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MusicUpClose II, Conway Hall, London

Instrumental to our Development -  a 400 year journey through music


Session One:


Raised Voices

Presenter: William Lyons


Was the Renaissance the turning point for Western music?

Was music perceived as science or art? Acclaimed performer

researcher, composer and Director of the world-famous Dufay

Collective, William Lyons, provides a fascinating insight,

demonstrating instruments from the period. A lively insight into

a fascinating period of music history…


Session Two:


Clarion Call

Presenters: Adrian Woodward & Jonathan Tilbrook


Many would argue that Western music reached its peak

during the Baroque, especially with the music of JS Bach.

We look at that period through the eyes of its most

glamorous instrument, the trumpet. Specialist performer

Adrian Woodward (Globe Theatre, English National Opera,

Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Gabrieli Consort &

Players) demonstrates the natural trumpet and the cornetto.

Adrian is joined by conductor and head of Postgraduate

Studies at Trinity Laban, Jonathan Tilbrook, to help address

wider musical and artistic interests of the period.


Session Three:


Plucked & Hammered

Presenter: Roderick Swanston


In the early 18th century, Johann Sebastian Bach, George

Frederic Handel and Domenico Scarlatti wrote for the

harpsichord. By the end of the 18th century Josef Haydn,

Wolfgang Mozart and Ludwig Beethoven composed for the

fortepiano. The harpsichord plucks the strings, the piano

hammers them, but most importantly the harpsichord has a

constant volume whereas the fortepiano can fluctuate

between soft and relatively loud. However, keyboards are

important not only for the music written for them, they also tell

us about the finances and the tastes of the people who owned,

played and heard them. Their story is a fascinating journey

through a remarkable century.


Session Four:


Bow Waves

Presenter: Jonathan Byers


As the world became louder and more populous – so did the

orchestra. In an orchestra, the most prominent instruments are

the strings, and during the 18th and 19th Century, the nature of

these amazing instruments changed, as did how they were

played. Acclaimed Cellist Jonny Byers (Badke Quartet,

Academy of Ancient Music, Orchestre Révolutionnaire et

Romantique) takes a close look and what was happening to

cellos, violins, violas and double basses during the Early

Romantic period. They may look similar to the ones we see

today – but did they sound anything like them?


Session Five:


Dramatic Crescendo

Presenter: Richard Sisson


1850 – 1880: With the composer now firmly established

as the ‘romantic’ well-spring from which art music was to

flow, epic personalities were finding ever more

grandiloquent opportunities for self-expression.

Honouring the legacy of Beethoven and Schubert, the

abstract forms of sonata, concerto and symphony were

being explored to the nth degree and assuming heroic

proportions. Musical argument was increasingly driven

by programmatic concepts, often grappling with

high-flown metaphysics. In the world of opera Verdi was

whole-heartedly engaging with the political issues of the day. Composers were becoming serious figures of international standing and great social influence. Pianist and composer Richard Sisson investigates the new techniques of composition that were enabling these self-regarding practices to flourish.


Session Six:


Collision Course

Presenter: Tom Hammond 


Acclaimed performers from sound collective are joined by the

talented students of Trinity Laban Conservatoire to perform

two works that are as different as they are magnificent:

Antonio Vivaldi’s Concerto for Two Trumpets and Richard

Wagner’s Siegfried Idyll. Tom Hammond, Artistic Director of

sound collective, will introduce the works and as always help

to generate a discussion between the performers and the

audience. Those who were at our performance of Beethoven

Symphony 5 last year won’t forget that experience in a hurry,

and this time we also predict an unusual performance that will

live long in the memory.


With support from the Lucille Graham Trust


Keele Concerts Society, Keele University


Voice + Loop Station Kerry Andrew

Clarinets Stuart King

Violin Dave Le Page

Violin Catherine Leech

Viola Rose Redgrave

Cello Chris Allen


Kerry Andrew: Birdlore

Antonín Dovorák:  String Quartet in F major op.96 ‘American’


Little Missenden Festival of Music and the Arts


Tenor Robert Murray

Horn Joe Walters

Leader Dave Le Page


David Matthews:  Three Birds and a Farewell

Gerald Finzi:  Dies Natalis

Richard Rodney-Bennett:  Chelsea Reach

Benjamin Britten:  Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings


MusicUpClose III, Conway Hall, London


Musical journeys through fin de siècle London, Paris, New York, Vienna, Moscow, St Petersburg, Scandinavia and the Baltic.


Session One:


London Calling

Presented by Richard Sisson


London at the turn of the century enjoyed a vibrant musical

life. The Queen’s Hall was a thriving venue and the Crystal

Palace concerts attracted visitors from all over the country.

The Royal College of Music had recently been established in

Kensington and the London Symphony Orchestra was newly

founded. Elgar was poised to write the first great British



Session Two:



Presented by Tom Hammond


What was going on in the  Frozen North at the start of the

20th Century? Were composers aware of what was

happening in the rest of Europe and America? Why was

Sibelius writing music so far removed from other traditions?

Why does his music get compared to  / programmed with

Carl Nielsen, when Helsinki and Copenhagen are more

than 700 miles apart – nearly as far as London to Madrid?

Conductor Tom Hammond offers a musical smörgåsbord…


Session Three:


White Nights

Presented by Karl Lutchmayer


The end of the 19th century saw the beginning of a radical

new musical identity. Grafting nationalist outlooks on

traditional forms, a new style emerged, at once shocking

and universally fashionable. However, the Revolution

overturned such free-thinking, and composers turned their

imaginations to plotting a course between great art and

Siberian banishment.


Session Four:


Gay Paris!

Presented by Barbara Kelly


Author of a recently published book about music in Paris

between the World Wars, Professor Barbara Kelly is joined

by conductor Jonathan Tilbrook, sound collective and

students from Trinity Laban to explore and perform

composers such as Milhaud, Poulenc and Stravinsky.                                                                                      


Session Five:


Viennese Twirls

Presented by Karl Lutchmayer


Fin de Siècle Vienna was a decadent moribund and culturally self-satisfied city in which only the Operetta flourished. It provided a perfect breeding ground for radical musicians such as Schoenberg and Webern who with their Expressionist aesthetic changed the nature of music and its performance for at least a generation and returned Vienna to the cultural prominence it had enjoyed a century before.


Session Six:


New York, New York

Presenter by Kenneth Woods


Music from the Dawn of the American Century


When Gustav Mahler left Vienna for New York in 1908,

it marked not only the beginning of a new chapter for

him, but the beginning of the end of Vienna’s primacy

as the centre of the musical universe. Already, New

York, was well on the way to becoming a musical

metropolis to rival any European capital. From the

mystic mishmash of Ives, to Scot Joplin and the dawn

of a new music driven by syncopation which would

evolve from Ragtime to Jazz to Rock to Hip-Hop, it was all happening in in the Big Apple in the early decades of the 20th. C.

Richard Sisson presenter. Roderick Swanston. Jonny Byers cello. William Lyons Tom Hammond conductor. Kerry Andrew and sound collective at Keele Hall. Tom Hammond and David Matthews at the Littel Missenden Festival. Kerry Andrew (aka You Are Wolf) in her Birdlore pose. The flyer for MusicUpClose II The flyer for MusicUpClose II Tom Hammond presenting a MusicUpClose concert. index The flyer for MusicUpClose III The flyer for MusicUpClose III Adrian Woodward trumpet. Richard Sisson presenter. Tom Hammond conductor. Karl Lutchmayer presenter. Ken Woods conductor. barbara kelly presenter. Paul Sharp, trumpet player at our MusicUpClose concert.