We are delighted to announce the appointment of Ruth Rogers as joint Leader of the London Mozart Players. Ruth will take up the position in March 2015 and share this highly prestigious role with Marieke Blankestijn, who has led the orchestra since 2011, and Simon Blendis who joined as leader in October 2014.

Described as “the finest of the younger generation of violinists” (Musical Opinion) and hailed by the Guardian as “superb”, Ruth is in demand as soloist, leader, and chamber musician. Ruth has appeared in concert alongside distinguished performers, including Ida Haendel, and John Lill, and has lead orchestras under the batons of Lorin Maazel and Colin Davis. She appears as a guest leader of many major orchestras including the BBC Philharmonic, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic. She has also appeared in Principal roles with the Hallé, English Chamber Orchestra and London Chamber Orchestra.

Ruth responded to the news of her appointment by saying, “I am absolutely delighted to have been appointed by the London Mozart Players. This is a really exciting time for the orchestra and I have been so impressed by how the players have rallied round to save this remarkable ensemble. I love leading and directing the group, and I’m very excited about all our forthcoming concerts together.”

Paul Archibald, LMP Director and Principal Trumpet comments, “Ruth has already made her mark as a soloist, chamber musician and guest leader both throughout the UK and abroad. From her very first concert with LMP she has brought an energy and vitality that is the unmistakable hallmark of a great artist. Her rapport with the members of the orchestra was immediate and her charismatic personality has certainly engaged LMP audiences. I am delighted that she has accepted the position of Leader of the London Mozart Players and look forward to her performances as the orchestra continues to thrive under its player-led management”

Ruth commences her new role by leading and directing the LMP at St John’s Smith Square on March 5th.

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

English Christmas_eflyer

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.

Sarah Butcher – Cello

Sarah studied cello with Stefan Popov at the Guildhall School of Music and chamber music with Hans Keller and the Chilingirian String Quartet. She also took part in masterclasses with William Pleeth at the Aldeburgh Summer School. She has played in many orchestras and ensembles in the UK including the BBC Symphony orchestra, The Guildhall String Ensemble, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Peter Gabriel’s New Blood Orchestra, English Touring Opera, Garsington Opera and Glyndebourne Touring Opera Orchestra for whom she has played principal cello.

She has made recordings for the Cello Classics label, Music for Two Cellos and ‘Petits Fours’, music for four cellos with the London Mozart Players cello section. Also on the Cello Classics label she has performed in a CD of music by the great pedagogue Julius Klengel. As a baroque cellist and founder of Bach Camerata she has also recorded St John Passion (in English) with The Crouch End Festival Chorus and David Temple.

Sarah is a keen chamber musician and has played with the Mistry String Quartet and was a member of the Mainardi Trio. For 10 years she was Artistic Director of The Chamber Players who play regularly at Festivals and venues throughout the UK, including Holywell Music Rooms, Imperial College and Buxton and Chichester Festivals with artists such as Ashley Wass, Gaby Lester, Tim Horton and Benjamin Nabarro.

Sarah is a keen participant in education and community projects and plays principal cello in the Chipping Campden Festival Academy Orchestra, sitting side-by-side with music college students for a series of concerts in the Chipping Campden Festival. Other recent projects include devising a piece for the Croydonites Festival with SLiDE in South Norwood and workshops and concerts for Everyone Matters in Bromley and Kingston.

Sarah also edits audiobooks for the Naxos AudioBooks label and has been involved in many exciting projects including The History of Classical Music and Famous Composers in collaboration with ClassicFM. She has performed on several of these discs including The Cellist of Sarajevo and Macbeth with music by oscar-winning composer Stephen Warbeck.

She has been a member of the London Mozart Players since 1998.

Christopher O’Neal (interview)

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Jeremy Gough (interview)

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Ben Hoffnung (interview)

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Ian White (interview)

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Robert Manasse (interview)

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Ben Chappell (interview)

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Helena Smart (interview)

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Peter Wright

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Paul Archibald (interview)

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Gareth Hulse

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Stacey Watton (interview)

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Miriam Teppich (interview)

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