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PERFORMANCES AND EVENTS 2024

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EVENT 1

MY LIFE IN MUSIC – TOM RANDLE IN CONVERSATION

 

Friday 7 June, 5.30pm – 6.15pm

Celebrated for a long career as an internationally renowned operatic tenor, Tom Randle has appeared in major roles in opera houses and symphony orchestras worldwide. His musical journey began with a thorough grounding in composition and conducting and it is his innate flair for melody and a keen sense of dramatic structure that has swiftly elevated his reputation as a composer to match the esteem for of his rare vocal gifts.

 

In this discussion, hosted by the Festival Artistic Director, James Francis Brown, we will explore the relationship between Randle’s vocal virtuosity and his unique compositional outlook. As our Featured Living Composer and performer, Randle embodies the festival’s theme, ‘The Power of Two’: Creative Dialogues in Music and Art.

 

FREE event. Please register for your free ticket via the box office. 

SAINT MARY THE VIRGIN, WARE, SG12 9EH

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EVENT 2

TOM RANDLE & THE ROSSETTI ENSEMBLE

Friday 7 June, 6.30pm - 7.45pm

Tom Randle - tenor

John Lenehan - piano

Sara Trickey – violin

Martyn Jackson - violin

Sarah-Jane Bradley - viola

Tim Lowe – cello

 

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RALPH VAUGHAN WILLIAMS

TOM RANDLE

ANTONÍN DVOŘÁK

On Wenlock Edge

Rhyme Slayeth Shame

Piano Quartet No. 2 in E-flat Major, Op. 87

“If as I come unto her she might hear,

If words might reach her when I go away,”

 

As dusk falls, we move into the visionary realm of A. E. Housman with Tom Randle’s performance of Vaughan Williams’ “On Wenlock Edge”. Joined by the Rossetti Ensemble, he will also perform one of his own works, inspired by the poetry of William Morris; a poignant tale of vulnerability and unrequited love. Dvorak’s magnificent Piano Quartet in E-flat brings this evocative programme to an exuberant end.

 

The distinguished Rossetti Ensemble, joined by violinist, Martyn Jackson, makes an eagerly anticipated return to the festival, embodying the Pre-Raphaelite ethos in which music and poetry so elegantly converge.

“The Rossetti Ensemble gave a scintillating touch of class…a memorable display of artistic brilliance by these wonderful musicians (each one of whom has virtuoso quality)..such an exhilarating ride” The Stratford Herald 2023

SAINT MARY THE VIRGIN, WARE, SG12 9EH

 

Tickets: Adults £17; Students £5; Under 8s FREE

Wheelchair user + accompanying carer £17

Booking fees apply.

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EVENT 3

DUALISMS IN MODERN ART

Saturday 8 June, 11.00am - 12.30pm

 

Barry Dodge 

A lecture by art historian Barry Dodge followed by a Q&A session.

 

Art historian Barry Dodge returns to the Hertfordshire Festival of Music to deliver a compelling lecture on “Dualisms in Modern Art.” He explores the dynamic divisions that shaped 19th and 20th-century art, tracing the rise of Modernism and its bold divergence from traditional, academic art.

 

Highlighting pivotal events like the ‘Salon des Refusés’ of the 1860s and the first Impressionist exhibition in 1874, he reveals how these artistic splits reflect similar divisions in music and literature of the era.

This lecture promises to illuminate the dualistic nature of artistic evolution and its profound influence on the arts.

 

HERTFORD MUSEUM, HERTFORD, SG14 1DT

Tickets: Adults £10; Students £5; Under 8s FREE

Wheelchair user + accompanying carer £10

Booking fees apply.

(Limited space – please book early)

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EVENT 4 

MIRA TRIO - THE POWER OF 2… PLUS 1

 

Saturday 8 June, 6.00pm – 7.15pm

Mira Marton - violin

Clement Pickering - viola

Özgür Kaya – cello

FRANZ SCHUBERT

LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN

JAMES FRANCIS BROWN

String Trio in B Flat Major, D471: I. Allegro

String Trio in G Major, Op. 9, No. 1

String Trio No. 2

 

The newly-formed Mira Trio embodies a fresh approach to music-making. Mixing innovative programme with a profound respect for the classical cannon, these remarkable young musicians, all recent alumna of the Royal College of Music, are set to make a major impression in the musical world.

 

Beginning with the lyrical elegance of Schubert’s tribute to the Viennese tradition we move into the highly energised world of the young Beethoven, whose string trio offers a glimpse of the ingenuity that would later mark his famous string quartets. James Francis Brown’s trio skilfully weaves the old with the new, adding a richly expressive thread to the fabric of the string trio form.

 

FRIENDS MEETING HOUSE, 50 RAILWAY ST., HERTFORD, SG14 1BA

Tickets: Adults £15; Students £5; Under 8s FREE

Wheelchair user + accompanying carer £15

Booking fees apply.

(Limited space – please book early)

 

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EVENT 5

COFFEE CONCERT – NEW VIRTUOSI!

Sunday 9 June, 11.45am - 12.45pm

Birce Kayhan – clarinet

Chloe Harrison - horn

Daniel Swain – piano

HERBERT HOWELLS - Clarinet Sonata
YORK BOWEN - Horn Sonata in E-flat major, Op. 101

Our Coffee Concert offers an opportunity to hear young musicians whose exceptional talents have come to light through our masterclass series at Queenswood School. As they stand poised on their musical careers, we offer a stage for them to share their gifts in a professional engagement and it is a privilege to support and celebrate these emerging artists on the cusp of greater recognition.

ALL SAINTS’ CHURCH, QUEEN'S ROAD, HERTFORD, SG13 8AY

Tickets: Adults £10; Students £5; Under 8s FREE

Wheelchair user + accompanying carer £10

Booking fees apply.

Iain McGilchrist

EVENT 6

MUSIC AND THE DIVIDED BRAIN

A discussion with Iain McGilchrist

Monday 10 June, 5.00pm - 7.00pm

SEE BELOW FOR BOOKING OPTIONS

Iain McGilchrist
James Francis Brown
Sara Trickey

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We consider the intricate workings of the human mind with ‘Music and the Divided Brain ’ - exploring the profound ways in which our brain hemispheres perceive and shape the world.  Esteemed psychiatrist and author, Iain McGilchrist joins us virtually, from his home in Scotland, to guide us through the cerebral landscapes that inform cultural evolution and artistic creation.

We also examine the dual nature of music as both a manifestation of creation and recreation, delving into the composer’s journey from conception to composition, and the musician’s transformative interpretation. The event features a performance of Bach’s remarkable Chaconne for solo violin by Sara Trickey, a piece that epitomizes the complex dialogue between structure and freedom, intellect and emotion.

This session promises to be a gem - truly fascinating and enlightening. Do come along and join us, in-person or virtually, to understand more about our brains, music and so much more!

Option 1: In-Person Attendance at the

Forum Theatre with Live Video Link:

  • Join composer James Francis Brown for a live interview with Iain McGilchrist on a large screen via video-link from his home in Scotland.

  • Interspersed with live performances in the theatre by the violinist, Sara Trickey.

  • Engage in the Q&A session, directing questions to Iain on screen.

Option 2: Livestream Access

  • Join the event live, with a seamless integration of the interview with Iain McGilchrist and Sara Trickey’s performance.

  • Participate from anywhere.

 

Ticket types and prices are fully displayed when the 'Book Now' buttons are clicked. 

FORUM THEATRE, UNIVERSITY OF HERTFORDSHIRE, COLLEGE LANE, HATFIELD, AL10 9AB

Tickets: In person at venue £10 (concessions available)

              Virtually, via LIVESTREAM £5

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EVENT 7

SOUNDBITES: LITSA TUNNAH AND JAMES FRANCIS BROWN IN RECITAL

Wednesday 12 June, 1.00pm to 1.55pm

 

Litsa Tunnah - violin
James Francis Brown - piano

LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN

RALPH VAUGHAN WILLIAMS

JAMES FRANCIS BROWN

Violin Sonata No. 5 in F major, Op.24“Spring”

The Lark Ascending

Violin Sonata No. 2

Litsa Tunnah returns to the festival to beguile audiences with her virtuosic playing in a duo partnership with HFOM Artistic Director, James Francis Brown.

Beethoven’s “Spring” Sonata, a perennial favourite, opens the recital with its youthful exuberance and charming wit. It is followed by Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending, a piece synonymous with serene beauty. Litsa’s fresh interpretation draws listeners into the sublime experience of its high-flying melodies and transcendent atmosphere.

The recital concludes with James Francis Brown’s second violin sonata, a piece arranged with Tunnah’s remarkable artistry in mind, revealing her passionate and virtuosic playing to the full.

 

ALL SAINTS’ CHURCH, QUEEN'S ROAD, HERTFORD, SG13 8AY

 

Light refreshments are available for purchase from 12 noon.

FREE EVENT: donations welcome. Please register on the box office.

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EVENT 8

KATYA APEKISHEVA:

A MASTERCLASS FOR PIANO DUET

In partnership with Queenswood School

Thursday 13 June, 5.30pm - 7.30pm   

Join us for a singular exploration into the world of piano duets with Katya Apekisheva, one half of the esteemed Apekisheva-Owen Duo and a Principal Artist of our festival. Katya, whose partnership with Charles Owen has garnered international acclaim, will share her deep understanding and technical experience, offering participants a chance to enhance their artistry in the unique and collaborative world of piano duets.

 

This masterclass is not only a learning experience for the participants; it is a celebration of the rich and delightful tradition of piano duet performance and it’s very much open to the public to enjoy!

CHAPEL AT QUEENSWOOD, QUEENSWOOD SCHOOL, SHEPHERDS WAY, BROOKMANS PARK, HATFIELD, AL9 6LZ

FREE event. Please register for your free ticket via the box office.
If you are intending to join the event via livestream, please email info@hertsmusicfest.org.uk  by 5pm Wednesday 12 June and the livestream link will be sent through to you.

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EVENT 9

A COMPOSER’S LANDSCAPE:

DAVID MATTHEWS ON FILM AND IN CONVERSATION

Friday 14 June, 4.00pm - 5.30pm

 

A special screening of a documentary about this much loved and revered composer and previously featured Festival composer, with the opportunity to meet him in person.

 

First screened at the Presteigne Festival in August 2023, as part of the celebration of the composer’s 80th birthday, the 50-minute film explores Matthews’ multifaceted relationship with landscape, which has been a significant musical stimulus for him. The film also delves into Matthews’ fascination for the tango and the inspiration he has drawn from books and his own pencil and watercolour sketches.

Barrie Gavin’s work is known for providing insights into key figures of twentieth and twenty-first-century music.

A conversation between the composer and Festival Director, James Francis Brown follows with a Q&A session for the audience. We touch on the composer's abiding fascination for the tango along with many other aspects of his ​musical life.

ST ANDREW’S CHURCH, ST ANDREW STREET, HERTFORD, SG14 1HZ

Tickets: Adults £10; Students £5; Under 8s FREE

Wheelchair user + accompanying carer £10

Booking fees apply.

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EVENT 10

TWO’S COMPANY, THREE’S…A CHOIR!

ST ANDREW’S CHURCH CHOIR

Friday 14 June, 5.45pm - 6.30pm

 

Jane Eldred – conductor and violist

Colin Eldred - clarinet

…with a special appearance from RMS
Cadogan House school choir – winners
of the Queenswood and HFoM
Choral Competition 2024

Works to include:

DAVID MATTHEWS

JOHN RUTTER

GIUSEPPE OTTAVIO PITON

HAROLD CHAPLIN (local composer)

***
With Interludes for viola and clarinet.

Psalm 23

I will sing with the Spirit

Cantate Domino

Agnus Dei

The town of Hertford bustles with musical talent and enthusiasm; boasting several choirs of note, more than a handful of talented composers and a heart-warmingly keen sense of community.

 

This year, HFoM is proud to present the choir of Hertford St Andrew as well as three of its guiding lights, Jane and Colin Eldred and Harold Chaplin. They embrace the work of one of our most highly esteemed British composers, David Matthews, and reveal their joyful spirit with a programme that exudes a feeling of friendship and reflection.

ST ANDREW’S CHURCH, ST ANDREW STREET, HERTFORD, SG14 1HZ

FREE event. Donations welcome. Please register for your free ticket via the box office. 

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EVENT 11

THE POWER OF TWO…TO TANGO

Tango Siempre Quartet

Friday 14 June, 8.00pm - 10.00pm

Emma Blanco – violin

Julian Rowlands - bandoneon

Jonathan Taylor - piano

Tom Mason - double bass

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Join us on an Odyssey through the rich and passionate history of tango from its origins in the Buenos Aires underworld to the innovative ‘Tango Nuevo’ of Astor Piazzolla. The Tango Siempre Quartet brings a vivid sense of the evolution of this enthralling dance form. In a special highlight, the ensemble will present unique arrangements of tangos by the esteemed British composer David Matthews, adding a distinctive touch to the traditional tango repertoire and celebrating the genre’s enduring global appeal.

“[Tango Siempre’s] playing has the verve and gut-wrenching rhythmic drive associated with the greatest Argentinian bands, and their account of the scores, especially marvels by Astor Piazzolla, has the earthy vitality, the urban chic, so central to tango’s music and steps… here is the tango, raw, intoxicating, speaking with its true voice…” – Financial Times

ST ANDREW’S CHURCH, ST ANDREW STREET, HERTFORD, SG14 1HZ

Tickets: Adults £18; Students £5; Under 8s FREE

Wheelchair user + accompanying carer £18

Booking fees apply.

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EVENT 12

RECITAL WITH POPPY BEDDOE AND TIMOTHY END

 

Saturday 15 June, 3.00pm - 4.15pm

 

Poppy Beddoe – clarinet

Timothy End - piano

TOM RANDLE

MATTHEW TAYLOR

CLARA SCHUMANN

LLOYD MOORE

FRANCIS POULENC

Sonata for Clarinet and Piano (World Première)

A June Cantilena

Four Songs from Sechs Lieder, Op. 13

Airs and Arabesques for Solo Clarinet

Sonata for Clarinet and Piano

In a programme rich in musical heritage and contemporary composition this concert features the world première of Tom Randle’s jazz-inspired Sonata for Clarinet and Piano. With movement titles like ‘Bop's yer Uncle’ and Fugue-etta 'Bout it!", you can tell we are in for fun. Taylor’s A June Cantilena for Clarinet is a lyrical piece of subtle and evocative depth while Clara Schumann’s Four Songs from Sechs Lieder, Op. 13 are beautifully adapted for clarinet. Airs and Arabesques reveals the clarinet’s expressive and technical range through five contrasting movements.

The concert concludes with Francis Poulenc’s Sonata for Clarinet and Piano; one of the composer’s last completed pieces, it has become a standard classic of the repertoire a work which weaves a powerful line, between melancholy and exuberance.

Poppy Beddoe has established an enviable reputation as a soloist and chamber musician, with her debut album Soliloquy receiving high praise and her duo partner this afternoon, Timothy End, has many prestigious awards to his credit, including the Pianist Prize at the Wigmore Hall Song Competition.

SAINT MARY THE VIRGIN, WARE, SG12 9EH

 

Tickets: Adults £16; Students £5; Under 8s FREE

Wheelchair user + accompanying carer £16

Booking fees apply.

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EVENT 13

FESTIVAL FINALE

THE POWER OF 2 PIANOS: 

KATYA APEKISHEVA AND CHARLES OWEN IN RECITAL

Saturday 15 June, 6.00pm - 7.15pm

 

JOHANNES BRAHMS

JONATHAN DOVE

SERGEI RACHMANINOFF

Variations on a Theme by Haydn, Op. 56

Between Friends

Suite No. 2 for Two Pianos in C Major, Op. 17

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Our Principal Artists, Charles Owen and Katya Apekisheva draw the 2024 Festival to a fabulous close with a programme that epitomises the Festival’s exploration of relatedness, cooperation, contrast and unity.

 

With the compelling energy and interplay of two pianos, this renowned duo plays Brahms’ Variations on a Theme by Haydn, a work of sharply drawn character variation and an ever-shifting array of moods and textures. This is followed by the heartfelt intimacy of Jonathan Dove’s Between Friends, and the passionate depths of Rachmaninoff’s Suite No. 2 for Two Pianos.
 
‘Charles Owen and Katya Apekisheva are superb pianists in their own right – his Bach is scintillating; her Schubert has profound authority – and as a duo they make more than the sum of their parts; their Mozart and Brahms series helped put Kings Place on the chamber-music map.’ The Independent

ALL SAINTS’ CHURCH, QUEEN'S ROAD, HERTFORD, SG13 8AY

Tickets: Adults £14-£20; Students £5; Under 8s FREE

Wheelchair user + accompanying carer £14-£20

Booking fees apply.

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THROUGHOUT THE FESTIVAL

MUSIC IN MIND – LIVING WITH DEMENTIA

During the Festival period, specially trained musicians share the gift of music with selected care homes throughout the county of Hertfordshire via interactive online sessions for people living with dementia, including their carers and families. For those living with the condition, participating in music can bring not only an improvement in symptoms, but a sense of joy and elation for those taking part.

In collaboration with Sing from the Heart 

We are grateful for the support from Durkan Homes for their support of the Music in Mind project.

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