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Village Music & Drama

Festival’s feast of music

Posted on March 18 2010 at 5:28:58 0 comments

Ilya Movchan

Mary White previews an exciting 50th year for the ever-popular Bromsgrove Festival.

Bromsgrove Festival celebrates its Golden Anniversary in 2010 with distinguished artists in a varied programme, or we could describe it – as in the 1960 handbook – as a “feast of music”.

To mark the 50th anniversary we have a new venture in our last concert, with a special performance of Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius to be conducted by Dr Donald Hunt. Why Worcester?  I have heard the work in various venues but it is quite special in the Cathedral.  Elgar said: “come to Worcester to hear my music….the building does it”.

Bromsgrove can boast a connection with Elgar in that he is known to have visited his sister who lived in the town.

It is also an anniversary for the Bromsgrove International Young Musicians Platform – its 30th. This is a competition for musicians aged 17 to 25, and up to 27 for singers. We have a distinguished panel of adjudicators with Sir Philip Ledger as Chairman, and attract brilliant young talent.

An example of this is our 1999 second prize winner, the cellist Guy Johnston, who became the BBC Young Musician of the Year 2000. To celebrate the Platform’s 30th anniversary the opening concert involves all three of the 2009 finalists in three concertos.

Ticket returns in total for most festivals, large or small, usually bring in around a quarter to a third of the cost – so financial support is essential.

The Court Leet wish to give special acknowledgement to our 50th anniversary so we are very grateful to be made one of their charities, which allows us – and them – to give further support to the charities Help for Heroes and The Benevolent Fund of the Royal Marines. Note that the Band of the Royal Marines concert is in St John’s Church, giving them the opportunity for a ceremonial march up the aisle.

To celebrate the 200th anniversary of Chopin’s birth, Alessandro Taverna will give an all-Chopin piano recital.  Further to the Chopin acknowledgement, the Festival Fringe features a screening at Artrix of an old biographical film about Chopin, with Merle Oberon, Cornel Wilde and Paul Muni.

We do not forget jazz enthusiasts, and by special request we have a return of the Chris Barber Big Band. Meanwhile, Jeffrey Skidmore and his Ex Cathedra Chamber Choir will give a concert, joined by pupils of St John’s Middle School after a workshop during the day. 

Love Letters, which should be a fascinating and very different programme, involves musicians and actors – the latter will be reading letters written by two young people, one of whom lived in Coventry, marking 70 years since that city was bombed.

With the Kings Singers included in our main programme, you cannot miss coming to something at Bromsgrove Festival. I hope you will really think it is a “feast” for varied interests.

THE 50th BROMSGROVE FESTIVAL
April 23 to May 8, 2010
incorporating the 30th International Young Musicians’ Platform, April 29–May 2

Friday April 23
Artrix – 7.45pm
Orchestral Concert
A performance celebrating the 30th Young Musicians Platform by the three Finalists in 2009: Ilya Movchan (violin), Mikhail Nemtsov (cello), Jonathan Wilson (piano) with the European Union Chamber Orchestra
Director: Nicola Sweeney
Haydn Symphony No 49 La Passione
Mendelssohn Violin Concerto in D minor
Mozart Piano Concerto in A major K414
Haydn Cello Concerto in C major

Saturday April 24
St John’s Church – 7.45pm
Concert: The Band of the Royal Marines
In aid of the Benevolent Fund of the Royal Marines and Help for Heroes with support from Bromsgrove Court Leet

Tuesday April 27
New Guesten Hall – 7.45pm
Piano Recital: Alessandro Taverna
2009 Leeds International Piano Competition Finalist
An all-Chopin programme celebrating his 200th anniversary

Friday April 30
Artrix – 7.45pm
The Kings Singers
perform Friends, a musical tour de force, from Byrd and Tallis to Sullivan and Lennon & McCartney

Saturday May 1
Artrix – 7.45pm
The Chris Barber Big Band
returns to Bromsgrove by special request

Tuesday May 4
New Guesten Hall – 7.45pm
Love Letters – English Serenata
with Jeffrey Dench as newscaster and actors from the RSC
A collection of love letters between two young people in the West Midlands, caught in an adventurous, hilarious wartime romance before the Coventry blitz in November 1940.
Programme devised and directed by Gabrielle Byam Grounds with music by Gershwin, Cole Porter, Elgar and Vaughan Williams

Friday May 7
Artrix - 7.30pm
A Choral Evening
with the Ex-Cathedra Chamber Choir and the children of St John’s Middle School
Directed by Jeffrey Skidmore
In association with the David Morgan Music Trust

Saturday May 8
Worcester Cathedral – 7.45pm
Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius
Donald Hunt will conduct a special performance to mark the 50th anniversary of Bromsgrove Festival English Symphony Orchestra led by
Martin Bochman
Elgar Chorale, St Peter’s Singers Leeds and Bromsgrove School Chamber Choir. Catherine Wyn Rogers (contralto), Paul Nilon, (tenor),
Jeremy Huw-Williams (bass)

International Young Musicians Platform
New Guesten Hall, Avoncroft
Entry is free to the early rounds, which take place April 29 and 30 and May 1, 9.30am–6pm and May 2,  9.30am–1pm
Finalist Concert
Sunday May 2 – 7pm

Postal bookings and messages via answerphone 01527 876504. Office open Monday–Friday 10.30 am–3.45 pm, Saturdays 10.30 am – 1.00 pm. Closed Bank Holidays.
Office and Postal bookings: Methodist Church, 19 Stratford Road, Bromsgrove, Worcs B60 1AS.


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