Guildhall School of Music & Drama presents its second summer Chamber Music Festival from Friday 5 – Sunday 7 July, featuring showcase performances from some of the School’s most accomplished chamber groups.
This year’s festival offers an expanded series of concerts, talks and masterclasses taking place at the School and venues in the surrounding area, in which Guildhall musicians collaborate with many of the School’s renowned professors.
Five of the concerts will take place in Guildhall School’s Milton Court Concert Hall, which has been praised for its excellent chamber music acoustics by performers and audiences alike since the venue opened in 2013.
The ensembles featuring in the festival include Guildhall’s Visiting Quartet in Association the Endellion String Quartet, faculty members the Heath Quartet and String Quartet Fellows the Marmen Quartet, winners of the prestigious 2018 Royal Overseas League Competition.
Eminent violinist Levon Chilingirian, founder of the famous Chilingirian Quartet, and clarinettist Andrew Marriner, Principal Clarinet of the London Symphony Orchestra, lead chamber music masterclasses on 7 July as well as performing alongside Guildhall musicians on the concert stage.
Guildhall’s Head of Chamber Music Matthew Jones, Head of Strings Louise Hopkins and Senior Tutor in Keyboard Chamber Music Carole Presland are among the many celebrated faculty members also taking part in the festival.
Matthew Jones says “As co-director of Guildhall School’s Chamber Music Festival, I am thrilled with the results of the labour of love to create a unique festival in which our renowned chamber professors perform alongside some of our most committed and accomplished students in a broad range of repertoire. Personally, the chance to hear both familiar and lesser-known chamber works performed at such a level, as well as to perform in the festival myself, is incredibly exciting.”
The opening concert on 5 July features Guildhall School musicians with Christopher Deacon, Endellion String Quartet, Joy Farrall, Louise Hopkins, Daniel Jemison, Bruce Nockles, Fraser MacAulay, Caroline Palmer and Beth Randell performing Bartók’s String Quartet No 2, Dvořák’s Serenade in D minor and Tchaikovsky’s Piano Trio in A minor, as well as Transferable Resistance by Guildhall Composer in Residence and Professor of Composition Julian Anderson.
Events on 6 July start with a concert celebrating women composers at City of London School for Girls, with the programme including Clara Schumann’s Piano Trio, Thea Musgrave’s Wind Quintet, and Beach’s Piano Trio. The afternoon concert at The Charterhouse features a huntingtheme: Schubert’s Quartettsatz, Widmann’s Hunting Quartet and Mozart’s Quartet K458, ‘The Hunt’ whilst, in the evening, Loeffler’s Two Rhapsodies for Oboe, Viola & Piano, Ravel’s Introductions and Allegro for Flute, Clarinet, String Quartet & Harp and Brahms’ Clarinet Quintet in B minor are on the programme. Musicians include Levon Chilingirian, Nicholas Daniel, Philippa Davies, Matthew Jones, Bryn Lewis and Andrew Marriner.
On 7 July there’s a rare chance to hear Haydn’s Symphony No 97 reinvented as a chamber quintet in a morning performance introduced by Jacqueline Ross. A lunchtime concert sees Daniel Jemison, Tim Lowe, Fraser MacAulay, Marmen Quartet, Ursula Smith and Andrew Watkinson perform Strauss’ Capriccio Sextet, Thuille’s Sextet for Piano and Winds in B flat major, and Schubert’s String Quintet in C major whilst the early-afternoon concert of 20th-century chamber works features George Crumb’s Vox Balenae and Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from West Side Story for two pianos arranged by John Musto.
In the penultimate concert, Simon Blendis, Sarah-Jane Bradley, Richard Lester, Andrew Marriner and Sam Walton perform Mozart’s String Quintet in G minor, Bartók’s Sonata for two pianos and percussion and Dohnányi’s Sextet in C major. There’s then the chance to see chamber music masterclasses with Levon Chilingirian and Andrew Marriner before the final concert of the festival, which includes Beethoven’s Quintet for Piano & Winds in E flat major, Fauré’s Piano Quartet No 1 in C minor and Tchaikovsky’s Souvenir de Florence, performed by Joy Farrall, The Heath Quartet, Daniel Jemison, Simon Rowland-Jones and Carole Presland.