Livestream Concert: Century of Music by British Women 1921-2021

When: March 8 2021

Where: Virtual, United Kingdom

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On International Women's Day violinist Madeleine Mitchell directs a live streamed concert at St John’s Smith Square, London celebrating A Century of Music by British Women (1921-2021) with her London Chamber Ensemble.

Directed by Madeleine Mitchell

Includes the world premiere of a new violin work by Errollyn Wallen CBE

8 March 2021 – 8pm (UK) live stream: https://www.sjss.org.uk/online-performances

Cost: free of charge (donations welcome)

Also simultaneously streamed on SJSS Facebook channel

Available to watch free of charge for a month afterwards on the SJSS website and youtube channel

PROGRAMME:
Rebecca Clarke (1886-1979) - Piano Trio (1921) 23'
Judith Weir (b.1954) - Atlantic Drift duo for 2 violins (1995) 3’
Helen Grime (b.1981) - Miniatures for oboe & piano 2005) 5'
Judith Weir (b.1954) - The Bagpiper's String Trio (1985) 8'
Cheryl-Frances Hoad (b.1980) - Invocation for cello & piano 3'
Thea Musgrave (b.1928) - Colloquy (violin & piano, 1960) 11'
Ruth Gipps (1921-99) Prelude for bass clarinet (1958) 6'
Errollyn Wallen (b.1958) - new piece for Madeleine Mitchell violin & piano c5', 2021 - World Premiere
* Grace Williams (1906-77) - Suite for Nine Instruments (1934) 14'

* on Grace Williams Chamber Music Album (Naxos/BMS) - Guardian CD of the Week and no.2 in the Classical Charts on release 8.3.19 Madeleine Mitchell/London Chamber Ensemble

As well as devising the programmes for these concerts, celebrated violinist Madeleine Mitchell, founder and director of the London Chamber Ensemble, has also commissioned Errollyn Wallen CBE to write a new piece for violin and piano, supported by the RVW Trust. Wallen said she wanted to create a special piece for Mitchell and it is called Sojourner Truth, named after the African American Abolitionist and Women's Rights Activist.

About the concert Madeleine Mitchell said:
“I think it’s really important to celebrate British women with the fine music they’ve written over the past century, in a range of styles, some of it unjustly neglected. It's incredible to think Rebecca Clarke was the first female professional viola player to join a London orchestra and how difficult it was to be a woman composer then. I’ve been fortunate to have many pieces written for me throughout my career and I’m thrilled to have a new work by Errollyn Wallen, which I will include on my next album.”

Mitchell’s album of Grace Williams’ Chamber Music (Naxos) – all previously unrecorded – released on International Women’s Day 2019, was an outstanding success. Richard Bratby, in Gramophone wrote: “Passionate and persuasive advocacy…a powerful musical personality, well served by some gripping interpretations. More please.” The concert includes a major chamber work by Williams, the Suite for Nine Instruments. Richard Fairman wrote in the Financial Times: “The outstanding work is the Suite for Nine Instruments of 1934. The inclusion of the trumpet, the composer’s favourite instrument, gives the ensemble a characteristically alert sound, with a  touch of Stravinsky-like ascerbity and not a note is wasted. The piece is a lot of fun”.  

In this live streamed concert on International Women’s Day Madeleine Mitchell has put together a fantastic range of chamber music celebrating some of the finest British female composers of the past 100 years. It embraces the passionate lyricism of Grace Williams’ rarely performed large chamber works, the beautiful and finely crafted piano by Rebecca Clarke of 1921, the year of Ruth Gipps’ birth and appealing works by five living composers, including the Master of the Queen’s Music and the world premiere of a new violin piece for Mitchell by Errollyn Wallen.

Madeleine Mitchell (violin), Joseph Spooner (cello), Sophia Rahman and Ian Pace (piano), David Aspin (viola), Gordon MacKay (violin), Lynda Houghton (double bass), Peter Cigleris (clarinet & bass clarinet), Nancy Ruffer (flute), Bruce Nockles (trumpet), Alec Harmon (oboe)

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