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

Preview: Christmas Music with the Luc Family

After last year’s online Christmas concert, the Luc Family are delighted to return to live music-making to celebrate the festive season in Chichester.

They are promising an evening of festive classics including the Nutcracker Suite by Tchaikovsky and Blue Danube Waltz by Strauss arranged for two pianos, Winter by Vivaldi for cello and piano and other Christmas-themed tunes.

Siblings Imy (piano), Maria (piano) and Kenji (cello) grew up in Chichester and since then have become favourite accomplished and award-winning musicians.

They will be joined by their mother Yuriko (piano), and father Anva, who will be tuning the two pianos being used for the concert.

The concert will take place at Christ Church, Old Market Ave, PO191SW on Thursday, December December 23 starting at 6.30 pm.

Preview: the gemini consort “A Celebration of Christmas”

A programme of exuberant, joyful music and gentle lullabies will be given by the Gemini Consort choir in St Peter’s Church in Petersfield Square in aid of The Rosemary Foundation.

Choir founder and director Ann Pinhey from Petersfield said: “The choir are delighted to be able to give their first concert since December 2019.

“The choral works will be interspersed with music for solo flute, recorder and flugelhorn. The concert includes music by Vivaldi, Handel and Benjamin Britten, as well as contemporary composers Bob Chilcott and John Rutter.

“It is a group of experienced musicians who all sing and some of whom play instruments.  The aim is to use all their talents. The music performed ranges from the Baroque to the present day and includes music by Handel, Mozart, Poulenc and Britten.”

So far, Gemini Consort has raised more than £20,000 for Petersfield’s Rosemary Foundation, “a most worthy cause,” says Ann. The Lavant Street charity provides end-of-life care for patients in and around the town, and support for patients’ families.

Admission to the concert in the church on Saturday, December 11, starting at 7.30 pm, is free and the retiring collection will be given to The Rosemary Foundation.

Preview: “Priceless Treasures” by the Portsmouth Festival Choir

This coming Saturday, December 4, The Portsmouth Festival Choir will be giving its first concert since the musical shutdown in March 2020.

It will take place at the Church of the Resurrection, Farlington, the programme comprising a selection of Renaissance, Baroque and Romantic motets, plus Bach’s great motet Jesu, meine Freude, sung in Catherine Winkworth’s translation as Jesu, priceless treasure. Also to be heard is the wonderful Duet for Organ by Samuel Wesley, which will be played by Nicholas Gleed and Mark Dancer.

Preview: Holy Trinity Gosport tea-time concert – Stephanie Peat and Rebecca Grove

Fancy celebrating December in style, with a touch of glamour and gorgeous music? Then join us at Holy Trinity Church, Gosport at 3.30 pm on Sunday 5th December with ‘Opera Divas’, Stephanie and Rebecca.

Their beautiful singing lifted the roof at Stansted House Music Room in October and, with our amazing acoustics at Holy Trinity, we are in for a glorious afternoon of song and elegance. Escape the Christmas shopping and everyday busyness with an hour of sheer escapism . . . FREE ENTRANCE with a retiring collection: your donations will help us to maintain our important, historic, ‘Handel Organ! See you there . . . a very warm welcome awaits you.

Preview: Chichester Music Society: “Continuum” presents an Evening of J S Bach and Sons

We are delighted that Continuum is returning to the University of Chichester on 12 January 2022. Since they last performed here, Continuum has been busy performing what had become an annual St Cecilia Day concert in Wells Cathedral, and they sorely missed performing there in November 2020. However, their last concert before lockdown was in February 2020 for the Totnes Early Music Society in Devon, where they performed an all J. S. Bach programme to a large and particularly appreciative audience.

Continuum are: Elizabeth Walker – baroque flute, Rachel Beckett – baroque flute and recorder, Sebastian Comberti – baroque violoncello, Michael Overbury – harpsichord. In this evenings concert devoted to the Music of J S Bach and his sons, they present a programme that includes two new arrangements by Elizabeth Walker of J. S. Bach’s Organ Trio Sonatas BWV 525 and 529, together with one of the most reliably attributed Trio Sonatas by J.S. Bach for two flutes and continuo, BWV 1039.

Elizabeth writes “we also include the beautiful smaller Trio Sonata, BWV 1038, also likely to have been composed in Leipzig in 1729, for a series of 500 concerts or more that Bach composed for at this time, and in which his pupils and his sons would have performed as soloists.

The six sonatas for organ “à Clav. E Pedal” are extremely beautiful but challenging to play for any organist. It is believed these sonatas were also compiled around 1720, written out by his son, Wilhelm Friedemann Bach and his stepmother, Anna Magdalena.

Johann Nikolaus Forkel (22 February 1749 – 20 March 1818), Bach’s biographer, commented:
“Six sonatas or trios for two keyboards with obbligato pedal. Bach composed them for his eldest son, Willhelm Friedemann, who, by practising them, prepared himself to be the great organist he later became. It is impossible to say enough about their beauty. They were written when the composer was in his full maturity and can be considered his principal work of this kind”.

It is not known exactly when Wilhelm Friedemann Bach wrote his youthful flute duets, but we do know that Quantz would have had them before 1741, because they appear in his book of ‘Solfeggi’ which Quantz compiled for Frederick the Great. Scholars have looked at the manuscripts and detected from the handwriting, that W. F. Bach could have written the first two duets as early as 1724, when he was still in Leipzig with his father.

Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach was the fifth child and second (surviving) son of J S Bach. He became an extremely influential composer working at a time of transition between his father’s Baroque style and the classical and romantic styles that followed. His personal approach, an expressive and often turbulent one known as empfindsamer Stil applied the principles of rhetoric and drama to musical structures. The manuscript Notebook was presented by J S Bach to his second wife in 1725, so C P E Bach was no more than 11 years of age when he composed these Two Marches and Two Polonaises. Simple, but well characterised, they shed an interesting light on domestic music-making in the Bach household.”

Portsmouth Philharmonic plays music from Schubert to Sousa

The Portsmouth Philharmonic will play its first concert for two years when it puts on a programme featuring composers as varied as Schubert and Sousa on Sunday December 5 at the Church of the Resurrection, Drayton (3 pm).

PPO last performed in December 2019 and only started rehearsals again in September following an 18-month gap for the pandemic.

To get back into the swing, Conductor Hugh Carpenter has put together an interesting programme that will also feature music by Vaughan Williams, Nicolai and Hely-Hutchinson.

While there is no admission charge, there will be a collection at the interval towards the cost of hiring the venue, when light refreshments will be served..

Orchestra Chair Di Lloyd said: ‘We are all very excited about playing as a group for an audience again. It seems a long time ago since we last did.

‘There will be a Christmas-themed element to the concert and it will be the perfect chance for our supporters to reconnect with the orchestra, as well as giving us a chance to “warm up” ahead of what we hope will be a full programme in 2022.’

Chantry Quire launches new season of concerts in Petworth

After 18 months with no singing, the Chantry Quire, directed by Peter Allwood, returns to live performance with a new season of concerts.

Spokeswoman Carol Frogley said: “We begin this autumn with a splendid performance of Brahms Ein Deutsches Requiem on November 27 at Petworth Church, at 7.30 pm. Tickets are £15 and are available from our website

“Featuring Gillian Ramm (soprano), and William Dazeley (baritone), Emilie Capulet and Peter Gould will be playing the piano duet and Graham Dare will be on timpani. Any unsold tickets will be available to purchase on the night, but we encourage you to book early, to avoid disappointment!”

“Next year’s schedule is no less exciting. On April 2 we will be performing one of our favourites, Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater, at Boxgrove Priory”.

Read more at the link below.


Preview: St Richard Singers “A song will rise” and our lockdown experience

We are back!

Almost two years to the day of our last live concert (19 Dec 2019) we are pleased to invite you to our first free post-lockdown live performance on Monday, 6 December 2021, at 7.30 pm at a special concert venue: St. Peter’s Church in Westhampnett.

How did we get there?

As soon as the ban on live singing for amateur choirs was lifted, we cast around for an outdoor venue that would ease our way out of the enforced silence. We alighted on the paddock behind St. Peter’s Church in Westhampnett, and what an inspired choice it was. In July & August we shared this great “Cathedral of the Outdoors” with birds, bats and even grass snakes, and were encouraged by the occasional appreciative (i.e. barking) dog.

These surroundings as well the circumstances of the past two years determined the choice of programme for this first post-lockdown concert.

We greased our shrivelled vocal cords through sunshine & rain, oppressive heat and early twilight.

In September we were ready to return to indoor singing at St. George’s in Chichester – albeit still socially distanced – encouraged by our “al fresco” experience.

Please join us for our “seasonal unseasonal Concert” to remember those we have lost during the past two years, to say thank-you to the people of St. Peter’s for providing us with a temporary home in difficult circumstances, and above all to celebrate the glories of music this St. Cecilia tide.

Free seasonal refreshments are available.
The retiring collection will be be split evenly between St. Peter’s Church and St Richard Singers.

Preview: Portsmouth Baroque Choir’s Christmas Concert at All Saints, Portsmouth

All Saints Church, Commercial Road, Portsmouth is the venue for our Christmas Concert with Audience Carols, Mulled Wine and Mince Pies on Saturday, December 4th. Peter Gould will be accompanying us on the organ.

The concert will feature Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on Christmas Carols and works by Gibbons, Byrd, Monteverdi and Sweelinck as well as some more recent popular favourites. In addition to singing a few traditional carols, the audience will also be invited to learn and then join us singing a chorale which forms part of Puer Natus in Bethlehem by Michael Praetorious.

Tickets can be purchased either online from TicketSource or on the door. Please note the early start time of 7pm.

Preview: Havant Symphony Orchestra: Clive Rowe and the contrabassoon

Havant Symphony Orchestra (HSO) returns following an 18-month hiatus with a wonderful offering of classics tonight including Elgar’s ‘Enigma Variations’, Britten’s seascapes from his opera ‘Peter Grimes’ and the Hummel Trumpet Concerto in E flat played by soloist Zoë Perkins.

Joining HSO for the first time, professional musician Clive Rowe will be playing the contrabassoon. However, Clive’s connection with HSO goes back 45 years to 1976 when at the age of seven he was in the audience listening Prokofiev’s ‘Peter and the Wolf’ narrated by the composer’s son Oleg while his grandfather Nigel played bassoon.  Sadly, Nigel died not long after this performance.

A couple of years ago through HSO’s conductor, Jonathan Butcher, the orchestra was able to give Clive a copy of a photograph of his grandfather playing in the orchestra.

Concert in memory of inspirational West Sussex musician

On November 20th, Bognor Regis Music Club members celebrate the life of their dear friend and chairman, Chris Coote, who sadly passed away last year during the darkest days of the pandemic. Over many years, he raised thousands of pounds for local charities presenting fundraising concerts at Chichester Baptist Church, where he worshipped. His love of music brought together local amateur musicians, students and young professionals to showcase their talents.

For more than ten years, he was chairman of the Music Club and worked tirelessly to encourage members to develop their skills and the confidence to perform. Many of those from his fundraising concerts performed at the club and vice versa.

“A brilliant pianist himself, Chris championed local talent and especially young musicians. Chris never stopped learning and perfecting his craft and loved to share the gift of music,” said Ian Clark, Acting BRMC Chairman and compere of Chris’s fundraisers.

“On Saturday, I will introduce many of Chris’s friends and fellow performers in a concert celebrating his memory and the joy of performing. Some will be playing pieces they last played with Chris.”

Among those appearing is cellist, James Dew, now studying at the Royal College of Music, who will play Rachmaninov’s Sonata in G minor for Cello, which he last performed with Chris at the Music Club’s concert in February 2020. He will be accompanied on Saturday by Nina Levtov.

Many club members will pay tribute at the concert including Paul Dorrell ~ flute, accompanied by Huw Griffiths ~ piano, and a trio of Alex Palmer ~ flute, Jan Lewis ~ piano and Colin Hartree ~ oboe. Other long term collaborators performing on the night include Lilias Lamont ~ viola, accompanied by Nick Gleed ~ piano, Tony Smart ~ clarinet, and Chris Johnston ~ piano, who will play one of Chris’s favourite pieces, Chopin’s Barcarolle.

We hope as many people as possible will help us celebrate Chris’s life and musical legacy. Music Club concerts are open to all – Tickets are £8 for guests and £6 for members and can be bought on the door. The concert begins at 7.30pm at the Regis School of Music, 46 Sudley Road, Bognor Regis.

Preview: Havant Symphony Orchestra: “Sound the trumpet!”

Havant Symphony Orchestra (HSO) returns following an 18-month hiatus with a wonderful offering of English favourites: Elgar’s Enigma Variations and Britten’s seascapes from his opera Peter Grimes conducted by Jonathan Butcher. The highlight of the concert will be Zoë Perkins playing Hummel’s sparkling Trumpet Concerto in E flat.

Zoë was one of five brass finalists in the BBC Young Musician of the Year 2016 competition, the initial field consisting of over 400 members. She was praised for her challenging repertoire choices and sensitive playing.

Having graduated with a masters from the Royal Academy of Music, Zoë is now enjoying performing with both professional and amateur orchestras across the UK and Europe. A rising star in the classical music world, her appearance with the HSO should not be missed.

Preview: Petersfield Orchestra plays Dvorak’s Czech Suite

Read a review.

Petersfield Orchestra is performing Dvorak’s Czech Suite Op. 39; Francaix’s L’Horloge de Flore [Soloist: Lucinda Willits (oboe)]; and Haydn’s Symphony No. 99 in Eb major, Hoboken 1/99 on Thursday 18 Nov at 7:30pm at St. Peter’s Church, Petersfield. Here are some programme notes.

Czech Suite, Op. 39 – Antonín Dvořák (1841 – 1904)

I – Preludium (Pastorale): Allegro moderato
II – Polka: Allegretto grazioso
III – Sousedská (Minuetto): Allegro giusto
IV – Romance: Andante con moto
V – Finale (Furiant): Presto

After the triumphant success of his Slavonic Dances the previous year, 1878, Dvořák was urged by his publisher Simrock to continue exploiting the same quasi-nationalist vein. The composer quickly came up with the present work, in which three of the five contrasted movements actually bear the name of a national dance.

The Czech Suite opens with a sonorous Prelude in D minor which is content solely to explore the gentle folk-like melody that is heard at the outset on the oboe, over an oscillating cello and bassoon accompaniment, and which then re-appears throughout the movement in a kaleidoscope of different colours. This movement is followed by a wistful Polka in D minor, complete with a contrasting middle section in the major key: in this movement, the interest here is largely confined to the string section. The third movement, like the Prelude, restricts itself to a single theme, in this case a Sousedská – a national dance rather like a minuet but often featuring a distinct ‘hop’ in its step. The fourth movement is a gently flowing Romance in compound triple metre, with the wind instruments, especially flute and cor anglais, much to the fore. Finally comes yet another national dance, a rapid Furiant: replete with off-beat rhythms and noisy interjections from the brass, this vigorous movement rounds off the Suite in almost symphonic fashion.

Dvořák’s Czech Suite was completed in April, and first performed in Prague the following month, on 16 May 1879.

L’horloge de flore – Jean Françaix (1912 – 1997)

Jean Françaix’s natural musical gifts were encouraged from an early age by his family: his father was Director of the Conservatoire at Le Mans, and a musicologist, composer, and pianist, his mother taught singing. The boy was only six when he began composing; his first publication, in 1922, caught the attention of a composer working for the publishing house, who steered him towards a famously gifted teacher, Nadia Boulanger. Françaix was also an accomplished pianist from an early age, earning a First Prize in Piano at the Paris Conservatory (his only formal musical qualification). But Jean Françaix’s primary occupation was his compositional career. He remained prolific throughout his life; even late in life he described himself as “constantly composing”, barely finishing one piece before beginning another, and continuing to do so until his death. He wrote over 200 pieces in a wide variety of forms and styles.

Many of his works feature the piano, particularly his numerous chamber works; but he wrote for nearly every orchestral instrument and standard ensemble. Françaix was a masterly orchestrator, reflected in his skilful use of tone colours. An avowed neoclassicist, he rejected atonality and other aspects of modernism. Françaix’s style is marked by lightness and wit (a stated goal of his was “to give pleasure”), as well as by a conversational style of interplay between the musical lines. It changed little throughout his career.

The great Swedish botanist Carl von Linné (1707-78), known as Linnaeus, spent decades in the field, studying anything he could find: animal, vegetable or mineral. In his 1751 work, Philosophia Botanica, he muses on the peculiar regularity with which some species of flowers open and close their petals at a certain time each day. He proposes (more as a thought exercise than as a plan for any actual device or installation) a Horologium Florae — a Flower Clock. Flowers would be set in a circle like a clock face, with each plant’s position corresponding to the hour it blooms. Then one could tell the time by observing which flower was open. Jean Françaix’s delightful work takes its inspiration from this idea.

Jean Françaix’s concerto-like work was commissioned by the principal oboe of the Philadelphia Orchestra in the USA, John de Lancie, who gave the first performance in 1961; it consists of seven short movements, moving continuously from one exotic flower – and time of day – to the next, as follows (original French title / Latin name), then the English vernacular equivalent:

3.00 a.m. (Galant de Jour / Cestrum diurnum), Day-blooming Jasmine: the oboe soon takes centre stage in a gentle cantilena consisting almost entirely of crotchets and quavers.

5.00 a.m. (Cupidon Bleu / Catananche caerulea), Cupid’s Dart: now the tempo speeds up, the metre changes to five-four, and the mood is quite perky. The oboe begins and ends the movement with a short cadenza.

10.00 a.m. (Cierge à grandes fleurs / Selenicereus grandiflorus), Queen of the Night or Night-blooming Cereus, a large cactus: the shortest movement, a mere 15 bars, in a flowing Andantino tempo.

12.00 p.m. (Nyctanthe du Malabar / Nyctanthes arbor-tristis), Night-Flowering Jasmine: a lively Allegro with an accompaniment in rumba rhythm, this movement may be familiar (to those with long memories) as the signature tune for Robin Ray’s BBC music programme on midday Saturdays during the 1970s. The oboist duets regularly with the clarinet.

5.00 p.m. (Belle de Nuit / Ipomaea bona-nox), a species of Morning Glory: legato and reflective, and marked Andantino again, this movement has a distinctly nocturnal feel.

7.00 p.m. (Géranium triste / Pelargonium triste), Night-scented Geranium: with the unusual marking of Allegrissimo giusto, ‘suitably fast,’ the decorative oboe solo line is now full of twists and turns.

9.00 p.m. (Silène noctiflore / Silene noctiflora), Night-flowering Catchfly: Poco meno vivo, a little less lively than the preceding movement, the finale has the feel at times of a French folk dance.

Symphony no. 99 in E flat – Franz Joseph Haydn (1732 – 1809)

I – Adagio – Vivace assai
II – Adagio
III – Minuet – Trio – Minuet (da capo)
IV – Finale. Vivace

Famously, once released from his long period of musical service to the aristocratic Eszterhazy family in Austria, Joseph Haydn enjoyed his new-found freedom He even felt able to accept an offer from the impresario Johann Peter Salomon in London for him to visit England, where his music had won many admirers. Haydn came twice, composing half a dozen new symphonies for each visit. For his second trip, in 1794/5, he arrived with the present work in his luggage: it had been finished the previous year while he was back home in Vienna, as it was due to be premiered just a few days after his arrival in the capital. The date was 10 February 1794, the venue, London’s Hanover Square Rooms, and the composer directed the proceedings from the keyboard.

In its winning combination of subtlety and simplicity, the symphony was very much geared to the taste and manners of London’s audiences: beginning with the ‘call to attention’ of the work’s opening loud chord. Jolted awake, the attentive listener might also have been aware of the presence, not just of trumpets and drums, but of some previously unseen newcomers in the orchestral texture: a pair of clarinets. The slow introduction to the opening movement uses these and the other wind instruments to explore some quite remote harmonic territory; and they are well to the fore, too, in the lively movement that follows. Then, G major comes as a surprise choice for the key of the slow movement, after the E flat of the Vivace. It has been suggested that Haydn was commemorating the loss of his close friend Marianne von Genzinger, a fine musician in her own right. Certainly the mood, though not tragic, has a certain ecclesiastical solemnity about it. This is broken in turn by the rustic simplicity of the Minuet, where Haydn needs to deploy considerable ingenuity to get back to E flat after the C major of the Trio section. The finale is pure joy, a cheeky rondo where the main tune is first treated to some energetic syncopation, and then even threatens to turn into a fugue. No wonder that this symphony was a favourite of that noted Haydn enthusiast, Sir Thomas Beecham!

Preview: Portsmouth Choral Union – Bach’s Christmas Oratorio

Following their first ‘post-Covid’, concert – in which Portsmouth Choral Union gave a successful and well-attended performance of Faure’s Requiem, the choir is now looking forward to their annual Christmas Concert.

This year, they will give a rare Portsmouth performance of Bach’s wonderful Christmas Oratorio.  The sparkling orchestration, played by Southern Pro Musica includes flutes, oboes, trumpets, drums and strings – and with mighty choruses and a team of four excellent soloists, this is a concert not to be missed.

The performance, directed by David Gostick, will take place on Saturday 11th of December in St. Mary’s Church Portsea – beginning at 7.30pm.

Hugely important moment for the Chichester Singers

The Chichester Singers return for one of the most significant concerts in their history – their first for nearly two years.

They will be offering Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius in Chichester Cathedral on November 13 at 7.30pm featuring Diana Moore (mezzo-soprano), James Oxley (tenor), Ossian Huskinson (bass) and Southern Pro Musica.

Musical director Jonathan Willcocks said: “This is a particularly important moment for us and the choir is shaping up wonderfully for something really exciting.”

The choir has emerged from 18 months of lockdowns and frustrations in exceptionally good health, Jonathan says. They have even enjoyed a strong influx of new recruits.

Read more at the link below.

Chichester Festival Theatre: a celebration of Rachmaninoff in words and music

Olivier Award-winning actor Henry Goodman returns to Chichester with concert pianist Lucy Parham in Elégie, chronicling the fascinating life of composer and pianist Sergei Rachmaninoff in words and music (November 12, 7.30pm).

Though he became an exile in 1917, Rachmaninoff’s cultural identity and longing for his homeland imbue his music, not least the many works he wrote for his own instrument, the piano.

Elégie, scripted by Lucy from letters and diaries, follows the composer from his youth in Russia, through his subsequent self-imposed exile in 1917 and finally to California, where he died in 1943.

It’s a format Lucy has pioneered over the years – a series of performances in which she is joined by an actor on stage to deliver the words and the music of some of our greatest composers.

Read more at the link below.

Preview: Chichester Music Society: Martino Tirimo & Atsuko Kawakami

CMS are delighted to announce the return of the brilliant Tirimo / Kawakami Piano Duo on 10th November.

Read a review.

The Duo played for the Society for the first time in November of last year during the lockdown period and their performance was live-streamed only. They played a very attractive programme of music entitled ‘The Dance in Music’, and two of the outstanding items in that concert, Guastavino 3 Argentinian Romances and Brahms Variations on a theme by Haydn Op.56b (St. Anthony Variations) will be repeated this evening, along with Schubert Fantasy in F minor D940 and Ravel Rapsodie espagnole, to give a live audience a proper opportunity to enjoy these wonderful musicians!

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. 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 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.

Read more about these musicians in a previous Noticeboard post.

The Northern Chords Ensemble joins the Chichester Chamber Concerts series

The Northern Chords Ensemble are the latest guests in the Chichester Chamber Concerts series on Thursday 4 November at 7:30 pm in the Assembly Room, Chichester.

The Northern Chords Ensemble features artists from The Northern Chords festival which was founded in 2009 by artistic director Jonathan Bloxham who will be playing the cello in Chichester.

Read more at the link below.

The University of Chichester Conservatoire: composing “Her body” by Dr Susannah Self

On Mon 22 November 2021 the Orbita Chamber Orchestra from the University of Chichester Conservatoire features a new work, for strings and marimba, by Dr. Susannah Self.

Dr Self takes up the story.

HER BODY is an 8-minute piece for string orchestra and marimba forming part of my new physical opera, which premièred for Tête à Tête Festival at The Cockpit Theatre in London in July 2021. The work grew out of a new type of operatic composition which I developed as I was concluding my PhD in composition at The Royal Birmingham Conservatoire in 2020. My aim was to reveal authenticity through the process of auto-ethnography. Like many people I am affected by my perception of my body image and so I decided to access input for the work from my contacts on social media. The responses were varied, deep and insightful. Therefore, HER BODY provides an opportunity to literally embody our shared experiences so that HER BODY represents our shared experience of embodiment whatever our gender identification.

During lockdown I formulated the compositional and dramatic aspects of the opera independently so that HER BODY is a syncretic fusion of physical theatre, soundscapes, installation of film, set and performance. All of these aspects have become integral to my practice. The film installation was shot on the North Norfolk coast and the choreography takes its lead from Pina Bausch, Jonathan Burrows and DV8 company. The music for the opera consists of three styles:

  1. Notated punchy minimalist music for string orchestra and marimba.
  2. Abstract Soundscapes created with live sampled voice transformed through Logic Pro and improvised voice.
  3. Simple lyrical songs.

The instrumental piece HER BODY presents the first style of composition. Specifically, this section of the opera alludes to a woman’s body being fed by many tributaries that flow like a river secretly within her.  These fluids are hidden from the outside world, repressed and sent underground. This flow is contained within the coiled serpent at the base of her spine.  It is a concealed kundalini energy which reflects essence. The flow of the body’s internal river becomes intertwined with other bodies in a cosmic dance so that there is no longer a male or female body, but just a body contained within an inner and outer landscape. The third fast arpeggiated section further interweaves the first two elements, continuing to the final section in which all the river bodies of our lives reach a slow majestic stasis. Moments of gratitude and reflection for the universal body that we all emerge from and return to is overseen by the powerful and destructive goddess Kali.

The construction of HER BODY draws on my compositional process which is linked to observations on the complexities of quilt making. The formality of the template’s structure successfully holds together contrasting materials, colours and textures. From quilting flows many compositional possibilities such as the way in which materials can be organically developed, cross-related, juxtaposed and transformed. Resonances with this approach can be seen via the iconic artist Robert Rauschenberg’s imaginative practice in which he observes

“The objects not only suggest new possibilities, things I would have never thought of if I’d stayed in the studio – they also set up resistances that I find very useful.”

Rauschenberg, 2017: 235

Preview: Portsmouth Choral Union – Fauré’s Requiem

With regular, live rehearsals now well underway, Portsmouth Choral Union is looking forward to the first post lockdown concert.

This will be a performance of Faure’s ever-popular Requiem, alongside the same composer’s beautiful Cantique de Jean Racine and, amongst others, Mozart’s haunting Ave Verum.

Accompanying them will be members of The Southern Pro Musica who will be joined by bass soloist Jack Comerford to perform the aria ‘Schlummert ein’‘ from Bach’s cantata No. 82. This concert will take place at St. Mary’s Church Portsea on Saturday 6 November. Please note that the performance begins at the early time of 5.30 and will last for approximately one hour.

Preview: Portsmouth Baroque Choir: St Mark’s Anniversary Concert

Portsmouth Baroque choir returns to St. Mark’s church for its first concert since the start of the Coronavirus Pandemic in March 2020.

This concert was originally planned for last October, as part of the choir’s 40th anniversary season, and in support of the church building’s 50th anniversary. Like many other events, both of these have had to be delayed and so, instead of taking place near the end of the choir’s celebratory year, it has become a start to it.

It seems fitting that we begin our programme with a work that was most likely written for a funeral, as we remember all those who have been directly affected or have lost their lives as a result of the pandemic.

Programme: Two Bach Motets Komm, Jesu, komm and Lobet den herrn plus Mendelssohn’s Mass for double choir, Te Deum in A, Sechs spruche, a couple of short extracts from Lobegesang and Elijah and Verleih uns frieden.

Cantemus: Come and Sing Fauré’s Requiem

Cantemus would like to invite you to sing with us in a very special performance of Fauré’s Requiem at St Mary’s Church, Hayling Island on Saturday 20th November 2021.

Our cancelled concert in March 2020 was the first of many things to fall by the wayside. We have missed being together and making music, lost friends and loved ones, and precious time seems to have passed us by.

So rather than singing to an audience, we want singers to bring their voices together again in celebration and reflection. The programme includes Fauré’s much-loved Requiem; Advent carols old and new; and readings and reflections curated by the Very Revd. Stephen Waine, Dean of Chichester.

The rehearsal and performance will be led by Cantemus’ Musical Director, William Waine. William has performed regularly with the Choirs of Westminster and St Paul’s Cathedrals, The English Concert and the Erebus Ensemble, as well as teaching at Ditcham Park School and managing Chichester-based vocal ensemble NMH. The accompanist will be Peter Stevens, Assistant Master of Music at Westminster Cathedral.

Arrival and Registration – 2.30pm
Rehearsal – 3-5pm
Refreshments – 5-6pm
Requiem – 6pm

Whether you want to reflect on the events of the last 18 months, celebrate being back together again, or simply get back to singing, we’d love to see you on 20th November. Please visit our website – – to sign up by 13th November 2021.

Numbers will be limited to maintain some social distancing, as per the Risk Assessment conducted by St Mary’s Church. For more information about this, please contact

Preview of Petersfield Orchestra Wind Ensemble Sunday afternoon concert

Petersfield Orchestra is alive and well despite Covid. After a long absence from the concert platform, the orchestra’s strings performed Vivaldi’s ‘Four Seasons’ to an invited audience in Liss this June.

Next it is the turn of the wind players. Ten musicians will take to the platform at The Studio at The Petersfield School on Sunday afternoon 3 October, in a sparkling and tuneful programme designed to highlight the virtuoso skills of the local orchestra’s wind section. Music by Gounod and Donizetti is featured alongside works by two 20th century composers, Jacques Ibert and Georges Enescu.

“It’s all gorgeous music, including Gounod’s delightful Petite Sinfonie and Enescu’s dectet Dixtuor’” says Orchestra chairman – and bassoonist – Steve Bartholomew: “The Enescu is not that well-known but is richly textured, and has a very French flavour – it’s a joy to listen to and to play.”

The concert is expected to last about 80 minutes, plus a short interval. To cover some of the costs there is a small admission charge of £5, with under 17s admitted free: book online at: or via One Tree Books, Lavant Street or by phone: 01730 261199.

The full Orchestra will perform together in St Peter’s on 18th November – for the first time since November 2019!


The Consort of Twelve offers first Chichester concert since December 2019

The Consort of Twelve is delighted to return to live concert-giving after nearly two years away.

Their last concert was in St John’s Chapel, Chichester on December 1 2019.

And it is to St John’s that they return for their comeback concerts – two on the same day, one at 3pm and one at 6pm on September 19. Tickets are £12 on 02392 214494 and online at

The programme will be the same in each of the concerts, and the performances will be given without an interval.

Internationally acclaimed violinist Julia Bishop will be returning to direct a programme called Beyond the Seasons: Vivaldi and Bach.

Read more at the link below.

In Tune With Heaven: An Evening with Catherine Bott and David Price

Portsmouth Cathedral is delighted to present In Tune With Heaven: An Evening with Catherine Bott and David Price on Wednesday 29 September in Portsmouth Cathedral.

Join us in the beautiful and historic surroundings of Portsmouth Cathedral’s nave for this very special event with renowned soprano and broadcaster Catherine Bott as she interviews Portsmouth Cathedral’s Organist and Master of Choristers David Price about his passion for music and career as an organist and choral director.

The evening will mark David’s 25th anniversary at Portsmouth Cathedral and all proceeds will support the Cathedral’s new fundraising campaign – Sing Joyfully – which aims to raise the funds for our choirs to flourish over the next 25 years and beyond.

“Sing Joyfully” aims to highlight all the work the Cathedral does with children and adults to foster music-making in the community and the cathedral’s patronage of music and musicians.

Tickets are £15 (£10 for children) and include a glass of wine or soft drink. Doors open from 6:45 pm with the conversation beginning at 7.15:pm. The event will conclude by 8:45 pm. Booking link below.

September 15th Champagne Quartet – confirmed

I am delighted to confirm that our next event with The Champagne Quartet will be going ahead as planned with a live audience on Wednesday 15th September at 7.30pm in the University Chapel.

The University is taking a precautionary approach, limiting occupancy and encouraging social distancing and the wearing of face masks when entering and leaving the Chapel, and during the concert. Members will not need to make a reservation but guests are asked to book in advance. We regret that interval drinks will not be available on this occasion.

Friends and visitors may book seats at £15 and payment in advance will be required using direct bank transfer wherever possible. It will not be possible to purchase tickets at the door. To purchase tickets please contact Elizabeth Stanley (Membership Secretary), email:, Phone: 07973 410407.

Live-streaming – Unfortunately, the University do not have the capacity to live stream this event, but hope to be in a position to restart the live-streaming later in the season.

I look forward to welcoming you to the first event of our new Autumn Season!


Boxgrove Choral Festival – Online Series

The Boxgrove Choral Festival is delighted to present a series of four episodes online through its streaming partner OnJam.

Starting on 12th September, we will premiere an episode every Sunday in September 2021 at 7pm. There will also be an extra mid-week episode premiering on Thursday 23rd September.

All four episodes of the series are then available to stream at any time until 15th November 2021!

Episode 1: Renaissance Late Concert (premieres 12th September)

Episode 2: Isolation Songbook (premieres 19th September)

Episode 3: Organ Recital (premieres 23rd September

Episode 4: Festival Concert (premieres 26th September)

See link below.

Further information

The Boxgrove Choral Festival presented by The Beaufort Singers announces its first online offering – a Series of 4 Episodes at Boxgrove Priory staring on Sunday, September 12th.

“After such a wonderful in-person Festival earlier this month where we sang to fantastic live audiences, we can’t wait to share the unique splendour of Boxgrove Priory to a potentially global audience!” says Festival Director, Joseph Wicks.

The Online Series is made up of four concerts as performed live. Tickets are available for the whole series, with premieres taking place at 7pm every Sunday from September 12th, plus an extra midweek episode on Thursday, September 23rd.

Episode 1 (premiering September 12th) is a short Renaissance Late concert given by The Beaufort Singers, performing music from the Spanish renaissance by Lobo and Victoria.

Isolation Songbook premieres as Episode 2 on September 19th, and is a set of pieces commissioned over the 2020 lockdown reflecting the various moods and emotions brought up by the pandemic. BBC New Generation Artist, the mezzo-soprano Helen Charlston, together with baritone Michael Craddock and pianist Alexander Soares perform a selection from the songbook.

An Organ Recital (premiering Thursday, September 23rd) will be given by Festival Director Joseph Wicks on the Priory’s fine 2-manual Hill organ, performing an eclectic programme of Bach, Gibbons, Dupré, Hindemith & Whitlock.

The Series then ends with the big Festival Concert premiering on September 26th with a wide-ranging choral programme focussing on themes of reflection, mourning, hope and joy, capturing the emotional whirlwind of the last 18 months. From funeral music by Howells to ecstatic music for Easter by MacMillan, there is something for everyone.

Tickets are priced at £15 for the whole Series, with every episode available to watch on demand an unlimited number of times until November 15th 2021. For an extra £5 a printed Festival Brochure can be sent in the post.

Tickets can be purchased here:

We do hope you can join us for what promises to be a very special Boxgrove Choral Festival!

Come and Sing Verdi Requiem at the Leith Hill Music Festival

Please see the poster for details of this event on Saturday 16 October.

“Vox Cantab” come to sing at Langrish Church for its 150th anniversary

Come to St John’s Church at 6 pm on Saturday 11 September for a choral concert by the acclaimed choir Vox Cantab. Please see the poster for details.

Tickets now on sale for the West Meon Music Festival, 9th -12th September 2021

As with so many events this year, the West Meon Music Festival has been beset by doubts as to whether it would be possible to stage a full event or – as last year – would covid-19 regulations mean that plans would again need to be scaled back.

With restrictions now easing, festival organisers, the Primrose Piano Quartet, are confident that it will be business as usual – or almost. “Last year was the festival’s 10th anniversary,” says Susanne Stanzeleit, the quartet’s violinist, “but many of our planned events had to be cancelled due to the limitation on audience numbers, so we are delighted to be able to hold many of those concerts this year. There will be a few differences though with no paper tickets and some socially-distanced seating for those who prefer it.”

Postponed events now taking place this year include a recital by exciting young guitarist Laura Snowden, sponsored by the Southampton Classical Guitar Society, which will now be held on the morning of Saturday 11th September at All Saints Church, East Meon, while 2018 BBC Young Musician of the Year finalist, cellist Maxim Calver, will be giving his delayed recital at the Church of Our Lady in Warnford that afternoon.

The festival opens on Thursday 9th September with the Primrose performing two of the most popular piano quartets in the repertoire – by Mozart and Fauré – at St John’s Church in West Meon (GU32 1LF) where the festival is based.

In all, there will be 11 events spread through the four-day festival including masterclasses, a family concert, and three evening concerts which will include a performance of Brahms’ Horn Trio with leading UK horn player Stephen Stirling and a recital by international prize-winning pianist Roman Kosyakov. The festival ends on the afternoon of Sunday 12th September with a concert that includes Schumann’s exuberant Piano Quintet – regarded as one of his finest compositions – when members of the Primrose will be joined by more musical guests.

This year the festival also incorporates “Music for All” a series of free concerts thanks to a generous grant from the Lottery’s Community Fund, which is helping to support the recovery of live music missed by so many people during the lockdowns. “Music for All” includes Maxim Calver’s recital, a late-night performance by the Primrose, the family concert and local band, Rehab Blues, performing at West Meon’s Thomas Lord pub.

“We know that some people may still be nervous about attending public events,” adds Stanzeleit, “so although we can have normal seating again throughout our venues, we shall have a section in each which is socially-distanced, for any who would feel happier with a little more separation.”

Full details of all the festival programmes can be found on the festival website,, where tickets are on sale from 1st August.

About the Primrose Piano Quartet

The Primrose Piano Quartet is one of the country’s leading ensembles and its acclaimed discography includes classical favourites as well as many unjustly neglected works by early 20th century British composers such as Dunhill, Quilter, Bax and Frank Bridge. Their major commissions include piano quartets written for them by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies and Anthony Payne. The quartet appears regularly in London at King’s Place and the Conway Hall and has recently toured Denmark, Germany and Bulgaria.

Named after the great Scottish violist William Primrose, who himself played in the Festival Piano Quartet, the Primrose has been selected for the Making Music Concert Promoters’ Network four times. Its latest recording of the complete Brahms piano quartets, made in Vienna on authentic pianos of the period, has been highly recommended on Radio 3’s “Record Review”.

Susanne Stanzeleit – Violin         Dorothea Vogel – Viola
Andrew Fuller –- Cello          John Thwaites – Piano


Boxgrove Choral Festival, 2-5 September 2021

The Beaufort Singers
Joseph Wicks

The Beaufort Singers are so excited to be back presenting the Boxgrove Choral Festival with a packed schedule of 7 live in-person events across 4 days at the beginning of September 2021.

Of those seven events, there will be three sung services and four concerts, all performed in the stunning Boxgrove Priory, nestled at the foot of the South Downs.

To kick things off on 2nd September, there will be a service of Choral Evensong featuring music by Gibbons, Howells, Stanford, Rachmaninov and Philip Moore. This is free to attend as are the other two services.

Friday 3rd September starts with a lunchtime Organ Recital given by Festival Director Joseph Wicks on the Priory’s fine 2-manual Hill organ. Later on, in the evening, The Beaufort Singers will present a short Renaissance Late concert performing music from the Spanish renaissance by Lobo and Victoria. This is then followed by an atmospheric candlelit service of Compline, featuring music by Owain Park, Neil Cox, Sheppard and Harris.

Next up on Saturday 4th September, we couldn’t be more excited to be presenting the hugely successful lockdown project, Isolation Songbook to what will be its first-ever live audience! Newly announced BBC New Generation Artist, the mezzo-soprano Helen Charlston, together with baritone Michael Craddock and pianist Alexander Soares will perform a selection from the songbook, a set of pieces they commissioned over lockdown in 2020 dealing with various moods and emotions brought up by the pandemic.

The Festival then culminates with the big Festival Concert. Our programme focuses on themes reflection, mourning, hope and joy, hopefully encapsulating some of the emotional whirlwind we’ve all been through during the last 18 months. From funeral music by Howells to ecstatic music for Easter by MacMillan, there is something for everyone in this concert.

In ending with a live-streamed Mass on the morning of Sunday 5th September, we are particularly delighted to welcome Christopher Robinson our special guest conductor to conduct the joint forces of The Beaufort Singers and Boxgrove Priory Choir in the final Te Deum by Vaughan Williams.

Tickets for the concerts and our Festival Pass can be purchased here:

Here can also be found more information about the Festival including the Covid safety regulations.

The Festival is also being filmed and will be presented to an online audience for the first time, with events premiering later in September.

We do hope you can join us for what promises to be a very special Boxgrove Choral Festival!

Trailer video link:

Petersfeld Musical Festival: Annual Choral Workshop – Mendelssohn’s Hymn of Praise

25 September 2021 10.00 am–4.30 pm
Visit event page.

Mendelssohn’s Hymn of Praise is a joyous work written as a celebration. The original occasion in 1840 was the 400th anniversary of Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press, but the life-affirming Biblical texts and Mendelssohn’s uplifting music are universal, with tuneful, approachable choruses expressing the central theme of the piece – ‘The night is departing, the day is approaching’.

The work is scheduled for the closing concert of the 2022 Petersfield Musical Festival, and this open singing day will launch rehearsals leading up to the performance in March.

Paul Spicer is one of today’s most distinguished choral conductors and is in great demand for his inspirational choral workshops. He conducts the Birmingham Bach Choir, is founder- director of the acclaimed Finzi Singers, and is Professor of Choral Conducting at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. He is a composer, writer and broadcaster, and a leading authority on twentieth-century British music. Paul has been Resident Conductor at Petersfield Musical Festival since 2005.

Covid security. The event will be risk-assessed and held in accordance with regulations in force at the time. Further information will be sent to ticket-holders in advance of the day if needed. All details in this leaflet are as at the time of printing, but subject to change or cancellation if necessary.

Rounding off Ports Fest 2021

The first weekend of July this year saw Ports Fest return to the city in the form of a three-day festival, comprising mainly of outdoor and free events to suit the current climate. Highlights included the face of the 2021 sea shanty revival, The Longest Johns, who headlined the opening concert on Friday night, and a splendidly engaging talk given specifically for Portsmouth schools by former children’s laureate Michael Rosen.

The long weekend also featured the work of many local artists, with several exhibitions and ‘open studio’ events taking place around the city, from Art Space Portsmouth, Aspex Portsmouth to Hotwalls Studios, Alice Hume’s Interactive Weaves and Portsmouth Cathedral being home to the Portsmouth Our Place exhibition. Saturday evenings show featured Duncan Sandilands who belted out the very best musical numbers alongside some of the best talent in Portsmouth.

Ports Fest hosted many workshops and performance opportunities for young people, perhaps most notably a collaboration between the London Mozart Players and various Portsmouth school choirs at the final sold-out concert on Sunday night.

The festival revolved around the theme ‘Remember, Reimagine, Reset’, and the events accordingly engaged with issues from protecting ocean wildlife with a performance by Circo Rum Ba Ba and their 50ft inflatable whale in the Guildhall Square, to remembering experiences of the pandemic through a multitude of art across the City.

Erica Smith the Festival Director “This year’s Ports Fest felt very different in lots of ways, but the vibe was incredibly powerful. We have had some amazing feedback about our events this year and so many people saying it is the first time they have been able to see live performance in so long. I am incredibly happy that we were able to go ahead and that’s with great thanks to our sponsors and partners who have supported us this year”.

Ports Fest 2022 will run between 30th June to 3rd July 2022.

Find out more about our ongoing vision at

SouthDowns Camerata Concert at St Mary’s, Liss

It’s what we’ve all been waiting for: the return of concerts to enjoy, after 15 months of restrictions.

Our resident group, SouthDowns Camerata, will perform Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 (the Antiques Roadshow one) and Dvorak’s String Serenade at 4pm on Sunday, 18th July in St Mary’s Church, Liss.

Admission is FREE and there will be a collection as you leave.

As some Covid restrictions will still be in force, please would you RESERVE a seat by visiting the St Mary’s Church website. There’s a link  below.

The consolation of Bach at the Festival of Chichester

Pure, cathartic, reflective, they are also fantasy and adventure – and for cellist Pavlos Carvalho they have been an essential companion in life and even more so during the pandemic.

Pavlos is delighted to be returning to the Festival of Chichester once again this year to offer a concert of Bach Cello Suites. His solo recital will be in St Paul’s Church and Parish Centre on July 5 at 1pm.

As Pavlos says, the beauty and the perpetual sense of discovery that these solo cello suites bring with every performance have never ceased to capture the imagination of performers and listeners alike throughout the 300 years since they were composed.

Read more at the link below.

The sun will be shining as Ports Fest 2021 gets going

Ports Fest starts today for three days of music, art, talks, and workshops, providing something for everyone.

This year, we are delighted to be able to offer you a reduced but varied programme to suit the current climate, featuring Covid safe outdoor, online, and free events. If you are hoping to seek out some artistic and cultural stimulation this summer, we hope that Ports Fest 2021 will be your starting point today!

The festival kicks off today with several events for Portsmouth schools, including an online live talk from former children’s laureate Michael Rosen, and an opportunity for pupils to grapple with our theme by debating whether we should reset to normality after COVID-19. In the evening, we will welcome Slapstick Picnic to the beautiful gardens of Portsmouth Museum for a reimagining of The Importance of Being Earnest, as well as host the face of the 2021 sea shanty revival, The Longest Johns, for the start of our outdoors concerts.

Saturday morning will see Art Space Portsmouth opening their 33 artists’ studios and renowned gallery, after which visitors might like to wander over to Portsmouth Cathedral for their annual ‘Seafood on the Green’ rustic picnic lunch and also pop inside to the exhibition by local school children, who have been creating giant 3D jigsaw pieces of their community for Portsmouth Our Place. Circo Rum Ba Ba will take over the Guildhall Square with an enormous inflatable sperm whale for their interactive theatre production about protecting the seas and resetting the planet.

Saturday evening will see a musical extravaganza, featuring Duncan Sandilands from vocal quartet G4 as both host and performer.

Ports Fest 2021 will go out with a bang on Sunday evening, with the London Mozart Players closing our concert series, and an open-air film screening of the documentary Drop City.

More details of all these, and many, many more events can be found on our website We cannot wait to see you there! Tickets are selling fast, and we can’t guarantee on the door ticket sales so to pre book or call our box office on 0333 666 3366.

Ports Fest 2021 will run between Friday 2nd and Sunday 4th July.

Find out more about Ports Fest 2021 at


Exciting Festival of Chichester music series at the University

After the most frustrating and difficult of years, musicians at the University of Chichester will be getting the showcase they deserve as a new festival within the festival at this year’s Festival of Chichester.

The University of Chichester Conservatoire Summer season will bring together around 200 music students to give them some of the performance opportunities they have missed out on during the pandemic.

It is being organised by the University of Chichester’s head of orchestral studies Crispin Ward.

Events will be under the Giant Festival Canopy with the audience on the University’s Festival Field. Tickets through the Festival of Chichester.

Relates to:
Piers Adams with Orbita Baroque Orchestra, Sat 27 June
Acis and Galatea, Tues 30 June
Bond is Back: The Spectre Orchestra Play Bond, Fri 2 July

Read more at the link below.

Battleship Potemkin – the greatest film ever made?

Battleship Potemkin will be screened, in full, at the University’s Chichester Campus, in the Showroom on 25 June (was to be 5 March) at 7:30pm with a short introduction by Crispin Ward. The orchestral soundtrack uses a virtual orchestra of computer samples.

In 1925 Sergei Eisenstein was commissioned to produce a film celebrating the 20 years anniversary of the 1905 pre-revolution in Russia. His masterpiece, Battleship Potemkin, has become a cinematographic icon and remains one of the most influential films ever made.

The story follows the sailors of the Battleship Potemkin and their mutiny against the cruel captain and his sadistic officers. One of the most famous scenes, the massacre in Odesa, during which the baby carriage tumbles down the steps, has been much quoted by subsequent film-makers.

Eisenstein developed his theories of montage during the shooting of Potemkin, which are still to be seen in film making technique today. The quick-moving shots create a rhythm and tension that catapult the action forward and even today the exhilaration and excitement can be felt despite the fact it is shot in black and white, with no sound.

Crispin Ward, Senior Lecturer in Orchestral Studies at the University of Chichester Conservatoire, has had an obsession with the film for 30 years. He suggested a screening as part of the 1996 Southwark Festival on HMS Belfast. Even then he wanted a new musical score to be produced. Eisenstein himself had suggested that a new score might be produced every 20 years or so to keep the film fresh. “I have never been satisfied with the music put to Potemkin. The premier, at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, was shown to Tchaikovsky and Beethoven.”
For the Berlin premiere in 1926 a bespoke score for small orchestra was commissioned and Edmund Meisel wrote an ambitious and effective accompaniment. Later offerings by various other composers, including a patchwork of the music of Shostakovich, have had varying degrees of success.

Over the past 25 years, Crispin has built a strong musical relationship with Eastern Europe, conducting in Russia, Ukraine and Moldova on many occasions. He believes that his in-depth knowledge of East European orchestral music puts him in a strong position to understand what is needed in the composition of a new and innovative score for this masterpiece.

The Organ Project: Organ Recital Series – Anthony Froggatt

Our 2021 monthly Organ Recital series continues with a LIVE recital given by Anthony Froggatt on 1 July.

Anthony Froggatt is a former Organist and Master of the Choristers at Portsmouth Cathedral, having previously started his cathedral career as Sub-Organist at Guildford Cathedral. At Portsmouth, over a period of thirteen years, he made many television and radio broadcasts with the choir and several highly acclaimed recordings.

He has given recitals in many British cathedrals, including St. Paul’s, St. Alban’s, Southwark, Coventry and York Minster, and is a percussionist with Southern Pro Musica. He has examined in many countries worldwide for ABRSM, most recently to Singapore and the USA. In 2000 and 2007 he directed the choir at Magdalen College, Oxford, as Acting Organist.

He has recorded two popular albums of organ and violin music with the Japanese violinist, Fuminori Shinozaki, on the Akane label. The first, Resonate Eternally, in Chichester Cathedral, and the second, Flourish Eternally, in Magdalen College Chapel, Oxford.

Please do join us in-person at St Mary’s Church, Portsea, and enjoy the opportunity to hear Anthony perform on our temporary digital organ, installed to support worship and recitals during the historic restoration of our 1889 J.W. Walker & Sons pipe organ.

Book your FREE ticket online now:

Ports Fest 2021 Goes Live on 2-4 July – It’s Time to Remember, Reimagine, Reset

From 2– 4 July, Ports Fest will invite audiences to Remember, Reimagine, Reset with a festival of music, art, talks, and workshops, providing something for everyone.

Ports Fest is Portsmouth’s most established annual curated multi-arts festival. This year, we are delighted to be able to offer you a reduced but varied programme to suit the current climate, featuring outdoor, online, and free events. If you are hoping to seek out some artistic and cultural stimulation this summer, we hope that Ports Fest 2021 will be your starting point!

The festival kicks off on Friday 2nd July with several events for Portsmouth schools, including an online live talk from former children’s laureate Michael Rosen, and an opportunity for pupils to grapple with our theme of Remember, Reimagine, Reset by debating whether we should reset to normality after COVID-19. In the evening, we will welcome Slapstick Picnic to the beautiful gardens of Portsmouth Museum for a reimagining of The Importance of Being Earnest, as well as host the face of the 2021 sea shanty revival, The Longest Johns, for a concert in the PGS Quad.

Saturday morning will see Art Space Portsmouth opening their 33 artists’ studios and renowned gallery, after which visitors might like to wander over to Portsmouth Cathedral for their annual ‘Seafood on the Green’ rustic picnic lunch. In the afternoon, the author and journalist Will Self will be giving a live talk, whilst Circo Rum Ba Ba will take over the Guildhall Square with an enormous inflatable sperm whale for their interactive theatre production about protecting the seas and resetting the planet. Saturday evening will see a musical extravaganza, featuring Duncan Sandilands from vocal quartet G4 as both host and performer.

On Sunday, visitors might like to make the most of our many events running throughout the festival, such as the thought-provoking exhibition, In Search of Chemozoa at Aspex Gallery. Later, television presenter Michaela Strachan will join us live from South Africa to talk about her work spanning over three decades.

Ports Fest 2021 will go out with a bang on Sunday evening, with the London Mozart Players closing our concert series, and an open-air film screening of the documentary Drop City.

More details of all these, and many, many more events can be found on our website, We can’t wait to see you there!

Tickets go on sale Monday 24 May.

Read a review of Ports Fest.

Chichester Music Society: Tanya Ursova (piano) & Anna Gorbachyova (soprano)

I am delighted to confirm that our next event with Anna Gorbachyova-Ogilvie (soprano) and Tanya Ursova (piano) will be going ahead as planned on Wednesday 9th June at 7.30pm.

As previously advised, arrangements have been made to live stream the concert in the University Chapel. The event will take place before a socially distanced audience in line with current UK Government regulations. Current regulations mean that all those intending to come to the concert will need to book in advance. Members will be given priority and should email Elizabeth Brooks (or phone her using the mobile number below) as soon as possible. Friends and visitors may book seats at £15 and payment in advance will be required using direct bank transfer wherever possible. It will not be possible to purchase tickets at the door. Seats may be limited and will be allocated on a ‘first come, first served’ basis.

To reserve seats/purchase tickets please contact:

Elizabeth Brooks (Membership Secretary)
Phone: 07973 410407

Once again the livestream 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 livestream 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 and once you have linked onto the site, no further action is required.

I do hope that you will enjoy this live-streamed event, which will be recorded and be available on ‘chiplayer’ for the following 4 weeks.

Chantry Quire: There is Sweet Music – cancelled


Celebrating the return to live performance with a programme of madrigals, motets and partsongs, from Byrd and Morley, via Finzi and Vaughan Williams to Skempton and MacMillan.

Saturday 3rd July, 7.30 pm

St Mary’s Church, Causeway, Horsham RH12 1HE

Tickets £12; programmes free. Book online via, or email or phone 01243 779707 to reserve.

Chantry Quire is looking to recruit two basses in time for this concert.

Angelina Kopyrina: Rachmaninov Lecture Recital

Angelina Kopyrina presents a lecture-recital on Rachmaninov’s first piano sonata in D minor, op.28, its history, background and influences on Thursday 13 May 2021 at 7.30pm.

She plays Rachmaninov’s Piano Sonatas on Tuesday 11 May.

Click the link below then.

Portsmouth Chamber Music Series: a virtual May festival

We end our rather sorry 2020-21 chamber music season on a slightly brighter note!

You may know that our concerts are made possible by Sheffield-based Music in the Round, which each year hosts a May Festival. This year, for the usual reason, it has to be a virtual one, but this has allowed us to team up with them and offer our Doric Quartet concert as part of it. It will be a different (shorter) programme, but will be ‘live’ from the Guildhall, at 7pm (note early starting time) on Wednesday 12th May. It will be free to watch, though donations are encouraged.
Those unable to watch it ‘live’ will be able to watch any time up until the end of May.

For more information, please see the link below, and for the whole festival programme, all of which you can watch, please open this document (0.2 MB PDF): 70 MitR May Festival

We are still hoping that our postponed Ensemble 360 concert scheduled for Monday 14th June, will be able to go ahead not just ‘live’, but with lots of you in attendance. We are fortunate that the very large size of the auditorium means that social distancing is easy to organise. Tickets will be unreserved at the point of booking, but I will subsequently allocate seating together with the box office staff.

For booking and programme details please see below. The box office is open for in-person bookings, or you can phone 023 9387 0200.

Angela Zanders: a new online “Music in England” course

Angela Zanders (B.Mus., L.T.C.L.) is setting up a new online music appreciation course entitled ‘Music in England’ starting on 19 April 2021.

I have been lecturing in Music Appreciation for over 30 years and take great pleasure in bringing classical music alive for those with little or no knowledge of it, setting composers and musical performances in their historical context and reading contemporary accounts of musical life and personalities. My aim is to provide greater knowledge and appreciation of the music people enjoy listening to, and I use PowerPoint slides as well as audio and video examples to illustrate my talks.

My new course, ‘Music in England’, will trace the music of both native and foreign composers over the centuries, highlighting the different sacred and secular contexts in which music was composed, produced and performed.

The course takes place on zoom over 10 weeks on a Monday afternoon or a Wednesday morning and is open to anyone who is interested to know more on the subject. Please see the flyer below for more details of dates and fees and please do not hesitate to contact me with any queries.

Angela Zanders Music in England course

Mondays 16.00 – 17.30 GMT
April 19th, 26th; May 10th, 17th, 24th; June 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th; July 5th


Wednesdays 10.00 – 11.30 GMT
April 21st, 28th; May 12th, 19th, 26th; June 9th, 16th, 23rd, 30th; July 7th

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.

Pianist Maria Luc offers Chichester Cathedral recital

Maria Luc, who usually plays regularly at Chichester Cathedral, has come back to record the last concert of Chichester Cathedral’s lunchtime concert series after almost a year of silence.

Maria is delighted to be back in the cathedral with a programme of the complete Chopin Preludes Op.28 on a Yamaha grand piano on Tuesday 23 March at 1300.

“Although the concert is online, the video depicts the wonderful interiors of the Cathedral. The video will also be able to view after the premiere alongside previous concerts on the Chichester Cathedral Live YouTube Channel.”

Read more at the link below.

The Organ Project: Organ Recital Series – Chris Milburn

Our 2021 monthly Organ Recital series continues with a LIVE virtual recital given by Chris Milburn on 15 April.

Chris Milburn first played an organ at the age of 8 and was hooked, first playing for a church service at 9. He was the full time church organist for St Bridget’s, Brean, by the age of 10. Chris continued in this role until going to university.

Chris was lucky enough to later learn on Wells Cathedral Organ, quickly finding that you could bribe vergers (with cake) to lock you in the cathedral for an hour or so in the evening. Chris continued to play whilst at university and found it was a great source of Sunday lunches with the church locals!

Chris spent his industrial year at ARE Portsdown and joined the choir of St Mary’s Church, Portsea. He also played for several services and most of the weddings during that year, and still gets invited to play for the odd service which is a great privilege. Chris is looking forward to entertaining a remote crowd with an unconventional repertoire at this organ recital!

Please do join us online LIVE and enjoy the opportunity to hear an alternative soundscape from our temporary digital organ, installed to support worship during the interregnum of our J.W. Walker & Sons pipe organ.

Watch the recital online at 7.30pm on 15 April.
Don’t forget to view our restoration photo gallery online here *updated weekly*:


Chantry Quire Passiontide Meditation 30 March 2021

For several years now the Chantry Quire has performed an annual Passiontide Meditation – a programme of music and thought-provoking readings – in Boxgrove Priory.

The concert has been sponsored by Rathbones, which has enabled us to give the proceeds to support the Aldingbourne Trust, a local charity that does remarkable work with young disabled people; over the years the choir has raised over £5000 for the Trust.  As those of you who have attended previous performances will recall, we have always included a short presentation from a member of Aldingbourne’s staff, and from one of their young clients themselves, to remind us what it’s all about. We feel a special connection with the Trust as the mother of two of our singers was instrumental in setting it up.

But of course Covid-19 has changed everything.  We had to cancel last year’s concert, and we won’t be able to perform this year’s either – or not in the normal way.   We did, however, want to honour our commitment both to Aldingbourne and to Boxgrove.  So our musical director, Peter Allwood, came up with the idea of performing a rather shorter programme of music and readings, which we would all record separately at home, and then have combined – by technical wizardry – into a single video concert.

We are giving it our best efforts: learning the music, following the guide tracks pre-recorded by a group of four young soloists at the beginning of their careers so as to get our timing exactly right, and then recording ourselves at home.  It feels very strange, but it is still wonderful to get back singing together, even if virtually.

This all costs money, of course – the soloists, the musical director and the video producer all need to be paid.  So we appealed to everyone we could think of for help, and the response was amazing!  In fact, we have raised more than we needed, from more than 30 different sponsors – local companies, friends and family, choir members past and present …   We are so grateful to everyone who has helped to make our video dream a reality.

The video will actually be launched at 6pm on the Tuesday of Holy Week, 30th March.  You will be able to access it via the Chantry Quire website, so do please watch it, either then or later – it will remain freely available.  It will include a short introduction from Aldingbourne, and viewers will of course be warmly encouraged to make a generous donation to the Trust.  You may even spot – among the postage-stamp-sized faces – a few faces you recognise!

Chichester Cathedral lunchtime concerts resume

At 1pm on Tuesday 23rd February, Chichester Cathedral’s weekly lunchtime concert series will resume, online, for five weeks. Details of programmes and performers can be found on the cathedral website or by downloading the Chichester Cathedral spring 2021 lunchtime programme.

Each concert will be preceded by a short talk on the programme led by the Cathedral’s assistant organist Tim Ravalde. You can register for these by following this link: Register for pre-concert talks on Zoom.

Future concerts:
Tuesday 23 February, 1.00pm – Charles Harrison, organ – watch this on YouTube
Tuesday 2 March 2021, 1.00pm – Tim Ravalde, organ – watch this on YouTube
Tuesday 9 March 2021, 1.00pm – David Alexander, piano – watch the pre-concert talk and watch the recital
Tuesday 16 March 2021, 1.00pm – Louise Salmond Smith, recorder, and Charles Harrison, piano – watch the pre-concert talk by Louise and watch the recital
Tuesday 23 March 2021, 1.00pm – Maria Luc, piano

Tim says, “We look forward to welcoming our community and beyond back to the Cathedral’s Nave for the irreplaceable experience of enjoying live music in person. Until then, we invite you to join us online for music by Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Debussy, Franck, Handel, Liszt, Mendelssohn, Telemann, Widor and more.”

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.

St Richard Singers: Virtual Come & Sing Stainer’s Crucifixion

Here we are in a New Year with new challenges, almost a full year after we entered the first national lockdown! Things are definitely looking up now with vaccines available and some of you possibly having received a first dose. Unfortunately, in-person gatherings and concert performances appear still some way off. However, we have a treat for you this Lent.

Last year we planned a ‘Come & Sing’ with Stainer’s Crucifixion at the end of March. It had to be called off to everyone’s disappointment just a few weeks before the event. Having sampled the possibilities, and indeed opportunities, which virtual music-making has to offer with our Christmas Carols project (now up on our very own YouTube channel), we would like to invite you to our first Virtual Come & Sing Stainer’s Crucifixion.

If you wish to be part of this project, and enjoy singing a few familiar pieces of great music, please head to our website for more information and payment details.

For £5 you can join SRS for this Virtual Performance of some pieces from Stainer’s ever-popular work in your own time and at your own pace. Please encourage others to join in, as we are no longer limited by time and space.

The edited “performance” will be released online on Palm Sunday, 28 March, exactly a year after the original planned event would have taken place. Once your payment has been received (BACS or cheque) the resources and instructions will be made available to you. Any profits will go to Parkinson’s Disease Association.

Think of the finished product as a TV programme that features yourself which you can re-play and re-play, and which will thrill & impress family & friends the world over.

If you have any question prior to booking, please use the contact form on our website. Please also revisit our website for further updates regarding the Festival of Chichester 2021.

We hope to “see” you at our virtual Come & Sing. Stay Safe and Keep Singing!

Read about Sachin Gunga, MD of St Richard Singers.

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!

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