Hall.


December 20

James Brawn (piano)

Beethoven.  piano sonatas  op. 109 in E major and op. 110 in A flat major.

The first visit since 2016 of one of the Bournville concerts favourite pianists, now spending most of his time  in China, who will perform for us the first two of Beethoven’s last three piano sonatas.  James has been recording a complete cycle of all the Beethoven piano sonatas over the last few years, and the last of these discs will appear during 2020.