Music@Ardingly 2013/14 Season
Welcome to the sixth season of Music@Ardingly. Now firmly established nationally, the series once again brings internationally acclaimed artists to Ardingly College and the heart of Sussex. It is always a particular pleasure to welcome back our musical partners the LPO and VOCES8.
Click here for the 2013 - 2014 programme
As usual, all the events are open to Ardingly pupils, parents, staff and the general public. Single concert tickets are available, or a substantial saving can be made by purchasing a season ticket.
This year we have introduced an online ticketing service. Please follow this link to purchase tickets. Booking opens on 7th June 2013.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01444 893230 for more details.
Britten Centenary Concert, Thursday 21st November
"A fantastic concert, wonderfully well performed" Lord Michael Berkeley
On the eve of his 100th birthday, 140 Ardingly students, VOCES8 and the LPO's Foyle Future Firsts musicians joined forces for a wonderful celebration of Benjamin Britten's life and music. Britten is one of England's greatest composers and a central figure of twentieth century music, and it was particularly appropriate that the concert was introduced by Lord Michael Berkeley, the renowned composer and broadcaster and Britten's godson. The programme was carefully designed to give a cross section of Britten's output, including his official 'opus 1', the Sinfonietta, and his choral masterpiece Rejoice in the Lamb.
Michael Berkeley's own compositions, Seven and Listen, Listen O My Child, written for the recent Enthronement of the Archbishop of Canterbury, were also performed and the composer said he loved hearing the choir performing the anthem again in the beautiful setting of Ardingly Chapel.
Lord Berkeley went on to say: "It was wonderful to see these young people perform tonight's music, even the difficult parts, with such spirit and joy."
Music@Ardingly Concert Series Review
Mark Stone and Sholto Kynoch
Baritone Mark Stone and his accompanist Sholto Kynoch presented a delicious programme of English songs featuring cycles by three of the finest composers of the idiom: George Butterworth, Ralph Vaughan Williams and Gerald Finzi.
The recital opened with six songs from 'A Shropshire Lad' (taken from eleven settings that Butterworth put to music from a total of sixty-three poems by A. E. Housman). Whilst not directly based on particular folk songs, the music is heavily folk-influenced and Mark Stone captured the style beautifully with his sonorous tones.
The second set of songs comes from the Grandfather of English song, Ralph Vaughan Williams, who was close friends with Butterworth. Written between 1901 and 1904, the Songs of Travel represent Vaughan Williams' first major foray into song-writing and are based on poems by Robert Louis Stevenson of Treasure Island fame. Vaughan Williams was also heavily influenced by folk music and again this is evident in these songs. Mark Stone moved effortlessly between the varying moods of each song and maintained an excellent connection with his audience. The opening song of this cycle The Vagabond was performed by an Ardingly student at a masterclass taken by Stone the previous evening at the College.
After the interval we heard one of six song cycles by Gerald Finzi based on poems by Thomas Hardy: Earth, and air, and rain. Finzi was also friends with Vaughan Williams and this link proved to be an important influence on the next generation of song composers. Finzi's outlook on life was quite bleak and this is evident in his much of his music. However, his musical language is quite different to Butterworth and Vaughan Williams making use of jazzier and more adventurous harmonies. A highlight of this cycle was Rollicum-Rorum which demonstrated the intricate interplay between singer and accompanist perfectly. Mark Stone's interesting and good-humoured introductions were a very useful addition to the song texts in the programme.
Two Tom Lehrer songs as encores concluded a delightful concert in a suitably light-hearted fashion.
Opening Concert: VOCES8 Ardingly College Chapel, Tuesday 18th September
Ardingly’s Musicians in Residence, VOCES8, once again launched the Music@Ardingly series. The ever-popular a cappella group continue their increasingly successful association with Ardingly and a large audience enjoyed a very varied programme.
The programme was a delightful mix of anthems and motets from the Renaissance (Byrd’s wonderful Sing Joyfully opened the concert) to the twentieth century (Bairstow’s sublime Let all mortal flesh keep silence and Holst’s Nunc Dimittis) and arrangements of popular songs ranging from a traditional spiritual, Tippett’s Go Down Moses, to Queen’s Crazy little thing called love.
A highlight for me was the stunningly simple The Lambby contemporary British composer John Tavener. Here VOCES8 scaled down to VOCES6, and the balance between the parts was perfect. This is a very difficult piece to execute well, but the intonation was spot on and the ensemble perfect.
For the first time in concert, the Senior School Chapel Choir joined VOCES8; a performance of Gabriel Fauré’s Cantique de Jean Racine, with the support of the organ, added a lovely dimension to the overall programme.
As an encore, VOCES8 performed an arrangement by Jim Clements of Fever, taken from their new Songbook. It was a typically stylish rendition which featured challenging but wonderful harmonies that the octet mastered beautifully.
This wrapped up another thoroughly enjoyable evening of entertainment and we look forward to VOCES8’s return to the Concert Series next year in our Ardingly Arts Festival.
‘British Isles Music Festival 2014'
Ardingly College Summer School is delighted to be hosting The British Isles Music Festival again this summer, one of the most enterprising and ambitious master class and chamber music courses in Europe.
Since its inception in 2008, the Music@Ardingly concert series has offered an exciting and ambitious range of concerts featuring artists of the highest calibre in the unique setting of the Ardingly College Chapel.
The Gould Piano Trio
The Royal String Quartet
The London Philharmonic Orchestra Chamber Ensemble
Organ Recital by James Lancelot
The National Youth Jazz Orchestra
The Queene’s Concert Baroque Ensemble
‘The Phantom of the Opera’ Silent Movie Improvisation - David Briggs (Organ)
The Schumann Letters: A story of love and music in the shadow of madness
The Chichester Cathedral Choir
Emma Johnson, Julian Lloyd Webber and John Lill
The Guildhall Jazz Band
English Song Recital – Mark Stone and Sholto Kynoch
Arts Festival Concert with members of the LPO, VOCES8 and the Combined Choirs of Ardingly College
Ardingly College, Haywards Heath, West Sussex RH17 6SQ