Alauda Quartet

Cristina Prats - Costa (violin), Milan Berginc (violin), Rhoslyn Lawton (viola), Elena Cappelletti (violoncello)

The Alauda Quartet stayed with us 23-29 July 2015.  Unfortunately Cristina, the first violinist, had broken her arm the week before enabling the others in the quartet to learn, practise and play different and interesting repertoire.

The Alauda Quartet was formed at the Royal Academy of Music in London in 2011. An internationally diverse ensemble, the quartet hails from four different corners of Europe but shares a unifying passion for chamber music. Selected as Park Lane Group artists for 2015 the Alauda Quartet has studied regularly with Jon Thorne of the Badke Quartet and they recently finished their Masters in Chamber Music at Hochschule fur Musik, Theater und Medien, Hannover, with Oliver Wille of the Kuss Quartet. In 2013 the Quartet was awarded a Junior Fellowship in Chamber Music from the Royal Academy of Music and were involved many performances at the Academy including a celebration of British composer Sir Michael Tippett.  As well as their concerts in the UK the Alauda Quartet have enjoyed performing in various music festivals across Europe holding tours in Spain and Italy in 2012 and Germany in 2013. In March 2014 the quartet embarked on their inaugural tour of China, performing in many cities across the country including at the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing.  As Park Lane Group artists they gave their debut at the Purcell Room at Queen Elizabeth Hall in January 2015.

Concert Tuesday 28 July 2015

Johann Sebastian Bach: Ciaconna from Partita in D Minor for solo violin (ca 1717)

Ludwig van Beethoven: Duet requiring two pairs of spectacles for viola and violoncello (ca 1798)

Johan Halvorsen: Passacaglia in G Minor on a theme of Handel for violin and viola (1897)

Johann Sebastian Bach: Prelude, Sarabande, and Gigue, from Suite No 2 for solo violoncello in D Minor (ca 1720)

Ludwig van Beethoven: String Trio No 5 in C Minor, Op 9 No 3 (1798)

Academy of French Song and Opera

Course Directors: Florence Daguerre de Hureaux, Caroline Dowdle

For a third year the Academy of French Song and Opera held its summer course at Brel. With additional bedrooms we managed a houseful of a dozen people.  Course members came from the UK, the US, Sweden and South Africa, and pianist Ian Tindale joined the course leaders.

Victoria Stephens (soprano) South African soprano Victoria Stevens is currently on the opera course at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. She won the University of Cape Town's Ruth Ormond Award for Most Promising Singer as well as the class medal, First Prize in the prestigious Schock Foundation Singing Competition and the opportunity to perform as soloist with the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra and the UCT Symphony Orchestra. In recital, she has performed for the Richard Wagner Society, the Lindbergh Foundation and Oxford Lieder, where she was selected as a finalist in the Young Artist Performance Platform. Operatic roles include Musetta (UCT), 1st Knabe (Cape Town Opera), Donna Elvira (Darling Opera), Anne Truelove, Adina and Mélisande (RCS Opera Scenes), as well as 'Woman' in the world première of 'Top 4', a chamber opera for soprano, counter tenor and electronic tape (RCS Plug Festival).

 Lauren Libaw (soprano) Italian-American soprano Lauren Libaw has been praised for her sparkling, “bright-toned” voice (New York Times) as well as her “warmth of tone and intensity of expression” (The New Yorker). She is currently pursuing her Master of Music degree at the Royal College of Music, London, where she has sung Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater, scenes as Susanna, Zerlina, Martha and Handel’s Rosmene, and songs by Messiaen and Prokofiev in concert at the invitation of Roger Vignoles. Other recent engagements include Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi for Lidal North at the Norwegian National Opera, The Messiah for the Paris Choral Society and recitals in Aix-en-Provence, Brussels, Florence, London, New York and Paris. She made her professional debut at the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels and has sung at the Opéra Royal de Versailles and the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées. Raised in Pasadena, California, Lauren is a graduate of Yale University.

 Rebecca Hardwick (soprano) Rebecca studied at the Royal College of Music as an RCM Scholar supported by a Marjorie Tonks award, and previously at the University of York. Operatic roles include the title role in Rodelinda (Handel), Sœur Constance in Dialogues des Carmélites (Poulenc), Una Conversa in Suor Angelica (Puccini) and the Raver in False Perspectives (Josephine Stephenson) as part of the Hogarth project at the RCM. In opera scenes she has appeared as Madame Silberklang in Die Schauspieldirektor (Mozart), Semele in L'Egisto (Cavalli) and The Governess in Turn of the Screw (Britten). She recently played a Victorian in Alice in Wonderland (Will Todd) at Opera Holland Park, having been a Christine Collins Young Artist there in 2013. Rebecca also sings with the Monteverdi Choir. 

Ian Tindale (pianist) Ian read Music at Selwyn College, Cambridge, and graduated in 2011 with a Double First.  Subsequently he completed the Master of Performance course in Piano Accompaniment at the Royal College of Music (RCM) with Distinction, where he was then Junior Fellow in Piano Accompaniment. Ian has won Accompanist’s Prizes in the Kathleen Ferrier Awards, the Royal Overseas League Competition, and the Maggie Teyte Competition. Ian is also a Samling Artist and Britten-Pears Young Artist. As a répétiteur Ian has worked with British Youth Opera, Cambridge Handel Opera, Ryedale Festival Opera and Samling Academy Opera. He has also performed as an orchestral pianist with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Philharmonia.

Concert Friday 21 August 2015

Myself I shall adore (Semele, Handel) Lauren Libaw

Je dis que rien ne m’épouvante (Carmen, Bizet) Victoria Alice Stevens

L’empio rigor del fato (Rodelinda, Handel) Rebecca Hardwick

Les chemins de l’amour (Poulenc) Lauren Libaw

Soupir (Ravel) Rebecca Hardwick

Je te veux (Satie) Victoria Alice Stevens

Berceuse and Le pas espagnol (Suite de Dolly, Fauré) Jean-Paul Pruna, Ian Tindale, Caroline Dowdle

Apparition (Debussy) Rebecca Hardwick

Fêtes Galantes (Poulenc) Victoria Alice Stevens

Menuet (Petite Suite, Debussy) Jean-Paul Pruna, Ian Tindale

Quando m’en vo (La Bohème, Puccini) Victoria Alice Stevens

Je marche sur tous les chemins (Manon, Massenet) Lauren Libaw

Sous le dôme épais (Lakmé, Delibes)  Rebecca Hardwick, Victoria Alice Stevens

Pianists: Caroline Dowdle, Jean-Paul Pruna, Ian Tindale

Nicky Spence (tenor), Mary Bevan (soprano), Joseph Middleton (piano) and Tim Connor (baritone)

Mary Bevan trained at the Royal Academy Opera, and is currently a Harewood Artist at ENO and an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music. On the concert platform she recently performed Mozart Requiem with the English Chamber Orchestra, Faure Requiem with the Philharmonia Orchestra, and Handel Messiah with the English Concert. Recent operatic engagements include Susanna in The Marriage of Figaro at ENO, Music & Euridice in Monteverdi L’Orfeo with ROH at the Roundhouse, Barbarina Le nozze di Figaro at the ROH, Despina in Così fan tutte, Papagena in The Magic Flute and Second Niece in Peter Grimes at ENO, and David Bruce’s The Firework Maker’s Daughter with The Opera Group, Opera North and ROH2. In the 2015/16 season Mary will sing the title role in Rossi Orfeo for the Royal Opera House at Shakespeare’s Globe, and Yum-Yum in The Mikado at English National Opera.

Nicky Spence studied at the Guildhall School and the National Opera Studio. In opera, Nicky created the leading role in the World Premiere of Nico Muhly's Two Boys, a role he later reprised for his debut at the Metropolitan Opera, New York last season. Other highlights include his recent role debut as David in the multi-award winning Die Meistersingers von Nürnberg at the ENO, a Rossini double at Welsh National Opera, Števa in Jenůfa at La Monnaie, Tristan und Isolde with the BBCSSO, the Steersman in Der Fliegender Holländer in concert with the CBSO, Tamino in Die Zauberflöte for Scottish Opera and Francesco in Berlioz’s Benvenuto Cellini at De Nederlandse Opera. Highlights this season include an appearance at the BBC Proms, his debut at the Bastille in Paris, Leoncavallo's Zazá with the BBCSO at the Barbican, The Makropoulos Case at Frankfurt Oper, Gurrelieder with Hallé Orchestra, Števa in David Alden's Jenůfa at ENO and a disc of French Mélodie with Malcolm Martineau to follow-up their critically acclaimed recital disc debut 'As you like it: Shakespeare Songs'.

Pianist Joseph Middleton specialises in the art of song accompaniment and chamber music and has been highly acclaimed within this field. Joseph enjoys recitals with internationally established singers including Sir Thomas Allen, Ian Bostridge, Sarah Connolly, Iestyn Davies, Wolfgang Holzmair, Christiane Karg, Katarina Karnéus, Dame Felicity Lott, Christopher Maltman, John Mark Ainsley, Ann Murray, Mark Padmore, Joan Rodgers, Amanda Roocroft, Kate Royal, Carolyn Sampson, Toby Spence and Roderick Williams. Joseph appears at major music centres including London’s Wigmore Hall, Royal Opera House and Royal Festival Hall, the Vienna Konzerthaus, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Cologne Philharmonie, Zürick Tonhalle, Luxembourg Philharmonie and Dublin National Concert Hall.

Concert 24 August 2015

Purcell: Sound the Trumpet (arr. Britten)/ Sweeter than Roses (arr. Britten)/An Epithalalium (arr. Tippett)

Schumann: Liebesgarten/ Liebhabers Ständchen

Duparc: L'Invitation au Voyage/ Chanson Triste

Chabrier: L'Invitation au Voyage

Schumann: Unter'm Fenster/Familien-Gemälde

Boulanger: Vous m'avez regardé avec toute votre âme/ Les lilas qui avaient fleuri/ Les Clairieres dans le Ciel

Schumann: In der Nacht

Schubert: Licht und Liebe/ An Sylvia

Britten: Be kind and courteous

Dankworth: Sonnet 18

Horder: Under the Greenwood Tree

Poulenc: Hôtel

Gershwin: Summertime

Puccini: O Mimi, tu più non torni/ Quando men vo/ O soave fanciulla

Lipatti Piano Quartet

Amy Tress (violin), Felicity Matthews (viola), Auriol Evans (violoncello), Gamal Khamis (piano)

The Lipatti Piano Quartet was formed in 2013 by four young award winning instrumentalists. Dedicated to exploring and sharing the piano quartet repertoire, the Lipattis have a repertoire which ranges from Viennese Classics to contemporary composers. They have recently been selected as Park Lane Group Artists 2015-16 and have been invited to perform at St John's Smith Square in April 2016, as part of the PLG's 60th anniversary season.  Since their inception, the group have been fortunate to work with a number of distinguished professors and performers, including Krysia Osostowicz, Maxim Rysanov, Simon Roland-Jones, Garfield Jackson, Richard Ireland and the Maggini String Quartet, whose chamber course they were awarded a scholarship to attend at Wellington College. Recent venues have included St Martin-in-the-Fields, King's Place, Royal Albert Hall Elgar Room, The Bath Pump Room, Old Theatre Royal Bath, The Forge Camden, Windsor Castle and Blackheath Halls. Upcoming engagements include the quartet's biannual series at the Vera Fletcher Hall, and recitals at St-Martin-in-the-Fields and St James's Piccadilly as part of the Orpheus Foundation Series.

Concert 29 September 2015

Ludwig van Beethoven:Piano Quartet in E Flat Major (1796)

Arnold Bax: Piano Quartet in one movement (1922)

Gabriel Fauré: Piano Quartet No 2 in G Minor Op 45 (1887)

Kowalczyk-Kim Duo

Marta Kowalczyk (violin) Somi Kim (piano)

The Kowalczyk-Kim Duo was formed in 2013 at the Royal Academy of Music, when Marta Kowalczyk and Somi Kim first collaborated together in a class for the legendary violinist, György Pauk. They are now continuing their studies with an Advanced Diploma in Performance. Marta was awarded the Oetker Scholarship, Stephen Bell Trust Award and the Bach Solo Violin Prize. Somi is a Samling scholar and was the winner of the 2014 Gerald Moore Award for Accompanists, and other awards. In recital, Kowalczyk-Kim duo’s recent and future appearances include concerts at the Wigmore Hall, St. John’s Smith Square, Purcell Room, St. James’ Piccadilly, St. Martin in-the-Fields, Royal Over-Seas League and the Royal Academy of Music. They were selected as artists for the Park Lane Group, Kirckman Concert Society, Concordia Foundation and the Worshipful Company of Musicians for the 2015/16 seasons. Kowalczyk-Kim Duo will be making their European debut next year at the Concertgebouw Hall in Amsterdam as part of The New Masters on Tour Concert Series.

Concert: Thursday 22 October 2015

Ludwig van Beethoven: Violin Sonata No 4 in A Minor (1801)

Johannes Brahms: Violin Sonata No 2 in A Major (1886)

Franz Schubert (1797 -1828):Fantasie in C Major for violin and piano (1827)