Latest News From Keswick MUSIC SOCIETY
NEWS NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2023
The 2nd concert of our mini Autumn/Winter season, given by Lara Melda, piano, was an absorbing and thrilling evening (see The Concert Reviews Page), and we look forward to hearing Imogen Cooper in the New Year. In February our soon to-be-announced Spring/Summer season of 3 concerts will begin, ending with a glorious evening of opera at The Theatre. Our 2024-25 new format season of subscription concerts will also be announced along with our offering to Members.
NEWS NOVEMBER 2023
On October 28th The Alkyona String Quartet opened our 2023-24 season with a really inspiring concert of Purcell, Haydn, Britten and two new works by Dobrinka Tabakova and Jessie Montgomery. The audience loved it! See the review page for a review of this concert. The next concert in this series will be given on November 25th by the brilliant young pianist Lara Melda with a programme of Beethoven, Liszt, Brahms and Chopin.
We will have to wait until after Christmas – January 13th – to hear Imogen Cooper with Schubert, Bach, Thomas Ades and Beethoven.
NEWS OCTOBER 2023
Good news! The 2023-24 season will begin on Saturday October 28th at St. John’s Church Keswick.
Before the concert at 6pm we will hold the AGM for 2022-23 to which all Members are warmly invited.
The Alkyona String Quartet’s concert will include music by Haydn, Purcell and Britten. Our Steinway piano will be heard again on Saturday November 25th in a concert of Beethoven, Liszt, Brahms and Chopin to be given by the young and brilliant Lara Melda. And again, after Christmas on January 13th we are incredibly pleased to announce that the distinguished and internationally renowned pianist Imogen Cooper will give a concert of music including Schubert, Bach, Thomas Ades and Beethoven.
For details of tickets and membership of the Society, see Membership page.
NEWS AUGUST – SEPTEMBER 2023
The 3 last concerts of the 2022-2023 season were at Theatre by the Lake on March 14th – Bella Tromba – 5 trombones, May 9th, the Brompton String Quartet and June 6th, PIVA the Renaissance Collective in their programme Measure for Measure – see the review page for more details.
As last year, our attempts to have all our concerts at one venue and on convenient days of the week, in spite of all efforts, have not been totally successful. We have not given up, but are preparing our Autumn programme, which as last year will be held at St. John’s Church Keswick, where the Music Society’s Steinway piano still lives.
The planned dates for 2023-2024 are:
- October 28 The Alkyona String Quartet
And then we are thrilled to present two amazing pianists:
- November 25 Lara Melda (programme TBA)
- January 13 Imogen Cooper (programme TBA)
In February we will transfer to Theatre by the Lake, where our provisional dates are:
- February 15 TBA
- February 28 TBA
- March 20 TBA
- June 12 TBA
NEWS APRIL – JUNE 2023
Our spring/summer 2023 season continues at Theatre by the Lake. The next concert is:
Tuesday May 9th 7.30pm The Brompton String Quartet
The Brompton Quartet was the winner of the St. Martin-in-the Fields Chamber Music Competition 2019 and is an up and coming ensemble known for its engaging and dynamic performances. The group is made of four exceptional soloists who have a spark of something very special when they come together.
The last concert of the 2022-2023 season will be:
Tuesday June 6th 7.30pm PIVA
PIVA are 6 musicians, playing the best of Renaissance music on altogether 40 instruments of the period! They will be presenting their popular programme, ‘Measure for Measure’, focusing on the popular dance and ballad music from the late 16th century which would have been familiar to theatre audiences of Shakespeare’s day.
NEWS FEBRUARY – MARCH 2023
After our successful autumn/winter series of 4 concerts at St. John’s Church Keswick, the second half of the 2022-23 season began on February 14th at Theatre by the Lake with an unusual ensemble – violin and guitar.
Harriet Mackenzie (violin) a multi-faceted virtuoso with “captivating, searing intensity and full of panache” (The Strad) and James Boyd (guitar), one of the finest classical guitarists playing today. Long ago awarded the Julian Bream prize, by Bream himself, in recognition of this extraordinary talent. Together, these two outstanding international musicians performed a variety of arrangements and original works for violin and guitar including music by : JS Bach, Paganini, Barrios, de Falla, Piazzolla.
Next, on March 14th, we heard a performance by BELLA TROMBA, a brilliant all-female trumpet quartet! This exciting group perform chamber music extensively across the UK and abroad. They played dazzling original works`and exciting arrangements of music from the Baroque to the 20th century, including music by Monteverdi, Bizet, Satie, Imogen Holst and Clara Schumann.
NEWS OCTOBER-NOVEMBER 2022
Keswick Music Society can now announce the new 2022-23 season, a season of two halves.
Under their new arrangements, the Theatre by the Lake cannot give us our usual range of dates and days of the week from September to April, so we will hold the concerts in the first part of our season at St. John’s Church, Keswick, which has excellent acoustics for music. As it’s where our Steinway piano is now kept, these concerts will tend to involve the piano. Tickets will be available online from Theatre by the Lake www.theatrebythelake.com, or from the Box Office 017687 74411 or in person, or on the evening at the door of St. John’s Church.
We will then have 4 Tuesday concerts at Theatre by the Lake on February 14th, March 14th, May 9th and June 6th. These will be bookable from the Theatre Box Office or online as normal.
For details of the St. John’s concerts and of the concerts at the Theatre see Our Concerts and Upcoming Concerts.
On May 14th, we were back at Theatre by the Lake, with our first concert there since 2020! This was a magical evening: a succession of wonderful arias by composers from Purcell to Sondheim, chosen to tell a complex operatic story of love, dance, loss and harmony and performed by world-class singers with a virtuosic string quintet playing the orchestral music cleverly arranged for string quintet by their director Orlando Jopling – also the cellist.
The four characters suffered and triumphed through a riot of Italian opera and hits from the musicals, from four centuries of great dramatic music … wit, passion, comedy, tragedy … as in opera, all life was there. The audience, many of them Members of the Society, loved it – see the review on the Reviews Page.
This was the last concert of the Keswick Music Society’s 2021-2022 season. After Covid we are still looking for a permanent venue, and hoping to be able to return to Theatre by the Lake. We will be announcing our new 2022-2023 programme and our new plans as soon as possible.
After our March 5th violin and piano duo concert, the next concert will be on April 23rd given by the wind ensemble Festivo, also at St. John’s, Keswick. They have a carefully thought-out programme of music: Milhaud depicting mediaeval scenes contrasting with Hindemith and Shostakovich, then Faure, Nielsen and Piazzola.
Festivo Winds are a dynamic Wind Quintet based in Manchester and London, formed in 2017 at the Royal Northern College of Music. They specialise in the core repertoire for wind quintet and have performed at a number of prestigious venues such as the Buxton International Festival, Manchester Chamber Concerts Society, Lake District Summer Music International Festival, at numerous venues across the UK.
Festivo Winds has performed over 20 new compositions to date at major venues and events including the Bridgewater Hall, and in February 2019, the group performed as a live art exhibition at the opening of a brand new collaboration with Yoko Ono at Leeds Art University. Individually distinguished, the members have performed with esteemed ensembles including the Hallé Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Royal National Scottish Orchestra and Australian Opera.
At last some more concerts! On Saturday March 5th at 7.30pm at St. John’s Keswick Sophie Rosa, violin, and Ian Buckle, piano, young and dynamic musicians with a growing reputation, will play a very varied programme for violin and piano duo: sonatas by Schumann, Beethoven (The Spring), and the Ukrainian composer Valentin Silvestrov – and, at its centre, a selection of pieces by English composers.
We look forward very much to seeing our members again. Tickets (£15) can be bought at Bookends or on the door (correct change much appreciated!). Covid restrictions will be relaxed by then, but we hope that by showing consideration we can enable everyone to feel comfortable.
Then, briefly, the following month, on April 23rd, the wind ensemble Festivo Winds will be performing, also at St. John’s, and in May we will at last be back at Theatre by the Lake for an unusual (for us) concert, for which tickets will soon be on sale from the Box Office. We will present an evening of Opera Highlights at the Theatre, informally staged to make a narrative that connects the music, performed by four world-class singers and five fine chamber musicians. The evening includes arias and ensembles by Mozart, Puccini, Verdi, Bernstein with some other surprises and unusual gems.
We hope that by early summer we will be able to restart our Membership Scheme.
In March and April 2020 the last two concerts of the 2019/20 KMS season had to be cancelled because of Covid-19 restrictions which forced the closure of the Theatre by the Lake. Our 2020/21 season was also completely cancelled and the 2021/22 season has been put on hold as the Theatre by the Lake has remained closed to outside events and there was too much uncertainty about other venues, travel, and performers, along with changing audience restrictions.
But we feel that we can now hold regular concerts again although at relatively shorter notice. Between now and February/March 2022 these will be at St John’s Church, Keswick on Saturday evenings. We hope soon to be back at Theatre by the Lake after its partial reopening for their autumn and Christmas season.
Our first concert at St John’s will be given by a dynamic group of young professionals, The Elmore String Quartet. They met a few years ago when studying at the Royal Northern College of Music, and before Covid-19 struck were starting to carve out very promising careers. They will be performing quartets by Britten and Beethoven and a beautiful miniature by Webern, written in the late romantic style before he embraced the serialism for which he is better known.
In recognition of KMS members missing out on concerts at the end of the 2019-20 season, this concert is offered FREE to those who were KMS members in the 2019/20 season. Subject to availability, non-members may buy tickets from Bookends in Keswick or on the door (£20). Members may pre-order additional tickets for friends, family etc and pay for these tickets on the door.
To ensure Covid security in St John’s Church we ask you to confirm whether you wish to attend by contacting Elaine Moor, Membership Secretary (01900 85967 or at firstname.lastname@example.org), by 6th November. Audience numbers will be restricted to around 150. We will offer free tickets to the first members who respond. See below for further details about the concert and tickets.
If you do not feel able to attend the concert or do not get a ticket, please keep an eye on our website for news of further events.
CONCERT AND BOOKING DETAILS
The first of these occasional concerts will be held at St John’s Church, Keswick at 7.30pm on Saturday 13thNovember 2021 and will last approximately 1 hour 45 mins including a short interval.
The Elmore String Quartet will perform:
- Anton Webern – Langsamer Satz
- Britten string quartet no.3
- Beethoven Op.132 No.15 in A minor
- The church has been assessed and organised as a “Covid-secure” venue for services and performances. It will have been thoroughly cleaned before the concert.
- Please DO NOT ATTEND if you have any of the common symptoms of Covid-19, if you have tested positive for Covid in the prior 14 days, or if you are required to isolate.
- The audience will be limited to around 150 persons (the maximum capacity of the church is over 400). All non-household members will be able to separate by 1m. Seats will be allocated to audience members in arrival order.
- Audience members will be checked-off against a register on arrival.
- The register will be held for 28 days in case track and trace is required.
- Social distancing will be encouraged as the audience queues outside and inside the church. There will be no social mingling allowed inside the church, and no close interaction between performers and audience.
- Audience members will be required to wear facemasks when moving around in the church.
- The audience will enter by the front door and exit by another to the right of the choir.
- Hand sanitisers will be used on arrival and available on exit.
- The performance area is between the main aisle and the choir. The performers will be able to socially distance from the audience.
- There will be a short interval of 10-15 minutes, but no refreshments will be offered. Audience members will be encouraged to either stay in their seats or go outside to socially mingle. The church doors will be opened during the interval to aid ventilation.
- The church has limited toilet facilities.
- There is no carpark at the church.
- While there will be no ticket cost for members for this concert, a retiring collection will be taken which will help towards KMS costs and future events.
Please do not book unless you know you can and will come.
If you would like a ticket(s) please e-mail Elaine Moor email@example.com or telephone her on 01900 85967 stating how many tickets you would like.
We are working on a date in early summer for a free concert for 2019-2020 KMS members at St. John’s Church, and will let you know all details about it as soon as possible. Due to the disruption to our programme because of COVID19, we have delayed restarting our membership scheme until the 2021-2022 season, and we hope to announce this when Theatre by the Lake has decided on its re-opening schedule.