Immersive, visual and theatrical, John Landor’s ‘Music-in-Motion’ concept brings a bold new aesthetic approach to the traditional classical concert. Turning the auditorium into a ‘theatre of music’, the musicians become embodied channels of the musical drama, dissolving boundaries between performers and audience.

Following his ground-breaking staging of Janacek’s Kreutzer Sonata String Quartet at Conway Hall last May, John Landor returns on 28 and 31 October with the Gildas String Quartet and the newly-formed Music-in-Motion Ensemble of 13 string players to present an eclectic programme of music from Purcell to Pärt.

The audience will have the choice to sit on chairs or on the floor, to stand and move around the space, and even lie down (cushions and mats are provided). At the evening concerts, drinks can be brought in from the bar, and everyone is invited to the after-party where audience and performers can mingle.

Audience reactions:

I was totally riveted. I felt more involved, ‘inside’ the music. The body-language and facial expressions helped express the music – quite terrifying at times! It felt organic, alive, more resonant and with more depth and emotion.

Critical reactions:

The players’ positions and gestures responded to the drama and musical argument. The result was extremely vivid and engaging, creating a real sense of dramatic involvement in the piece. – Planet Hugill

A performance element helps to focus concentration in a way that is often lacking in conventional concerts. As the performers move within the performance space, the effect of the different relationships adds extra feeling and strengthens the impact – British Theatre Guide

Venue: Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, Holborn, London, WC1R 4RL   

Saturday 28 October 3.30 pm – 4.45 pm               

Saturday 28 October 7.30 pm – 9.00 pm

Tuesday 31 October 7.30 pm – 9.00 pm
Book Tickets

Saturday Matinée: £12, concessions £8

Evenings: £15, concessions £10

Programme:

Johann Sebastian Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No 3, 

Antonio Vivaldi: Sinfonia al Santo Sepolcro, 

Arvo Pärt: Fratres, 

Leos Janacek: String Quartet No 1 ‘The Kreutzer Sonata’,               

Henry Purcell: Chacony

Edward Elgar: Introduction and Allegro

something-blue-110Conway Hall, in London’s Red Lion Square, just a stone’s throw from Holborn and the British Museum, was purpose-built in 1929 to host concerts and lectures, which continue here today, and is a landmark of London’s independent intellectual, political and cultural life. The hall is owned by the Conway Hall Ethical Society, an organisation which advocates secular humanism.

Conway Hall’s chamber music concert series is the longest-running of its kind in Europe: the Sunday Concerts at Conway Hall can be traced back to 1878 when the Peoples Concert Society was formed for the purpose of “increasing the popularity of good music by means of cheap concerts”. Today’s concerts at Conway Hall continue this ethos of affordable music for all, and the Sunday Concert series includes workshops and concerts for children and young people as well as a full and varied programme of chamber music. 50 tickets for those aged 8 – 25 are kindly subsidised by the CAVATINA Chamber Music Trust to encourage young people to attend the concerts.

The new season begins on Sunday 11th September with a concert of music by Haydn, Mendelssohn Brahms performed by Gémeaux Quartet. Future concerts in the season feature pianists Alasdair Beatson, Ashley Wass and Simon Callaghan, artistic director of the Sunday Concerts series, and chamber ensembles Brook Street Band and members of the London Mozart Players, amongst many other fine musicians.

Conway Hall Sunday Concerts full schedule

Rhinegold LIVE concerts at London’s Conway Hall aim to offer a more convivial and relaxed atmosphere in which to enjoy classical music. Called “Rush Hour Concerts”, the evening begins at 6.15pm with a glass of wine and an opportunity to mingle in the lobby of Conway Hall, and the concert itself begins at 7pm. The performance is presented in the round which lends a greater connection between performer and audience, and is followed by a short Q&A session with the performer. The series enjoys useful corporate sponsorship and the piano for the concerts (on this occasion a Schimmel grand) is supplied by Peregrine’s Pianos.

The first concert of the new season was given by acclaimed Portuguese pianist Artur Pizarro and was entitled Songs My Grandmother Taught Me, which gave a clue to the theme of the programme. Artur announced the programme himself, explaining that all the pieces had a special connection to his first piano mentor, his grandmother Berta da Nóbrega, herself a concert pianist. Artur is a sociable and engaging speaker, drawing us into the story of his early years growing up in a small town near Lisbon and hearing piano music played in the home by his grandmother and her duo partner. His talk was peppered with anecdotes, including how his grandmother would appear at his primary school, claim there was a family emergency and then take young Artur to a cafe for the afternoon. When he asked her why, she would reply “Oh I was bored!”. One had the sense of a young child enjoying a broad cultural grounding through his grandmother’s music, poetry and her many artistic friends and colleagues who visited the house.

A young Artur Pizarro with his grandmother Berta da Nóbrega

The music performed was a selection of miniatures and salon pieces by Schumann, Chopin, Liszt, Bortkiewicz, Debussy, Moszkowski, Granados, Turina and a handful of other, lesser-known Spanish and Portuguese composers, including a tender elegy composed for Artur’s grandmother by her composition teacher at the music conservatory. Each piece was played with great care, taste and elegance, and through the music and the words, Artur gave a very special, tender and personal tribute to his grandmother, beautifully expressed.

More about Rhinegold LIVE concerts

Artur Pizarro’s website

Peregrine’s Pianos