Classical Music Round-Up for November 2016 – Lewes, East Sussex

November is often a dark and brooding month, summer just a fond memory as we slouch resignedly towards winter. But soprano Briony Lambert and pianist Nicholas Houghton are presenting a recital of 20th Century songs that could go a long way towards helping you mitigate the month’s melancholia. Benjamin Britten’s Folksong Arrangements interestingly were written entirely while he was on a visit to America between 1939 and 1942. They might more accurately be described as compositions rather than arrangements, as the piano provides not an accompaniment to the song but another voice entirely. Evening, Morning, Night, also by Britten is a short song cycle originally written as incidental music for a play. Samuel Barber’s Hermit Songs, written during the 1950s, are settings of thoughts and observations by Irish monks from medieval times. These texts were, more often than not, private marginalia and were not meant to see the light of day––some profane, some deeply religious. Barber’s music is at once brilliant, melodic and accessible.
Sun 6, 3pm, St Michael’s Church, free with retiring collection

Since Brahms wrote Ein Deutsches Requiem for the living, not the dead, it’s perhaps an uplifting work to immerse yourself in at this time of year. The Brighton Festival Chorus will perform this great masterpiece along with another of Brahms’ choral works, Schicksalslied (Song of Destiny), a setting of a poem by Friedrich Hölderlin, one of Germany’s finest Romantic poets. Though much shorter than the Requiem, it is considered by many to be its equal in sheer musical brilliance. The soloists will be soprano Sarah Tynan and baritone Leigh Melrose and the Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by James Morgan.
Sun 6, 2:45pm, Brighton Dome, £12-37,

The Corelli Ensemble continues its “Festival of Finzi” with the Corelli Suite for strings in D minor, Bach’s Oboe Concerto (featuring soloist Owen Dennis), Finzi’s Romance for String Orchestra and Saint-Saens Rondo Cappriccioso which will feature solo violinist, Maeve Jenkinson.
Sun 6, 4pm, Cross Way Church, Seaford, £10-12,

20th century British a cappella choral works are on the bill for the Esterhazy Chamber Choir, offering Herbert Howell’s Requiem, Hubert Parry‘s Songs of Farewell, and music of the late John Tavener, including the Song for Athene, which featured in the funeral service of Diana, Princess of Wales. Their conductor will be Richard Dawson.
Sat 19, 7:30pm, St Michaels Church, £10-12, under 16s free,

Musicians of All Saints, conducted by Andrew Sherwood, will perform Vivaldi’s Concerto in A minor (solo bassoonist Ian Glen), a premiere performance of Ian Morgan Williams’ Some Easy Music, Barry Mills Nocturnal Landscapes and Bright Morning Star for Violin and Strings, (violinist Christopher Phipps) and Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings.
Sat 19, 7:45pm, All Saints Centre, £12 & 9, children free

As a final note, we’re pleased to hear that the Lewes Chamber Music Festival have given us their dates for 2017–– they are 23, 24 & 25 of June. There will also be an LCMF Christmas Concert on 16 December at St Michael’s Church.

Paul Austin Kelly

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1st July, Town Hall – South Downs Youth Orchestra

(Photo by Ron Hill)

East Sussex Youth Orchestra (Photo by Ron Hill)

East Sussex MUSIC Concert

South Downs Youth Orchestra
Leader: Tess Angus
Conductor: Malcolm Warnes
Overture to Prince Igor – Alexander Borodin
Concerto for Trumpet – Alexander Arutiunian – Solist: Harry Plant (ESAM student in his final year)
Scherezade Op 35 – Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Friday 1st. July 2016,  7:30pm

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2 July – Eastbourne Choral Society perform Puccini’s Messa di Gloria

messa di posterJoin the Eastbourne Choral Society, and director John Hancorn, for a glorious evening of music, including Puccini’s Messa di Gloria, and Poulenc’s Gloria
The choir will be ably accompanied by the Eastbourne Sinfonia, and joined by soloists Rachel Shouksmith (soprano), Paul Austin Kelly (tenor) and Geoffrey Moses (bass).

Saturday, 2 July – 7:30pm

Tickets: £12, available from Tourist Information Centre or at the door

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Foundry Gallery has its last concert––The Phoenix Cantata

The Everyman Ensemble

The Everyman Ensemble

The Phoenix Cantata – Written and composed by Helen Glavin

An evening of music from the large scale choral work originally inspired by the
Phoenix Ironworks in Lewes. Local choirs The Everyman Ensemble – musical
director John Hancorn, the Paddock Singers – musical director Ruth Kerr,
violinist Susan Moate and soloists will perform selected evocative pieces
introduced by composer Helen Glavin. The Cantata pays tribute to the
Ironworks and the people who worked there.

Friday July 1 8pm – Tickets £10/£8
Tickets from Lewes Tourist Information Office or on the door.


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Glorious Baroque Concertos with the Corelli Ensemble

Maeve Jenkinson

Maeve Jenkinson

On Sunday 8th May at St Pancras Church in Lewes, the Corelli Ensemble will be performing a wonderful concert of Baroque concertos, including Albinoni‘s hauntingly beautiful Oboe concerto. The concert begins at 4pm.

Maeve Jenkinson, Musical Director of the Corelli Ensemble, will play the gorgeous E major violin concerto by Bach, and there will be a spotlight on the viola as Stephen Giles and Simon Smith team up to perform Telemann‘s Concerto for Two Violas. Finally, all the members of the Corelli Ensemble will be soloists in Bach‘s magnificent Brandenburg concerto no. 3.

Tickets on the door are priced at £12. However, to book an advanced ticket of £10 please email or visit . Under 18’s are free! At our recent concert in Seaford we unfortunately sold out of tickets the day before the concert, so please reserve your tickets now to avoid disappointment. Advanced tickets must be booked before 12noon on the day of the concert.

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More on the Lewes Festival of Song, 2016

Soprano Mary Plazas

Soprano Mary Plazas

Lewes Festival of Song 2016 comes into bloom again from Friday 1st to Sunday 3rd July at St. Anne’s Church in Lewes.

There are five concerts and many different genres. Russian, American and English songs, Spanish Canciones and French chansons. Well -loved repertoire from England at the beginning of the twentieth century, and a contemporary American song-cycle. Acclaimed recitalists and highly talented younger artists. An à cappella choir, songs accompanied by strings, and three voice and piano duos.

Friday 1st July at 6pm – ‘Strings in the earth and air’
Three young singers on the brink of their careers from the Royal College of Music collaborate with the wonderful string players of Ensemble Reza in a programme of Holst, Vaughan Williams, Barber, Rebecca Clarke and Butterworth, including Dover Beach and On Wenlock Edge.

Alice Privett & Chad Vindin (picture by Robert Piwko)

Alice Privett & Chad Vindin
(picture by Robert Piwko)

Saturday 2nd July at noon – ‘Despite and still’
Accomplished duo and finalists at last year’s Kathleen Ferrier competition, soprano Alice Privett and pianist Chad Vindin ( a Fellow at the RCM), perform a richly coloured French and American programme of Messiaen, Ravel, Barber and John Harbison.

a voice of velvet and steel’, ‘exquisitely tender, silky phrasing

Saturday 2nd July at 7.30pm – ‘None but the lonely heart’
Latvian-born baritone Pauls Putnins ( of Jonathan Miller’s La Bohème, ENO; performances for GFO and Garsington and well-known to local audiences), is

Pauls Putnins (credit Hanya Chlala)

Pauls Putnins (credit Hanya Chlala)

accompanied by myself. We present an all-Russian programme, with songs by Tchaikovsky, Borodin and Rachmaninov, a set of C20th songs by Sviridov and a plunge into the depths with Mussorgsky’s extraordinary ballads ‘Songs and dances of death’.

‘beautifully mellifluous voice’ ‘dramatically compelling’ ‘distinctive – his voice shone’

Sunday 3rd July at 3pm – ‘à cappella flowers and birds’
Conductor John Hancorn and his chamber choir The Baroque Collective Singers  step out of the box to sing unaccompanied choral masterpieces by Britten, Poulenc, Hindemith, Elgar and Parry.

Sunday 3rd July at 6pm – ‘a green chill upon the heat’

Soprano Mary Plazas (leading roles include Butterfly at ENO and Donizetti at Buxton) is accompanied by myself. We warm ourselves by the Mediterranean with Canciones by Spanish composers Obradors and De Falla, and fly west and north with Copland’s settings of extraordinary poems by Emily Dickinson and Britten’s song – cycle On this island.

‘golden voiced’, arrestingly expressive’, ‘remarkable’ ‘ravishing solo’

More details will be on my Facebook page, in publicity around Lewes, and on the St. Anne’s website. Tickets will be available at Lewes Tourist Office.

It will be lovely to see you there!
Nancy Cooley
Artistic Director

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RECITAL: Shona Knight, soprano & Nicola Grunberg, pianist

Soprano, Shona Knight

Soprano, Shona Knight

Their programme will include Mozart’s Alleluia, Schubert’s Gretchen am Spinnrade and The Laughing Song from Strauss’ Die Fledermaus.

Sun 3, St. Michael’s Church, free, retiring collection

Shona Knight, biography:

After growing up in Sussex, Shona Knight studied for a BA(Hons.) in Music at Durham University, graduating in 2013. A choral scholar of St. John’s College in her final year she won a concerto competition to perform Britten’s Soprano Song Cycle Les Illuminations with Durham University Chamber Orchestra before touring the work in Prague.

Shona attended two summer schools in August 2015: Abingdon Summer School for Solo Singers and Ardingly International Music School where she took part in masterclasses with teachers including Robin Bowman, Richard Jackson and Kathryn Harries of the National Opera Studio.

Recent solo performances have included the soprano solos in Handel’s Messiah andL’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato, Haydn’s Paukenmesse, Mendelssohn’s Saint Pauland Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater in Durham Cathedral.

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Concert by Students of East Sussex Academy of Music, Lewes

falmerSaturday 9 April at 5:30pm there will be a concert by students of the East Sussex Academy of Music, Lewes.  It will take place at St. Laurence Church in Falmer.

Harry Plant (Trumpet) –  Alexander Artjunjan: Concerto for Trumpet

Natasza Pomorska (Soprano), Amanda Buckland (Piano)
Durante: Danza Danza fanciulla gentile;
Schubert: Lied der Mignon;
Puccini: O mio babino caro;
Faure: Au bord de l’eau;    Dring: Business Girls

Katie Warren (Clarinet) –
Brahms: Sonata for Clarinet Op.120 No.2. 1stmovement Allegro amabile;
Francois Devienne: Sonata in B flat Op.70 No.1. 2nd movement Adagio
Gerald Finzi: Fughetta from Five Bagatelles Op.23

Stephen Owen (Piano) –   Beethoven: Sonata in C minor (Pathetique) 1stmovement;    Chopin: Nocturne in C sharp minor

Eleri Jones (Soprano) –  Bach: Esurientes implevit bonis from Magnificat
Gluck: O del mio dolce ardour;
Donizetti: La lontananza;
Maconchy: Ophelia’s song;
Menotti: Lullaby from The Consul
Sondheim: The Miller’s Son from A little night music 

Accompanist – Nicholas Houghton

Admission free, retiring collection

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Mezzo-soprano, Pippa Dames-Longworth – The Earth Laughs In Flowers

Pippa Dames-Longworth

Pippa Dames-Longworth

18 March 2016
The Earth Laughs In Flowers

Music Room, Royal Pavilion, Brighton

Celebrate the start of spring with a joyful evening of words and music, with famed mezzo-soprano Pippa Dames-Longworth and Nicholas Bosworth at the piano.

Enjoy pieces by Handel, Fauré, Strauss, Rachmaninov, Joyce Grenfell and Rudyard Kipling, among others, all in the perfect setting of the Pavilion’s lavish Music Room.  During the interval, enjoy a glass of chilled wine in the dazzling State Banqueting Room.

Pippa Dames-Longworth’s career has taken her throughout Europe and beyond. She has sung for The Royal Opera House, English National Opera, Paris Opera, SkyArts, the BBC Proms and the Edinburgh International Festival.

She said: “This recital is about flowers, nature, gardens, love and the arrival of spring. As winter draws to a close I wanted to create a fun programme, which includes music by 14 composers written over three centuries, and words by some of our best-loved poets. There will be songs that people know well and other music that will be a discovery for the audience. The name of the show is taken from Ralph Waldo Emerson’s poem Hamatreya, in which it suggests nature’s supremacy over Man.”

Irresistible gripping theatre, with a vigorously projected  performance from Pippa Dames-Longworth”  The Times

Spellbinding… my annual treat” Peter Florence, Director, Hay-on-Wye Festival

Long spans of concentrated and beautiful singing by Pippa Dames-Longworth” The Independent


Join us for this wonderful event and welcome in the start of spring with a joyful evening of words and music in Brighton’s glorious Royal Pavilion.

Come along to a concert in the palace’s beautiful Music Room with the talented mezzo-soprano Pippa Dames-Longworth accompanied by Nicholas Bosworth at the piano. Be entertained by pieces by Handel, Fauré, Strauss, Rachmaninov, Flanders and Swann, Joyce Grenfell and Rudyard Kipling.  During the interval enjoy a glass of chilled wine in the dazzling State Banqueting Room.  It really doesn’t get any better than this!

Pippa’s career has taken her throughout Europe and beyond. She has sung for The Royal Opera House, The English National Opera, The Paris Opera, for SkyArts, the BBC Proms and for the Edinburgh International Festival.  The Royal Pavilion promises a night of exquisite music hosted in the South of England’s most breath-taking venue….

PERFORMANCE TIME: 8.00pm (Doors 7.30pm)

PRICE: £32.50 (£28.50 Foundation Members) – includes a glass of wine in the State Banqueting Room

Book now at as tickets are selling fast and we are anticipating a sell-out event.

To book telephone: 03000 290 902 oremail


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The Lewes Festival of Song is having its second outing!

Aice Privett & Chad Vindin (photo by Robert Piwko)

Aice Privett & Chad Vindin
(photo by Robert Piwko)

It’s swinging into summer this time, with five concerts from 1st to 3rd July, at St. Anne’s church in Lewes.

The mix of composers stretches from the famous and familiar to the unusual and contemporary. There’s a concert almost entirely with strings and voices, an à cappella choral concert, and three recitals for solo singers with piano.

First up is a collaboration between the wonderful string players of Ensemble Reza and three young singers from the Royal College of Music, in a programme of Holst, Vaughan Williams, Barber and Butterworth, including Dover Beach and On Wenlock Edge.

Finalists at last year’s Kathleen Ferrier competition, Alice Privett and Chad Vindin ( who isa fellow at RCM) perform Messiaen, Ravel, Barber and John Harbison.

Pauls Putnins (Photo by Hanya Chlala)

Pauls Putnins
(Photo by Hanya Chlala)

Accompanied by myself, Pauls Putnins ( Jonathan Miller’s La Bohème, ENO) performs anall -Russian programme, and Mary Plazas (many roles at ROH and ENO) sings Spanishsongs, Copland and Britten’s On this island.

John Hancorn and his choir the Baroque Collective step out of the box to sing Debussy, Britten, Poulenc and the English madrigalists.

More details to come on my facebook page, and watch out for publicity in town.

Nancy Cooley

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