17th May: Mesh – A new evening event in St John’s

Next Wednesday at 6pm St John’s will be hosting a night of international poetry and music. With performers from as far afield as East Timor, Lithuania, Africa and Brazil it should be a night of surprises. If you’ve come to our Tuesdays Till Two concerts a lot will seem familiar – the chance to enjoy a slice of cake with a hot drink in our café area, followed at 7.15pm by some serious but (we hope) uplifting culture – but we hope that “Mesh”, as we’ve named our new event, will have a distinctive feel of its own. At Mesh we’ll be aiming to be multicultural in more ways than one – bringing together writers, musicians, photographers, and artists, and bringing together the many different communities that now make up our city, giving all of us a chance to share each other’s food, culture and company. Unlike at Tuesdays Till Two we’ll have live music while the café is running, so please don’t turn up just before 7.15pm, or you’ll find you’ve missed the chance to hear Brazilian guitarist Estevão Devides, and violinist Anthony Nottingham. The poetic part of the proceedings will be split into three sections, and we’ll have some more music while you have a chance to do some mid air refuelling from our café. We’re very grateful to the “Shepherd’s Inn” Lithuanian restaurant, which will be supplying some Lithuanian treats for you to enjoy from our café.

Future Mesh events will probably take place on Fridays, but this time around we couldn’t pass up the opportunity for you to hear from three prominent Lithuanian writers, who are visiting the city on 16th and 17th May. The day before they perform for us they will be reading from their work in Lithuanian at Chauffeurs Cottage, but on the 17th they will be reading their work in English translation, as will some of our other international performers. We’ll also be bringing you poetry from the African, Portuguese, and Latvian communities in Peterborough as well as a chance to hear from well known local poets like Viv Foster, and our former poet in residence Pete “Cardinal” Cox. Alun Williams, who will be familiar to many as the regular host of Tuesdays Till Two, runner-up to Charley Genever at the last Poet Laureate of Peterborough competition will host the evening, and also hopes to read some of his recent work. Charley Genever won’t be performing, but she will be on hand, with entry forms and information about the next Poet Laureate competition, which is scheduled to take place in September at the Key Theatre.

16th May: Lunchtime Concert – Irena Radić (Piano)

Our Tuesdays Till Two lunchtime concerts continue with our second solo pianist of the season, Irena Radić, who makes a welcome return to St John’s as a soloist after two duo appearances here last August. In a rich and varied programme, Irena will play works by Mozart, Liszt and Carl Vine.

As usual the café will be open from noon, serving a range of hot drinks and homemade quiche, cakes,scones etc. All profits from the café will go to The Green Backyard.

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 £4.

About Irena:

British pianist Irena Radić is currently studying at the Royal College of Music, London with Niel Immelman. She began learning the piano with Jenny Macmillan and later studied with Lynette Stulting at the RCM’s Junior Department as a Tsukanov Scholar and recipient of the Wolfson Music Award.

She has won several awards and was chosen to perform at the Wigmore Hall as a prizewinner in the Jaques Samuel Junior Department Piano Festival 2012 & 2013. Other awards include the Teresa Carreño Piano Prize 2014, Young Musician of the Year 2013 at both Peterborough and Oundle Music Festivals, the Head of Junior Programmes Prize, and runner up in the Gordon Turner Memorial Competition. Irena has performed in venues such as the Venezuelan Embassy’s Bolivar Hall, West Road Concert Hall in Cambridge and the Amaryllis Flemming Concert Hall. She has also had the pleasure of performing in numerous public masterclasses across the UK, Jersey, and Greece with pianists including Cristina Ortiz, Norma Fisher, Charles Owen, Murray McLachlan and Vanessa Latarche.

Irena performs regularly as a chamber musician and last year founded a duo with Swedish guitarist Jonatan Bougt, with whom she enjoys creating new arrangements for their Piano and Guitar duo; upcoming performances feature their arrangement of Ravel’s Ma Mere l’Oye (Mother Goose Suite) and Shostakovich’s 24 Preludes Op.34. Irena has worked in various ensembles, including performances of Piano Trios by Beethoven and Rebecca Clarke. This year will feature a premiere of Tantrum – a new work for Piano and Percussion by Nino Russell, and a performance of Bartok’s Sonata for 2 Pianos and Percussion.

In addition to her work as a chamber musician, Irena enjoys orchestral piano and celeste, and has performed with conductors such as Bernard Haitink, Peter Stark, Richard Dickins and Tim Lines in venues including the Cadogan Hall, St John’s Smith Square and the Royal Festival Hall. Recent performances include works such as Copland’s Appalachian Spring, Ravel’s Daphnis & Chloé, Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet Suite, Shostakovich’s Symphony no.5, Bernstein’s West Side Story – Symphonic Dances, Stravinsky’s Song of the Nightingale, Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite, Reich’s Three Movements for Orchestra, Webern’s Five Pieces for Orchestra, Szymanowski’s Violin Concerto no.1 and Walton’s Cello Concerto.

9th May: Lunchtime concert – “First Violins”

“First Violins!” features the talents not of an entire orchestral section but of just one (highly talented) violinist, Roger Stimson, and his piano accompanist, Fergus Black. In this lunchtime concert, Roger and Fergus will be playing the first violin sonatas of Mozart, Haydn, and Beethoven.

As usual the café will be open from noon, serving a range of hot drinks and homemade quiche, cakes, scones etc. All profits from the café will go to The Green Backyard.

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 £4.

Roger and Fergus will play the Mozart sonata first, then the Haydn, and finally the Beethoven. This the order in which they were composed: Mozart composed his first violin sonata aged just eight, while Hadyn, born 24 years before Mozart, did not compose his first violin sonata, taken from a piano trio for which the cello part is possibly not authentic, until 1792, a year after Mozart’s death. Beethoven, born in 1770 composed his first violin sonata in 1798.

2nd May: Lunchtime Concert – “There’s something about Clara”

In our first lunchtime concert of 2017 to feature a singer, cathedral lay clerk Jonathan Hanley takes a break from his day job as St John’s parish administrator, and performs for us some of the 19th century’s most beautiful songs, works by Robert Schumann and Johannes Brahms, including one of Schumann’s great song cycles, his opus 39, “Liederkreis”.

Ben Horden will provide the piano accompaniment for Jonathan’s fine tenor voice.

As usual the café will be open from noon, serving a range of hot drinks and homemade quiche, cakes, scones etc. All profits from the café will go to The Green Backyard.

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 £4.

Something about Clara!

Clara Wieck, who was already touring Europe as pianist from the age of 11, earning the admiration of such heroes of the Romantic Era as Goethe, Paganini, and Chopin, was only 18 years old when in 1837 she received and accepted a proposal of marriage from composer Robert Schumann, nine years her senior, and then a pupil of her father Friedrich. Friedrich was bitterly opposed to the proposed marriage, and the couple were only united in 1840, after successfully suing Friedrich and obtaining a judge’s permission to marry. In the years that followed, inspired by his love for Clara, Robert composed many wonderful songs. In 1853 the young Brahms, then only 20, became a protégé of the couple, but in 1854 tragedy struck, when Robert, in the grip of mental illness, attempted suicide and was confined to an insane asylum for the remainder of his life. Brahms had been staying with the family and continued to live with Clara and her children until Robert’s death two years later in 1856, and he and Clara remained devoted friends until their deaths, only eleven months apart, some forty years later. So it was that Clara, herself a composer, became the inspiration for two other great German composers.

25th April: Lunchtime Concert – Jill Crossland (Piano)

Eleven months after she last played for us, pianist Jill Crossland returns to St John’s as our first musician in a season of eight Tuesdays Till Two concerts running between April 25th and 13th June. Jill is known for her interpretation of music by composers such as J S Bach, Mozart and Scarlatti, and Chopin. In this concert she will play sonatas by Scarlatti, nocturnes by Chopin, and the Bach Partita No 1 in B flat, BWV825.

As usual the café will be open from noon, serving a range of hot drinks and homemade quiche, cakes, scones etc. All profits from the café will go to The Green Backyard.

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 £4.

About Jill:

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. More information about Jill can be found on www.jillcrossland.com and you can see her 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 last year 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. Jill is just completing post-production of recordings of Bach, Mozart and Chopin and the first pre-production examples will be available for sale at the concert.

Tuesdays Till Two returns on 25th April

After a break over Easter Tuesdays Till Two concerts will resume on 25th April, with a recital by pianist Jill Crossland, and there will be a concert every Tuesday until 13th June. This is the longest season of Tuesdays Till Two concerts yet!

You can download the concert flyer as a PDF.


7th April: Evening Concert – Arvo Pärt’s “Passio” performed by The Façade Ensemble

facebook eventSt John’s is pleased to welcome The Façade Ensemble, for a performance of Arvo Pärt’s 1982 composition “Passio Domini Nostri Jesu Christi secundum Joannem”.

Tickets for this performance will cost £10 on the door. Advance Tickets price £9 will be available from the welcome counter in St John’s from Wednesday 8th March. Online tickets are available for £9 + booking fee.

Pärt’s compelling and profoundly beautiful setting of the St. John Passion (accompanied by organ, violin, oboe, ‘cello and bassoon) is the culmination of his popular ‘tintinnabuli’ style. Inspired by medieval music (and meaning ‘little bells’), this style of composition pares music down to its triadic simplicity. Echoing the earliest monophonic Passion settings, such music – like the narrative itself – is as powerfully dramatic to the modern ear as it has ever been.

The Façade Ensemble will also be performing Passio in Oxford, London, and at Ely Cathedral.

The Façade Ensemble conduced by Benedict Collins Rice
James Bartlett – Jesus
Will Searle – Pilate
Rosalind Dobson, Helen Charlston, Hiroshi Amako, Robbie Haylett – Evangelist Quartet
Alex Goodwin – Organ