Tuesday, 11 February 2020

Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective makes its Wigmore Hall debut

Kaleidescope Chamber Collective - Mark Simpson (clarinet), Amy Harman (bassoon), Alec Frank-Gemmill (horn), Elena Urioste (violin), Juan-Miguel Hernandez (viola), Laura van der Heijden (cello), Joseph Conyers (bass), Tom Poster (piano).
Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective - Mark Simpson (clarinet), Amy Harman (bassoon), Alec Frank-Gemmill (horn), Elena Urioste (violin), Juan-Miguel Hernandez (viola), Laura van der Heijden (cello), Joseph Conyers (bass), Tom Poster (piano).
Musicians are a diverse lot but the classical music concert as a genre has a tendency to shoe-horn everyone into the same mould and despite the best intentions audiences can still come out feeling that the concert was a celebration of dead white men. The Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective was founded in 2017 by pianist Tom Poster and violinist Elena Urioste 'to bring wonderful musicians together to perform in new and varied combinations, but with a specific and ardent commitment to celebrating diversity of as many forms as possible - of nationality, skin colour, gender, orientation, age and social background.'

The group is making its Wigmore Hall debut this week, bringing its own particular brand of energy to a pair of concerts on 14 and 15 February 2020. Part of the ensemble's raison d'être is to bring together musicians who are known in their own right, to harness a whole variety of individual energies, so the line up for this week's concerts features two former winners of BBC Young Musician of the Year, and four former BBC New Generation Artists, whilst clarinettist Mark Simpson has almost become better known for his compositional activities.

The two programmes give us music for a diverse range of combinations, from two to eight. The programming is admittedly on the conservative side, but who wouldn't want to explore the range of classical chamber music when making your Wigmore Hall debut.

On Friday we get Richard Strauss, Fanny Mendelssohn, Robert Schumann, Mikhail Glinka and Schubert. Yes, there is the Trout Quintet but also a trio by Glinka, a composer whose chamber music is still not reaching the parts it should, a lesser known piece of Schumann, his Adagio and Allegro for horn and piano, a cello and piano piece by Fanny Mendelssohn and of course the delightful chamber version of Til Eulenspiegel.

Then on Saturday, its Mozart's Bassoon Quartet (no, he did actually write one but he ought to have done, this is an arrangement of the Bassoon Sonata), Beethoven's Septet and Dohnanyi's Sextet (a work which seems to be beloved of chamber musicians but less well known by audiences).

The line-up for the two concerts is Mark Simpson (clarinet), Amy Harman (bassoon), Alec Frank-Gemmill (horn), Elena Urioste (violin), Juan-Miguel Hernandez (viola), Laura van der Heijden (cello), Joseph Conyers (bass), and Tom Poster (piano). All young, each well worth hearing in their own right. We look forward to a pair of evenings of vibrant music making.

Further information from the Kaleidescope website.

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