Student musicians from the University will be taking part in the Canterbury Festival’s Beautiful Noise project at Westgate Hall on Saturday 23rd October.
The project brings together players from local educational establishments, including Simon Langton Grammar School, St Edmund’s School and the King’s School, as part of a day of community music-making in this year’s festival, and brings the whole day to what promises to be a rousing conclusion with big band jazz and swing under the direction of Head of Performance at St Edmund’s School, Ian Swatman.
“It’s very exciting to be bringing young players in the region together to play such great music.” enthuses Ian, “empowering the performers and audiences of tomorrow, and giving them a platform as part of Canterbury’s international celebration of the arts.”
Students from the School of Law and the School of History will be amongst the saxophone and brass sections of the ensemble that night; find out more here,
The walls of the Colyer-Fergusson Gallery are currently inviting visitors into a world of darkness, as the space presents for the first time some of the designs and the artwork leading into (and forming part of) a reimagining of the tale of Hansel and Gretel, which Goldfield Productions brings to Colyer-Fergusson in a few weeks’ time. A unique combination of live music, puppetry, projection and shadow-play, the performance brings to life a new take on the classic Brothers Grimm tale by the poet Simon Armitage, with a score by composer Matthew Kaner; the exhibition offers an evocative glimpse into the visual world in which the production takes place.
The display presents the work of artists Clive Hicks-Jenkins,Phil Cooper and Peter Lloyd, which charts the development of the design of the stage presentation, and includes some of the original drawings for a picture-book commissioned from Hicks-Jenkins by Random Spectacular, which turned out to be the starting-point for the whole project. Hicks-Jenkins also designed a cut-out-and-assemble toy theatre on the theme of Hansel & Gretel for Pollock’s Toy Shop in Covent Garden, and original gouache paintings for the toy theatre also feature in the exhibition.
The artworks occupy a wide range of media, from photography, drawing and painting, collage and paper cut-outs, including work by the Whitstable-based painter, Phil Cooper, reflecting his contributions as model-maker and scenic artist to the production.
The exhibition also features the work of paper-cut artist Peter Lloyd, who made the silhouette animation puppets of the Witch.
For the first and only time during the touring production, both the performance and the artwork which informs it are presented together on the University’s Canterbury campus, an enticing visual odyssey which hints at a fascinating performance which will fill the concert-hall on Sunday 21 October.
You can find out more about Hicks-Jenkins’ four-year project on Hansel and Gretel over the artist’s blog here. In the meantime, the gallery is open during normal working hours including at weekend; admission is free, and there is disabled access.
Hansel and Gretel (a nightmare in eight scenes) is presented by the Music Department in partnership with the Canterbury Festival; find out more about the performance here.
Clive Hicks-Jenkins : www.hicks-jenkins.com
Phil Cooper : www.phil-cooper.com
We’re delighted to reveal the new season of our What’s On is now launched online!
Our customary Lunchtime Concert series this term brings the Ferio Saxophone Quartet, an exploration of the music to Hitchcock’s classic Vertigo and seasonal music from the CantiaQuorum ensemble; the University Chorus and Orchestra explore the ‘Old and New’ in a programme of seventeenth century music and modern realisations and responses to it; the University Musical Theatre Society performs its termly showcase including songs from Chicago, Hamilton and Dream Girls, and the term concludes in festive style with the traditional Christmas Swing-Along featuring the University Big Band.
Together with the Canterbury Festival, we also bring a dark realisation of the story of Hansel and Gretel in a blend of chamber music, puppetry and animation, with music written by composer Matthew Kaner to words by Simon Armitage; the Festival also brings percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie and Trio HLK in November. Elsewhere, Aurora Orchestra brings Mozart, Mendelssohn and Jorg Widmann, and there’s a chance to hear Sir Thomas Allen. With visits too from local societies and orchestras, the new autumn season will see Colyer-Fergusson Hall filled with music old and new as we head towards the festive season.
See all that’s to come online here, or download the brochure (PDF) here; we look forward to welcoming you to Colyer-Fergusson over the coming months.
The St Petersburg Symphony Orchestra presents an all-Russian programme including Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto no.2 with cellist Tim Hugh on Saturday 21 October. Violinist Tasmin Little joins Canterbury Choral Society and the English Chamber Orchestra for Vaughan Williams’ popular The Lark Ascending and Dona Nobis Pacem in the Cathedral on Saturday 4 November. Elsewhere, soul singer Ruby Turner will fill the Spiegeltent on Saturday 21 October, and there’s a day-long celebration of progressive rock and the ‘Canterbury Sound’ on Saturday 28 October.
Renowned choir Tenebrae celebrates its fifteenth anniversary with the newly-commissioned Path of Miracles by Joby Talbot (best-known for his addition of ‘Pluto’ to Holst’s Planets Suite and the ballet-score to the Royal Ballet’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland) filling the Cathedral Nave on Saturday 28 October.
Among the literary events is a one-man celebration of poets Philip Larkin and John Betjeman, alongside essays by Alan Bennett, A Meeting of Minds on Sunday 29 October. The festival’s comedy programme includes the laconic Rich Hall on Friday 3 November, and a series of talks welcomes travel writer Nicholas Crane and radio presenter Jenni Murray.
There are also plenty of activities for families, including a ‘Canterbury Throwdown’ pottery project and Baby Loves Disco, adventurous puppetry in Curious Creatures on Thursday 26 October and free events in Whitefriars including live music and dance throughout the day on Sunday 14 October.
The University again has a presence as part of the Festival this year; Your Loyal Correspondent teams up with Dr Dan Lloyd from the School of Biosciences for Cellular Dynamics, exploring the links between music and science in a combination of music for one and two pianos with image-projection from cutting-edge research. The School of Biosciences also sponsors the Festival’s Science Strand again this year, which builds on the success of last year’s Cocktail Laboratory with The Beer Lab exploring science and the art of brewing.
The full programme is now online here, with brochures now popping up all around Canterbury; October will see the historic city abuzz with events and visitors as the Festival bursts into life once more.
Our Autumn What’s On is now out, and is bursting with events throughout October to December here in Colyer-Fergusson.
Our termly Lunchtime Concert series launches with percussion ensemble Kopanya in October; the acclaimed musicians of the Kentish Piano Trio bring Beethoven’s ‘Ghost’ Trio in November; and eminent sitar-player Ustad Dharambir Singh is joined by Pt Sanju Sahai on tabla for a recital in December,
The University Chorus and Symphony Orchestra will be rounding-off the Shakespeare 400 anniversary in style with a concert including the suite from Walton’s famous film score for Henry V, and the Musical Theatre Society will present their ever-popular showcase. The season ends in rousingly festive style with the Big Band’s Christmas Swing-Along.
Whatever you do, make sure you have Friday 25 November inked firmly in your diary for what promises to be a memorable concert, as internationally-renowned bass, Sir Willard White, joins forces with the Brodsky Quartet to pay tribute to the relationship between Frank Sinatra and the Hollywood String Quartet; the evening will also include folksongs by Britten and Copland, Barber’s evocative Dover Beach, a selection from Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, the Great American Song Book …and much more. Early booking is most definitely advisable! As ever, we also welcome the many visiting musicians to Colyer-Fergusson, including events promoted by both the Canterbury Festival and Sounds New and a birthday concert for Trevor Pinnock.
You can find out more about all these events online here, or download the new brochure here. We look forward to welcoming you to Colyer-Fergusson this season!
The termly Lunchtime Concert Series opens next month with a recital of Baroque recorder music by Naomi Okuda Wooderson, and a musical aperitif from our ensemble-in-residence, CantiaQuorum, of music by Saint-Saens, Stravinsky and Torelli prior to their evening concert; we launch our December seasonal music with A Baroque Christmas, including movements from Handel’s Messiah and Vivaldi’s Winter from the Cecilian Choir, String Sinfonia and soloists; the Christmas theme continues with a rare performance of Vaughan Williams’ The First Nowell by the Chorus and Orchestra, together with works by Sibelius and Shostokovich, and the term is rounded out with the now-customary Christmas Swing-along from the Big Band. There’s also an antidote to wintry blues from Kasai Masai as they bring the infectious rhythms and melodies of Congolese music for the final Lunchtime Concert, and the Musical Theatre Society will be inviting you to ‘Do a Little Duet’ with them too.
We welcome a host of visiting ensembles and musicians to Colyer-Fergusson throughout the term, including Trevor Pinnock as he brings Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, and there are two events as part of this year’s Canterbury Festival; find out about all these and more online here– printed brochures will be arriving around the start of the term. Find out what’s in store…
Colyer-Fergusson Hall will play host to the Orlando Consort in this year’s Canterbury Festival, in what promises to be an evocative and haunting event combining silent film with motets, plainsong and other vocal music from the medieval period.
‘Voices Appeared’ will see the acclaimed vocal consort perform a collection of music from the fifteenth century as a soundtrack to Carl Theodor Dreyer’s silent film, La Passione de Jean D’Arc, depicting the trial and execution of Joan of Arc, made in 1928 and initially banned in England. This short trailer provides a brief glimpse of the combination of music and film which looks to pack an emotional punch.
More details about the event here. ‘Voices Appeared’ comes to Colyer-Fergusson on Sunday 25 October at 7.30pm.
A busy few weeks ahead; tonight’s concert sees period-instrument pioneer and Honorary Graduate Trevor Pinnock bringing an all-Bach recital to Colyer-Fergusson as part of our fiftieth-anniversary celebrations; next weekend, we are delighted to be welcoming Nova Music Opera to the hall for their concert as part of this year’s Canterbury Festival in a double-bill of contemporary chamber opera by Stephen McNeff and Cecilia McDowall.
And as October ends with a flourish, the start of November also marks the launch of our ensemble-in-residence, CantiaQuorum, in a pair of concerts featuring music by Stravinsky, Walton, Bach and Copland.
Plenty to console us as the clocks go back next weekend; for tickets and further details, see all that’s happening on our What’s On guide here.
Here’s composer Stephen McNeff talking about his chamber opera Prometheus Drowned, coming to us next weekend.
Because it does. Doesn't it ? Blogging about extra-curricular musical life at the University of Kent.