Wednesday 20 October 2021

Highgate International Chamber Music Festival: Suk, Coleridge-Taylor, Messiaen, Kahn, Weinberg, Mendelssohn-Hensel and more

Highgate International Chamber Music Festival

The Highgate International Chamber Music Festival is returning for a weekend of live performances in St Anne's Church, Highgate West Hill, from 3 to 6 December 2021. Performers for the weekend include Alina Ibragimova, Julian Bliss, Isata Kanneh-Mason, Nicholas Daniel, Robert Cohen, Alec Frank-Gemmill, and Wu Qian plus festival directors Ashok Klouda, Natalie Klouda and Irina Botan.

Works in the programme include Josef Suk's Elegie for piano trio in D flat major, Coleridge-Taylor’s Quintet in F-sharp minor for Clarinet and Strings, Op.10, Messiaen's Quartet for the End of Time, Eleanor Alberga's Remember,  a programme of neglected music by composers of Jewish birth with works by Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel, Mieczyslaw Weinberg and Robert Kahn.

Born into a German-Jewish family of bankers, Robert Kahn studied with Joseph Rheinberger and became friends with Johannes Brahms, whose music was a big influence on Kahn. He was forced to flee Germany in the 1939, when he was 73, and he settled in the UK and his music was almost entirely forgotten. In fact, I have a very, very distant personal connection with Kahn as a singer friend is one of his great grand children and so I have heard a number of Kahn's songs over the years. The festival will be performing his Quintet in C minor, Op. 54 for clarinet, horn, violin, cello and piano which dates from 1911.

A new version of Prokofiev’s Flute Sonata in D, Op.94 arranged for oboe, cello and piano will be performed by Nicholas Daniel, Ashok Klouda and Isata Kanneh-Mason.

The festival is also proud to resume its Young Artists scheme this season. The scheme provides one selected ensemble with coaching from leading chamber musicians, a performance in the main festival and professional quality video recording of their performance, masterclasses with world renowned musicians, and a series of coaching sessions from Matthew Sharp on developing their own workshop-concerts for primary schools. The scheme resumes in early 2022 with the festival 2019 young artists, the Salomé Quartet receiving the remainder of their coaching, masterclasses and workshop experience.

Concerts are all 60 to 75 minutes without an interview, full details from the festival website

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