Concerts Season 55: Now Finished

Our Season at a Glance

Saturday 2 October 2021 at 7.30 pm

Viv McLean ~ Piano

Viv McLean

Sonata in C Minor Op. 13 "Pathetique" Beethoven
Nocturne in E Flat Op. 9 No. 2 Chopin
Polonaise in C Sharp Minor Op. 26 No. 1 Chopin
Ballade No. 3 in A Flat Op. 47 Chopin
Prelude in C Sharp Minor Op. 45
Nocturne in C Sharp Minor Op. Post Chopin
Ballade No. 1 in G Minor Op. 23 Chopin
Promenade: Walking the Dog Gershwin
The Man I Love Gershwin
Rhapsody in Blue Gershwin

We are delighted to welcome back Viv McLean to give our first concert of our new season and celebrate our return to live music making. This performance will be twenty years after Viv first performed for us. He was due to perform for us in our cancelled 2020-2021 season and has performed many times in Amersham as a soloist and as a member of an ensemble, including playing with Lawrence Power, the viola player and most recently with the Adderbury Ensemble.
Viv is a highly accomplished and experienced pianist and since winning First Prize at the Maria Canals Piano Competition in Barcelona in 2002 he has performed in all the major venues in the UK as well as throughout Europe, Japan, Australia and the USA. Viv’s concerto work includes appearances with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Halle Orchestra and many other orchestras.
Viv has collaborated with musicians such as Natalie Clein, Marianne Thorsen, Daniel Hope, Adrian Brendel, Lawrence Power, Mary Bevan, David Le Page, Matthew Sharp, Guy Johnston and many others. 
Viv made his BBC Radio 3 recital debut through the BBC Radio 3 Young Artists Forum scheme and has also recorded for Classic FM, WDR Radio in Germany, Radio France, ABC Radio in Australia, NRK Radio in Norway and for the Sky Arts television channel. His commercial releases have included recordings for Sony, Naxos, Nimbus, RPO Records, ICSM Records, Harmony & Imagination Records and his most recent albums are a Chopin recital and a selection of live recordings for Stone Records.

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Saturday 30th October at 7.30 pm

The Mithras Trio

Ionel Manciu - violin, Leo Popplewell - cello, Dominic Degavino - piano

The Mithras Trio
Trio in G major, Hob XV:41    Haydn      
Trio in D minor Op. 120   Faure
Trio No.3 in F Op. 65     Dvorak

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Praised for their ‘exquisite phrasing’, ‘full-blooded commitment’ and ‘bold, passionate colours’, the Mithras Trio is fast growing a reputation as one of the next generation’s most exciting piano trios.

Formed in 2017 at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, they benefited from regular tuition with Matthew Jones, Carole Presland and Ursula Smith, and have also received coaching from András Keller, Caroline Palmer, Rolf Hind, David Dolan and the Endellion String Quartet. They have performed in masterclasses with Ralf Gothóni, Levon Chilingirian, the Takács, Danish and Emerson Quartets, and Alasdair Tait, and have undertaken residencies in Snape Maltings (Suffolk) and at the Schulich School of Music (Montréal) performing to professors including Isabel Charisius, Byørg Lewis, Kyoko Hashimoto and the St. Lawrence String Quartet.

 They are currently members of the prestigious BBC New Generation Artists scheme, broadcasting regularly on BBC Radio 3, and won first prize at the 10th Trondheim International Chamber Music Competition, 67th Royal Over-Seas League Music Competition, Cavatina Intercollegiate Chamber Music Competition 2019 and the St. James Chamber Music Competition 2018, and in 2019 were recipients of the Royal Philharmonic Society Henderson Award. They have performed at many of London’s major venues, including Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room and Milton Court Concert Hall, as well as making regular appearances in festivals in the UK and Europe. They were selected as Kirckman Concert Society Young Artists for the 2019/2020 season, and are currently on the Countess of Munster Trust Recital Scheme.

 They are also passionate exponents of contemporary music, having worked extensively with Helen Grime and Julian Philips, and gave the world première of a new piece by Péter Tornyai at the Solti Hall in Budapest, who dedicated the work to the Mithras Trio after working with them.

Event supported by the Countess of Munster Musical Trust.



Saturday 27 November at 7.30pm

Alexei Watkins - French Horn, Harry Rylance - piano

A Celebration of the Centenary of the Birth Of Dennis Brain

Horn Sonata in F Major, Op. 17 Beethoven
Elegie (In Memory of Dennis Brain) Poulenc
Firebird Suite: Berceuse and Finale (Solo Piano) Stravinsky arr. Agosti
Appel Interstellaire (Solo Horn) Messiaen
Alla Caccia     Abbott
Villanelle Dukas
Nocturno, Op. 7 F. Stauss
Parsifal Flowermaidens Scene (Solo Piano) Wagner arr. Kocsis
Romance, Op. 36 Saints-Saens
Hunter's Moon Vinter

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Dennis Brain is undoubtedly one of the most famous French Horn players of all time and one of the key players to popularise the Horn as a virtuosic instrument. 2021 is the centenary of his birth and these two exciting young musicians have put together a Horn and Piano recital celebrating his life. The programme includes some of the pieces Brain is renowned for, such as Beethoven’s Horn Sonata, Dukas’ Villanelle and Poulenc’s Élégie, which was written in memory of Dennis Brain.
London-based French Horn player Alexei Watkins graduated from the Royal Academy of Music with a Bachelor of Music Degree (First-Class Honours). During his time at the Academy, amongst other accolades, he was awarded the Dennis Brain Prize. As a soloist, Alexei has performed recitals extensively across the UK at venues including St John’s Smith Square, the Buxton International Festival, the Lincolnshire International Chamber Music Festival, Blackheath Halls, Hampton Court Palace, Southwark Cathedral and Charlton House, Greenwich. Recently he has performed the Britten Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings both in the UK and abroad as well as Mozart’s 3rd and 4th Horn Concertos.

In 2019 Alexei won the University of London Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition. He is a keen orchestral player and has guested as Principal Horn with Glyndebourne Touring Orchestra, English National Opera and RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra. He has also played with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Hallé, London Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, London Sinfonia, Britten Sinfonia and was Principal Horn of the Britten Pears Orchestra (2015-2017).


Saturday 26 February 2022 at 7.30 pm

Vida Guitar Quartet

Vida Guitar Quartet

Please note the modified programme below:
Waltz from Masquerade Suite Khachaturian arr. by C.Stell
Prelude & Fugue No. 2 & 4 F. Mendelssohn arr. by N.Cartledge
Innisfree     C. Stell
English Folk Song Suite R. Vaughan Williams arr. by M.Ashford
Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 J. S. Bach arr. by M.Eden
Bach Variation H. Skempton
Bachianas No. 5 H. Villa Lobos arr. by M.Eden
Uarekena S. Assad

Vida are a guitar quartet with the ability to 
“conjure up an orchestral palette of colour and effects” (Classic FM) combined with their “exquisite tonal and dynamic control”  which has firmly established them as a passionate and masterful ensemble. Their effortless sense of ensemble and their broad range of timbres and dynamics evokes “listening to an entire orchestra and not merely to four guitars. Thereʼs only one word for it: magic” (Gramophone).

Since forming in 2007, Vida has performed to critical acclaim in major UK, USA and European venues. They are sought-after festival artists throughout the UK and Europe and in 2011 Vida made their US debuts in Los Angeles (LMU Guitar Festival) and New York (Baruch Performing Arts Centre). In 2012 Vida were  artists in residence at CSU’s Summer Arts program in Monteray Bay California.

The Bachianas programme will feature the music of Bach as well as music inspired by Bach, including two new pieces especially commissioned for this project.  Vida released a Bachianas CD in 2017.

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Saturday 26 March 2022 at 7.30 pm

London Serenata

Potpourri Europa - A programme of music for Wind Quintet

Flute~Katey Thomas, Oboe~Emma Feilding, Clarinet~Sarah Thurlow, Horn~Caroline O'Connell, Bassoon~Phillip Gibbon

London Serenata

Overture to the Barber of Seville   Rossini
5 Pieces en Trio Ibert
Serenade in C minor K388 Mozart
6 Bagatelles Ligeti
3 pieces from Espana Albeniz
Sea Shanties, Op4   Arnold
The London Serenata is a new wind instrument group formed in 2019, although some of the artists are long term friends of the concert club.  After some very successful performances their music making was curtailed by the pandemic, and now they will be back to perform and entertain us.  The members of London Serenata are highly accomplished professional musicians and have been playing together for over twenty years as the wind section of Garsington Opera Orchestra. The ensemble itself was only born in 2019, when the orchestra was disbanded. Determined to continue playing together, these thirteen musicians took the opportunity to emerge from the opera pit as a concert ensemble, to branch out into new repertoire, and to share their music making with a wider audience.   

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