21st May: Lunchtime Concert – Molly Parsons Gurr & Christopher Benham (Cello & Piano)

In our third May lunchtime concert we welcome two performers new to St John’s, cellist Molly Parsons-Gurr, who will be accompanied by pianist Christopher Benham. They will be performing Chopin’s exuberant cello sonata and some elegant Beethoven variations. The sonata is one of only nine works published during Chopin’s lifetime written for instruments other than the piano, and is also the last work published before his death in 1849.

As ever St John’s will be open for an hour before the concert begins, with volunteers from the pop-up café team offering lots of home made sweet and savoury treats as well as hot and cold drinks.

The concert will begin promptly at 1pm. Admission is free, but those who are able to afford it are asked to make a donation. The suggested amount is £5.

About Molly Parsons-Gurr:

Molly Parsons-Gurr began her cello studies in Kent with Anne Smith at the age of thirteen, then completed her undergraduate course at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance with David Kenedy and Naomi Butterworth, then took a place at the Royal College of Music gaining a Master of Performance degree, studying with Alexander Boyarsky and Amanda Truelove.
Molly’s performances are varied and have incorporated concerto performances, of which the first was in Canterbury at the age of eighteen, performing the Vivaldi Double Cello Concerto, which she performed again in 2018 with the Hitchin Chamber Orchestra. In the last three years Molly has been involved in the JAM On The Marsh Festival, in the first year performing Messiaen’s ‘Quartet For The End Of Time’, the second year a recital with pianist and fiancée Adrian Oldland including the Poulenc sonata, and the third year performing the London premier of ‘Voices of Vimy’ for choir and solo cello with The Chapel Choir of Selwyn College, Cambridge at St Brides Church. There have been many diverse recitals, including an event held by Boris Johnson, an event at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, performing in the First International Festival of Music at Chateau des Jalesnes in France, being an on stage cellist during a performance of Dracula, playing in the Women of the World festival orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall and in orchestral tour of North China.
Alongside her performing career Molly teaches cello and piano privately, in St Albans school, St Christopher School in Letchworth and with the Hertfordshire Music Service as an instrumental teacher and orchestral coach.

About Christopher Benham:

Christopher Benham began his musical education as a chorister at Wymondham Abbey, Norfolk. He then went on to study piano and organ at the Colchester Institute School of Music, where he won prizes for solo and ensemble piano playing. After graduating, he joined the Institute’s staff as a piano accompanist. In 1996 he became organist and Director of Music at All Saints’ Church, Hertford, where he continued to develop the strong choral tradition and successfully managed the overhaul of its fine Willis organ.

Chris is a trained teacher. He has held a number of teaching posts and is currently both a teacher of music and the chapel organist at St Edmund’s College, Ware, England’s oldest Catholic school. He performs regularly with a number of instrumentalists, singers and ensembles and has established regular lunchtime concerts in Hertford and Harlow.

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28th May: Lunchtime Piano Concert – Jill Crossland

In the last of our May concerts we welcome back one of our most regular performers of the last few years, pianist Jill Crossland. In this concert she will be performing J S Bach’s French Suite No 5 in G (BWV816), Brahms Intermezzo Op 118/2 and Brahms Variations in D minor Op 18. If you came to our first concert in April you will have heard Adam Heron play another Bach French Suite, No 3 in B minor.

As ever St John’s will be open for an hour before the concert begins, with volunteers from the pop-up café team offering lots of home made sweet and savoury treats as well as hot and cold drinks.

The concert will begin promptly at 1pm. Admission is free, but those who are able to afford it are asked to make a donation. The suggested amount is £5.

About Jill Crossland:

Jill Crossland pursues an active concert and recording career. Jill plays regularly on the South Bank and at the Wigmore Hall in London, and her recent appearances have also included Cadogan, Bridgewater and Fairfield Halls, St George’s Bristol, the Leipzig Gewandhaus, Vienna Musikverein, Vienna Konzerthaus, the National Concert Hall, Dublin and the Sage Gateshead. Jill’s recordings include the Bach Goldberg Variations on Warner Classics and works by Handel, Scarlatti, Mozart and Beethoven. Jill has featured in the Classic FM Hall of Fame and her release of the complete Bach’s Well Tempered Clavier has received high praise, described by the Penguin Guide as ‘a remarkable achievement, ranking with the finest’ Jill was a member of the Arts Council Musicians in residence scheme for Yorkshire. Jill has appeared on radio and TV, including live and recorded broadcasts on BBC Radios 3 and 4. You can see some of Jill’s past performances on Youtube at http://www.youtube.com/user/JillCrosslandPiano

Jill has recently recorded CDs of the keyboard works of Rameau (the collections from 1706 and 1724) issued in 2017 on Signum Classics, described by Gramophone as ‘intelligent, stylish, tasteful, tonally resourceful and beautifully recorded.’ and, in the same sessions, another of Mozart and Beethoven (the Moonlight sonata and the Bagatelles Op 126) described as having “thoughtfulness, liquidity” and “driven excitement” in International Record Review.

4th June: Lunchtime Organ Concert – Stephen Barber

In the last but one in this season of lunchtime concerts we welcome Stephen Barber, a former organist at St John’s. Stephen was due to give an organ recital here in 2016, but this had to be cancelled after smoke damage to the organ when the blower motor caught fire. Since then the organ, originally built in 1917, has undergone a major overhaul. We’ll have full details of the programme nearer to the concert, but Stephen’s programme will include music from Dunstable, Bach, Mendelssohn, and Aston.

As ever St John’s will be open for an hour before the concert begins, with volunteers from the pop-up café team offering lots of home made sweet and savoury treats as well as hot and cold drinks.

The concert will begin promptly at 1pm. Admission is free, but those who are able to afford it are asked to make a donation. The suggested amount is £5.

About Stephen Barber:

Stephen Barber read music at Cambridge University. He undertook post-graduate study at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, when he was also the organ student at St. Paul’s Cathedral where he played regularly. He then moved to St Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin where he was assistant organist and Director of Music in the Cathedral Grammar School. He has given recitals in cathedrals and churches in many parts of England and Ireland and has broadcast on both radio and television. For most of his life he has been a teacher and organist in Peterborough but since retiring to the village of King’s Cliffe has taken over as organist at the Parish Church.

14th May: Lunchtime Concert – Jonathan Hanley & Nicky Losseff (Tenor & Piano)

Our second May lunchtime concert features tenor Jonathan Hanley, who last year performed for us as part of the Berridge Consort. Accompanying him on piano, in her first appearance at Tuesdays Till Two, will be pianist Nicky Losseff. Last year they performed Schubert’s “Die Schöne Müllerin” here together at a Saturday lunchtime concert, and this concert features song cycles by two other great composers: Beethoven’s “An die Ferne Geliebte” and Schumann’s “Liederkreis” (Op. 24).

As ever St John’s will be open for an hour before the concert begins, with volunteers from the pop-up café team offering lots of home made sweet and savoury treats as well as hot and cold drinks.

The concert will begin promptly at 1pm. Admission is free, but those who are able to afford it are asked to make a donation. The suggested amount is £5.

About Jonathan Hanley:

Born in Suffolk, Jonathan was a chorister and choral scholar at St Mary-le-Tower, Ipswich under the direction of Dr Michael Nicholas, before reading History at the University of York, where he was a choral scholar at York Minster. After graduating, he spent three years as a lay clerk at Peterborough Cathedral and has been a member of the ‘Genesis Sixteen’ programme for young singers (2016/2017). He has now turned to freelance singing and currently studies with tenor, Richard Edgar Wilson. Jonathan is also a Monteverdi Choir Apprentice for 2018/2019.

Jonathan has performed as a soloist in the UK and Europe, including at the Trame Sonore Chamber Music Festival in Mantua, the York Early Music Festival and the Malcolm Arnold Festival. He has appeared as a soloist with Royal Northern Sinfonia, Nevill Holt Opera, Yorkshire Baroque Soloists and the Instruments of Time and Truth. Jonathan also enjoys performing English song and lieder, most recently performing Schubert Die Schöne Müllerin with pianist Nicky Losseff.

As an ensemble singer, Jonathan has worked with a variety of ensembles, most notably the Monteverdi Choir, Stile Antico, the Sixteen, the Yorkshire Baroque Soloists, Sansara, Chamber Choir of London, and the Oxford Consort of Voices, with whom he recorded Pelham Humfrey Symphony Anthems, released in 2018. He has also recorded with the choirs of York Minster, Peterborough Cathedral and The Sixteen.

This year, Jonathan will perform JS Bach St John Passion (Evangelist), Monteverdi Vespers (1610), and join the Monteverdi Choir for tours of Handel Semele and Berlioz Benvenuto Cellini in his role as a Monteverdi Apprentice. He will also appear in a contemporary opera performance and recording of Margaret Catchpole – Two Worlds Apart by Stephen Dodgson at Snape Maltings.

Find out more on Jonathan’s website.

About Nicky Losseff:

Nicky studied at the Yehudi Menuhin School as a child and then won a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music, where she graduated with a Distinction and the Lloyd Hartley prize. She spent some years teaching in Iceland and then India, after which she completed a doctorate in historical musicology at Kings College, London. She was a lecturer at the University of York for over 20 years, publishing books, articles, editions and reviews on subjects ranging through medieval polyphony, nineteenth-century cultural studies, psychoanalysis, the aesthetics of silence, and the music of Bartók. She has broadcast for the BBC as a pianist and presenter, performed at international music festivals, and made recordings of contemporary piano music for the NMC label. In 2016, Nicky left academia to return to a life centred on the piano and now accompanies, performs and teaches full time.

7th May: Lunchtime Concert – Zoltan & Jozef Galyas (Piano & Violin)

Our lunchtime concert season continues with an unusual concert featuring two brothers and mixing classical and jazz repertoire. Pianist Zoltan Galyas is making his second appearance at Tuesdays Till Two after performing a solo piano concert here in 2017, while his violinist brother Jozef is making his Tuesdays Till Two début.

Zoltan will perform works by Bach and Chopin (including a piano transcription of a piece originally written for violin) before the two brothers join forces for a Hungarian-tinged and mostly jazzy second half.

As ever St John’s will be open for an hour before the concert begins, with volunteers from the pop-up café team offering lots of home made sweet and savoury treats as well as hot and cold drinks.

The concert will begin promptly at 1pm. Admission is free, but those who are able to afford it are asked to make a donation. The suggested amount is £5.

Programme:

Piano Solos:

J S Bach (transcribed F Busoni): Chaconne in D Minor (BWV 1004)
Chopin: Fantaisie Impromptu (Op 66)

Violin & Piano:

Pictures of Hungary
As Time Goes By
Stella by Starlight
Autumn Leaves
Triste
Bye Bye Blackbird
Czardas: Vittorio Monti

Zoltán Galyas – piano
Jozef Galyas – violin

About Zoltan:

Pianist Zoltan Galyas was born in Slovakia and is now based in London. He specializes in a wide range of music genres from classical, folk, jazz and world/film music. His classical repertoire includes works by Chopin, Bach, Rachmaninoff, and many others.

Zoltan is a junior fellow member at Crans Montana International Music Festival in Switzerland. His musical story is quite remarkable. He started his musical education at age of 10 at his local elementary art school in Slovakia and stopped his studies just after winning National piano competition of Dezider Kardos when at age of 14 he moved to the UK with his family. It was only at the age of 21that he returned to a life as a pianist. He went to Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance and studied piano solo performance under Professor Alexander Ardakov and recently celebrated his Graduation with a Bachelor of Arts Degree. His teachers and mentors during his time at Trinity include Penelope Roskell, Gabriele Baldocci and Mikhail Kazakevich.

His most recent performances were at the House of Commons for the US Ambassador and British American Business and Fullbright US/UK events. He has also recently been offered a place at Royal Academy of Music to study for a Masters Degree in piano/accompaniment under Professor Michael Dussek.

Zoltan is currently in his gap year and preparing for his first CD debut organized by Italian recording label Sheva Collection records. He will record his favourite piano compositions with help and guidance from a pianist Alberto Portugheis. The CD will showcase a special guest who is Grammy awarded violinist Geza Hosszu Legocky. They met in 2013 and after hearing him play Geza has advised and guided Zoltan to further his piano studies. This collaboration will mark their friendship and love for music.

30th April: Lunchtime Concert – Apollo Opera

Tuesdays Till Two returns from after the Easter Break on 30th April and we’re delighted to welcome back Apollo Opera for another concert of operatic treats.

The singers will be Shiona Cormack (Soprano), Jessica Lawrence-Hares (Mezzo-Soprano), Franco Kong (Baritone), and once again Kate Wishart will be providing the piano accompaniment.

There’ll be performing a varied programme, with duets and trios from Mozart’s “Cosi Fan Tutti” , music from Gershwin’s “Porgy and Bess” and a set of songs from China, Scotland and America. Franco will be performing a song in Chinese from the “Yellow River Cantata” to celebrate its 80th anniversary, and his performance will be recorded for a documentary!

As ever St John’s will be open for an hour before the concert begins, with volunteers from the pop-up café team offering lots of home made sweet and savoury treats as well as hot and cold drinks.

The concert will begin promptly at 1pm. Admission is free, but those who are able to afford it are asked to make a donation. The suggested amount is £5.

9th April: Lunchtime Concert – Kate Risdon & Fergus Black (Flute & Piano)

For our last lunchtime concert before the Easter break we are delighted to welcome back flutist Kate Risdon, accompanied on piano by Fergus Black. They will be playing music from Russia (Prokofiev), and Georgia (Taktakishvili).

As ever St John’s will be open for an hour before the concert begins, with volunteers from the pop-up café team offering lots of home made sweet and savoury treats as well as hot and cold drinks.

Admission is free, but we do ask those who can afford it to make a donation to help cover our costs. The suggested donation is £5.

About the Programme:

The concert features epic sonatas by Prokofiev and Taktakishvili. Let the composers be your guides on a lunchtime adventure as you experience first the atmosphere of wartime Russia and then an extravaganza of the best Georgian hospitality: a party with folksong and dancing in the middle of the working day.  No passport needed, just pack your imagination!

About Kate Risdon:

Kate Risdon is flutist with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra’s Resound Ensemble which performed at the BBC Proms in 2018 (in a concert broadcast live from the Royal Albert Hall on BBC Radio 3). She performed as Concerto soloist with the Czek Virtuosi Orchestra in Prague in 2017. She has given solo and ensemble recitals in Peterborough, Stamford, London and Prague. She has worked with the British Paraorchestra, including with the Qatar Philharmonic in Doha and the South Bank Sinfonia for a new commission in 2015 in Colston Hall, Bristol. She teaches privately and for the Peterborough Centre for Young Musicians and as a peripatetic music teacher in schools.