Journey – a concert with Claire Jones

The London Mozart Players are joined for this special concert by Claire Jones. Claire was Official Harpist to His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales until 2011. The LMP recently joined Claire to record her new album, ‘Journey’ a collection of pieces drawn from classical repertoire, film scores and the airs and folk melodies of the British Isles. These trace Claire’s personal journey from a dark and debilitating year suffering from ME Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, back to health. This concert forms the public launch of this new album, and a welcome return to the concert stage for Claire.

Proceeds from the event will go to the Optimum Health Clinic Foundation‘s research into treatments for ME.
St John’s Smith Square – 5th March – 7.30pm – Tickets

Mozart Flute and Harp Concerto – Soloists Claire Jones Harp and Juliette Bausor Flute
Tracks from Claire Jones’ CD “Journey”
Mozart Symphony 40 in G minor

Lords and Ladies attend LMP concert at St John’s

We have just heard that the “All Party Parliamentary Group for Classical Music” will attend todays concert at St John’s Smith Square

New LMP Recording at Number 1 in Classical Album Chart

Back in July 2014 we were at Henry Wood Hall with Naxos, recording with Hilary Davan Wetton, Roderick Williams and the City of London Choir. The subsequent recording described as ‘an anthology of twentieth century British music on the themes of war and lost youth, set against a background of the English countryside and a centuries-old pattern of rural life,’ includes the premiere recording of Finzi’s Requiem da Camera in its new completion by Christian Alexander. It also features Oscar-winning actor Jeremy Irons, who provides the narration for Vaughan Williams’ haunting Oxford Elegy.

Released in early November, the recording entered the Classical Album Charts at No.2 and then climbed to Number 1.

Press Reviews

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Flowers of the field

Christmas Concert Dec 14th, 7.30pm at St John’s Smith Square

We are delighted to be collaborating on this exciting event with Suzi Digby OBE and to be celebrating Christmas at St John’s Smith Square. Programme to include Britten’s St Nicolas cantata, Vaughan Williams Fantasia on Christmas Carols, and Frank Bridge’s Sir Roger de Coverley (A Christmas Dance). There’ll be carols to sing and Thomas Hardy readings; a very English Christmas. Sunday 14th December, 7.30pm

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Two concerts for the price of one!

LMP Principal Double Bass player and conductor Stacey Watton will be presenting a Concert by Candlelight with the LMP on 30th November, 7.30pm at St Mary’s Church, Rotherhithe, SE16 4JE, with programme to feature Beethoven’s Symphony No.2, Barber’s Adagio for Strings and Brahms Violin Concerto.

But that’s not all ladies and gents… If you purchase a ticket for the 30th November (£20), you will gain FREE entry to Stacey’s ‘New Talent Conducting Showcase Concert’ on 29th November, 2.30pm at St Mary’s Church with the LMP. Programme will include excerpts of Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante, Violin Concertos 3 & 5, and Tchaikovsky Serenade for Strings.

Reserve your tickets by calling 07811373415 or email info@lmp.org

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Hidden Croydon Exhibition

I happened upon some WW1 postcards when I was researching my family heritage. Building your family tree is extremely addictive I warn you, but it also gave a certain amount of inspiration to the ‘Hidden Croydon’ project. ‘History is made by individuals’ is an opinion thrown around often by historians, and I think on the whole they mean ‘great’ individuals; Kings and Queens, political leaders and human rights activists. This is great for school curriculum and for the study of the objective, but I don’t think we consider the subjective nature of history enough. The personal implications of world events. The effect of ‘great’ individual decisions on the ‘small’ individuals. It is focused on greatly in today’s news reports, but slowly through the ages we may lose perception of the human emotions felt at the time, whether they be anger or joy, confusion or certainty, fear or hope. postcard to my dear wife_0001 smaller

However, I do not think that this is the case for the First World War. The events that led up to and followed the 4th August 1914 have been well documented not only by historians, but also depicted by many war poets and writers, classical composers and artists. A very human reaction; honest, brutal and unforgiving. But behind these writings, music and images, which are often at the risk of being glamorised, was a very real experience and can be expressed most effectively by the ‘small’ individual.

This is where ‘Hidden Croydon’ came in. When I found my Great Grandfather’s postcards, it was like holding a piece of history in my hands, and he and other ‘small’ individuals had been given a voice. Unfortunately the embroidered ones appear to have been stuck into a scrap book, so the writing on the back is illegible, apart from a long line of kisses on the bottom of one. However, on the one that reads ‘Till we meet again’, we can read written in pen by my Great Grandmother, Elizabeth Davies;

“I think of you today dear though we are far apart,
I send my loving wishes, to greet my true sweetheart.
From Lizzie.”

And then a reply in pencil from David Davies:

“From a hungry husband sending this out of the trenches to you. From Dai to Lizzie”postcard till we meet again_0001 smaller

All my Great Grandfathers fought in the trenches and all of them returned home, a fact for which I’m extremely grateful for, as my grandparents were born post-1918. But I’m also grateful to my grandmother for recognising the significance of this world event in the context of the Davies family, preserving these postcards for future generations to truly appreciate the personal cost of the war.

I don’t think there are many who escaped school without at least touching upon the catastrophic loss of the First World War. I also don’t think there are many people alive today whose family weren’t affected in some way. Whether their ancestors worked on the land, in munitions factories, down the mines, volunteered as medics or played any part in the war effort, this all goes to paint a raw picture of that moment in time, made up of personal voices and faces of the significant unknown and ‘small’ individuals of that generation. This is what the ‘Hidden Croydon’ project is all about.

Jenny Brady

Hidden Croydon Exhibition open from 12 pm on 14th November at Fairfield Halls Croydon. ALL WELCOME.

Claire Jones recording sessions

On Oct 22nd the LMP recorded a new album with Claire “The Girl With The Golden Harp”. The album is due to be released on March 1st. Please let us know if you would like to pre order a copy

Claire Jones (born in 1985) is a Welsh harpist who held the title of Official Harpist to the Prince of Wales from 2007 to 2011.

Jones was born in Crymych, Pembrokeshire, and began playing the harp at the age of 10; she performed for the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh when she was 16. In 2007, she was one of the inaugural winners of The Prince of Wales’s Advanced Study in Music Award, and was appointed as the prince’s official Harpist for a 3-year term. During the previous year, she had won the harp solo at the National Eisteddfod of Wales, been a finalist at the Third International Harp Contest in France, and won the Royal College of Music Harp Competition.

http://www.clairejones.co.uk

Connecting Generations: WW1 Songs Remembered and Shared

As part of a wide-reaching WW1 commemoration project, the London Mozart Players, Croydon’s resident orchestra, have been facilitating the visits of newly established primary school choirs to Croydon senior’s homes

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As well as preparing Jonathan Dove’s new commission For an Unknown Soldier, the children of Atwood Primary Academy, Croydon Parish Church Juniors, Ecclesbourne Primary Academy and Monks Orchard Primary, have also been learning old wartime songs, and creating their own variations of them to sing to residents of local care homes. Repertoire includes Wish Me Luck, It’s a long way to Tipperary and other familiar tunes.

The choir of Monks Orchard Primary School performed at Elizabeth Court  on Wednesday 1st October, which also happened to be International Older People’s Day.

The ‘Coffee Concerts’ which have come to be known as WW1 Songs Remembered and Shared, are an important part of the project for several reasons. They are providing an important performance opportunity for the schools in the lead up to the main concert on the 14th November, and they are also encouraging the children to engage creatively with a bygone era.

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PRESS RELEASE: World Premieres of ‘For an Unknown Soldier’

The London Mozart Players and The Portsmouth Grammar School collaborate to commission major new cantata from Jonathan Dove to commemorate WWI

• World Première performances in Portsmouth and Croydon in November 2014
• Over 300 children from Portsmouth Grammar School and Croydon primary schools involved in the first performances
• Featuring renowned choral conductor Nicholas Cleobury and outstanding young tenor Nicholas Sharratt.

The London Mozart Players and The Portsmouth Grammar School will present the World Première performances of a major new co-commission from Jonathan Dove on 9 November 2014 in Portsmouth Cathedral and 14 November in Fairfield Halls Croydon. For an Unknown Soldier is a setting for tenor solo, children’s choir, adult chorus and chamber orchestra of nine poems about the First World War. Opening with a setting of Wilfred Owen’s portentous ‘1914’, the work offers a moving meditation on the tragedy of war with poems by Mary Gabrielle Collins, Helen Dircks and Ivor Gurney among others.

The LMP is delighted to continue what has become an annual collaboration with Portsmouth Grammar School, which has in recent years seen the commissioning of important new work from composers such as Roxanna Panufnik and Sir Peter Maxwell Davies.

James Priory, Headmaster of Portsmouth Grammar School comments:
“We are thrilled to be giving young musicians from Portsmouth and Croydon the opportunity to work with a living composer and to be involved in creating a major new musical work inspired by Remembrance. I cannot think of a better way for young people to engage creatively in the centenary of the Great War.”

Viv Davies, Managing Director of the London Mozart Players comments:
“We are really excited to be collaborating with the Portsmouth Grammar School and Jonathan Dove on such a significant and important project. The preparation for the events in November has brought together diverse individuals and groups in a unified and common purpose. We have no doubt that the première performances of the cantata will be profound and moving occasions that will express, in a wonderfully creative way, the essence, spirit and deep significance of remembrance. We are looking forward to it immensely.”

PRESS RELEASE: Simon Blendis appointed as Leader

We are delighted to announce the appointment of Simon Blendis as joint Leader of the London Mozart Players. Simon will take up the position in October 2014 and share this highly prestigious role with Marieke Blankestijn, who has led the orchestra since 2011.
Simon has an international reputation as a soloist, orchestral leader and chamber musician, and has been a member of the award-winning Schubert Ensemble since 1995. He has made numerous, widely acclaimed solo and chamber ensemble recordings and appeared regularly at Europe’s major concert venues. He is in regular demand as guest leader with many of the UK’s major orchestras and has shared the position of ‘First Concertmaster’ with the Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa in Japan since 1999.
Simon responded to the news of his appointment by saying, “I feel so honoured to be taking on this role with the London Mozart Players. Over the past few years I have had the immense pleasure of directing the orchestra in a number of high-profile performances, and the prospect of further developing this and creating new projects in the years ahead is incredibly exciting. The LMP occupies a special place in the musical life of this country and this is a great time to be getting on board. I really can’t wait to get started!”
Sebastian Comberti, LMP’s principal cellist remarks that: “It is absolutely wonderful for us that a musician of Simon’s calibre and standing is joining the LMP team. Having worked with him in a variety of ensembles over many years, I am in no doubt whatsoever that he will bring a special zest to the orchestra. We are all hugely looking forward to this new collaboration.”
Viv Davies, the LMP’s Managing Director comments: “We are really thrilled that Simon is joining the orchestra as leader. He is an enormously talented musician and has established a wonderful rapport with the players. We are delighted to be working with him as we launch a new and exciting phase of development for the LMP as the UK’s first player-managed chamber orchestra.”
Simon launches his new role with the LMP in performances with international soloist, Tasmin Little, in October 2014.

http://www.simonblendis.com/

Our concert on November 13th with City Of London Choir in St John’s Smith Square

The LMP has been invited to accompany the City Of London Choir conducted by Hilary Davan Wetton in a programme entitled “Music in Time Of War”

Finzi – Requiem da Camera

Haydn – Missa in Tempore Belli

Tippett – Five Spirituals (from A Child Of Our Time)

Butterworth – The Banks of Green Willow

see below the poster

Music in Time of War Flier

Tickets on sale for Bruckner Mass

Tickets can now be purchased for our concert on Oct 9th.

Click here to buy your tickets

See our concerts page for more details

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Louise Honeyman – Recollections from Margaret Archibald

Personal Recollections of Louise Honeyman

The ‘phone rang. “Is that Margaret Archibald?” “Speaking.” “It’s Louise Honeyman; are you free on…” Just one more musician fixed for a date, but for me this was the beginning of a professional and personal relationship that was quite literally to change my life.

It was Louise who booked me near the start of my career for the Thames Chamber Orchestra and the English Symphony Orchestra, often playing for choral societies; it was Louise who seized on my enthusiasm for the C clarinet, asked if I was interested in authentic performance and launched me on my career as a period instrument player with my first date a Prom with the Academy of Ancient Music; it was Louise who helped me make the arrangements to have a babysitter with me on the flights and in the hotels when I took my four-and-a-half month old baby to Toulouse, Paris and Geneva; it was Louise who facilitated the arrangements when Lina Lalandi needed my seven year old son to be a Prince on stage for Gluck’s Alceste in Monaco; it was Louise who invited me to be sub- Principal clarinet of the London Mozart Players under Jane Glover and who told the wind players that she wanted us to form a wind chamber ensemble because she thought we deserved it. Finally, for me most life-changing of all, it was Louise who invited me to set up the “first year” of education and community work when the LMP became resident orchestra in Croydon, setting me on a course that saw me obsessively run the orchestra’s education work for the next 21 years.

Louise was more than just a fixer, she was a friend, a counsellor in times of trouble, always there to talk through a problem whether professional or personal. She would fight her corner but equally would listen to another point of view. She was a woman with a mission, and if this meant sacrificing a house and garden in north-west London for a tiny attic flat above the office in Croydon, this was something she cheerfully undertook to do in order to pursue her goal of fostering and building the London Mozart Players. Louise’s devotion to the orchestra was absolute, and she was always at every concert, sitting backstage busy with administrative tasks and ready to deal with any queries, comments, opinions or worries. I remember the anniversary of German re-unification when she bought the entire orchestra lunch in Dresden, following our morning concert there before we set out on another long coach journey to Leipzig for a concert that same evening in the Thomaskirche. On another occasion Louise chartered a plane to get us home from Lyons using an out-of-the-way military airfield somewhere for a late-night flight. She came with us on the ferry to Boulogne for the Menuhin Competition, and on the way home soothed the French customs officials who suffered a complete sense of humour failure when the mother of a young Japanese soloist took flash photos at the border post.

Memories of Louise are inextricably bound up with mental images of David, her partner, with whom she made common cause, building a vibrant community from a disparate group of freelance musicians and showing the way that an orchestra can be embedded in its local community through its outreach work. I was so lucky and honoured to be trusted by Louise to develop the LMP education and community work, and I threw all my personal creativity and energy at the project. At first I referred to Louise for every tiny decision until the day when she said, “Margaret, I haven’t got time to answer all these questions, just sort it out!” I went on “just sorting it out” for more than two decades and gained a wealth of experience, meeting many inspirational people in schools, nursing homes, hospitals, hospices, kids clubs, youth clubs and local authorities, and above all working with many wonderful colleagues who remain my very closest friends and with whom I continue to work now under the banner of my new charity Everyone Matters. Louise is a hard act to follow but I hope I can make even half the contribution that she did.

Margaret Archibald

Come on an International conducting course

Maestro Jorma Panula Conducting Masterclass with the World Famous London Mozart Players

November 26th -29th 2014

This International conducting course has 13 spaces available, and unlimited viewing only participant spaces.

The world famous London Mozart Players is one of the UK’s longest standing Chamber Orchestras containing the highest calibre musicians London has to offer. Each of its members play in all of the other London and UK orchestras not to mention internationally, so this is an ideal opportunity for new conductors to enhance their reputations not only in London but also throughout the UK and Internationally.

The course will comprise of 3 days of workshop allowing 13 students to have 25 minutes of podium time per day. On the 4th day there will be a short top and tail rehearsal for each candidate before giving a public performance showcasing what they have learnt during the course. Maestro Panula and the orchestra will agree the performance repertoire for this concert. Each evening before the concert day Maestro Panula will review the students work that day.

A vast amount of repertoire is available including works by Mozart, Haydn, Mendelssohn, Rossini, Tchaikovsky, Delius and Fauré and many more. A full list a repertoire can be forwarded and every effort will be made to accommodate the candidates’ choices once all the course places have been allocated.

Feed back and constructive comments will also be given from the orchestra members.

FOUR inexpensive rooms are available for accommodation with the possibility of sharing, these will be on a first come first served basis.

As a bonus, one or two exceptionally gifted conductors may be allowed to post material they record online, but only by consent of the orchestra members. No official recording will be made but candidates are welcome to bring their own video cameras / recording devices.

Fees: (to be made by bank transfer in sterling only)

Full time conducting participant £1950 Sterling circa 2460 euros

None conducting viewing only participant £300 Sterling circa 379 euros

Please contact Stacey Watton if you would like to participate. You will need to send a covering letter including your CV, Biography and Photo along with video footage of you conducting in performance and rehearsal. Please book early to avoid disappointment.

Contact:
Stacey Watton Bmus (Hons) LGSM staceywattonconductor@gmail.com www.staceywatton.com
mobile: 0044 7811 373 415

Children learn about the war

LOOKING BACK: Children from Ecclebourne Primary School and music teacher Tim Sporerer with a log book from when pupils were evacuated from the school’s former buildings to make way for a war hospital. The book is on display at Croydon Museum”

Details of the Concert

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Croydon School Artwork Competition

Help us to mark the WW1 centenary with the community of Croydon

As part of our commemorative concert on 14th November at Fairfield Halls, we are inviting schools across the borough to produce one piece of artwork inspired by the words ‘For an Unknown Soldier’ to enter an art competition. The three best pieces of work as judged by independent judges will be displayed at The Croydon Clocktower, Katherine Street.

For more information contact Jenny Brady at the LMP office, telephone: 020 8686 1996, or email: info@lmp.org
LMP schools poster WW1 concert-no marks (2)

London Premiere – November 14

This event is expected to sell out. Tickets from £12.

Box office 020 8688 9291

Click here for more details

Click here to purchase tickets

The London Mozart Players are proud to announce their special concert at Fairfield Halls to mark the centenary of WW1 on Friday 14th November at 7.30pm.

This concert is the culmination of a far-reaching community project funded jointly by the Arts Council of Great Britain, Croydon Council and Portsmouth Grammar School.

The project has touched the community of Croydon on many levels with the formation of four junior school choirs performing alongside Whitgift School, Croydon Minster and Portsmouth Grammar School choirs in the London premiere of For an Unknown Solider written by the renowned composer Jonathan Dove.

Riddlesdown Collegiate will curate a WW1 commemoration exhibition to be displayed in the foyer on 14th November created from their trip to the First World War, Stories of Croydon exhibition at the Museum of Croydon, memorabilia collected from the residents of Croydon and their written responses to these artefacts.

All schools in Croydon have been invited to produce artwork to mark WW1 that will be displayed that evening in the Fairfield Halls.

We will be joined in the concert by young instrumentalists from Croydon Music and Arts who will play side by side with the LMP. Flautist Emma Halnan, the Croydon Festival winner 2013, will also perform a concerto with us.

We invite you all to join us with the community of Croydon to mark the WW1 Centenary.

Friday November 14th 2014, Fairfield Halls, Croydon at 7.30pm

 

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LMP Plays for “Strictly” Star

The LMP have been asked to play for a charity event for Kristina Rihanoff – professional dancer from the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing. The event will be at the Mansion House and those in attendance will include the Prime Minister.

Kristina was the ‘Strictly’ professional partner of John Sergeant (2008), Jason Donovan (2011), and James Bond actors Goldie (2010) and Colin Salmon (2012).