Newsletter #1     March 2015

Welcome to our first newsletter – designed to keep you informed about our activities, as well as other local chamber music events.

The last concert was the extraordinarily successful one on 22 February given by the Britten Oboe Quartet. For reviews visit .

The next concert, and last in this series, is on 15 March, and will be given by students of the Royal College of Music. Don’t be put off by the fact that they are ‘students’. Anyone who was at the RCM concert last season will remember their exquisite rendering of the Schubert Octet as one of the season’s highlights. This time they play Mozart’s Gran Partita for 13 wind instruments. It’s a tremendous piece, not often played because of the difficulty of getting 13 wind players together. The Adagio will be familiar to anyone who saw the film Amadeus. Salieri, listening to it, realises with bitterness the nature of genius and knows he doesn’t have it.
Programme notes, essential reading that they are, can be found at . Choose ‘Programme notes by Chris Darwin’.

A number of issues were discussed at the Annual General Meeting held after the 22 February concert, including the future role of Strings Attached and the annual survey of members’ views. Most people seem very happy with the present series and the mix of ensembles. There was very little enthusiasm for having more wind or solo concerts than at present. Most people favour having at least one 20th or 21st century work in most concerts. And there was no applause for the coffee, free though it is to members.

Helen Simpson was elected to the committee but committee vacancies remain. It is not too late for anyone who feels they can contribute to put themselves forward by emailing .

And there was the issue of towels on the sunbeds or rather, clothing used to reserve seats. This upsets some people who feel it’s cheating. Although it has no power to enforce it, the committee has decided on a stance: that it is reasonable for people to reserve seats when they arrive, by putting clothing on them, but only for themselves, not for friends they expect to arrive later. Wheelchair users and others with special needs, and their carers, are a different matter and the committee is looking into how appropriate seating can be reserved for them.

Both the minutes of the AGM and the full results of the survey can be found on . Choose from the right-hand menu.

The committee needs a volunteer to advise on the use of social media in promoting the concerts, especially to young people. Thanks to the Cavatina Chamber Music Trust coffee concert tickets are free to those aged 12 to 25 but the message doesn’t seem to be getting through to many of them. Encourage any young people you know to come. Without them there is no future for chamber music.

Concerts will take place at 11.00 am in the Brighton Dome Corn Exchange on:

25 October 2015    29 November 2015    20 December 2015
24 January 2016    21 February2016       27 March 2016

We expect to be able to announce the names of performers in the next newsletter. In the meantime, put the dates in your diary.

Booking for the Brighton Festival is now open at . There are some cracking chamber music concerts: amongst other things, the Heath Quartet plays Haydn, Dvorak and Janacek, the Cavaleri Quartet, who played for us at the Old Market last autumn, tackles Turnage and Tchaikovsky, the Teyber Trio gives us Mozart and Schubert and the Atéa Wind Quintet treats us to Poulenc, Nielson, Briccialdi and a piece by Holloway-Nahum called ‘How to Avoid Huge Ships’. And why not? It is a festival, after all.

Don’t forget to check the Strings Attached chamber music calendar. It lists other chamber music concerts in Sussex, mainly with amateur performers, and can be found on .

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