|Vladimir Jurowski & the London Philharmonic Orchestra at Saffron Hall - photo Roger King|
The 2016-17 season will be opened by Vladimir Jurowski and the London Philharmonic Orchestra, with violinist Nicola Benedetti. The LPO is one of a number of major groups who are returning to play at the hall, and the season also sees the return of the English Concert directed by Rachel Podger. Other major groups include Edward Gardner and the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra whose programme includes Leonard Elschenbroich performing Elgar’s Cello Concerto, plus Yurki Temirkanov and the St Peterburg Philharmonic Orchestra who will be joined by Nikolai Lugansky in Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on the theme of Paganini. Paul McCreesh and the Gabrieli Consort will make their Saffron Hall debut with Bach’s Easter Oratorio.
As the hall is based within Saffron Walden County High School, Education plays a large part in the hall’s programme, so that Nicola Benedetti doesn’t just perform but works with the local school children. Last season as a result of one of her sessions she inspired a group of children to work on with the hall sponsoring them for lessons. Whilst Gabrieli are at the hall there will be a project with Gabrieli Roar which hopes to get the entire school singing!
|Britten Sinfonia at Saffron Hall - photo Roger King|
On a smaller scale there are recitals by Stephen Hough, Gerald Finley & Antonio Pappano, Anne Sofie von Otter, and Sir Andras Schiff. Sir Willard White and the Brodsky Quartet will be paying tribute to Frank Sinatra and the Hollywood Quartet, whilst Madeleine Peyroux heralds a jazz and contemporary programme which is to be announced later this year. Young artist recitals are by Sean Shibe, Lous Schwizgebel, Laura van der Heijden and Richard Uttley.
Opera makes a strong showing during the season. The local Saffron Opera Group, having got Wagner’s Das Rheingold under its belt, moves on to Die Walkure and Siegfried in concert, whilst English Touring Opera (ETO) is bringing their staged performances of Cavalli’s La Calisto, Handel’s Xerxes and Monteverdi’s Ulysses Homecoming. ETO will also be performing Bach’s St John Passion with three local choirs. Another departure will be dance, and the hall’s first dance project will be announced later this year.
What is especially important is that the hall is developing its own particular identity with distinctive programming which doesn't just echo that available elsewhere. Especially notable is the way major ensembles are happy to come to the hall, thanks to its sympathetic and flexible acoustics, and particular cachet comes from the events which do not travel to one of the hall's big brothers in London.
The hall was built thanks to the generosity of the Yellow Car Trust, and the trust has also been supporting the hall’s programme. This support comes to an end at the end of the 2016-17 season, when they will be reliant on other channels of support so it is good to see that the hall's strong programming is already gaining good local support.
Full details of Saffron Hall's 2016-17 season from the hall's website
Elsewhere on this blog:
- Beethoven, Dvorak & a constellation: Trio Celeste - CD review
- Strongly characterised: new music by Reiko Füting - CD review
- Intimate charm: Handel's Acis and Galatea - Concert review
- Impressive achievement, vibrant sound: Elgar's Symphony No. 1 from Trinity Laban Symphony Orchestra and members of WNO Orchesta, conductor George Jackson - concert review
- The delight of having both: Mendelssohn & Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream at Middle Temple Hall - theatre review
- Much to admire: ENO season launch - new article
- Finely sung: Folk song of the British Isles from the Armonico Consort - CD review
- Engaging enchantment: Ensemble Pygmalion's Rheinmädchen - CD review
- Highly engaging: The Sixteen in Monteverdi's 1650 collection - CD review
- Remarkable rediscovery: Classical Opera in Jommelli's Il Vologeso - Opera review
- Passionate intensity: Schnittke's Penitential Psalms - CD review
- Sheer brilliance: Charles Owen & Katya Apkeisheva in Stravinsky's Rite of Spring at Rhinegold Live - concert review