Monday 6 February 2023

Winchester Chamber Music Festival 2023: Huw Watkins as composer-in-residence, plus a new Robin Holloway piece

Huw Watkins (Photo Benjamin Ealovega)
Huw Watkins (Photo Benjamin Ealovega)
The Winchester Chamber Music Festival, artistic director Kate Gould, returns to St Paul's Church, Winchester for a weekend of chamber music and song from 28 April to 1 May 2023. This year, the festival will feature a resident string quartet consisting of David Adams violin, Lucy Gould violin, Rosalind Ventris viola, and Kate Gould cello, as well as visiting artists James Gilchrist tenor, Maia Cabeza  violin, Donald Grant folk violin, James Toll violin/viola, Elliot Kempton viola, Tim Posner cello, Huw Watkins piano/composer-in-residence, and Lumas Winds.

The opening concert features music by Suk, Barber and Beethoven along with the premiere of Huw Watkins' Elegy for violin and piano. Huw Watkins' Piano Quartet is also featured during the weekend and there is a chance to hear Watkins as pianist when he joins with tenor James Gilchrist to perform Schubert's Winterreise. Gilchrist is also the soloist in Vaughan Williams' On Wenlock Edge which is being programmed with Watkins' Piano Quartet and Schubert's Auf dem Strom, for tenor, horn and piano, along with Poulenc's Sextet for piano and winds.

The Saturday evening concert takes things into a different realm, with a session led by folk-fiddler Donald Grant. On the Sunday, there will be Bach's Goldberg Variations in a version for string trio, plus a gala concert at the lovely chapel of St Cross featuring string octets by Shostakovich and Mendelssohn. The festival finale on Monday features the premiere of Robin Holloway's Piano Quintet alongside Mendelssohn's String Quintet.

Before the festival proper, there is a schools' performance, the culmination of the festival's education project led by the Sam Glazer involving local schoolchildren who will devise from scratch and perform their own original songs alongside the festival musicians.

Full details from the festival website.

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