For the latest amateur classical music listings in and around Portsmouth, including Fareham, Petersfield, Chichester, Havant and Hayling Island

PCU presents Covid Island Discs

Read a review.

Join us on Zoom – Tuesday 30 March 2021, 7.30pm
Guest: Jonathan Wilcocks
Interviewed by: David Gostick

For Zoom details please email:

In these troubled times, there is one place Covid-19 hasn’t reached – the island that’s the Island of Desert Island Discs. So, with no permission from the BBC, we’re going to send off our esteemed former conductor Jonathan Willcocks into even greater isolation, and see what discs he would take with him. Through the magic of Zoom he will talk with his successor, David Gostick, about his musical life, and share some treasured recordings. All are welcome.

If you are not a member and would like to make a donation (suggested amount £5) in support of this event and of the PCU, please use the bank details below
Sort 40-52-40
AC 00004433
With the reference “DesertIslandDiscs”

If you would like to join the PCU mailing list to hear about all our future musical events please e-mail Your information will be held securely and not shared with other organisations. You will receive the next annual concert brochure and invitations for any events organised by PCU.

The Organ Project: Organ Recital Series – Brian Moles

Our 2021 monthly Organ Recital series continues with a recital given by Brian Moles on March 4th, which will premiere on our YouTube channel at 19.30.

Brian Moles is Director of Music at St Mary’s Church, Portsea. His work as an accompanist covers a variety of fields, from classical to popular; accompanying solo recitals through to forming and leading bands in shows for theatre in all different genres. As an organist and recitalist, he is often in demand, most recently playing at Durham Cathedral. His work as a composer and arranger is widespread, with a variety of works for sacred and non-sacred genres, performing across the UK and abroad.

Our J.W. Walker & Sons pipe organ is currently being restored by Nicholson & Co. Ltd, and we hope to celebrate its re-dedication in late 2021. We still have some way to go on our fundraising; please consider sponsoring a pipe:


This recital will use the New English Hymnal as a starting point. Churches like St Mary’s, Portsea, would normally resound to the strains of great and glorious hymnody during the church year, with congregations and choir in chorus with the organ, singing the great songs of old throughout the seasons. Unfortunately that isn’t possible at present, so Brian Moles presents a different way of approaching these familiar tunes and melodies.

As with the New English Hymnal, this recital takes us on a journey from Advent, through Christmas and Epiphany, into Lent, Passiontide and Easter.

Live online music appreciation course: exploring the music of Brahms – 13 February 2021

With Roy Stratford.

Johannes Brahms stands outside the mainstream of the Romantic movement. His music is a fascinating combination of traditional forms and powerful, romantic harmony, often creating a profound emotional effect in his chamber music repertoire.

In many ways, Johannes Brahms stands outside the mainstream of the Romantic Movement. His interests lay far more in abstract music, sonatas, symphonies, variations and concertos rather than opera or program music, although he did, of course, compose many wonderful Lieder.

His music is a fascinating combination of traditional forms and powerful, romantic harmony, the often-profound emotional effect that his music exerts perhaps arises from the tension between these two forces. On this course you will look at the huge range of his output with particular emphasis on his extraordinary contribution to chamber music.

Roy Stratford was very lucky to have had a music teacher at school who had been a student of the great Austrian modernist composer Anton Webern and who inspired in him a great love of music and a particular interest in the Austro-Germanic tradition from Bach to Stockhausen. He went on to study music at Reading University and then the Royal College of Music ( conducting with Norman del Mar) and has since developed a very varied musical career as pianist, conductor, composer and lecturer.

Visit the link below for the exact timings and costs.

Festival of Chichester: The Festive Jazz Café

Each December, the Festival of Chichester puts on an exciting evening of jazz and readings to celebrate the Christmas season and to raise much-needed funds to kickstart next summer’s festival. All the performers are giving their services free so if you enjoy the festive fun, please consider making a small donation.

This year, it is going virtual.

You can enjoy online fantastic jazz from The Dream Duo, Julian Marc Stringle (vocals and clarinet) with Dominic Ashworth (guitar) plus stimulating Greek-influenced jazzy sounds from Pavlos Carvalho with Rebetiki Serenata.

Guest poet is Romani writer Raine Geoghegan, plus dramatized readings from A Christmas Carol by Gareth Williams – film/TV/stage actor and ex-singer with the million-selling group The Flying Pickets….remember Only You? That’s Gareth! Also featuring actress Paula Tinker with festive readings.

Come back to the page linked below on Friday 11th December for a 7.30pm première. All the performances will be available to view throughout the rest of December.

Freelance Musician Mums launch Musical Advent Calendar

Freelance musician mothers have come together to create a uniquely beautiful, socially-distanced musical gift featuring exclusive content and spreading seasonal joy. Gift a musical advent calendar to a friend and get yours for free while also supporting freelance musicians.

Advent is a magical time, full of lights, decorations, bakery, anticipation … and yes, music! In this time we would usually hear seasonal music everywhere, played by buskers in the street, in every shop we enter, in the schools’ nativity plays and in pantomimes, the choir and carol concerts as well as the big seasonal favourites like Messiah and the Nutcracker Ballet. This year it will be different. But while you might not be able to go to the music, we think the music should still happen – directly into your home.

A collective of freelance musicians have come together to create a musical advent calendar that you can purchase for yourself and a friend for £24.99. Once you have obtained your membership, every day a video clip of music will become available behind the day’s window and will remain there to be viewed for 3 months. You will find everything from carol arrangements over fun 1920’s Christmas tunes to excerpts from the big Christmas oratorios. Musicians featured include an award-winning concert pianist, a West End star, a Royal Opera House soprano, instrumentalists from some of the UK’s leading orchestras, new and established ensembles and a few fun surprises.

For musicians, this is usually the busiest season of the year, but most work calendars have been wiped clean since March for the foreseeable future. The idea was born within the supportive community of musician mums who in the best times face the daily challenge of combining flexible work with family, and in times like this are often less eligible for financial support due to maternity leaves and missed incomes. So for us, this is a way to keep connecting to our audiences and keep sharing the joy we usually associate with Christmas while also providing a small income for all performers involved. By purchasing the calendar as a gift which will then automatically become available for yourself too, you are supporting musicians through this time of crisis.

Head to to get a sneak preview of December 1st, find out more about the performing musicians in the blog and to purchase your membership.

Whether you gift this to a child learning an instrument or your parents or friends whom you can’t visit right now, this gift is guaranteed to spread joy and fun for the whole of December and beyond, and will be a beautiful – and environmentally friendly! – gesture to make your loved ones feel your care every day even across wider distances.

Thank you so much for your support. Happy Christmas to you all!

Lunchtime live recital by Karen Kingsley at St Thomas’ Cathedral

Watch Karen playing on St Thomas’ Cathedral’s Facebook page, see link below.

Karen’s programme consists of two piano sonatas by Ludwig van Beethoven. Firstly, his Sonata in F minor, Op. 2 no. 1 (Allegro – Adagio – Menuetto and Trio – Prestissimo). Secondly, his Sonata in E, Op. 109 (Vivace ma non troppo – Adagio espressivo – Prestissimo – Andante Molto cantabile ed espressivo).

Chichester Music Society: David Owen Norris: ‘A path of his own discovery’: Beethoven at the piano

Wed 9 Dec 2020 7:30pm, Chapel of the Ascension, Bishop Otter Campus, University of Chichester. Links below.

David Owen Norris is a pianist, composer and broadcaster. He won the Prize of the City of Geneva in the Geneva Competition, and the Accompanist’s Prize at Leeds; and since his appointment to the prestigious Gilmore Artist Award, has performed all across the world, with four appearances in the BBC Proms, concert tours of Europe, Australia and North America, including performances at Sydney Opera House, the Kennedy Centre, Lincoln Centre, Ravinia Festival Chicago, the South Bank Centre etc. and a discography of 60 commercial CDs including his own Piano Concerto with the BBC Concert Orchestra, and his oratorio Prayerbook. His other compositions include a Symphony, a Piano Sonata, the oratorio Turning Points, and the multi-media tribute to the passing seasons, HengeMusic.

His Chord of the Week programmes on BBC2 television were a popular feature of the Proms for six years. His Perfect Pianists is often shown on BBC4. He has contributed to programmes on Parry, Vaughan Williams, Mendelssohn & Elgar, including ninety minutes on BBC2 dedicated to Elgar’s Piano Concerto, with a full, filmed performance with the BBCSO. His first TV presentation, The Real Thing? from 1990, was hailed by the Daily Telegraph as ‘the most literate and probing programme on music for many years’, and his most recent Chord of the Week was reviewed by the Observer as ‘the most consistently intelligent three minutes you’ll watch on this or any other television this year’. The Beethoven 9 app for which he wrote the book and the analyses won the Best Music App Award.

His many radio presentations have included the Playlist series on Radio 4, and In Tune and The Works on radio 3, where he made his 28th appearance on Building a Library last December. Recordings recently released include Mozart on fortepiano for Hyperion, featured in the New York Times, and the complete Chamber Music of Grace Williams, which was a Guardian CD of the Week. He will shortly conclude his complete survey of Sir Arthur Sullivan’s songs on Chandos.

In this evening’s lecture/recital David Owen Norris begins by tracing the development of Beethoven’s stylistic traits from the variations: triple-time Adagios, such a metrical minefield for performers throughout his work; the ridiculous jokes, the baffling dynamic shifts, the exploitation of each end of the keyboard, even the boldness of tonality – all is here in embryo.

He then turns his attention to Beethoven’s two most remarkable sonatas composed before deafness put an end to his performing career: the Sonate Pathétique, Op. 13 (1799) and the Fantasy-Sonata Op.27 No.2 (1802 – the Moonlight Sonata). Op.13 shows us how Beethoven’s pianism came out of his harpsichord playing – the first edition describes it as being ‘for harpsichord or pianoforte’, and Beethoven arranged many of its details with that in mind. The Moonlight, from the same year as the Heiligenstadt Testament, Beethoven’s open letter of despair to the world, can be read as a personal response to the onset of deafness – it is dedicated to the pupil he had hitherto hoped to marry.

Preview: Chichester Music Society: Martino Tirimo & Atsuko Kawakami Piano Duo: ‘The Dance in Music’

Wednesday 11 November via livestream – concert details.

Due to the Covid crisis, the concert on 11th November with the Rosamunde Trio has had to be postponed as two of their members have not been able to travel from the US. However, we are delighted that Martino Tirimo (the Trio’s pianist and leader) and his brilliant student Atsuko Kawakami will be giving a recital for piano duo instead. The pair will be playing a very attractive programme of music entitled ‘The Dance in Music’, and includes music by Brahms (St. Anthony Variations) and Tchaikovsky (Nutcracker Suite).

Martino has asked that this evening’s concert be dedicated to the memory of our late Treasurer, Chris Coote. Chris had known Martino for many years through the masterclasses at Morley College and had invited him to perform for CMS with the Rosamunde Trio.

Regarded by both critics and fellow artists as one of today’s most distinguished musicians, Martino Tirimo’s career started early. From age eight he was performing Concertos and at twelve conducted seven complete performances of ‘La Traviata’, with οrchestra and soloists from La Scala, Milano. Born in Cyprus into a musical family, he first studied piano and violin with his father, a distinguished violinist and opera conductor. After winning the Liszt Scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music in London, he studied there and graduated with the highest honours, winning all prizes. He completed his studies in Vienna and finally with Gordon Green, whom he regarded as his greatest mentor. Victories at the international competitions in Munich and Geneva launched his international career.

In 2010 alone, he gave more than 100 concerts including the complete works of Chopin at London’s Kings Place, described by critics as “a colossal feat”. His playing is often compared to that of Schnabel, Arrau, Rubinstein and other great pianists. He has performed all over the world with most major orchestras such as the Vienna Philharmonic, Dresden Staatskapelle, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Cleveland Orchestra, London Symphony, Philharmonia and numerous others and has worked with such conductors as Barbirolli, Boult, Bychkov, Marriner, Masur, Norrington, Rattle and Kurt Sanderling.

His numerous recordings for EMI, Warner, BMG, Nimbus and other companies include the complete works of Mozart, Debussy, Janacek, Schubert’s 21 Sonatas and the Concertos of Brahms, Chopin, Mozart, Rachmaninov and Tippett (with composer conducting), with London Philharmonic, Philharmonia, BBC Philharmonic and Prague Chamber orchestras. In 1995 he won a Gold Disc for his Rachmaninov Concerto No.2 and ‘Paganini’ Rhapsody, one of EMI’s best-sellers.

As conductor he worked closely with the Dresden Philharmonic over many years, and also worked with orchestras such as the English Chamber, Academy of St. Martin in the Fields and Prague Chamber. His compositions include the film score for the ‘Odyssey’. In 2002 he founded the Rosamunde Trio, which has since concertized widely in Europe and the US. He also works with talented young pianists and twelve of his students have won first prizes at international competitions. Moreover, he is in demand for masterclasses worldwide, most recently at festivals in Japan, China, the USA and Italy.

His enormous repertoire embraces 80 Concertos and nearly the entire major solo works of the great composers. He is particularly famous for his Schubert interpretations, having given the first-ever cycle of all the Sonatas at London’s South Bank and many other series at Wigmore Hall and Kings Place, devoted to all the composer’s major works. His edition of the 21 Sonatas in three volumes is published by Wiener Urtext Edition.

Other notable events include many series devoted to Mozart’s complete piano works, Beethoven’s 32 Sonatas and all of Chopin’s and Debussy’s works. With the Rosamunde Trio he has performed all the Mozart, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Dvorak and Shostakovich Piano Trios. In 2016, engagements included a five-concert festival in London comprising all the great Piano Quintets, in collaboration with five distinguished String Quartets. Of numerous festival appearances, memorable was his Beethoven Concerto No.4 during the Olympic period in Athens with the Vienna Philharmonic. At that time, he also had the honour of running with the Olympic torch, perhaps the first classical musician to do so. In recent years his tours have also included concerts in Asia, notably China and Japan. In 2011 he was awarded the Nemitsas Foundation Prize for Excellence in the Arts and Sciences.

In October 2019 Hänssler Classic released the first-ever complete recording of Beethoven’s entire Piano Solo Works on the modern piano. The boxed set of 16 CDs, all of which he recorded at the Leipzig Gewandhaus, comprises more than 20 hours of music and includes many fine pieces which are little-known and rarely-played, like the many elegant Dances. Gramophone has already welcomed it as “a major recorded achievement” and the French magazine Artamag as “a unique collection” and singled out “a staggering Hammerklavier”.

The Spectator, in an article comparing all recordings of the Beethoven Sonatas, concluded that “one new cycle sweeps all before it” and that this is “surely the greatest recorded achievement of this anniversary year.”

The Daily Telegraph has characterized him as “a pianist of vision” and “an inspiring poet of the piano” and ‘Musical Opinion’ described him as “a true giant of the keyboard”. In Music and Vision, critic Bill Newman simply wrote: “Tirimo’s playing belongs to a past generation of ‘greats’. Listening to him, I conjure up aural images of Solomon, Arrau, Kempff, Schnabel and Rubinstein. Throughout the evening, one was consistently aware that this supreme musician placed himself entirely at the service of the composer.”

In the last few years Atsuko Kawakami has been making a name for herself as a brilliant pianist of great sensitivity. Born in Sapporo, Japan, she started learning the piano at the age of three when she entered the Yamaha Music School. As a child she won several first and other prizes at the prestigious PTNA (Piano Teachers National Association) Competitions in Japan.

In 1999 she entered the Tokyo College of Music and during her studies she also took part in a number of masterclasses in Europe, including at the Salzburg Mozarteum and the Nice Academy. She later graduated with honours and a PGDip from the Royal Academy of Music, where she studied with Diana Ketler and also Clifford Benson in chamber music. She completed her studies with Martino Tirimo at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, again graduating with distinction.

In chamber music she has performed with a number of distinguished violists, cellists, flautists, clarinettists and singers, giving numerous concerts. In 2008 she was a finalist at the Khurau International Flute and Piano competition in Ulzen, Germany, and since then has performed with several different flautists in the UK and Japan.

In the last few years she has also performed extensively as solo pianist, both in her native Japan and England, in a wide variety of repertoire from Scarlatti to Takemitsu. She took part in the Beethoven 32 Piano Sonatas project at St.Barnabas in London, and recent concerts included recitals at Kings Place, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, London School of Economics, Steinway Hall, Yamaha Chapell Hall, St. James’s Piccadilly, Cheltenham Town Hall, Kendall Town Hall and for many other music clubs in the UK. In 2014, at St. Sepulchre-without-Newgate in London, she performed the Schumann Piano Concerto with exceptional success.

She has particular empathy with the music of Scriabin, Prokofiev and Ravel and her recent performances of works like Albéniz’s ‘Iberia’ and Ravel’s ‘La Valse’ have stimulated great audience excitement. Also, since 2016 she has given a great number of two-piano and four-hand concerts with Martino Tirimo, including one at the Aegean Arts International Festival, Parnassos Hall in Athens, Kypria International Festival in Cyprus, Kings Place in London, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, and at the opening concert of the 2019 Brahms Festival in Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music in London. The Arts Desk has described her as “a first-class musician”.


Still chance to catch Petworth Festival Autumn Special online

Petworth Festival rose to the challenge of the toughest of times to pull off a hugely successful autumn special.

“Somehow we made it happen and boy was it good”, says artistic director Stewart Collins. The live part of the festival concluded last Sunday night. “At any point over the last six months we could have had the rug pulled from underneath us as we went in and out of various levels of lockdown or Covid-based restriction, but remarkably we have been able to stage and stream all 26 of our events problem-free and received the most gratifying amount of support and appreciation as a result.

Read more at the link below.

London Mozart Players Ensemble set to open 2020 Petworth Festival

The curtain rises on this autumn’s special edition of the Petworth Festival with a celebration of Beethoven’s 250th anniversary.

Howard Shelley directs the London Mozart Players Ensemble in a performance of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No 3 on Friday, October 16 at 8pm. The concert opens with the opening Adagio-Allegro assai from Haydn’s 94th Surprise Symphony.

Events will happen live to small invited audiences of sponsors and friends – but will be streamed, giving the public the chance to buy tickets and attend the events online.

Read more at the link below.

SouthDowns Camerata concert for Help Musicians UK

The Spirit of Music Festival is extremely pleased to put on a live concert for you this Saturday 17th October at 4pm in St Mary’s Liss. The SouthDowns Camerata will perform gems of the string orchestra repertoire, including Elgar’s String Serenade, Mozart Divertimento in F, and Bach’s glorious violin concerto in E major.

The concert will comply with all current Covid-safe regulations. The audience will be seated in a socially distanced way, in household groups up to 6 people, and guests over 11 years of age are expected to wear facemasks at all times when in the building. The seats will be sanitised and people will be advised to use the provided hand sanitiser at entry and exit from the building. The orchestra will perform in an equally socially distanced way, and are allowed to remove their facemasks when playing. They will keep distanced from the audience.

Anyone experiencing possibly COVID-related symptoms (i.e. temperature, new persistent cough or loss of taste+smell), and anyone tested recently positive or awaiting a test result must not attend this event.

Due to social distancing, there will be only about max. 60 spaces available, so you must book via the following booking system, indicating the number of places required:

Bookings can be made here.

You won’t need to pay for your ticket, instead we would like to ask you to make a donation to Help Musicians UK in aid of the many musicians in financial need during the Coronavirus crisis. We’d like to suggest a minimum of £5 per adult, but you can choose to give more. Thank you for your generosity. Your kindness will help getting musicians through this crisis so they can perform for you again.

You can donate to my JustGiving page by clicking here. Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure. Once you donate, they’ll send your money directly to Help Musicians, so it’s the most efficient way to give.

We hope very much to see you at our concert. Should you have problems booking or if the concert is booked up, please email the Spirit of Music Festival’s address: If there is lots of interest we will consider repeating the concert. We also hope to live-stream it via our Facebook page (you don’t need to be a member of Facebook to be able to view it).

Thanks for supporting our cause in keeping music alive. It’s a huge privilege for the SouthDowns Camerata to return to a live audience, but we know many events and venues can not reopen to reduced audience numbers, meaning the majority of musicians in the UK is out of work or on very reduced working schedules – particularly freelancers who form the backbone of the industry. Making music is our life and our passion as well as our living, and it is a very viable professional sector attracting huge numbers of audiences and economic value in good times – that’s why we don’t want musicians to retrain and leave the profession but to be able to bridge these times in order to play to you again soon. Help Musicians UK works directly with musicians in financial, medical or mental need. In addition to giving please consider writing to your MP about the importance music has to you.

Update 15 October:

Following the overwhelming response and quick booking up of our 4pm concert we have decided to offer a repeat of the concert at 6pm on the same day (Saturday, 17th October) – provided that enough people (a minimum of 30) book.  It seems to be the way concerts are currently done the on the continent too. We just can’t stop playing! 🙂

To book a FREE place (essential) the link is as follows:

Again, there will be a maximum of 50 people admitted, so please book swiftly to avoid disappointment.

Experience the J.W. Walker & Sons organ in St Mary’s Church, Portsea, for one last time before restoration commences

At 7pm on Tuesday October 13, we will introduce you to The Organ Project, take you on a live video tour of the inside of the organ, present our plans for restoration and demonstrate this unique, awe-inspiring instrument.

Hosted by expert consultant, Dr William McVicker, Andrew Caskie of Nicholsons & Co. Ltd, Vicar of St Mary’s Church, Bob White, and project manager, Matt Dixon, we will guide you through our final Restoration Policy and present the current condition of the instrument, via a 12ft screen, console cameras and projector.

Interspersed with performances by Andrew and William, this Open Evening will encourage discussion about the what, why and how of our approach to restoring this fine 1889 instrument.

To book your free ticket, please visit Eventbrite here:

Also on Noticeboard here.

“Beethoven the Revolutionary” with Angela Zanders

This year we are celebrating the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth and I shall be giving a lecture-recital on ‘Beethoven the Revolutionary’ on 14th October at 7.30pm for the Chichester Music Society, held at the Chapel of the Ascension, Chichester University.

The event will be live-streamed so that you can watch it free of charge on your PC or another device. Read more on the concert page below.

If you wish to attend, tickets must be purchased in advance – details are available on the CMS website.


University of Chichester Conservatoire: download your copy of “Showcase”

The University of Chichester Conservatoire has one of the largest and liveliest music departments in the UK with a community of over 400 student performers. Our facilities include computerised recording and media studios, well-equipped practice rooms and an acoustically superb performance venue.

Please see 31 Showcase October 2020 to January 2021 (a 12 MB download) as well as the concerts page.

The Organ Project at St Mary’s Portsea: join us for the last opportunity to hear the organ in concert before late 2021!

Join us for the last opportunity to hear the organ in concert before late 2021!

We will be closing our 2020 FREE monthly Organ Recital series with the fantastic John Sharples, ARCO, on the 1st October at 7.30pm, at St Mary’s Church, Portsea. Later in October, the organ will be removed for complete restoration – don’t miss the last chance to hear it before late 2021!

Previously an organist at Lambeth Palace, John Sharples is currently an Assistant Organist at Arundel Cathedral and has prepared a really exciting programme, including Elgar, Fasch and The Cat Suite (Prelude, Cats at play, Catnap and Toc-cat-a) by Denis Bedard.

Please do join us for a safe, socially distanced concert and enjoy the last opportunity to listen to our fantastic J.W. Walker & Sons pipe organ before historic restoration. Our console cameras and large screen will be installed for a close up of the performance.

View the full recital programme and book your free tickets online here:, or call the Project Manager, Matt Dixon on 02393 190998.

Concert page here.


Bognor’s 60 Minutes of Classical Music promises COVID-safe return

Bognor’s 60 Minutes of Classical Music returns to the studio room at The Regis Centre on Friday, October 2 at 7.30pm – its first outing since the start of March.

Full COVID safety measures will be in place, and if all goes well, there should be further concerts in November and in December.

The series has been devised by Roger Clayden who will perform on cello, joined by Christopher Taylor on piano, for a programme which will include Bach, Frank, Elgar, Von Weber, Rachmaninov and Handel.

Read more at the link below.

The Doric Quartet set to open 2020-21 Chichester Chamber Concerts

The Doric Quartet open the 2020-21 Chichester Chamber Concerts series which will go ahead in extraordinary times (Thursday, Oct 1, 7.30pm).

Concerts will be once a month until March in the Assembly Room, but seats will be limited to approximately 40 (against a usual capacity of around 170), with tickets available from Chichester Festival Theatre. But to help accommodate the usual demand, the concerts will also be live-streamed on YouTube, with online viewers asked to make a donation.

Read more at the link below.

Soprano Erin Alexander to sing for Chichester Music Society

Chichester Music Society (formerly Funtington Music Group) welcome back Erin Alexander (soprano) with Nick Miller (piano) for a show which was to have been their first under their new name in June.

Erin and Nick will present On A High Note, the story of soprano Graziella Sciutti. The singer was a contemporary of Maria Callas and helped pioneer the movement of opera singers becoming actors. Erin will sing the arias by Mozart, Verdi, and Rossini which made Sciutti’s career.

The recital will be in Chichester University’s Chapel of the Ascension on Tuesday, September 29 at 7.30pm.

Read more at the link below.

If you click through to the concert page, you can read details about how to access the livestream of this concert.

Read a review.

Chichester Music Society: livestream of Pavlos Carvalho playing Bach Cello Suites on 9 September

Please see a previous news item about this concert.

Arrangements have been made to live stream our concert with Pavlos Carvalho on Wednesday 9th September at 7.30pm in the University Chapel.

On this occasion the live stream will be carried by the University’s in-house system, ‘Chiplayer’. Click on the link below and it will take you straight to the livestream. If you click into the link before the live stream starts you will be taken to the site and it will say “this page will refresh when the webcast starts”. The concert will begin at 7.30 pm and once you have linked onto the site, no further action is required.

I do hope that you will enjoy this live-streamed event. This will be the first time we have attempted to live stream our events so it will be a bit of a learning process all round, please bear with us!

A seminar on Vivaldi held by Julia Bishop

Julia Bishop is holding another one of her popular Zoom seminars on Wednesday 9 September from 11.00 am to 12.00 noon.

This time she will take us on a trip to the Venice of Vivaldi’s day, to explore the places where the legendary and prolific composer wrote so many of his great works. We’ll hear of the female foundlings whom he taught to play and nurtured to perform his exciting pieces. Born in 1678 in Italy, Antonio Vivaldi was a virtuoso of the violin but composed brilliant Baroque music for other instruments including the mandolin, bassoon, oboe and flute, to name but a few.

Julia is a fountain of knowledge about the life and works of the ginger-haired cleric. A fine soloist and orchestral violinist, Julia Bishop was the co-founder of Red Priest, a band which took Vivaldi’s music to the outer limits and back again. She will outline his successes and low points of his career. She will explain why he died in penury in Vienna in 1741. Her talk will be of acute interest to all musicians, not only for string players.

It costs a mere £8 to take part in this forthcoming seminar. Contact Julia via or by texting 07521 897422. Nearer the time she will send you an invitation and give details of how to pay by bank transfer or cheque.

Petworth Festival – free online concert to celebrate what should have been the 42nd Petworth Festival

With the 42nd Festival due to have opened on Tuesday 14 July, the Petworth Festival team are proud to announce an online event that will run throughout the festival fortnight, at the end of which a further announcement will be made about the extended 2020 Petworth Festival Special which will take place in October to include the 10th Anniversary Literary Week.

Between 7.30pm on Tuesday 14 July and midnight on Saturday 1 August, at any point you will be able to catch an online mini-concert that is being specially recorded in St Mary’s Church, a three-part celebration that features two remarkable sets of students from the Royal Academy of Music and one of the festival’s all-time favourite performers, the piano genius, Harry the Piano. Each will give sparkling, short performances to remind us all of the wonderful chemistry between live music and the festival’s beautiful ‘home’ venue.

The concert will be made available free of charge, but as Festival Artistic Director Stewart Collins makes clear, ‘there is of course no such thing as a free lunch – or in this case, a completely free concert. It will come as no surprise to anyone to hear that the cancellation of the summer’s festival has come at a very significant cost, and that whilst many of our wonderful supporters and sponsors have ensured that the damage isn’t fatal, we do urgently need to raise funds to minimise the impact both this year and into the future. We sadly had to cancel the biggest planned expansion of events aimed at the wider community this summer, but hopefully a successful appeal alongside July’s online event will ensure that we can resuscitate plans in 2021.’

You can log on to watch the summer special through the festival’s website,

Further info on the performers:
Further information:
Harry the Piano
Harry Rylance
Voreios Trio

Great events still to come in the Virtual Festival of Chichester

Plenty of highlights remain to come as this year’s Virtual Festival of Chichester enters its fourth week.

The day’s events will be added at 7pm ready for enjoying at the traditional 7.30pm event time. Festival events will then stay online all summer.

Go to

Read more below.

Petersfield Orchestra: Inside the Band!

Find out how an orchestra works and plays together and even how it thinks! Is it a harmonious collective? How do the individual strands mesh? Join Piers, Robin & some special guests from inside Petersfield Orchestra.

Watch via the link below.

Petersfield Orchestra: Robin Browning and Piers Burton-Page on Beethoven

Piers & Robin from Petersfield Orchestra delve into the life and works of one of the greatest composers in this, Beethoven’s birthday year.

Join the discussion All about Beethoven today (Friday 12 June) at 7.30pm by clicking the link below, where they’ll try to answer questions such as “Why do the even numbered symphonies get such a bad rap?” and “why are the violins where the cellos used to be?” Bring your sketchbooks, ear-trumpets and a large glass of wine – see you then!

You can join them either on the night or catch-up later (the video will remain on the website).

You don’t need to be a member of Facebook, just click on the link below and it will take you straight there. Towards the end of their discussion they will respond to some of the comments from you, the audience. Please, join them for a lively debate!

Click the link at the bottom of this notice at 7.30pm, or afterwards.


Festival of Chichester 2020 will offer busy online programme of delights

A busy online programme will put the 2020 Festival of Chichester back on the summer calendar.

Here’s the line-up from where you can access the events page.

The festival won’t be happening for real, but a significant proportion of the festival fun is now set to go ahead virtually.

The Festival of Chichester has been an increasingly popular month-long June-July fixture in and around the city since its debut in 2013, every year attracting thousands of people to more than 200 events right across the arts and community spectrum. But, on a sad day in March, amid the worsening coronavirus pandemic, the festival’s organising committee concluded they had no choice but to cancel this summer’s festival – for the sake of the safety of performers and audiences alike.

The Virtual Festival of Chichester will launch on June 13 as Chichester celebrates music, literature, talks, art, theatre and more. The plan is that for every day of what would have been the festival, a new event will be posted on its website ready for audiences to enjoy from Saturday, June 13 to Sunday, July 12 at 7pm, so that they can look forward to something new each day.

The performers

A huge range of events has been lined up, beginning with the jazz band which would have launched the festival on Cathedral Green, the Stardust Sussex Syncapators, who will perform jazzy versions of The Isle of Capri and I Get the Blues to kick off the virtual festival. There are some spectacular concerts arranged, including a video of cellist Emily Burridge performing in Chartres Cathedral – which highlights the twinning link between the cities – and from Kings Place, the lively Greek band Plastikes Karekles.

This will be just one of three contributions from festival regular, Pavlos Carvalho, who will also be performing a mix of Cypriot and Greek tunes and songs with a select band of virtuoso musical friends. In addition, Pavlos will be performing one of Bach’s celebrated Solo Cello Sonatas. Another regular, cellist Ben Rogerson, will also be performing solo with a different Bach piece as well as joining up with the Minerva Ensemble for the Gadfly and other pieces. The Cathedral will be represented by the Choristers singing a Litany by Peter Hurford plus a Remote Artview of some of the Cathedral’s treasures.

All That Malarkey are one of the regular highlights each summer and they are returning virtually to the city to sing an enjoyable Beach Boys medley. An alternative take on cabaret will be presented by performer Dawn Gracie, whose lively shows always attract attention. Jazz and blues guitarists Rob Johnston and Geoff Robb have exciting selections to share, including Geoff’s self-penned Music of Trees. Classical guitarist Linda Kelsall-Barnett, who delighted audiences with her Cathedral performance last year, will return with a new recording for audiences to enjoy.

Chichester regularly welcomes top-class international pianists to the festival and 2020 is no exception. Reiko Fujisawa is performing a Beethoven tribute in his 250th anniversary year, while Russian maestro Victor Ryabchikov celebrates the music of Tchaikovsky with the Seasons. Ensemble Reza were one of the big hits of the 2019 festival and they are returning with a wonderful Brahms Sextet.

Song is celebrated across the genres with contributions from indie/folk singer Tobiah with We Are Angels, soprano Tamzin Barnett and bluesy Ruby Tyger and the Revelators, who sold out their festival gig last year. Poetry and books will be represented by local author John Haynes, the winner of the prestigious Costa Poetry Prize, together with stimulating new poetry posted online by Chichester Poetry.

The artist responsible for the Keats sculpture in Eastgate, is featuring two new projects – his monumental Nelson and Murray sculpture as well as a brand new piece inspired by Major Tom Moore’s heroic fundraising effort collecting money for the NHS to fight the pandemic by a sponsored walk round his garden.

Read more at the link below.

Petersfield Orchestra: Robin Browning and Piers Burton-Page on the Concerto

Robin and Piers will be holding the third in their series of weekly discussions this Friday evening (5 June) at 7.30pm. This week it’s all about one of the key components in any programme: the concerto. Joined by special guest – pianist Valentina Seferinova – they’ll explore the role of the conductor and orchestra, discuss some favourite pieces and top soloists, and investigate how soloist and orchestra navigate the subtle terrain of some of the most challenging works in the repertoire.

Last week’s event drew a number of interesting comments, which may be viewed here.

You are invited to join them – on the night or catch-up later (the video will remain on the website).

You don’t need to be a member of Facebook, just click on the link below and it will take you straight there. Towards the end of their discussion they will respond to some of the comments from you, the audience. Please, join them for a lively debate!

Click the link at the bottom of this notice at 7.30pm, or afterwards.



Richard Dewland – An Organ Recital for Lockdown with a difference!

Join Richard playing on the organ on the St Faith’s Church Lee YouTube Channel on Saturday 30th May 2020 at 7.30pm. It will be available to view afterwards.

The programme includes music by Buxtehude, Bach, Gigoût and Widor.


Petersfield Orchestra: Robin Browning and Piers Burton-Page on Facebook Live

Robin and Piers will be holding the second is their series of weekly discussions this Friday evening (29 May) at 7.30pm. They will range far and wide over the topic of: ‘The Future of Music after Lockdown’ for about 45minutes. You are invited to join them – on the night or catch-up later (the video will remain on the website).

You don’t need to be a member of Facebook, just click on the link below and it will take you straight there. Towards the end of their discussion they will respond to some of the comments from you, the audience. Please, join them for a lively debate!

Click the link at the bottom of this notice at 7.30pm, or afterwards.

Last week’s discussion

Robin has produced a Spotify playlist based on last week’s discussion for you to explore – if you have Spotify. If you don’t have Spotify, have a search on the Internet for the recordings.

Just click on this link to open the playlist.

A message from Robin:

As we chat at about a million miles an hour, here’s a simple playlist of some of the music we mention each week. All recordings have been curated by Robin – Piers may disagree (!)

Some works are quite self-explanatory here, so I won’t mention them. But a few aren’t…

Malcolm Arnold – Carnival of Animals: this is a superb sidekick to the more famous Saint-Saëns. I performed the two pieces one after another in concert with an illustrator called James Mayhew (I do a number of gigs with him, check him out on Facebook and on the Interweb). All of these animals are hilarious – as you’d expect from Kornold, but especially the Cows. I can’t help but see Bessie strutting her stuff on the dance floor under a shiny glitterball – but perhaps that’s me.

Holst Oration: it WAS this piece I meant, Piers, not the Frank Bridge Invocation (also an amazing work). Steven Isserlis wasn’t available on Spotify, so here’s the almost-as-brilliant Raphael Wallfisch

Brian Eno – An Ending (Ascent): such a gorgeous piece. Sit back, pop on the headphones, maybe open the wine, close your eyes and drift. Written for a documentary celebrating the Apollo moon-landings (I think 30 years after, but I could be wrong). Bliss.

With most tracks, these are merely a selection from larger works, which are easy enough to find on Spotify with a quick search. If you click on the album artwork, it’ll often bring up the complete album. And if you want to listen in order, do it on the desktop app or website, rather than smartphone app – Spotify does like to shuffle things around (and ruin my perfectly-curated playing order).

Havant Symphony Orchestra: Paddington Winners!

Back in March, just before lockdown, Havant Symphony Orchestra had a wonderful afternoon performing to a sell-out crowd of youngsters and accompanying adults from Havant and surrounding areas for their first ‘Family Concert’.

The orchestra, conducted by their Music Director, Jonathan Butcher, and student conductor, Avi Taler, performed a wide range of music from Grieg’s ‘In the Hall of the Mountain King’ to John Williams’ music for ‘Harry Potter’ and ‘The Empire Strikes Back’.

The focus of the concert was a performance of a piece by Herbert Chappell and Michael Bond called ‘Paddington Bear’s First Concert’ and this theme was evident throughout with ‘Paddington’ handing out marmalade sandwiches in the foyer and the orchestra bringing their own bears (and other animals!) to sit with them on stage!

Read more at the link below.

A free online festival of music from Music in the Round

Following some cancelled concerts due to the pandemic lockdown, our music partner, Music in the Round, is organising a free online festival of music from some of the world’s finest musicians.

Sheffield Chamber Music Festival at home (#SCMFhome) will feature more than a dozen specially curated performances, talks and family events, all launching on the Music in the Round YouTube channel over two days on Friday 15 and Saturday 16 May.

Click the link below to find out more.

Members evening coming up at Bognor Regis Music Club

The next concert at the Bognor Regis Music Club on Saturday, March 14 at 7pm is being organised by club member Barbara Leech.

It takes the form of a members’ musical evening and will comprise vocal and instrumental items performed by club members. Those taking part are singers Barbara Cotton, Jenny Chislett, Rebecca Grove, Nicola Hancock, Barbara Leech, John Luck, Stephanie Peat, Louise Russell, Angela Stephens, and John Wyatt plus pianists Jack Adams, Alison Blenkinsop, Chris Coote, Rosemary Osmon, Sylvia Rota and Ann Sparrow.

A highlight of the evening will be a performance of club member Rex Latter’s Rustic Suite played by Colin Hartree on oboe accompanied by the composer.

Club chairman Chris Coote said: “Our music club is unusual in that we hold members’ evenings during the year when club members can perform to a sympathetic audience, and I am pleased that Barbara Leech has put together such a varied programme for us. For some of the members this will be their first time of performing at the club and we look forward to hearing them and trust they will enjoy and benefit from the experience”

The concert is at the Club’s concert room, 2 Sudley Road. Entry at the door is £6 for members, £8 for visitors, and £4 for students. New members and visitors are especially welcome.

More details from Chris Coote (01243 773276), Helen Woods (01243 861620), or from the website

The Parnassius Piano Duo offer Chichester concert

The Parnassius Piano Duo will play Sherwood and Rachmaninov when Funtington Music Group welcomes them to Chichester University Chapel on Wednesday, March 11 at 7.30pm.

FMG chairman Chris Hough said: “Simon Callaghan and Hiroaki Takenouchi will be talking about and performing two wonderful pieces by Sherwood and Rachmaninov. Simon Callaghan last appeared at FMG in 2018 when he gave a brilliant lecture/recital on the life and music of Sir William Sterndale Bennett.”

Read more at the links below.

Boxgrove Priory to host première of Sussex cantata

Music director Amy Bebbington and composer Nathan James are collaborating as the world première of a Sussex cantata inspired by a Sussex landmark heads to Boxgrove Priory.

Entitled On Windover Hill; the music of the Long Man of Wilmington, the piece will be performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Harlequin Chamber Choir on Saturday, March 7 at 7.45pm.

Read more at the links below, and a review here.

Preview: Portsmouth Baroque Choir – Spring Concert of Viennese music


The Church of the Resurrection in Drayton is the venue for our Spring Concert of Viennese music on Saturday, March 28th at 7:30pm when we shall be joined by soprano Anna Gould and accompanied by the Dolce String Quartet together with a wind and brass ensemble.

The main works we shall be performing are Te Deum and Missa Sancti Nicolai by Haydn, and Exsultate Jubilate by Mozart. We shall also be singing Non Nobis Domine by Haydn together with Regina Caeli and Veni, Sancte Spiritus by Mozart.

Singing Sensation with the Solent Symphony Orchestra on 7 March

Don’t miss the fabulous soprano Lucy Cronin who will be singing the six songs of the Second Series of Canteloube’s Chants d’Auvergne with the Solent Symphony Orchestra this Saturday at Portsmouth Cathedral.

Lucy was a Choral Scholar at Trinity College, Cambridge, where she studied French and German. She sings with a number of consort groups and choirs; recent and forthcoming engagements are with Oxford Bach Soloists, Sansara and London Choral Sinfonia, and alongside ensembles including The English Concert, Philharmonia Orchestra and London Contemporary Orchestra.

Lucy has performed as soprano soloist at distinguished venues such as St Martin-in-the-Fields, St John’s Smith Square and GLive Concert Hall, and as far afield as Kazakhstan Central Concert Hall. Her opera roles include Vita Mondana Rappresentatione di Anima, et di Corpo, Belinda Dido and Aeneas, and Britney Timberbrit (Jacob Cooper, European première).

Lucy last sang with the SSO back in 2017 when she performed the hauntingly beautiful solo at the end of Vaughan Williams Pastoral Symphony to great acclaim. The 2nd series of Chants d’Auvergne features some beautiful but rarely performed music, so this is an opportunity not to be missed.

Read a review.

Preview: Renaissance Choir – “Italian Renaissance Masters”


Italian Renaissance Masters will be performed in Petersfield on Saturday 4 April and Havant on Saturday 25 April.

Why Renaissance?

We are named The Renaissance Choir because we believe 15th – 17th century Europe was the birthplace of the most beautiful music ever written. Like devoted gardeners, it is our raison d’être to keep these most exquisite blooms alive, long after their seeds were first sown.

This artistic flowering took place across the whole of Europe: in music, painting, sculpture and literature. In our series of Renaissance Masters concerts we transport our audiences back in time, displaying the greatest music and paintings of the Renaissance.

Italian choral treasures

Last year’s well-received concerts in Petersfield and Havant featured Spain. This year, we perform Italian Renaissance Masters, our third programme in the series where we explore European music and painting from Renaissance times. It features Tomás Luis de Victoria’s masterwork Officium Defunctorum (1605), written for the funeral of Maria of Austria, daughter of Emperor Charles V. Considered “one of the greatest musical minds ever”, Victoria knows how to “build entire worlds with sounds”, according to the Belgian conductor Philippe Herreweghe.

In 2016 the choir sang works by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina in his birthplace and eponym in Italy. This was a moving experience for choir members – almost like a pilgrimage – not least because Palestrina’s music is rarely heard, even in the city which bears his name. The President of the Palestrina Foundation said, “This is an exceptional choir of the highest quality”. We will perform the Kyrie from his Missa Papae Marcelli in April among other treasures.

Some of the music we will be singing is in 8, 10 and even 16 parts (à8, à10 and à16 written below), which demonstrates the choir’s strength.

Contrasts from Zoe Barnett

The concerts will also feature the distinguished guitarist, Zoe Barnett. Hugely popular at our Spanish concerts last year, Zoe will offer a palate cleanser to the rich choral polyphony. She will also help us create a vibrant Italian street-scene, including drinking songs, madrigals, and singers turning into animals! Such is the versatility of the Renaissance Choir that we even perform pop music (albeit from 500 years ago!).

This delectable dip into the mysteries of the Italian Renaissance finds the choir stretching itself to the limits, with music in no fewer than ten parts and a piece written for four choirs. A hallmark of our concerts is to surround our audience with singers; we love to sing like this and we hope you will love it too.

Full programme

Works for choir:
Victoria – Officium Defunctorum
– Assumpta est Maria à6
– Kyrie from Missa Papae Marcelli
– Regina Coeli Laetare à8
Scarlatti – Excerpts from Stabat Mater à10
Caldara – Crucifixus à16
Corteccia – Bacco, Bacco
Banchieri – Contrapunto bestiale alle mente
Micha(el) Pesentus – Dal lecto me levava
Verdelot – Divini occhi sereni
Willaert – Sempre mi ride sta

Works for guitar to be confirmed

Petersfield Music Festival 2020: preview of the Choral Concerts


Two contrasting concerts provide the choral centrepiece of this year’s Petersfield Musical Festival on consecutive Saturdays – 14th and 21st March.

On 14th March the Music of Praise concert features three 20th century works. The Festival Chorus, Highfield Chapel Choir and Southern Pro Musica under the baton of Paul Spicer start with Richard Blackford’s Mirror of Perfection, which sets seven inspirational poems by St Francis of Assisi covering a wide range of emotion from hope to despair, love to bitterness and delight in Creation to an impassioned plea for peace amongst mankind. The use of a children’s choir is particularly poignant.

The same concert features Andrew Carter’s Benedicite, a canticle in praise of all creation, inspired by the new carvings in York Minster after it had been damaged in 1984 by lightning. The work is scored for SATB choir, a children’s choir and orchestra plus organ, harp and percussion. The work is in eleven movements, each individually structured to reflect the meaning of the text. Three movements set Carter’s own words, including ‘Badgers and Hedgehogs’ – probably unique in musical literature!

Dag Wirén’s popular Serenade for Strings completes the programme.

The Saturday 21st March concert features Vivaldi’s much-loved Dixit Dominus, Bach’s 2nd Brandenburg Concerto and Haydn’s Mariazellermesse. All three 18th century masterworks exude musical imagination and joie de vivre.

The concert showcases Fernhurst and Petersfield Choral Societies and SouthDowns Camerata and is conducted by Paul Spicer with some well-known vocal and instrumental soloists.

Vivaldi splits his forces into two for the setting of Psalm 110 (Dixit Dominus) and makes use of the antiphonal effects which result. There are two four-part choruses, each with its own orchestral accompaniment, together with four soloists.

Bach’s Brandenburg No.2 was written as part of a set of concerti grossi presented in 1721 by the composer to the Margrave of Brandenburg, rightly considered one of the composer’s greatest masterpieces. This concerto uses four contrasting solo instrumentalists: violin, recorder, oboe and trumpet. The trumpets soloist, Lucy Humphris, was educated at Churcher’s College and is a highly regarded young musician.

The Mariazellermesse dates from 1782 and is a fresh and adventurous work. Whatever Haydn lacks in harmonic originality is made up for by enormous vitality and individuality.

Pictured: Catriona Hewitson and Morgan Pearse (14 March)

World première of a Sussex cantata inspired by a Sussex landmark

The world premiere of a Sussex cantata inspired by a Sussex landmark will be performed at Boxgrove Priory.

Entitled On Windover Hill; Music of the Sussex Landscape, the piece has been inspired The Long Man of Wilmington and written by Nathan James. It will be performed by The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Harlequin Chamber choir and conducted by Amy Bebbington on Saturday, March 7 at 7.45 pm.

This new cantata explores the story behind the Long Man of Wilmington near Lewes, the oldest and largest representation of the human form in Europe. Supported by Arts Council England and the RVW Trust, On Windover Hill uses a variety of Roman, early English, early twentieth-century, and contemporary texts to narrate what the mystical hill-figure might represent.

The concert will also feature rarities from Ruth Gipps (Goblin Market) and Avril Coleridge-Taylor (Wyndore), both of whom were proud of their Sussex roots. Wyndore was written in 1936, inspired by a poem by Aldous Huxley and this will be its first performance in 67 years. Gipps’s groundbreaking setting of Christina Rossetti’s Goblin Market from 1954 is performed with kind permission of her family.

Read an interview with Spokeswoman Rachel Poulton in the Chichester Observer below, and a review here.

Lithuanian pianist Ugnius Pauliukonis to perform at Bognor Regis Music Club

The next concert at the Bognor Regis Music Club on Saturday, February 29 at 7pm will be given by Lithuanian pianist Ugnius Pauliukonis, who will be playing works by Haydn, Chopin and Debussy.

One of the leading pianists of Lithuania’s new generation, Ugnius Pauliukonis has been performing professionally since the age of six. After studying with Eilina Stropaite, Donaldas Racys and Valentina Berman, in 2010 Ugnius left Lithuania and moved to the United Kingdom to study at the Royal Northern College of Music where he is currently working with Graham Scott and Andrew Wilde as a part of his International Artist Diploma.

Ugnius has won numerous awards, including RNCM Gold Medal, the Schubert and Mark Ray Prizes, the Recital Prize and a prize at the International Amy Brant Piano Competition in Birmingham. Recently Ugnius made his debut at the Wigmore Hall (London) and Bridgewater Hall (Manchester).

As a soloist Ugnius has played with the BBC Philharmonic, Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra, Kaunas Symphony Orchestra. He has given solo and chamber music recitals in the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy and all the Baltic states. In the past Ugnius has worked with famous musicians such as Lang Lang, Jean Efflam-Bavouzet, Matti Raekalio, Stephen Hough, Sir Harrison Birtwistle, Eduardo Delgado, and Nelson Goerner.

“Pianist Ugnius Pauliukonis took my breath away in the RNCM Gold Medal Weekend. The Magic descended as soon as his hands touched the keys” – Edward Seckerson, editor of the Pianist Magazine.

YouTube link:  F. Chopin Etude op. 25 no.10

Read more by clicking the links below.


Solent Symphony Orchestra – change of programme due to a rising star!

The Solent Symphony Orchestra will be performing its spring concert at St Thomas’s Cathedral on Saturday 7 March and would normally be looking forward to welcoming the Concerto prize winner from the Portsmouth Music Festival as its soloist.

However, on this occasion there has been a change of plan owing to a clash: pianist Thomas Luke, who was selected from the city’s 2019 Music Festival, has recently won through to the piano finals of the BBC Young Musician of the Year which are being held on the same weekend as the SSO concert at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama. As well as filming the actual competition, Thomas will be filmed and interviewed prior to this, all of which will be televised at a later date.

This is a fabulous achievement by this young Isle of Wight pianist and the Orchestra wishes him every success and looks forward to working with him later in the year when he will be the soloist in its October concert.

The Spring concert will now feature soprano Lucy Cronin, who had been booked to perform in October. She will perform the beautiful second series of Songs from the Auvergne by Canteloube, which are often aired on Classic FM.

Along with Beethoven’s Leonore No 3 Overture and Brahms Symphony No 3, this is a concert not to be missed, so please support Portsmouth’s own symphony orchestra by coming along.

Read a review.

Preview: “Songs of Pride, Freedom and Resistance” with the University of Portsmouth Choirs


The University of Portsmouth’s choirs bring together students, staff and townsfolk to sing under the direction of Dr George Burrows on Saturday 21 Mar at 7:30pm at St Mary’s Church, Portsea. In keeping with university culture, the choir perform mixed programmes that most often explore a topic or theme that is linked to staff research interests.

This programme brings together a mixed programme of choral music by a whole raft of composers from the past and present that represents the experiences of the racialized ‘other’ in different parts of the modern world. It also connects Dr Burrows’ research into racial discourse in jazz in featuring Mary Lou Williams’ choral music.

Williams was a brilliant jazz pianist and composer, who converted to Roman Catholicism in the 1950s and began writing choral music. Her choral masterpiece is St. Martin de Porres, a work about the first black saint. In 2019, Dr Burrows received a Berger-Carter-Berger fellowship from the Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers University to research Williams’ choral works for this concert.

Those works will be performed alongside Choral Ballads by the black-British composer, Samuel Coleridge Taylor, which are choral settings of Songs of Slavery by the American poet, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow that deal with the injustices of African-American slavery.

A new commission by the female Sri Lankan composer, Gayathri Khemadasa, turns the programme towards another part of the world where racial tensions have long prevailed.

On a lighter note, songs from hit musicals like Hamilton reflect Britain’s part in colonialism that led to much enslavement and racial tension.

Read Choral ballads and difficult discussions: Approaching anti-racism in choral culture by George Burrows on the Noticeboard.

Read about George Burrows.

Preview: Chichester Chamber Concerts series: Spiritato!

Come and hear Spiritato! play at 7.30pm on Thursday 27 February in Chichester’s Assembly Rooms as part of the Chichester Chamber Concerts series. See links below.

The Taste of the Nation features music by Handel, Corelli, Pepusch, and Daniel Purcell.

‘..fascinating to watch… devoutly alone with their music, playing with total commitment and fervour.’ Bachtrack

Spiritato! is a period-instrument ensemble who produce unique, research-based performance projects.

In 2016 the ensemble enjoyed great success with their ambitious project Guts and Glory which was performed throughout the UK. This involved natural trumpets and equal tension strings.

In 2014 the group released their second album on the Resonus Classics label, a recording of The Judgment of Paris by Daniel Purcell. Described by BBC Radio 3 CD Review as ‘high-quality entertainment’ the recording has received 4-star reviews from the Financial Times, Early Music Today, Bachtrack and BBC Music Magazine.

The Taste of the Nation is sponsored by:

The Golsoncott Foundation
The Gemma Classical Music Trust
The Music Reprieval Trust
Angel Early Music

Preview: Portsmouth Chamber Music Series – Trio Martinů

Come and hear Trio Martinů play at 7.30pm on Monday 24 February in Portsmouth Guildhall as part of the Portsmouth Chamber Music Series. See links below.

The Martinů Piano Trio was formed at the Prague Conservatoire in 1990 and since then their career has been paved with success and awards.

It has toured worldwide to Japan, Korea, Spain, the Netherlands, England and many other countries in Europe and has appeared at major international festivals and venues, such as Musashi Hall in Tokyo, Seoul Arts Center, the Rudolfinum in Prague and Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw. In 2017 the trio made their Canadian debut in Toronto, which was followed by a tour of the USA in the 2018/2019 season.

All the three members are outstanding soloists and record regularly for the Czech Radio. Pavel Safarik and Jaroslav Matejka have been engaged in the Prague Symphony Orchestra as assistant leaders for many years, and Petr Jirikovsky, outside his solo career, teaches piano at the Prague Conservatoire.

Martinů is widely regarded as one of the most influential Czech composers of the 20th century, and yet his fame with the wider public is still unjustly limited. His two late piano trios are incredible works, and the Trio Martinů gave us No. 3 when they last performed here in April 2016, so it is great now to have a chance to hear No. 2. Noble and profound in equal measure, Beethoven’s ‘Archduke’ trio is one of the last works of what has come to be regarded as his middle period.

‘Each player is of the highest quality technically and artistically, and the rapport between them is perfect.’


Portsmouth Philharmonic crosses the harbour for charity concert

The Portsmouth Philharmonic will cross the harbour for its latest charity concert in aid of the Gosport & Fareham Inland Rescue Service which will feature music by Sibelius, Gounod and Haydn.

The concert will take place at the St Vincent College Theatre on Saturday March 14 at 7.30pm and is the first time the orchestra has played a concert in Gosport. The Mayor of Gosport Cllr Kathy Jones, will be in attendance.

With almost £20,000 now raised for local charities since the orchestra’s foundation in 2009, its latest programme should prove popular and pre-booking is advised.

Chair of the orchestra, and ‘cellist, Di Lloyd also has a personal reason for looking forward to the event. “I’m delighted we’re playing in Gosport at St Vincent. I have very fond memories of the place, as I worked there for 25 years and retired as Principal of the college in 2014.

“The programme we have put together for this concert we hope will appeal to the public and, in turn, raise a decent amount of money for a great local cause. It was selected as one of the orchestra members has a close family connection with GAFIRS.

“The Karelia Suite by Sibelius is a very popular piece of music, which featured in the theme tune to the long-running ITV current affairs programme This Week. Haydn’s Symphony No 103, known as the ‘Drumroll’, is similarly well-known. Gounod’s ballet music from the opera Faust gives a rounded programme, which the orchestra has been working hard on in rehearsals.”

Now in its 12th concert season, the Portsmouth Philharmonic now has a reputation as one of the area’s leading amateur orchestras.

Among the charities who have benefitted recently are the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, The Alzheimer’s Society, The Stroke Association and Tonic: Music for Mental Health.

Tickets for the concert are £8 – accompanied children are free – and will be available on the door, or can be purchased online. Please clcik on the concert page below for further info.

Preview: Petersfield Orchestra wishes Beethoven a happy 250th birthday


Petersfield Orchestra’s contribution to the town’s prestigious Musical Festival promises to be an absolute delight for the audience and players alike. It’s not always easy for amateur orchestras to strike the right balance between material which is a pleasure for the musicians to play and is also pleasing for those concert-goers who enjoy listening to familiar, popular works. However, the programme scheduled for Thursday 19 March at the Festival Hall, Petersfield, really does hit the spot.

The three Hungarian Dances by Johannes Brahms are full of that composer’s enthusiasm for mid-European gypsy folk tunes. Doubtless, the two demon fiddlers, Eduard Remenyi and Joseph Joachim, whom Brahms worked with, inspired him when writing this material and more besides.

On the two hundred and fiftieth anniversary of Ludwig van Beethoven’s birth, what could be a more fitting tribute than for the Petersfield Orchestra to perform his Piano Concerto (Number 3, in C minor, Op 37)? Many amateur and professional ensembles up and down the UK and abroad are marking the occasion too. But the Petersfield audience will be enthralled when that talented exponent of the keyboard, Cordelia Williams, begins to play this. After all, it is one of the legendary composer’s greatest works.

Felix Mendelsohn’s Scottish Symphony (Number 3 in A minor, Op 56) is an inspired choice too. The last of his symphonies, it pleased Queen Victoria and he dedicated it to her. It’s both moodily atmospheric in parts and as joyful as a Highland reel in others.

The whole programme is bound to please the audience, but what of the musicians? Although in general it’s a pleasure to play, some musicians admit privately that the music is not without its challenges; a few tricky corners to negotiate. Doubtless the players of the Petersfield Orchestra will rise to the occasion, as they always do under the direction of Robin Browning.

Having given this concert the big build-up it deserves, it’s only fair to warn music lovers that the tickets are going fast. Book early to avoid disappointment.

View Cordelia Williams’ YouTube channel.

Book now for this year’s Petersfield Musical Festival concerts!

Music-lovers of all tastes and ages can find something to enjoy in this year’s varied programme of concerts at Petersfield Musical Festival.

The next Petersfield Musical Festival runs from Friday 13 to Saturday 21 March 2020. Read more in the Petersfield Musical Festival Newsletter 32 Spring 2020 and Petersfield_Musical_Festival_2020_Programme.

This year’s Festival puts the 250th anniversary of the birth of Ludwig van Beethoven centre-stage with a performance of his third piano concerto in C minor on March 19th at Petersfield Festival Hall. The work, starring young soloist Cordelia Williams and performed by the Petersfield Orchestra, will be flanked by two other popular classics: Brahms’ Hungarian Dances and Mendelssohn’s Scottish Symphony.

Other musical tributes to Beethoven (this year) include the lunchtime and evening recitals at St Peter’s Church on 17th and 18th March which focus on chamber music, songs and piano duets.

For opera lovers the enterprising Merry Opera Company will present Mozart’s Don Giovanni on 20th March. This thrilling drama traces the rise and fall of the infamous womanizer and contains some of Mozart’s best-loved arias and vocal ensembles.

The Festival Chorus, Highfield Chapel Choir and Southern Pro Musica under the baton of Paul Spicer focus on 20th century “Music of Praise”, including Richard Blackford’s Mirror of Perfection, which sets seven inspirational poems by St Francis of Assisi who symbolizes hope in an age of spiritual challenge. The same concert features Andrew Carter’s Benedicite, a canticle in praise of all creation, inspired by the carvings in York Minster.

On a lighter note, the funky and innovative gypsy-fusion group ZRI should appeal to a wide audience on 13th March. They bring characteristic flair and energy to Charlie Chaplin’s early film The Adventurer as they accompany a complete screening of the film.

Film music will also feature in the Sunday afternoon Family Concert on 14th March, when Basingstoke Symphony Orchestra will take the audience on a musical journey by car, boat, plane – and spaceship!

A hugely appealing highlight of this year’s Festival will be the choral concert on 21st March featuring the much-loved Dixit Dominus by Vivaldi, Bach’s 2nd Brandenburg Concerto and Haydn’s Mariazeller Mass. All three 18th century masterworks exude musical imagination and joie de vivre.

Tickets are now on sale from the Festival’s website, or from One Tree Books, 7 Lavant Street, Petersfield GU32 3EL Tel. 01730 261199. Further details in the links below.

The London Bridge Trio to perform for Funtington Music Group

The London Bridge Trio will play Beethoven and Faure at the next Funtington Music Group meeting – in Chichester University Chapel on Weds, Feb 12 at 7.30pm.

Chairman Chris Hough said: “FMG is delighted to welcome the acclaimed London Bridge Trio, one of Britain’s leading chamber ensembles. Their programme includes Beethoven’s wonderful Archduke Trio, together with music by Faure and Haydn.

Read more at the link below.

The Sixteen perform in Chichester Cathedral

The Sixteen will be staying true to the première in 1718 when they bring Handel’s Acis & Galatea to Chichester Cathedral on Wednesday 12 February.

They will present the most popular dramatic work of Handel’s lifetime om an intimate concert performance featuring a select group of five singers, plus nine instrumentalists from the Orchestra of The Sixteen.

Acis & Galatea is a pastoral opera and a tale of love, tragedy and liberation, with the eternal love between mortal shepherd Acis and goddess Galatea doomed by the jealous cyclops Polyphemus. Staying true to the premiere in 1718, the Sixteen will use a small selection of singers and instrumentalists from The Sixteen in this intimate concert performance.

‘Christophers uses stylish Handelians and “consort” singers who blend to perfection in this intimate “chamber” performance.’ The Sunday Times

Read more at the links below.

Behind-the-Scenes at the recording of Handel’s Acis and Galatea (YouTube link)

Soprano Erin Alexander lines up Bognor Regis Music Club date

The next concert at the Bognor Regis Music Club on Saturday, February 1 at 7pm will be given by Erin Alexander (soprano), accompanied by Nick Miller (piano).

On a High Note is the story of soprano Graziella Sciutti, who was a contemporary of Maria Callas and helped pioneer the movement of opera singers becoming actors.

Club chairman Chris Coote said: “It is performed in an intimate An Audience With… style and features arias sung by the roles which made her career such as Susanna, Despina, Rosina, and Musetta; anecdotes from her interviews; and the heartbreak that comes with the price of success. The presentation has toured in the UK with great success, particularly at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.”

The programme includes arias from operas and oratorios by Bach, Mozart, Rossini, Verdi, Puccini, Poulenc and Menotti.

The concert is at the Club’s concert room, 2 Sudley Road, PO21 4EU. Entry at the door is £9 for members, £11 for visitors, and £5 for students. New members and visitors are especially welcome.

Read more at the links below.

Preview: Portsmouth Choral Union with the Consort of Twelve – St Matthew Passion


The St. Matthew Passion is the largest single composition that Bach ever wrote and is considered by many to be one of the greatest creations of Western Civilization. Complete performances of this work are rare, and Portsmouth Choral Union will be restoring many of frequently omitted movements in their performance on Saturday 4th of April at St. Mary’s Portsea. Please note: This concert will begin at 6.30pm.

Accompanying PCU will be the Chichester based Consort of Twelve, one of the South of England’s leading ensembles of musicians who specialise in the performance of Baroque music using the styles, techniques and instruments of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Many of their players regularly perform with some of the country’s most prestigious period orchestras, including The Academy of Ancient Music, The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, The Monteverdi Orchestra, Orchestra Révolutionnaire et Romantique, English Baroque Soloists, The Hanover Band and Florilegium and La Serenissima. Their leader at this concert will be Sara Deborah Timossi.

In addition to their April performance, PCU will be holding a St Matthew Passion Day on Saturday 29 February. This immersive experience will draw participants into the drama and beauty of the story and its wonderful music. You will be very welcome to sing with PCU during this Choral Workshop, though some experience of singing this work is advised.

Portsmouth chamber music series with Ensemble 360: “Trout” Quintet debut for Portsmouth

The Portsmouth chamber music series resumes on Monday 27 January, 7.30 pm, at the Portsmouth Guildhall main stage with Ensemble 360.

Ensemble 360 comes to Portsmouth in an unusual piano quintet line-up including the double bass. This allows the programming of the wonderful ‘Trout’ Quintet by Schubert, which is one of the greatest of all chamber works, though remarkably, one that has never been performed in Portsmouth in the 16-year history of this series.

Hummel composed his Op. 87 quintet for the same combination, and it was possibly a model for the Schubert. Beginning the programme is one of Haydn’s fabulous late piano trios, composed just five years before the Hummel work.

Ensemble 360 has gained an enviable reputation across the UK not only for the quality and integrity of their playing but also for their ability to communicate the music to a range of different audiences. Formed in 2005, eleven musicians of international standing came together to take up residency in Sheffield with Music in the Round, establishing a versatile group of five string players, five wind players and a pianist. They believe in concerts being informal, friendly and relaxed occasions and perform ‘in the round’ wherever possible.

Critical acclaim has greeted all the group’s CDs to date: Mozart and Spohr (ASV Gold), Beethoven and Poulenc (Nimbus Alliance).

Also on Monday 27 January, Ensemble 360, with Music in the Round’s narrator Polly Ives, will be presenting their unique brand of children’s concerts in the Guildhall which will be attended by hundreds of school children organised by Portsmouth Music Hub in partnership with the University of Portsmouth, the sponsor of the Portsmouth Chamber Music Series.

Sir Scallywag and the Battle of Stinky Bottom will feature 11 musicians and a narrator, introducing the various instruments and delighting the children with music especially composed by Paul Rissman.

Colin Jagger, Director of Music at the University of Portsmouth said “There’s so much to be discovered still about music, whether it’s a new composition or a piece by Hummel who lived 200 years ago. So it’s wonderful that we can share the joy of music with young and old with a group as versatile as Ensemble 360.”

Tickets for the evening concert are £18 with £16 concessions, available in person from the Guildhall or from the website.

Portsmouth Music Festival – supporting the performing arts in the Portsmouth area


The Portsmouth Music Festival annually hosts performances from over 4,000 people from the community, who enjoy making music, dancing and/or acting.

These contributors are almost all amateurs who wish to give pleasure and gain valuable experience by their performance and to learn from the adjudicators and from other performers. It is the largest annual community event staged in Portsmouth.

The 2020 Festival runs from 8 February to 7 March. Read the Portsmouth Music Festival 2020 programme.

The PMF Gala Concert will be held on Sunday 29 March at 3:00 pm at Park Community School, where you will be able to enjoy performances from the winners of the instrumental, vocal, drama and dance sections. During the concert judges will select the winners of the Portsmouth Festivities Recital Prize 2021 and the Solent Symphony Orchestra Concerto Award 2021.

Further details at

Preview: Van Kuijk quartet at the Chichester Chamber Concerts series

Chichester Chamber Concerts are looking for a sell-out for their first concert of 2020 in the Assembly Rooms, Chichester on Thursday 23 January, featuring the Van Kuijk Quartet.

Since their formation in 2012, the ensemble has become an established presence in major international venues, performing at the Wigmore Hall in London, Auditorium du Louvre and Salle Gaveau in Paris, Tonhalle in Zurich and Musikverein in Vienna.

Winners of the 2015 Wigmore International String Quartet Competition, from 2015-2017 the Van Kuijk were BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artists, and joined the prestigious ECHO Rising Stars roster for the 2017-18 season. This season the quartet made their debut in Hong Kong, Australia & Taiwan, and returned to North America last autumn.

See for further info.

Bognor Regis Music Club launches into 2020 programme

The opening concert of the new decade at the Bognor Regis Music Club on Saturday, January 18 at 7pm will be An Evening with Chris Coote and Friends.

Organiser and club chairman Chris Coote said: “The concert will include a wide selection of music by gifted performers with a local connection.”

17-year-old Bognor-based cellist James Dew, who plays in the National Youth Orchestra, will play a movement from Rachmaninov‘s romantic cello sonata.

Mark Zarb-Adami (piano) will play Chopin’s Grande Waltz Brillante in E flat; Lilias Lamont (viola) will play Bartok’s Romanian Dances; and Fiona Willshire and Ian Clark will sing songs from shows.

The concert is at the Club’s concert room, 2 Sudley Road. Entry at the door is £6 for members, £8 for visitors, and £4 for students.

New members and visitors are especially welcome.

More details about the club from Chris Coote (01243 773276) or Helen Woods (01243 861620).

You can also find more information on the Bognor Regis Music Club website at

A new MD found for Hampshire Police Male Voice Choir

This position has been filled – Geoff Porter has been appointed Musical Director of the Hampshire Police Male Voice Choir, taking up this position in September 2020.

The Hampshire Police Male Voice Choir is seeking to appoint a new MD. The Choir is one of the south’s leading Male Voice Choirs and this year celebrates its 80th Anniversary.

We are a choir of some 60 members consisting of both serving police staff, retired police officers and members of the local community and represent the Constabulary within Hampshire and beyond. We rehearse every Wednesday evening in Sarisbury Green and perform up to 12 concerts a year,

Candidates should share our passion for male voice singing and have the enthusiasm and ambition to take the choir forward this decade. Previous experience in this field is desirable although not essential. We are seeking an individual who can demonstrate an appreciation of the traditions of male voice choirs as well as having the innovation and ability to inspire the choir to sing more contemporary songs, so building upon its established good reputation.

If interested, please submit your CV detailing any previous experience together with a personal statement of not more than 200 words to support your application.

All applications to: the Secretary at Closing date for Applications 23rd February.

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