Newsletter #26 February 2018

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

Caroline Brown
Many friends of Strings Attached will be sorry to learn of the death on 5 February of Caroline Brown after a long illness.
As Artistic Director at the Old Market it was Caroline’s vision, working with her husband Stephen Neiman, that started the tradition of Sunday morning Coffee Concerts in Brighton and Hove in 1998. During the course of 12 years she carefully selected many wonderful musicians including the Medici, Doric, Pavel Haas, Tokyo, Chilingirian, Skampa  and many other much loved quartets and other ensembles to enchant our Sunday mornings. There were also great pianists including Paul Lewis. Many Friends will, I am sure, remember Caroline sitting quietly near the performer’s entrance at the Old Market through each concert, having prepared countless ensembles to perform.
Caroline was perhaps most famous as founder of the Hanover Band in 1980 to perform Beethoven on nineteenth century contemporary instruments ‘in a style Beethoven would have recognised’. Working with original versions of musical texts, the Hanover Band recorded works by Beethoven, Schubert, Weber, Schumann and JS Bach and performed under several conductors including Sir Charles Mackerras. The Hanover Band is internationally renowned and continues to further Caroline’s original vision.
A cellist of renown in her own right, Caroline was also an international examiner for Trinity College.
Our current Coffee Concerts are, like the Hanover Band, Caroline’s continuing legacy. We are much in her debt.  Our thoughts are with Stephen and her family.
The funeral will take place on Friday 16th February at 12 Noon at St Nicholas Church, Arundel. All are welcome.



The concert on 28 January given by Amy Harman (bassoon), Adam Walker (flute) and James Baillieu (piano) received a warm but less than ecstatic reception from one of our reviewers, see  under ‘Latest Posts’.
The next concert will be given on 25 February at 11 am in the Attenborough Centre by the Castalian Quartet, with the addition of Simon Rowland-Jones (viola).

  • Haydn String Quartet in D, Op.76 No.5
  • Britten String Quartet No.2 in C, Op.36 (1945)
  • Brahms String Quintet No.1 in F, Op.88

The Castalian played Haydn’s Opus 76 No.6 for us in November with extraordinary delicacy and excitement. Now we have another of Haydn’s greatest quartets and our first chance to hear them play Britten, as well as Brahms’ glorious first quintet with two violas.

For those who like to prepare for a concert, Chris Darwin’s programme notes are available on  under ‘Next Concert’. 


Strings Attached’s Annual General Meeting will be held at 11:00 on Thursday 1 March at 9 Powis Square, Brighton BN1 3HH. Our normal practice has been to hold the meeting after the February coffee concert, but, while we find ourselves at the Attenborough Centre, current home of the concerts during the refurbishment of the Brighton Dome Corn Exchange, the cost of hiring a room for the meeting is too high for this to be a good use of funds.

Because the AGM is being held in a private home, it is vital that you let us know by Friday 23 February at the latest whether you intend to come by contacting the Secretary, Margaret Polmear, on 01273 328085 or at  This is so that appropriate seating can be provided or an alternative larger venue arranged if expected attendance makes this necessary.

Please note that parking in and around Powis Square is very limited.

If you intend to come to the meeting, please bring with you the following papers:

  1. Agenda for AGM 2018
  2. Minutes of the 2017 AGM
  3. Annual Report for 2017
  4. Statement of Accounts for 2017

They can be downloaded at We will not supply copies on the day.

Feedback. In view of the changed circumstances for the AGM, feedback from members about the current coffee concert season will not be sought at the meeting but through a future newsletter. The agenda for the meeting will be largely confined to required AGM business including approval of the annual report and accounts and election of the committee for the forthcoming year. It is expected to be a short, administrative meeting.

If you have any other item for discussion (which should not include feedback about the coffee concerts which, as indicated above, will be gathered separately), please inform Margaret Polmear as above by Friday, 23 February.

Nomination of committee members
Strings Attached has a committee currently comprising 5 members. The committee meets 4 or 5 times a year with email communication between meetings. If you would like to become involved, either as a committee member or by helping behind the scenes, please contact the Chair, Mary McKean on 01273 554278 or at

Contribution to the AGM discussion in the event of being unable to attend
If you are unable to come to the AGM but have comments on the papers or ideas for future activity, please send them to the Secretary, Margaret Polmear, as above by Friday, 23 February.


Strings Attached has solved the problem of there never being enough sherry in the interval. We now buy the sherry and supply the glasses ourselves. Members have commented on the excellence of the sherry, though, we must admit, complaint has been received about the meagre size of the new glasses. Glass size seems to be the key to the problem of overconsumption, and in our defence we cite the 2017 Christmas edition of the British Medical Journal (BMJ 2017; 359: j5623) which demonstrates that wine glass size increased seven fold in England from 1700 to 2017. By returning our sherry glass size to that of previous centuries we have ensured that there is enough for all. Now we start work on the absent fruit juice!


The Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts (ACCA), formerly the Gardner Centre, is at the University of Sussex at Falmer. The move to ACCA, as you will recall, is temporary during the extensive refurbishment of the Brighton Dome Corn Exchange.
There is free parking at the Sports Centre close to the Attenborough Centre and at other car parks on the campus nearby. There are also 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, or, coming the other way, from Tunbridge Wells via Uckfield and Lewes.

Help with transport A happy tradition is established whereby Strings Attached members offer lifts to others who would otherwise have difficulty with transport. If a lift has not already been arranged for you and you would either like a lift, or would like to offer one, please email the secretary Margaret Polmear on  It will only be possible to find a lift for you if there happens to be someone in your area who is offering one.

Tickets prices for the coffee concerts remain at £18.50 (concessions £16).

Tickets for all concerts are available from the Brighton Dome Box Office (01273 709709) or or from the Attenborough Centre on the day.

Tickets for those aged 8 – 25 are free as part of the Cavatina Scheme. They can only be booked by visiting the box office in person. The Brighton Dome box office can issue tickets in advance; the ACCA box office will be open on the morning of the concert. Either the young person should be present at the time of booking, or the person booking for him or her must show proof of age, e.g. a passport. Under 14s must be accompanied to the concert by a paying adult.

April concert. As confirmed at the last concert, thanks to the generous sponsorship of a Friend of Strings Attached, there will be an additional concert on Sunday 29 April at 11 am at the Attenborough Centre. We will give further details as soon as they become available.


Brighton Festival opens on 5 May and while that may seem a long way off, priority booking for Brighton Festival members opens on 16 February and general booking on 23 February. The programme includes plenty of classical music including our one-time very own quartet in residence, the Heath Quartet, who will be on stage with four actors in a programme called The String Quartet’s Guide to Sex and Anxiety. Well, it is the Brighton Festival!

The chamber music series of concerts run by the Nicholas Yonge Society in Lewes continues on 23 February with the Arcadia Quartet playing Haydn, Pauza and Bartok. They are a “fine young Romanian quartet” says the Sunday Times and those who heard them in Lewes in 2015 will agree. Tickets are available on or on the door.

The Seaford Music Society continues its programme with a concert at 3 pm on 11 March by the Divertimenti String Ensemble. They will play quintets by Boccherini, including Night Music of the Streets of Madrid, and Schubert – yes, the incomparable C major quintet. Details are on .

Details of concerts at Brighton churches (St Luke’s, the Unitarian Church and the Chapel Royal) and those organised by other music societies in Steyning, Eastbourne and Chichester can all be accessed via the Strings Attached chamber music calendar. Go to and choose ‘calendar’ from the menu.