Following on from a successful and popular autumn series of concerts, ASPECT Foundation for Music and Arts returns to Notting Hill and Kensington in 2015 for a set of events that will take us right up until June. Concerts will feature artists such as Mahan Esfahani, Rachel Podger, The Endellion String Quartet and Ferenc Rados with speakers including Norman Lebrecht, Ruth Padel, Stephen Johnson and Misha Donat. Taking place in the beautiful twin venues of the 20th Century Theatre on Westbourne Grove and Leighton House, close to Kensington High Street, ASPECT’s spring season is sure to deliver a wonderful, entertaining and illuminating series of evenings.
As ever, ASPECT’s concerts present ‘Music in Context’ – that is, each event combines performance, lecture and discussion in such a way that the audience experiences not only a music recital, but also an inspiring and enlightening mix of art history and social culture. Thought-provoking and inspiring, ASPECT’s events are more than just a concert! The 2015 Spring Season will feature concerts on three different themes – Musical Capitals, Words of Music and Composers on Composers.
The first event of the year is titled Berlin: The Age of Enlightenment and will take place on Saturday 24th January at the 20th Century Theatre. Part of their Musical Capitals series, the evening will see Sonata in D major for viola da gamba and harpsichord, Wq. 88 (C.P.E. Bach); Trio Sonata in A minor, QV 2:Anh. 34 (Quantz); Sonata in C major for flute and basso continuo, SpiF 40 (Frederick II (‘the Great’) of Prussia); and Trio Sonata in C minor from The Musical Offering, BWV 1079 (J.S. Bach) performed.
To start the evening, speaker Norman Lebrecht will discuss what it takes to be a musical capital and examine how Berlin now stands as something of a cultural hub, home to ‘the world’s finest orchestra’ and the greatest number of world-class opera houses in one city, as well as a diverse alternative music scene. Following this, award-winning harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani will explore Berlin’s musical origins: from Frederick the Great’s musical consolations, the musicians and great minds he gathered around him, and those he drove away. The evening will also feature Rachel Brown (flute), Madeleine Easton (violin), and Richard Boothby (viola da gamba).
On Wednesday 25th February, Beethoven: Twenty-Five Years of Quartet Making at the 20th Century Theatre will feature one of Beethoven’s earliest string quartets as well as one of his last, both performed by The Endellions. The quartets will frame readings by poet Ruth Padel of new works that meditate on the time and circumstances of their creation.
Monday 2nd March will see Bellini and Chopin: Weeping in Song at Leighton House. Tenor Gyula Rab plus pianists Thomas Harris and Aldemir Tokov perform tonight as prize-winners at the Musical Odyssey international summer masterclasses for pianists and singers; the three were awarded the opportunity to participate in an ASPECT concert because of their outstanding musicality and the evidence they gave of their potential to develop careers in the international music industry. Christie’s Education senior lecturer Patrick Bade will also be giving an illustrated talk.
On Tuesday 31st March at The 20th Century Theatre, Winds of Change: Vienna, St Petersburg, Paris sees pianist Vsevolod Dvorkin and clarinettist Alexander Bedenko perform Mozart’s sublime Quintet in E flat major, K452, plus works by Rimsky-Korsakov and Poulenc.
Wanderers: Byron, Liszt and Berlioz will be performed on Saturday 25th April at Leighton House – violinist Iakov Zats and pianist Vsevolod Dvorkin will explore Liszt’s Années de pèlerinage. Première année: Suisse and Harold en Italie by Liszt/Berlioz, with Stephen Johnson providing an illustrated talk.
London: Eighteenth-Century Court and Salon Music will be performed on Wednesday 13th May at 20th Century Theatre. The vibrant theatre, chapel and chamber music of seventeenth and eighteenth century London will be explored with performances from Rachel Podger and Brecon Baroque and a talk by speaker Richard Wigmore.
On 10th June at The 20th Century Theatre, Schubert: In the Footsteps of Beethoven will see legendary pianist Ferenc Rados performing with ASPECT for the first time, with Misha Donat providing an illustrative talk.
To round off the spring season, Britten and Shostakovich: A Remarkable Friendship will be performed on Thursday 11th June at the 20th Century Theatre. Shostakovich’s Cello Sonata, Op. 40 and Britten’s Cello Sonata, Op. 65 will be performed by Aleksei Kiseliov and pianist Itamar Golan.
All concerts commence at 7.30pm. Tickets for concerts cost £25, which includes wine and refreshments. Tickets can be purchased by calling the box office on 07799 090826 or by booking online at www.aspectfoundation.net.
ASPECT Foundation for Music and Arts – Spring Season
24th January, 25th February, 2nd March, 31st March, 25th April, 13th May, 10th June and 11th June 2015