Newsletter #12     July 2016

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


We are pleased to announce details of the forthcoming season. Thanks to the generosity of a member of Strings Attached there will be a launch concert on Tuesday, 20 September at 7.30 pm in the Brighton Dome Corn Exchange, preceded by a reception for Strings Attached Friends. Details of the reception will be given in the next newsletter. The programme is as follows:

Doric String Quartet
HAYDN: Quartet in D Op. 64/5 (The Lark)
BARTOK: Quartet No 4
SCHUBERT: Quartettsatz D703
DEBUSSY: String Quartet in G minor Op. 10

Tickets cost £18.50 (concessions £16) or £15 if you have purchased a season ticket for the Sunday morning coffee concerts (see below).

The Sunday morning coffee concerts resume in October, all starting at 11.00 am. The October concert will be held in the Brighton Dome Concert Hall, while the remaining five concerts will be at The Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts (formerly the Gardner Centre) at the University of Sussex at Falmer. The move, as you will no doubt recall, is temporary, during the extensive refurbishment of the Brighton Dome Corn Exchange.
There is free parking at the Attenborough Centre. There are excellent public transport links, by train from Brighton or Lewes, or by bus (No. 25 from Hove and Brighton, No. 23 from Brighton Marina or Nos. 28 and 29 from Brighton to Falmer, or, coming the other way, from Tunbridge Wells via Uckfield and Lewes to Falmer).
Nearer the time we shall investigate the possibility of a car share scheme to Falmer.

The coffee concert programme is as follows: 
Please note the venue for each concert

23 October (Brighton Dome Concert Hall)  Heath Quartet
HAYDN String Quartet in F sharp minor, Op. 50 No 4
TIPPETT String Quartet No 5
DVORAK String Quartet No 13, Op. 106

20 November (Attenborough Centre)
Olivier Stankiewicz (oboe), Amy Harman (bassoon), Tom Poster (piano)

POULENC: Trio for oboe, bassoon and piano, FP 43
DUTILLEUX: Sonata for oboe and piano (1947)
SAINT-SAENS:  Sonata for Bassoon and Piano, Op.168
SCHUMANN: 3 Romances, Op.94  (oboe and bassoon)
JOLIVET: Sonatine for oboe and bassoon (1963)
FRANCAIX: Trio for oboe, bassoon and piano

18 December 2016 (Attenborough Centre)  Trio Isimsiz
HAYDN:  Piano Trio. Detail to be confirmed
FAURE:  Piano Trio in D minor, Op.120
SCHUMANN: Piano Trio No.3 in G minor, Op.110

29 Jan 2017 (Attenborough Centre)  Sean Shibe  (guitar)
DOWLAND – Forlorn Hope Fancy / Fantasia No 2
ARNOLD – Fantasy Op. 107
WALTON – 5 Bagatelles (1971)
LENNOX BERKELEY – Sonatina Op. 52/1
BRITTEN – Nocturnal after John Dowland Op. 70

26 Feb 2017 (Attenborough Centre)  Castalian Quartet
HAYDN:  String Quartet in B flat, Op.76 No.4 (The Sunrise)
THOMAS ADES: The Four Quarters
BEETHOVEN: String Quartet in F, Op. 59 No.1 (Rasumovsky)

19 March 2017 (Attenborough Centre)  Trio Wanderer
DVORAK: Piano Trio No. 4 in E Minor, Op. 90, B. 166 (Dumky)
SUK: Elegie for piano, violin and cello Op. 23
SCHUBERT: Piano Trio No. 2 in E flat major D. 929

There’s a lot to say about this programme, which departs from Strings Attached traditions in several ways.

Firstly, just under half the concerts are given by string quartets, which at first sight seems odd for an organisation that grew out of a string quartet concert tradition. We think this is justified by the fact that we find ourselves in the Attenborough Centre which, unlike the Dome, has its own Steinway piano. Piano trios are very close to string quartets in musical terms – Haydn and Beethoven famously developed their composing skills on piano trios before tackling the string quartet.

Secondly, the concert by an oboe, bassoon and piano trio is a first for us. We think it’s justified by the quality of the players and by the fact that it allows us to hear some unusual 20th century works by French composers, Some of us welcome the variety that the wind instruments bring to the series. And again, we want to use that Steinway while we can.

Finally, there’s a whole concert of solo guitar music. Is this even chamber music? Not according to the definition in the Oxford Companion to Music, which requires at least two instruments. That definition seems rather arbitrary to us. A bigger problem is that a guitar does not have the range of expression of a string or wind ensemble. This might have been an issue in the Corn Exchange but in the intimate atmosphere and acoustic of the Attenborough Centre it should be fine. Then there’s the issue of repertoire. For those of us who find a mainly Spanish repertoire for the classical guitar unsatisfying, it’s a joy to see that this concert is all English and, apart from the Dowland, 20th century. And all the pieces were written for guitar (except the Dowland, obviously, which was written for lute) and exploit the guitar’s unique qualities. Then there’s the fact that the guitarist is Sean Shibe. Watch him on Youtube and you will see that here is a musician who is not bound by any imagined limitations of the instrument and who can sustain a two hour concert alone. In case there are still doubters, Sean has agreed to come to the 18 December concert to give us a 6 to 8 minute taste of what he does.

Tickets prices for the coffee concerts have again been held at £18.50 (concessions £16). A season ticket for the whole season (six concerts) is £99 (concessions £84). A half-season ticket (either the three concerts in 2016 or the three in 2017) is  £49.50 (concessions £42).

Tickets for all concerts should be available from the Brighton Dome Box Office 01273 709709 or from Monday, 1 August. Tickets for those aged 8 – 25 are free as part of the Cavatina Scheme. They can only be booked in person 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 email address will be required. Note that the Cavatina scheme does not cover the guitar concert on 29 January.


Unless you’ve been told you don’t need to (because you’ve already done so), now is the time to renew your membership of Strings Attached for the period 1 August 2016 to 31 July 2017. Membership renewal forms can be downloaded from .   For Gift Aid reasons please complete one form per person. Paid-up members will receive a membership card which, to save postage, we plan to distribute initially at the September concert, and which can be used to obtain a free glass of sherry or fruit juice during coffee concert intervals.

We hope you will choose to renew your membership and support our work – and encourage like-minded people to join us too.


The Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra’s 2016 series of chamber concerts in the Unitarian Church, New Road, Brighton at 5 pm on Sundays began on 3 July. The two remaining events are on 31 July (which features Strings Attached committee member Guy Richardson’s Meditation on Gibbons’ 20th Fantasia as well as Dvorak and Finzi) and on 14 August (Mozart, Hawkins, Dvorak and Haydn). Tickets are available from the Brighton Dome Box Office (see above) or at .

The Brighton Early Music Festival (BREMF) starts on 28 October and runs until 13 November. Details are available on  Tickets will be available to BREMF Friends from 22 August and to the general public from 5 September.

The Nicholas Yonge Society, Lewes, begins its season on 28 October with the Van Kuijk Quartet. For details of tickets see .

Finally, don’t forget to check the Strings Attached chamber music calendar. It lists other chamber music concerts in Sussex, featuring both professional and amateur performers, and can be found at . You will see that lunchtime concerts at The Chapel Royal, Brighton and at St Nicholas’ Church Brighton continue through the summer. Local music societies restart after the summer break, beginning with the Steyning Music Society on 17 September.

Copyright © 2016 Strings Attached, All rights reserved.