Newsletter #10     February 2016

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


At the last concert, on 21 February, we heard more glorious music from the Elias Quartet. Opinion was divided on whether their very distinctive style of playing was totally successful in the Mendelssohn, but all were stunned by their playing of Britten’s first quartet.  For reviews of the concert by Andrew Polmear and Richard Amey see  and choose ‘News and Views’.The next and final concert of the series is on 27 March (yes, that’s Easter Sunday) and will be given by the Heath Quartet

  • Mozart  Adagio and Fugue in C minor K 546
  • Tchaikovsky String Quartet No. 1 op.11
  • Ravel String Quartet in F major

It’s customary for the newsletter to highlight and discuss a particularly challenging piece from the forthcoming coffee concert. For the 27 March concert it’s hard to choose a piece that needs special explanation; except perhaps the Mozart. The Adagio and Fugue sounds nothing like any other Mozart quartet. It’s much more orchestral; closer in feeling to the Requiem than to the ten famous, exquisitely intimate, string quartets.

Chris Darwin’s programme notes for the whole concert are available on .


Coffee concerts take place at 11.00 am in the Brighton Dome Corn Exchange.
Tickets: £18.50 (concessions £16) from the Brighton Dome Box Office (01273 709709) or .
Young people: tickets for those aged 8 – 25 are free as part of the Cavatina Scheme. They can only be booked in person at, or by telephone to, the box office. The young person need not be present at the time of booking but a name, date of birth and an email address will be required. Under 14s must be accompanied by a paying adult. The total number of seats per concert under the scheme is limited, so booking ahead is a good idea.

THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING was held after the concert on 21 February. The minutes can be found on  under ‘News and Views’. The most interesting issues were:

  • A report by Andrew Comben, Chief Executive of Brighton Dome and Brighton Festival, on the planned refurbishment of the Corn Exchange and Studio Theatre. Once finished, we will have a hugely improved space for our concerts, but it means that some or all of the 2016/17 and 2017/18 series will have to be held elsewhere. The venue under consideration is the Attenborough Centre (previously the Gardner Centre) at the University of Sussex, Falmer. Refurbishment there means that this is now an excellent venue for chamber music, with good parking and public transport links. Strings Attached will, in due course, ascertain the need for special transport for those without their own cars who find public transport difficult.
  • A report of the results of the annual Strings Attached survey. Most were satisfied (to put it mildly) with the coffee concerts, though there was an appetite for more string-based works, other than quartets, and for more 20th and 21st century works. Most negative comments were about the need to queue for ‘good’ seats – an issue that should be solved by the refurbishment. Oh, and 95% liked the newsletter.

The dates of the 2016/17 concert series were not available at the time of the meeting. We hope that they will be announced at the concert on Easter Sunday. We are, however, able to announce that a launch concert for the 2016/17 series will be held in the Corn Exchange on the evening of Tuesday 20 September. Further details will appear in a subsequent newsletter.

The calendar on the Strings Attached website lists chamber music performances locally. In Brighton there are concerts in the coming months at St Luke’s, St Nicholas’, the Chapel Royal, the Unitarian Church and Brighton College, while music societies in Seaford, Steyning and further afield remain active.
Worth a special mention is the Lewes Chamber Music Festival 17 – 19 June. International players combine with young talented groups, traditional 18th and 19th century works are played alongside more challenging pieces, and it’s all in a relaxed but excited atmosphere. Details of the programme are not yet available. When they are they will be posted on
Finally, the Brighton Festival begins on 7 May and Brighton Fringe on 6 May. The Fringe has more chamber music than it’s possible to mention here. The Festival has the Trio Isimsiz and the Alke Quartet at the Studio Theatre in the lunchtime series, the Takacs Quartet, one of the world’s greats, at Glyndebourne, Vox Luminis singing works of the Elizabethan Renaissance at All Saints, and one of the greatest chamber operas, Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, at the Theatre Royal. Booking is open at and at .

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