THE 2015 Leamington Music Festival Weekend marks the 100th festival organised by Richard Phillips.
This year’s Festival, running from May 1 to 5, will include some of the artists who Festival Director Richard has particularly enjoyed working with over the years, together with some new faces.
The Festival will open with the Fitzwilliam Quartet, who Richard first came into contact in 1971, when the Quartet took up a residency in the University of York. Joined by Anna Tilbrook, they will play Mozart’s Piano Concerto K414 and Shostakovich’s Piano Quintet.
The Festival ends with the Henschel Quartet from Munich, one of Richard’s favourite quartets from the continent. The Henschel Quartet will be joined for the first time by Michael Collins to play the Brahms Clarinet Quintet.
During the Festival Michael is also re-united for a recital with Peter Donohoe, Richard having brought the two together for the first time in Leamington two decades earlier.
It is now nearly 25 years since Richard first met Raphael Wallfisch. Raphael has played some ten concerts in Richard’s festivals and series and comes to Leamington with his recently formed Trio Shaham Erez Wallfisch for two concerts, where they will play all three Brahms piano trios, plus Schubert’s Trio D898.
The vocal element of the Festival is supplied by Roderick Williams performing his First World War programme including a song by William Denis Browne, a Leamington born composer who died at Gallipoli in 1915.
And a concert by baritone Simon Wallfisch will include the premiere of a work by his accompanist Edward Rushton, commissioned by Leamington composer Howard Skempton. The pair will also give a Family Concert – The Singing Cellist.
Celebrating Leamington’s link with Czech music, the Festival welcomes violinist Jana Novakova who will be accompanied by her brother Petr Novak for a concert of Czech music and Schubert.
On the Bank Holiday Monday there is traditionally an organ recital at All Saints Church which is across the road from the Pump Rooms. The recital this year will be given by David Saint, who is retiring as Principal of Birmingham Conservatoire.
The connection reflects the annual Leamington Music Prize which is awarded to students from Birmingham Conservatoire and Richard being made a Hon Fellow of the Conservatoire, for his contribution to music in the Midlands. Richard was also given the Outstanding Contribution to British Arts Festivals Award by the British Arts Festivals Association.
Visit www.leamingtonmusic.org. for full programme details, and www.royalspacentreandtownhall.co.uk for tickets.
* ARMONICO Consort and Baroque Players present a truly magnificent concert at St Mary’s Church in Warwick on Saturday May 9.
They perform Bach’s well-known Magnificat alongside Johann Kuhnau’s lesser-known Magnificat, together with
Charpentier which has been used for decades as the opening music to the Eurovision Song Contest.
Visit www.armonico.org.uk for tickets and further details.
The Festival ends with the Henschel Quartet from Munich, one of Richard’s favourite quartets. (s)