Tag Archives: Canterbury Festival

Brewing up a storm: Canterbury International Festival to set city ringing in October

The annual Canterbury International Festival launched this year’s programme a few days ago, and there’s much to which to look forward.

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.

Festival logoThe 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.

New What’s On brochure now out!

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.

Furley Page logo
Sponsors of the Lunchtime Concert series

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!

Autumn events calendar now online

Drum-roll, please: our new events calendar for the Autumn term is now available online.

Naomi Okuda Wooderson
Naomi Okuda Wooderson

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.

Kasai Masai
Kasai Masai

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…

Voices Appeared: Canterbury Festival comes to Colyer-Fergusson

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.

Orlando_Consort_Voices‘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.

Festival logoMore details about the event here. ‘Voices Appeared’ comes to Colyer-Fergusson on Sunday 25 October at 7.30pm.

Forthcoming concerts round-up: Trevor Pinnock and Nova Music Ensemble

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.

50th-ribbon-sml

New Autumn events now online

Drum-roll please….our new Autumn music events details are now online!

Marici Saxes
Marici Saxes

Kicking off in October with the Marici Saxes, the Lunchtime Concert series also sees music from Covent Garden Voices and the KD Jazz and Dance Orchestra. The Brodsky Quartet returns with a concert celebrating the musical anniversaries of Wagner, Verdi and Britten, and there’s also Britten from the award-winning Kent College Choristers in Friday Afternoons. We are very excited that the Doyenne of Wagner, Dame Anne Evans, will be giving a singing masterclass and also appearing ‘In Conversation’ to talk about her career on the stage in November.

KD Jazz
KD Jazz & Dance

The University Chamber Choir will celebrate the beginning of the Advent season at Blean Church, and the December concert with the Chorus and Orchestra includes Vivaldi’s ever-popular Gloria alongside Respighi , Verdi and Cimarosa.

Our informal series of foyer-gigs, Watch This Space, will burst into life again on the foyer-stage, starting with live jazz in October, and the University Big Band will be providing some seasonal entertainment to round off what promises to be a very busy term.

The Brodsky Quartet
The Brodsky Quartet

We’re pleased to welcome the Canterbury Festival, who will be bringing the English première of a new opera by Sally Beamish in a double-bill with Britten’s Curlew River, and pianist Mikhail Rudy exploring Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. Other visitors to the Colyer-Fergusson concert-hall include John Harle and the Festival Chamber Orchestra, Ashford Choral Society, Simon Langton Girls’ Choir and Caritas Chamber Choir.

See for yourself online here; you can also download the new brochure (PDF) here.

 

Canterbury Festival: festival with in-tent

This year, the Canterbury Festival celebrates its thirtieth birthday from 19th October to the 2nd November with its usual dizzying array of music, theatre, comedy, literature, lectures and family events, and tops its usual pot pourri by bringing the travelling dance-hall, the Spiegeltent, to the county cricket ground as well.

Sally-Beamish1
Sally Beamish

Highlights to watch out for this year include:

knee_deepThe Speigeltent itself will host Sunday morning events, morning concerts, and Knee Deep, an acrobatic display from Casus.

Festival logoWe wish the Festival a happy thirtieth birthday – may there be many more…

Gone Clubbing: Scholars at the Canterbury Festival

Another packed house last Friday greeted several of the University’s Music Scholars, in their annual lunchtime recital at the Festival Club, accompanied by Deputy Director of Music, Dan Harding.

Heart and Sole: Paris Noble and Sarah Davies display their concert footwear

A rare opportunity to hear not one, but two tubas, with third-year Architecture student Chris Gray, accompanied by his teacher, Steve Wassall, giving a deft reading of a Bach Two-Part Invention and the Minuet and Ecossaise from Catelinet’s ‘Suite in Miniature.’ Not only is Chris a member of the Symphony Orchestra, Concert Band and Chorus, he’s also President of the Music Society this year: as he said to me in rehearsal, ”It’s like I’m doing Music with some Architecture on the side.’ A busy man indeed…

Soprano and second-year Drama student Paris Noble swept on-stage to portray three different damsels in distress: O mio babbino caro from Puccini’s ‘Gianni Schicchi,’ Granados’ coquettish El majo discreto, and finishing with Loewe’s dizzying I Could Have Danced All Night from ‘My Fair Lady.’

Second-year Historian, Kathryn Redgers, principal flautist with the Symphony Orchestra and section leader in Concert Band, then gave a dazzling reading of Chaminade’s Concertino, the piece for which Chaminade is chiefly remembered; a child-prodigy, Chaminade once played some of her compositions to Bizet. Kathryn gave an accomplished performance, showing great skill in matching the challenge of the piece’s virtuosic demands, including a finely-crafted cadenza.

Top brass: Steve Wassall and Chris Gray

Final-year English Literature student Sarah Davies, also in Orchestra and Concert Band and Treasurer of the Music Society this year, gave a suitably poised performance of the second movement of  Saint-Saëns’ neo-Classical Sonata for Clarinet and Piano, followed by Gershwin’s jazzy Walkin’ the Dog, which had a swggering,  sassy swing.

Chris and Steve then showed the tuba can be as fleet of foot as both the flute and clarinet, in the March and Fugue for two tubas by the prolific Derek Bourgeois.

To end the concert, Paris was joined by soprano Marina Ivanova, in her second year and reading Economics, for two operatic duets, the lyrical Flower Duet from Delibes’ ‘Lakmé’ and the lulling barcarolle, Belle Nuit from the ‘Tales of Hoffmann’ by Offenbach.

As the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Keith Mander observed in his closing remarks, the University has a fine crop of musicians and a vibrant musical life, with the Music Scholars at the heart of all its music-making. With the new Marlowe Theatre having just opened, and the  Colyer-Fergusson centre for Music Performanc opening next year to house all the University’s music-making, together with the Turner Contemporary gallery in Margate, it really is an exciting time for the cultural life of East Kent and the wider community.

Sarah Davies and Kathryn Redgers

Congratulations to all the performers, and thanks to Sarah Passfield from the Festival team who made us all so welcome.

Festival logo