News 2016


Review of Schumann Songs recital

On Sunday 11th December 2016 the tenor Ben Johnson, accompanied on the piano by Roger Vignoles, performed a programme of Schumann's lieder at the John Innes Centre. The concert was favourably reviewed by Christopher Smith in the Eastern Daily Press the following day (12 December). He comments that...“Flexible in voice... the singer was able to switch moods in an instant. Playful sometimes... he also created moments of great tension.”


Award for Benjamin Baker

The violinist Benjamin Baker appeared at the John Innes Centre on 22nd March 2015 and has also played several times at the Chapel. On 5th November 2016 he won 1st Prize at the Young Concert Artists Inc. Final Auditions held at Merkin Concert Hall in New York. There were over 160 applicants from twenty countries and Benjamin was one of 4 Prize-Winners alongside Nathan Lee (piano), Zavier Foley (double-bass) and Anthony Trionfo (flute). Each First Prize Winner will be presented next season in three major debuts in New York and Washington, D.C.

Roger Rowe has sent a message to Benjamin to give him our congratulations.


Favourable review for Cédric Tiberghien’s new recording

Cédric Tiberghien has recently released a recording of music by Bartók and this has been awarded four stars for performamce in the December issue of BBC Music magazine. The reviewer comments “Intimate and poetic, this is pianism which delicately suggests rather than making statements.” Cédric Tiberghien will be giving a piano recital at the John Innes Centre on 11th March 2017, when he will be playing music by Chopin, Szymanowski and Debussy.


Lifetime Achievement Award for Roger Rowe

The Norfolk Arts Awards form part of the Hostry Arts Festival and are supported by the Eastern Daily Press. The awards ceremony took place on Friday 21st October when Roger Rowe, our Secretary for the last 20 years, was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award. The citation says that he “has curated the musical programme of the Norfolk and Norwich Festival over many years. He champions classical music making throughout the county and has contributed significantly to promoting new artists.” More information about the awards can be found in the Eastern Daily Press for Monday 24th October.


BBC Music magazine recommends Trio Isimsiz concert

The forthcoming concert by Trio Isimsiz at the John Innes Centre is listed as one of the “20 Unmissable Events” of the month in November’s edition of the BBC Music magazine. The concert will be at 7:30pm on Saturday 19th November and will be preceded by a discussion with members of the Trio at 6:30pm. Tickets are available from Prelude Records or online.


Chapel Concerts on 10th July and 31st July

The concerts involving Elizabeth Watts/Roger Vignoles (10th July) and Penelope Turner/Andrew Wise (31st July) are likely to be particularly popular. To be sure of a place, please contact Roger Rowe (tel. 01603 621169 or email


Lectures at the Chapel (64 Park Lane)

In a new addition to our programme there will be four lectures by Professor Hugh Macdonald at the Chapel (64 Park Lane) entitled Musicians and their Myths. They will be at 6:30pm for 7:00pm and will last for approximately one hour on the following Mondays in October and November:
17th October 2016: Mozart
24th October 2016: Beethoven
31st October 2016: Wagner
7th November 2016: The Russians

Tickets will be £5 per lecture on the door, including a glass of wine.

Extraordinary stories about composers are told and re-told many times, and many of them are true. Many of them, equally, have come down to us in a form slightly exaggerated with each re-telling. The reality of a composer’s life does not necessarily shape the music itself, but if we are interested in a composer’s personality, and his mind, it is a short step from there to taking an interest in his daily comings and goings.

In these four lectures Professor Hugh Macdonald recreates the working lives of familiar composers, taking us into their daily routines and familiar habits that lie behind the creation of great masterpieces, without ever explaining the genius that we recognise in the music itself. Money, travel, family diet, health, politics – these things beset composers as they do every one of us. Handwriting, publishers and fellow musicians are the more special concerns with which composers have to deal. Some are better than others.

Hugh Macdonald is an eminent musicologist and writer, chiefly known for his scholarly work on Hector Berlioz. His books have included the biographies of Berlioz and Bizet for the Master Musicians series published by OUP.

For further information, please contact Roger Rowe (tel. 01603 621169 or email


Retirement of Roger Rowe

On the occasion of his 80th birthday on 6th June 2017 Roger Rowe will be standing down as Secretary of Norfolk and Norwich Chamber Music after 20 years of outstanding service. We are of course sad to see his departure but we are delighted to announce that our distinguished friend Misha Donat has agreed to take over as Artistic Director and has already started work on the programme for 2017-2018. To mark Roger's birthday and retirement a special evening concert by the Borodin Quartet is being planned and details will be announced in due course.


Introduction to the 2016/17 season

Norwich-based arts writer Tony Cooper has written an informative introduction to our 2016/17 season. This will also be appearing in Fine City magazine in September.


The Carducci String Quartet wins an RPS Music Award

The Carducci Quartet was the winner of the Chamber Music and Song category at the 2016 Royal Philharmonic Society Music Awards for Shostakovich15. This project saw the Quartet perform all 15 of Shostakovich's String Quartets throughout 2015, across the globe. With an accompanying CD release for Signum Classics, Shostakovich15 was also highlighted in The Guardian's “Best of 2015 Classical Music”. The Quartet will be appearing at the John Innes Centre on 18th February 2017.


New date for Chapel Concert by Ben Johnson and Tom Primrose

It was expected that Benjamin Johnson (tenor) and Tom Primrose (piano) would give a recital at the Chapel on Sunday 8th May but this had to be postponed because of transport difficulties. It will now take place at 7:30pm on Friday 20th May. More details are shown on the Chapel Concerts page of this website.


Praise for Ibragimova/ Tiberghien recordings

Between September 2014 and January 2016 Alina Ibragimova and Cédric Tiberghien gave us a series of five concerts in which they played all of Mozart’s violin sonatas. As part of the same project they are recording the sonatas and the first volume of these recordings has recently appeared (Hyperion, 2 discs, CDA68091). This contains the complete programme that they performed in the first concert of the series in September 2014. The recordings have been enthusiastically reviewed, being named as the Chamber Music CD of the Month in the May issue of Gramophone magazine and awarded five stars for both performance and recording in the June edition of BBC Music magazine. The latter comments on their “graceful sensitivity and micro-inflected insight... it is difficult to imagine them better played.”


Rearrangement of Cédric Tiberghien’s concerts

On 17th March we reported that Cédric Tiberghien would be appearing with a group of wind players on Saturday 11th March 2017 and that he would be giving a solo recital the following day, on Sunday 12th March 2017. These two concerts have now been switched around. On Saturday 11th March he will be playing piano music which will include pieces by Chopin, Szymanowski and Debussy, and on Sunday 12th March he will be joined by a group of wind players from the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra to perform pieces by Mozart and Beethoven. More details are of course shown on our home page and on the page dealing with these concerts.


Most ticket prices held at 2015/2016 levels

The Committee is very pleased to announce that it has been able to hold subscriptions and most ticket prices for the main concert series at the same level as in the 2015/2016 season. The price of season tickets (including membership) will be £180.00. (This actually means a small decrease in the price per concert for season ticket holders as there will be 13 concerts in 2016/17 rather than the 12 that we have had in 2015/16.) The membership subscription itself will be £20.00. Apart from Angela Hewitt’s concert in October, tickets for individual concerts will be £20.00 for members, £25.00 for non-members and £1.00 for students under the age of 25. For the Angela Hewitt concert tickets will be £25.00 for members and £30.00 for non-members. Tickets and memberships are not yet available but will be on sale in the summer. Season tickets, memberships and individual concert tickets for members will be available from the beginning of July, and concert tickets for non-members will be on sale from mid-August onwards.


Highlights of our 2016/2017 season

Our next season begins on 17th September 2016 when the Fitzwilliam Quartet will be playing a splendidly varied programme of music by Purcell, Beethoven and Bruckner. The next concert (on Sunday 2nd October) is one of the highlights of the season: the distinguished Canadian pianist Angela Hewitt will be performing music by Bach and Beethoven. Other pianists appearing in the season include two old friends, both giving us a weekend of performances. Cédric Tiberghien, who accompanied Alina Ibragimova in five concerts between 2014 and 2016 when they performed all of Mozart’s violin sonatas, will be joined by a group of wind players on Saturday 11th March 2017. Their programme will include Beethoven’s Wind Quintet. The following day, on Sunday 12th March 2017, he will be giving a solo recital which will include music by Chopin, Szymanowski and Debussy. We also have a welcome reappearance by François-Frédéric Guy. He first appeared at our concerts in the 2010/11 season, when he played all of Beethoven’s piano sonatas. He has made some welcome returns since then, and this time he will be appearing with another French pianist, Geoffroy Couteau. Their concerts will be on Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th April 2017 and they will be playing music by Brahms, Mozart and Messiaen.

For lovers of song, the lyric tenor John Mark Ainsley will be giving a recital of Schumann lieder on Sunday 11th December 2016, when he will be accompanied by Roger Vignoles.

The clarinettist Michael Collins is appearing in the last concert of our 2015/2016 season, and he will be returning with colleagues for our Chamber Music Weekend in January 2017. The music they are performing includes works by Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms, Weber, Poulenc, Bartok, Stravinsky and Messiaen.

We will also have appearances by the van Kuick Quartet, the Trio Isimsiz and the Carducci Quartet. More details of our 2016/2017 programme will appear on this website shortly after the end of the current season.


Praise for recordings by Heath Quartet

The Heath Quartet will be appearing at the John Innes Centre on Saturday 2nd April (with the clarinettist Michael Collins) and at the Chapel the following day (Sunday 3rd April). They have recently issued recordings of Michael Tippett’s five string quartets (Wigmore Hall Live, 0080/2) and these were favourably reviewed in the March 2016 edition of BBC Music magazine. The reviewer (Erica Jeal) comments that “there is plenty to recommend in the Heath version, which is infused with the energy of live performance.”


Concert dates for the 2016/2017 season

The dates of the concerts in our next season at the John Innes Centre have now been announced. They are as follows:
Saturday 17th September 2016
Sunday 2nd October 2016
Saturday 22nd October 2016
Saturday 19th November 2016
Sunday 11th December 2016
Saturday 21st January 2017
Sunday 22nd January 2017 (morning)
Sunday 22nd January 2017 (afternoon)
Saturday 18th February 2017
Saturday 11th March 2017
Sunday 12th March 2017
Saturday 8th April 2017
Sunday 9th April 2017

Please note that memberships, season tickets and tickets for individual concerts in the 2016/2017 season are not yet on sale. The dates when bookings open will be announced in due course, as will the prices for the 2016/2017 season and the details of the individual concerts. It was however felt that it would be helpful for people to be aware of the dates as soon as possible.


Change of time for Brook Street Band’s Chapel concert

The Brook Street Band’s concert at the Chapel on Saturday 27th February will now start at 7:00pm, rather than at 7:30pm as originally announced. We must apologise for any inconvenience caused by the change.


Review of Chamber Music Weekend

Our Chamber Music Weekend entitled “Cello Con Brio” took place from 15th to 17th January. Sunday morning’s concert was reviewed by Christopher Smith in the Eastern Daily Press on 19th January. He comments that “David Cohen selected an entertaining programme that allowed him to show to advantage his remarkable skills and the qualities of his Montagnana instrument dating from 1735... with Katya Apekisheva, Cohen’s excellent accompanist, sharing fully in delightful feats of inventiveness”


Chamber Music Weekend

A preview of the “Cello Con Brio” weekend which will take place from 15th to 17th January appeared in the Norwich Evening News on Tuesday 5th January 2016 and in the Eastern Daily Press on Friday 8th January.


Change in programme for Chapel Concert on 15th January 2016

We originally announced that the last item in David Cohen’s concert at the Chapel on 15th January would be Ysaye’s Sonata for Solo Cello. This will now be replaced by the Suite for solo cello by Gaspar Cassadó.


Joe Stirling

91 year-old Joe Stirling is a long-standing member of the Music Club. He fled to England from Nazi Germany and has had a fascinating life since then. His biography has been written by Phyllida Scrivens and is entitled “Escaping Hitler, A Jewish Boy’s Quest for Freedom”. It will be published by Pen and Sword Books, with a launch at Jarrolds on Thursday 4th February. There is a two-page feature about him in the Eastern Daily Press of 5th January 2016.

2017 - 2018 Season

Main Series concerts

Chapel concerts

Main Series Calendar


Sept 30: Mark Padmore & Till Fellner

Oct 8: Pavel Haas Quartet & Pavel Nikl

Oct 14: Kuss Quartet

Oct 28: Vienna Piano Trio

Nov 18: Imogen Cooper

Dec 10: Alec Frank-Gemmill, Joe Puglia & Alasdair Beatson


Jan 20/21: Gould Piano Trio: the complete Beethoven piano trios

Jan 27: Quatuor Ébène

Feb 10: Francesco Piemontesi

Feb 18: Haffner Wind Ensemble

Mar 17: Tolga Atalay Ün

Apr 21: Elias Quartet & Navarra Quartet


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