Thursday 19 July 2018

St Marylebone Festival

Lord Byron, one of the local connections celebrated in the St Marylebone Festival
Lord Byron, one of the local connections celebrated
in the St Marylebone Festival
Celebrating both the community and the rich heritage of the area, the St Marylebone Festival runs from 21 to 27 July 2018. Based around St Marylebone Church, the festival's programme has been devised by Festival Artistic Director & Director of Music at St Marylebone Parish Church, Gavin Roberts and The Revd Canon Stephen Evans, Rector of St Marylebone. The festival kicks off on Saturday 22 July with a come and sing event with distinguished composer and choral conductor John Rutter, and on Sunday 22 July there is a festal Eucharist showcasing music by women composers.

Other highlights of the festival include a focus on Marylebone-born Ethel Smyth with contralto Lucy Stevens with pianist Gavin Roberts Grasp the Nettle which tells Smyth's story and showcases her music. There will also be a talk on the composer by Lewis Orchard of the Surrey History Society. James Robinson (tenor), Adam Sullivan (tenor), David Jones (baritone) and Gavin Roberts (piano) will be celebrating the life of Australian pianist Noel Mewton-Wood, who studied at the Royal Academy of Music. Mewton-Wood enjoyed an illustrious performing career and was friends with Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears, but tragically he was to take his own life following the death of his lover William Fredrick.

Another Marylebone connection is Lord Byron, who was baptised in the parish church, and Amanda Pitt (soprano) and Gavin Roberts (piano) will celebrate his legacy with a programme of song and readings. Another resident was RVW, and there is a free screening of the film Scott of the Antarctic for which RVW wrote the music, and Scott features also on James Way (tenor) and Gavin Roberts (piano) Scott and Schubert – A Winter Journey which combines Schubert's Winterreise with readings from Scott's diary.

Jill Kemp, recorders and Claire Williams, harpsichord, present a colourful programme containing many musical delights that may have been heard in the original Pleasure Gardens of Old Marylebone.

Full details from the festival website.

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