Friday 5 May
Katie Gilbert, Elise Fairley (sopranos) Elouise Waterhouse (mezzo-soprano) Richard James (baritone) Robin Bowman, Konan Tanaka (piano)
Songs by Poulenc, (Chansons de Ronsard) Mahler (Songs of a Wayfarer) and Strauss and duets by Chausson
Friday 19 May
Tim Smith (piano)
Dutilleux piano sonata Op 1 (1947-48) Scarlatti sonata in c minor K11 (ca.1725) and Debussy danseuses de Delphes; les collines d’Anacapri; la cathédrale engloutie (1909-10)
Henri Dutilleux (1916-2013) is a French composer firmly in the tradition of Debussy and Ravel, but with an individual voice that is gradually becoming better known. The number of works he wrote is quite small – his best-known piece being a cello concerto tout un monde lointain (a whole distant world) . The three-movement piano sonata is hist first major work and was written for his pianist wife Geneviève Joy.
Tim Smith is currently a fourth year undergraduate pianist at Birmingham conservatoire studying with Daniel Browell and David Quigley. He began playing the piano around the age of fifteen and started with jazz and blues. He joined the Oxfordshire County Youth Jazz Orchestra and the Oxfordshire Jazz Collective, winning the Oxford Jazz Festival youth competition in 2011. He was also part of the 16/22 young actors company and wrote the incidental music for the 2013 production of Dylan Thomas’s “Under Milk Wood” staged at the Oxford Playhouse.
Tim then became focused on classical music starting his studies at Birmingham in 2013. He has given regular lunchtime recitals at Oxford’s St. Michael at the Northgate church for the past 3 years. In 2016, he was the soloist in Finzi’s rarely heard “Eclogue for String Orchestra and Piano” with members of the Wolverhampton Symphony Orchestra, and Mozart’s Piano Concerto K 467 with a student orchestra from the conservatoire. Away from the piano he enjoys cycling and making pizzas.
Friday 2 June
Forum String Quartet Alison Loram and Caroline Nowotarski (violins) David Joyce (viola) Ruth Henley (cello)
The Forum is a flexible chamber music ensemble made up of professional musicians from Shropshire and Cheshire. Since its formation in 2014, it has given numerous concerts as both string quartet and piano trio, throughout these counties and beyond, which have been very well received. The ensemble is regularly invited to return to venues and has bookings throughout 2017 into 2018. Between them the members have a wealth of experience, having variously played for the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, the BBC Concert Orchestra, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the English Symphony Orchestra, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Mid-Wales Opera, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and others, as well as chamber ensembles. In addition to their work with The Forum, all the players give solo concerts, either in recital or with orchestra.
Ravel string quartet Mendelssohn capriccio in e minor Paul Henley elegy (first performance)
Friday 16 June
Jan Loeffler (piano)
Jan Loeffler performs as soloist,soloist with orchestra and as chamber musician in countries such as Germany, the UK, the USA, France, Italy, Hungary and Ireland.
“His performance was one of the most moving musical experiences in the twenty years I’ve been presenting these concerts” Jerome Reed, Chair of Piano at Lipscomb University, USA
Jan studied principally at Würzburg Hochschule and the Royal Academy of Music, London, and has a distinguished teaching career, since 2013 based at Birmingham Conservatoire and giving a wide range of masterclasses internationally.
Chopin sonata no. 3 in b minor Op. 58 Granados escenas romanticas
The monumental and hugely varied B minor sonata is the last of Chopin’s three piano sonatas, and the six pieces by Granados owe much to the influence of Chopin and Schumann whilst presenting an exquisitely Spanish flavour unique to Granados himself.
Friday 7 July
Burgundy Piano Trio Daniel Peev (violin) Tom McMahon (cello) Arthur Bocaneanu (piano)
Beethoven piano trio in B flat Op.97 (Archduke)