St Martin-in-the-Fields welcomes the Piccadilly Sinfonia for five concerts that celebrate the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth. Featuring British concert pianist, Warren Mailley-Smith, acclaimed by Classic FM as “stunning”, the concert series will take audiences through a journey of all five of Beethoven’s masterful piano concertos, alongside selections of Beethoven’s famous symphonic works and music of composers who influenced and were influenced by Beethoven.

The concert series will be conducted by British conductor, Tom Fetherstonhaugh, who has been described as “a spark to watch” by BBC Radio 3. Explore the fate of a man who composed for princes and kings, who ushered in a new era in classical music becoming its hero, and is remembered today as an emperor among men, one of the greatest composers of all time.

Born in 1770, a point in history wrought by tumult and great change, Beethoven composed music that began a new era. The first concert in the series, Fate, features Beethoven’s Third Piano Concerto and his Fifth Symphony, a work known worldwide by only four simple notes. Prince and King explore the works composed for and associated with royalty. Showing the intensity of Beethoven’s earlier works, Hero begins with his First Piano Concerto, a work composed when Beethoven was only 25, paired with his Eroica Symphony. The series concludes in a complete celebration of Beethoven’s life with Emperor, commemorating Haydn’s influence on a young Beethoven and ending with Beethoven’s final piano concerto, the Emperor Concerto.

TICKETS PRICES £29/£25/£18/£13/£9

Save 25% and see all 5 concerts

CONCERT 1
Fate: Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony and Third Piano Concerto
Tuesday, 28 January, 2020 7.30pm

CONCERT 2
​Prince: Beethoven’s Fourth Symphony and Fourth Piano Concerto
Tuesday, 17 March, 2020 7:30pm

CONCERT 3
​King
: Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony and Second Piano Concerto
Tuesday, 28 April, 2020 7:30pm

CONCERT 4
​Hero
: Beethoven’s Third Symphony and First Piano Concerto
Tuesday, 30 June, 2020 7.30pm

CONCERT 5
​Emperor
: Beethoven’s Eighth Symphony and Fifth Piano Concerto
Tuesday, 29 September, 2020 7:30pm

To buy tickets/further information please visit or learn more about our season, visit www.piccadillysinfonia.com/beethoven250, or call St Martin-in-the-Fields’s Box Office Services at 020 7766 1100


Launched under the artistic direction of British concert pianist Warren Mailley-Smith, the Piccadilly Sinfonia is formed from some the UK’s leading young professional talent, with notable guest soloists so far having included violinists Zoey Beyers, Fenella Humphreys, Martyn Jackson, and Harriet Mackenzie. Their repertoire draws largely from a wide range of baroque and classical works for chamber orchestra including a number of virtuoso concerti.

Warren Mailley-Smith recently became the first British pianist to perform Chopin’s complete works for solo piano from memory in a series of 11 recitals at St John’s Smith Square. Hailed by the critics as an “epic achievement”, Mailley-Smith will repeat the series at several venues in 2020. He has given acclaimed solo recitals at Wigmore Hall, Carnegie Hall and has performed for the British Royal Family on numerous occasions. One of the busiest concert pianists of his generation, he regularly gives over 100 solo performances a year. His career has taken him all over the world, with solo performances in Australia, Europe and most recently solo tours in China and the USA. He has 30 piano concertos in his repertoire, having made his concerto debut with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

Tom Fetherstonhaugh is a British conductor. Described as ‘a spark to watch’ by BBC Radio 3, his recent projects include a concert for peace in the Korean Demilitarised Zone, the development of a new piano concerto with players from the Ulster Orchestra and assisting Sir Mark Elder at the Royal Academy of Music. Tom made his debut in Asia in 2019, performing in the Korean Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) with the Lindenbaum Festival Orchestra. Entitled ‘One Harmony’, the festival promotes peace between the Koreas through music, and the performance included a collaboration with the National Children’s Chorus of America. As well as the Fantasia Orchestra, Lindenbaum Festival Orchestra, Oxford University Sinfonietta and the orchestra of the Oxford Chamber Music Festival, Tom has conducted players from the Ulster Orchestra, the Southbank Sinfonia, Leicester Symphony Orchestra, Hereford Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Academy of Music Symphony Orchestra, the Junior Royal Academy of Music Sinfonia, Senior Orchestra and Main Choir, the orchestra of the Pro Corda Senior Course, the choir of Merton College, Oxford, and, aged 13, the choristers of Westminster Abbey on their tour to Russia. Tom is also active as an organist and pianist; he was organ scholar at Merton College, Oxford, and is a prizewinning Associate of the Royal College of Organists. He has played for live BBC Radio 3 broadcasts, and in 2017 played for the first Anglican Evensong at St Peter’s Basilica, Rome. He has appeared as soloist in the UK, Europe, Hong Kong and Singapore, including the Oxford Chamber Music and Oxford Lieder Festivals. On the piano, Tom has recently performed the complete Beethoven Violin Sonatas with violinist Athena Hawksley-Walker in the Holywell Music Room; the duo played live on Radio3’s In Tune as part of the project.


source: press release

Who or what inspired you to take up composing, and pursue a career in music?

My music teachers at school. They were so enthusiastic about it that I thought they must be in on some very special secret….it turned out the music I’d hear in my head wasn’t that different to what they were doing….it has to get out some way or another. They helped me to get it out!

Who or what were the most significant influences on your musical life and career as a composer?

At an early age ( 8-9) it was seeing three films at the cinema within a two week period….”You Only Live Twice” , ” The Jungle Book” and ” Oliver”. All astonishing musically and visually, but music was so front and centre for these films that it made me feel like  I wanted to be a part of the process that had made me feel the way I did when I saw them in that dark theatre.

What have been the greatest challenges/frustrations of your career so far?

Challenges and frustrations are almost the same thing for me….the most fretful being the first day of composition when you have nothing but a blank page and a lot of people are waiting somewhere for me to send them something of which  they have very high expectations

What are the special challenges/pleasures of working on a commissioned piece?

The pleasure is getting it done and people being happy with it…the challenge is getting it done so people are happy with it

What are the special challenges/pleasures of working with particular musicians, singers, ensembles and orchestras?

I’m fortunate that I’m able to work with the best in the world in terms of performers. Anything I  put in front of them, they will play brilliantly and make it sound and feel immediately better. I’m spoiled in that regard. It’s important to treat individual performers with care and  attention so that they feel free and secure enough to give it their all. Then the relationship, much like that which I have with directors, is one of part therapist, part musician.

Of which works are you most proud?

I generally don’t like much of what I do, in as much as I can’t hear it without thinking I wished I had done it differently, mostly better, but there’s not much I’d change about ‘The Tiger Who Came To Tea’; it’s a piece that feels about right to me, it makes me happy to watch it.

How would you characterise your compositional language?

Sympathetic to what ever I’m writing about or for.

How do you work?

I hear lots of music in my head whilst just being around and about so I sing ideas into the phone or sketch the odd sequence down, depending on where I am.  Then it’s to an instrument for working out an idea  which will either survive or be abandoned – and that’s on guitar or piano working ideas up in a DAW [digital audio workstation] so others get the idea too and there’s something tangible to play to people. If it’s a film,  I’ll watch it once and then walk around with the film in my head and let it all percolate.

Who are your favourite musicians/composers?

So many. Probably the most influential would be John Barry, Stevie Wonder, Debussy and Tchaikovsky. As I get older, there’s a bit more Mahler but mainly I love great melody

As a musician, what is your definition of success?

Not having to do anything other than music and to be happy with what I’m doing and with whom I’m doing it

What do you consider to be the most important ideas and concepts to impart to aspiring musicians?

Don’t try to please others, write honestly and maybe think this:  if the person whom you admire most in the world musically was standing next to you, could you play them whatever it is you’re working on right now and not have to make an excuse for it?

Where would you like to be in 10 years’ time?

If I’m alive in ten years time, I’ll be happy to be anywhere doing anything

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Having nothing to worry about

What is your most treasured possession?

I have things that I love but they’re just things and I’ve stopped thinking about things being precious. My family will always be the greatest and I have no desire or ability to own them

What do you enjoy doing most?

Being childish and also cooking

What is your present state of mind?

Tangled, Busy, Yearning, Hopeful, Cynical, Stupid

David Arnold composed the score for the recent tv adapation of Judith Kerr’s classic children’s story ‘The Tiger Who Came to Tea’. The soundtrack is now on CD and digital format from Sony Music Masterworks.


David Arnold is a multi-award-winning British film and television composer.  Best known for his work on blockbuster films such as Independence Day, Stargate and Chronicles of Narnia, he also took over the mantle from John Barry to compose the music for five James Bond films (including Casino Royale, for which he was nominated for a Grammy, a BAFTA and won ‘Best Song’ at the World Soundtrack Awards).  Other films scores include Godzilla, Shaft, Zoolander, Hot Fuzz and Stepford Wives.

David Arnold’s television work includes Sherlock (Emmy winner for best score with Michael Price) Little Britain, Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased), Dracula and Good Omens.  Over his 20-year career, he has won Grammys, Ivor Novello, International Emmys and Royal Television Society Awards. He was recently twice nominated for an Emmy for the Amazon /BBC production “Good Omens”

In 2012 David Arnold was appointed to the prestigious role of Musical Director for the London Olympics & Paralympics Closing Ceremonies and was also involved in one of the highlights of the Jubilee Thames Flotilla, composing a new arrangement of the ‘James Bond theme’ as HM The Queen passed by the MI6 headquarters.

As well as being a world-renowned score composer, David Arnold is a highly esteemed artist, record producer, songwriter and conductor who has worked with some of the biggest names in music, including Queen, The Who, Kate Bush, kd lang, Bjork, Chrissie Hynde, Iggy Pop, George Michael, Massive Attack, the Kaiser Chiefs, Shirley Manson, Shirley Bassey and Sir Paul McCartney.

 

Photo credit: Julie Edwards

 

Who or what inspired you to take up the violin, and pursue a career in music?

I had my first very intense musical experience at the age of six, singing Renaissance music in a small boys’ choir in my hometown, Ravenna. Since then, it was very clear to me that music would become my entertainment, my hobby and my profession. I didn’t have a standard training in violin, I don’t even have a violin diploma; in truth. I love music in its purest essence, that is, as a language and means of expression. I have never been attracted by the technical and virtuosic features of instruments, not even the violin. To me the violin is the “transfer” of my voice and I always try not to consider it the “end” of my making music, but rather a “medium”, an instrument.

Who or what have been the most important influences on your musical life and career?

More than a teacher or a violinist, fundamental for me was the experience gained within the musical groups with which I worked, first of all the Accademia Bizantina, which I joined as the last of the second violins in 1985, at the age of fifteen. An ideal of study seen as research and constant work on “musical craftsmanship” was strongly shared and participated by all the elements of the group and it was, and still is, the thing that fascinates me the most about playing together. Anyway, in my imaginary teenage bedroom (if it had existed), I think there could have been posters of Nikolaus Harnoncourt (whose writings and performances I was struck by as a teenager), of the violinist Enrico Onofri (a fellow student in the 80s in Ravenna and a colleague in thousands and thousands of adventures) and, of course and above all, of Ottavio Dantone, the musician with the most clarifying musical vision I have ever known, an authentic luminary.

What have been the greatest challenges of your career so far?

The most interesting challenge was certainly the recording of Vivaldi’s viola d’amore concerts with Accademia Bizantina, because I’m very interested in proposing this instrument in a new light and within an aesthetic vision I strongly believe in.

Which performance/recordings are you most proud of?

The recording of Vivaldi’s violin concertos “Per il Castello”, no doubt! If I think back to the period of preparation, to the days of recording and editing, beyond the final result of the record (which I obviously leave to the listener’s judgment), they were moments of great energy, of joyful musical construction that, together with Ottavio and Accademia Bizantina, led us to this record.

Which particular works do you think you play best?

Musically I feel related to all Italian music from the seventeenth century onwards. Vivaldi is certainly one of the composers to whom I am most attached and a very important test case for a violinist. I have now composed many cadences in his style, and I think I can say I know him very well. But I don’t forget Corelli (a fellow countryman of mine, born in Fusignano (a small village 6 km from Accademia Bizantina) and Geminiani and Handel, who together have cultivated the compositional form of the Concerto Grosso, which is at the heart of string instrument music.

How do you make your repertoire choices from season to season?

The choice of repertoire is made by combining the challenges I have set myself for the year (in these years there will be a lot of Vivaldi, of course!), the demands of the concert seasons and agencies, but also the suggestions from musicologists or musicians from Accademia Bizantina. In the future I believe there will be further possibilities to expand the repertoire beyond the normal horizons.

Do you have a favourite concert venue to perform in and why?

I am particularly attached to the Goldoni Theatre in Bagnacavallo, where with Accademia Bizantina we record and play many concerts. It is an Italian style theatre with a capacity of 400 seats, built in the mid 19th century, with the original wooden floor and, as was customary, hollow. In this way the theatre becomes a sounding board, as if it were another musical instrument. Playing there is a bit like talking to yourself.

Who are your favourite musicians?

I know many musicians who are excellent and who are my favourites, but, above all, I love musical environments apparently far from my world, because I feel strongly inspired by them but I am not conditioned by them. These days I listen with interest to the songs of the American folk singer Rhiannon Giddens and the Irish violinist Martin Hayes.

What is your most memorable concert experience?

Definitely playing at the Disney Hall in Los Angeles, in February 2019. The arrangement of the armchairs and all the architecture is such as to make the atmosphere intimate and cosy even though you are in a large hall with 2,000 seats.

As a musician, what is your definition of success?

To me success is real if it gives me the time and opportunity to implement future projects.

What do you consider to be the most important ideas and concepts to impart to aspiring musicians?

I believe that the first thing is to study as much as possible from the original sources, from the manuscripts, from the first editions, but, despite this, not to remain tied to the written music, but to how it could dance in the air at the time of its first performance, and, above all, to the feelings and emotions that it could awaken. Here, in this atmosphere lies the material that we musicians can work on. I believe that the most important rule that those who make music with historically informed criteria should follow is to have their roots firmly anchored to historical and musical sources, and their mind and heart free to sail to unknown destinations.

Where would you like to be in 10 years’ time?

I wish to be still here, making and building music with my musician brothers and sisters.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

I don’t know what perfect happiness can be. However, a nice morning run, a day with my family and friends and an evening concert I think bear quite a resemblance to it.

What is your most treasured possession?

The chance to choose.

What is your present state of mind?

Passionate, positive, fragile.

Alessandro Tampiero performs Bach’s The Art of Fugue with Ottavio Dantone and Accademia Bizantina, at Milton Court at the Barbican, London, on 19 January. Further information and tickets


Born in Ravenna, Alessandro Tampieri began his musical studies in his home town and became a member of Accademia Bizantina at the age of fifteen. During his training he devoted himself with equal interest to the violin and the viola, working with such noted composers as Luciano Berio and Azio Corghi and acquiring significant experience as a violist in the Orchestra of the Teatro alla Scala in Milan.

Alessandro Tampieri had been interested in the exciting subject of historically informed musical performance based on scholarly criteria since his first years of study, and soon began to appear with a number of early music ensembles, including such groups as Il Giadino Armonico and L’Arpeggiata and artists like Enrico Onofri, Philippe Jaroussky and Vittorio Ghielmi.

Since 2011 he has been first violin and concertmaster of Accademia Bizantina, collaborating in the musical life of the ensemble with its artistic director Ottavio Dantone.

His recent recording with Accademia Bizantina and Ottavio Dantone of Vivaldi’s concertos for viola d’amore and strings, also released on Naïve, received a very warm welcome from both the specialised critics and the public.

1566285092For many pianists, our first encounter with the music of Cyril Scott is through his exotic, languorous piece Lotus Land. This was also Georgian pianist Nino Gvetadze’s first introduction to Scott’s piano music, through one of her teachers at Tbilisi Conservatory.

Scott’s music is rarely performed today, though Lotus Land remains a perennial favourite at courses and piano clubs (I first discovered it when a friend played it at a weekend piano course and was drawn to its impressionistic, Debussyan idioms). His characterful piano miniatures were popular at their time of writing, at the start of the twentieth century when a piano graced most drawing rooms and there was a keen appetite and fashion for small pieces and songs which could be enjoyed at home. Lotus Land was a novelty for its time; evocative of exotic Eastern places with its perfumed harmonies and black-key glissandi, it is based on one of Scott’s own poems.

Scott stood on the cusp of the modern era: born in the last quarter of the nineteenth century, as a student he heard Clara Schumann play, but his music and attitudes were forward-looking, even revolutionary. In addition to music, he also wrote poetry and copious prose on a variety of subjects from mysticism, religion and the occult to health and well-being. A vegetarian, he advocated alternative medicine and herbal remedies.

cyrilscott-nationalportraitgallery
Portrait of Cyril Scott by George Hall Neale (National Portrait Gallery, London)

Both John Ireland and Eugene Goosens recognised Scott’s position at the forefront of modern British composers, a key figure who pioneered a move away from the stranglehold of nineteenth-century Germanic romanticism and a musical conservatism, and he was admired by Wagner, Debussy, Richard Strauss, Stravinsky and his lifelong friend and enthusiastic supporter Percy Grainger. But despite a prolific output of orchestral and chamber music, two operas, incidental music, and works for chorus, by the time of the Second World War, Scott’s music had declined in popularity, though he continued to compose, undeterred.

In her new recording of Cyril Scott’s piano music, Nino Gvetadze hopes to give the listener a glimpse into his musical imagination, which produced music which Debussy described as “an intoxication for the ear”. This disc is a selection of Scott’s piano music (Leslie De’Ath has recorded Scott’s complete piano music on the Dutton label), including the six Poems, Summerland, Op 54, and the Pierrot Pieces, Op 35. And of course Lotus Land in a dreamy, hauntingly sensuous reading by Gvetadze which for me evokes the drowsy humid heat of the east.

The influence of Debussy and late nineteenth-century orientalism is clear in Scott’s music. The listener could easily mistake pieces like Sphinx, The Garden of soul-sympathy and the two Pierrot Pieces for the work of Debussy, with their colourful, unexpected parallel harmonies and modality. Poppies from Poems has a Satie-esque eccentricity about it, while Summerland is redolent of Schumann’s Kinderscenzen or Faure’s Dolly Suite. Other pieces are more pedestrian and obviously English, all Edwardian drawing rooms, antimacassars and aspidistras with just a whiff of the exotic in their piquant rhythms and harmonies.

Gvetadze brings much colour, nuance, delicacy and grace to these piano miniatures, assisted by a lovely warm piano. Her sound is transparent, lyrical and elegant, and she is adept at highlighting the quirkiness and undisputed charm of the music, but there is a certain ‘sameness’ to Scott’s music in this selection which tires after a while. But Gvetadze is clearly a passionate advocate of this music, and as an overview of Scott’s piano music, this is an enjoyable, handsomely-produced collection. The CD includes interesting liner notes by Desmond Scott, the composer’s son.


Visions – Cyril Scott Piano Works | Nino Gvetadze (Challenge Records)

 

Who or what inspired you to take up singing and pursue a career in music?

I began singing in school and church choirs – while I’m not particularly religious, my first church choir director encouraged me to take private lessons in musicianship and voice from her (an organist) and her husband (a baritone). I was inspired by my sister (a cellist) to go to conservatory for my music degree and pursue the career, and parents were (and still are) 100% supportive of my artistic goals.

I was inspired to specialize in contemporary vocal music by two groups of people – (1) my college classmates in the composition department, who exposed me to new music and encouraged me to use my creativity in creating unique sounds, and (2) a whole lot of singers who are true entrepreneurs; something that blew things wide open for me was seeing singers use their voices in their own artistic ways and creating opportunities for themselves, as opposed to conforming to the traditional operatic career. My voice has never been traditional, so seeing artists who think creatively like I do was a game changer.

Who or what have been the most important influences on your musical life and career?

Again, composers are my greatest influence. Composers remind me to remain curious and to create sounds that are fresh and genuinely inspired. Collaborating with composers is one of the most fun things about my job, and performing/listening to new works has brought me nothing but exhilaration and rejuvenation.

What have been the greatest challenges of your career so far?

One of my greatest challenges was regaining my confidence. I lost my confidence, and almost lost my voice, in college, and after college I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to do with my singing, let alone how to obtain joy from singing. I knew I loved contemporary music, but taking the step to curating my first show was hard. I had to create the smallest bud of confidence for myself, and I think I did that my just focusing on my love for the music I wanted to sing, and I had to abandon the need for validation from others. I achieved this, but it took a lot of self-reflection, some therapy, and a huge leap of faith.

Which performance/recordings are you most proud of?

Several, but one that comes to mind is a collaboration that was in the jazz / avant-garde scene. La Operación, a work for solo soprano, two saxophones, two double basses and two drumsets, was written this year by bassist Nick Dunston, and the work is an abstract interpretation of a historical phenomenon involving colorism in Puerto Rico, eugenics, medical malpractice, second-wave feminism, and American colonialism. The piece is a structured improvisation consisting of tone rows, construction sounds, and a massive pile of extended techniques. I loved singing and improvising in this work, and it opened up a new vault of sounds which I now use in my repertoire.

Within the “new classical scene”, a couple of performances that come to mind are the chamber music experiences I’ve been a part of, particularly with Wavefield Ensemble and Ekmeles Ensemble. The repertoire from each of these collaborations (including works by Kaija Saariaho, Bernhard Lang, Lewis Nielson, Victoria Cheah and Nathan Davis) was very challenging, but both groups were incredible to work with and we made some pretty incredible music. I grew immensely as an artist working with each group.

Which particular works do you think you play best?

One of my staple works is Georges Aperghis’ 14 Recitations for solo voice. I learned this work a couple of years ago, and the work is rarely performed in its entirety. I’ve performed the full work several times already, and each time I feel that I get better and better. The work fits me like a glove, and I just love singing it.

How do you make your repertoire choices from season to season?

I have a bucket list of works that I want to learn and perform. But when I go through my season, I try to strike a balance between learning new works and rehashing old ones so that I don’t over extend myself.

Do you have a favourite concert venue to perform in and why?

Roulette Intermedium in Brooklyn, NY. The music that comes out of this place is stellar. From the Resonant Bodies festival, to avant-garde improvisers, to interdisciplinary artists… This place is just filled with crazy amazing music-making.

Who are your favourite musicians?

Like, everyone. But here are a few: Claire Chase, Sarah Maria Sun, Barbara Hannigan, St. Vincent, and Janelle Monet.

What is your most memorable concert experience?

I recently gave a TEDx Talk and Performance (called “Your Voice Is A Fingerprint”) about contemporary vocal music in Waltham, MA. That was pretty amazing.

As a musician, what is your definition of success?

Honestly, being happy with how music balances your life. It’s different for everyone, which is super important to be aware of, and finding that balance can lift a huge weight of your shoulders. Plus, it makes for better music-making because you’re making music for yourself above others.

What do you consider to be the most important ideas and concepts to impart to aspiring musicians?

See above. I’m a huge proponent of music being a personal journey and a self-chosen journey. Whether that choice is traditional, entrepreneurial, or even a hobby, choosing how music is a part of your life (and not dictated by society or mentors or whoever) is an important part of being an honest, creative and liberated artist.

What is your most treasured possession?

I have a keepsake box in which I collect notes and such from performances. I also keep negative notes that people have sent to me or taped on my apartment door when I practice. Everything, good and bad, intelligent and ridiculous, reminds me to lock into my confidence, remain curious, and to keep going.


Colombian-American soprano Stephanie Lamprea is an architect of new sounds and expressions as a performer, recitalist, curator and improviser, specializing in contemporary classical repertoire. Trained as an operatic coloratura, Stephanie uses her voice as a mechanism of avant-garde performance art, creating “maniacal shifts of vocal production and character… like an icepick through the skull” (composer Jason Eckardt). Her work has been described as “mercurial” by I Care If You Listen, and she “sings so expressively and slowly with ever louder and higher-pitched voice, that the inclined listener [has] shivers down their back and tension flows into the last row.” (Halberstadt.de) She received a 2019 Emerging Artist Award from the St. Botolph Club Foundation, and she was awarded 2nd prize in the international John Cage Awards, sponsored by the John Cage Orgel Stiftung in Halberstadt, Germany. Her curatorial work received a 2018 grant from the Puffin Foundation. Stephanie was a featured TEDx Speaker in TEDxWaltham: Going Places.

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21 January 2020 – Stratford Playhouse, Stratford-upon-Avon

Tom Hammond – conductor

Tamsin Waley-Cohen – violin

Orchestra of the Swan


It was the music of Jean Sibelius that first sparked conductor Tom Hammond’s interest in classical music: he found the mystical world of The Swan of Tuonela entrancing on first hearing it. This haunting tone poem opens Intimate Voices, a concert curated and conducted by Tom Hammond with Stratford-upon-Avon-based Orchestra of the Swan.

In Intimate Voices, Hammond combines his great love of Sibelius’ music with his skill in creating imaginative programmes to explore the musical and personal landscape of Jean Sibelius through his own words and compositions. From the magical sonorities of The Tempest and the stark simplicity of Scene with Cranes to the bold, distilled complexity of the seventh symphony, Sibelius the man is revealed through the intimate thoughts in his letters and the dark, awe-inspiring qualities of his musical imagination.

Tamsin Waley-Cohen joins Hammond and the orchestra as soloist in the rarely-played Humoresques for violin and orchestra – highly virtuosic yet introspective miniatures which reveal the composer’s great love of the violin, and which Hammond believes are musically superior even to the Violin Concerto.

For Tom Hammond, Intimate Voices is “a dream of a programme”, containing some of his favourite music, and an opportunity for audiences to experience Sibelius’ lesser-known works: deeply imaginative and utterly absorbing music that evokes Finnish myths and Shakespeare’s magical isle, pine forests, lakes and snow.

Programme:
The Swan of Tuonela (from Lemminkäinen Suite)
The Tempest, Suite No.1 [excerpts: The Oak Tree, Humoreske, Berceuse, Ariel’s Lied (The Rainbow)]
Humoresques for Violin and Orchestra, Op.89
Kuolema (Valse Triste & Scene with Cranes)
Symphony No.7
Performance date:

21 January 2020 – Stratford Playhouse, Stratford-upon-Avon
orchestraoftheswan.org
tom-hammond.org.uk