The current concert season might be over, but Malvern Theatres have already announced plans for the next one, running from autumn 2013 into spring 2014.
But even autumn would have been just enough for a crammed programme of events at a venue which increasingly attracts some of the UK’s most illustrious presentations, as well as being home to the venerable but always sprightly Malvern Concert Club.
In fact Malvern’s crammed new prospectus takes us well into the new year with announcements of three Venetian-themed concerts from the Armonico Consort, an ensemble which under Christopher Monks has rapidly grown into a group to be reckoned with both nationally and internationally.
Venetian Blinders on September 14 features works by Marcello and Vivaldi (including the Gloria); A Venetian Christmas highlights music by Monteverdi and Giovanni Gabrieli (December 5); and Supersize Polyphony 2 (groaningly subtitled ‘Spemalot’) on February 1, brings gargantuan polychoral offerings by Striggio, before returning us to English soil with Thomas Tallis’ 40-part motet Spem in Alium (get the joke now?).
The locally-based Chandos Symphony Orchestra reveals its Young Musician Showcase on September 15, when Jacqueline Martens, winner of CSO’s recent Young Musician Competition, returns to perform the demanding and rewarding Violin Concerto no1 by Shostakovich. The exciting young conductor Richard Laing is on the podium, and his programme is completed with Vltava and Sarka, and Mussorgsky’s vivid Pictures at an Exhibition.
Chandos marks this year’s bicentenary of the births of Verdi and Wagner with a concert on November 24 which brings these two great operatic composers together.
Michael Lloyd, one of the country’s most experienced conductors of opera, presides over a programme which begins with Verdi’s Overture The Force of Destiny and the rarely-heard ballet music from the same composer’s Macbeth.
The evening ends with the wonderful, emotionally searing Act One of Wagner’s The Valkyrie, the second instalment of his awesome Ring tetralogy. Soprano Stephanie Corley sings Sieglinde, tenor John Llewellyn Evans her twin-brother lover Siegmund.
By that time, Malvern Concert Club’s season has already begun, with a programme from the Allegri Quartet in which string quartets by Haydn and Beethoven (the wonderful Op.127 E-flat) frame the world premiere of the String Quartet no.4 by the now Malvern-based, much sought-after composer Alec Roth (September 26).
MCC’s autumn programmes continues with the Schubert Ensemble playing Beethoven, Enescu and Dvorak on October 17, and Ex Cathedra performing Bach motets under Jeffrey Skidmore on November 21.
At the opposite end of the sound-spectrum, Malvern announces three large-scale professional orchestral concerts are announced for this autumn (and beyond). Edward Gardner brings a wonderful all-Mendelssohn programme on October 4, the BBC Philharmonic and violinist Elena Urioste play Beethoven and Elgar on November 30, and, again into early spring, Paul Lewis is the soloist in Mozart’s Piano Concerto in C major, no25, with the Manchester Camerata.
And talking of pianists.
The annual Yamaha International Piano Series graces this forthcoming season with recitals of Haydn, Beethoven, Brahms and Schumann from John Lill (October 18), Schumann and Beethoven (the great Hammerklavier) on December 12 from Sunwook Kim, the New Year taking us to February 20, when Stephen Hough delivers a mouthwatering programme of Schoenberg, Richard Strauss, Wagner, Bruckner, Brahms and Chopin (don’t miss this – only the amazing Hough could have constructed this programme), and March 21, when Benjamin Grosvenor (a popular visitor here), plays Mendelssohn, Schubert, Schumann, Medtner, Ravel and Gounod/Liszt.
* Malvern Theatres: 01684 892277.