Wednesday 22 September 2010

Celebrating Chopin

2010 is Chopin year – to be precise the 200th anniversary of his birth.With nearly 9 months of 2010 gone, Britten Sinfonia have so far not performed any of Chopin’s music in celebration of this significant event. And in actual fact we had not planned to do so, not as a snub to Chopin and his wonderful music, but just couldn’t be fitted into our schedules or programming.

Then a couple of days ago Peter Maxwell Davies sent us his new work which we had co-commissioned with Wigmore Hall for our award-winning At Lunch series. His new work is entitled Nocturne No. 1 and is his immediate ‘hats off’ reaction to Chopin’s piano works, songs and cello music.

Many of Chopin’s works involve the piano and all demand considerable technical expertise and expressive depth. I’m sure Max’s piece, which is scored for Piano Quartet will be no different and our players Huw Watkins (piano), Jacqueline Shave (violin), Martin Outram (viola) and Caroline Dearnley (cello) are looking forward to discovering the nuances of this new piece.

So in typical Britten Sinfonia style the orchestra will be celebrating Chopin’s anniversary with music inspired by him. You can come and enjoy these concerts at London’s Wigmore Hall on 6 October, Norwich’s Assembly House on 8 October, Cambridge’s West Road Concert Hall on Tuesday 12 October and Birmingham’s Town Hall on Friday 15 October.
The programme will also include Shostakovich’s Piano Quintet which is acknowledged as a masterpiece and probably his best known chamber work alongside a set of miniatures from James MacMillan, each dedicated to important figures in his life. You can find out more about this concert here