Newsletter #36 March 2019

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

For information about the 2019/20 season see later in this newsletter.


The Castalian String Quartet with Daniel Lebhardt gave the February concert.  Or rather, three members of the Quartet gave the first half

of the concert, while Benjamin Baker filled in for the indisposed Daniel Roberts in the second half. With almost no rehearsal the remaining three members of the Quartet played Mozart, Schubert and Beethoven to ravishing effect. Afterwards the leader, Sini Simonen, emailed to say that they had felt inspired by “the sense of engagement in the room that we feel in the Attenborough Centre”.  See reviews on .

The last concert in the series will be given by the Aquinas Piano Trio.

  • Haydn Piano Trio in E major  Hob. XV:28
  • Mendelssohn Piano Trio No. 1 in D minor Op. 49
  • Schumann Piano Trio No. 2 in F major Op. 80


All three players are exceptional musicians in their own right. Together they have been playing as a trio for 10 years; indeed they played for us in 2012 and our reviewer then applauded their delicacy and passion.They are now recognised as ranking alongside other great British trios – the Florestan, the Gould – as well as overseas trios – the Beaux Arts, the Suk. In addition, the pianist, Martin Cousins, has the distinction of having supplied the hands that seemed to play Rachmaninov’s 3rd Piano Concerto in the film Shine, for which Geoffrey Rush won the Oscar for Best Actor.


The Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts (ACCA) is at The University of Sussex at Falmer. We are still using ACCA while the refurbishment of the Brighton Dome Corn Exchange enters its final stages.
There is free parking at the Sports Centre near ACCA, and at other car parks on the campus nearby (it being Sunday). There are excellent public transport links:

  • by train from Brighton and Lewes; or
  • by bus: No. 25 from Hove or Brighton, No. 23 from Brighton Marina or No.s 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 like a lift, or if you would like to offer one, 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 are available from the Brighton Dome box office (01273 709709) at £18.50 (concessions £16). They are also available on or from ACCA on the day.Tickets for those aged 8 to 25 are free under the Cavatina Scheme. These free tickets can only be booked by visiting the box office in person. The Brighton Dome box office can issue them 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 must show proof of age, e.g. a passport. Under 14s must be accompanied to the concert by a paying adult.


We are pleased to announce the dates of the next coffee concert season. They are:

20 October 2019          17 November 2019          8 December 2019

26 January 2020          23 February 2020           15 March 2020

Details of performers and programmes will be sent out as soon as they become available.

The first three concerts will be held at the Attenborough Centre. In January 2020, however, we shall return to our old venue – Brighton Dome Corn Exchange. Some members have asked if we can stay at ACCA long term. The truth is that we don’t have a choice about this. A bit of background will explain why.

The coffee concerts in their current manifestation have, from their inception in 2010, been a joint venture between Strings Attached, a membership organisation, and Brighton Dome and Brighton Festival. It is thanks to the knowledge and clout of the Chief Executive of Brighton Dome and Brighton Festival, Andrew Comben, that we have been able to enjoy such wonderful concerts each season. It would simply not be possible for Strings Attached alone to attract such outstanding players. Nor could we afford to do so. ACCA is a splendid venue but it is expensive to hire. That cost, together with the cost of hiring players, isn’t met by ticket sales and, as a result, the concerts there run at a loss. At the Corn Exchange, on the other hand, they are viable.

The good news is that we shall not be returning to the Corn Exchange as was. The space and the whole surrounding area are coming to the end of a massive transformation. A few of us have been privileged to see the work in progress and can assure you that it is going to feel and look very different from how it was. Parking will never be as easy as at ACCA but we shall be investigating whether a deal for coffee concert attenders can be arranged with the NCP car park on Church Street, Brighton.


Booking is now open for the Brighton Festival which will take place from 4 – 26 May. There’s quite a bit of chamber music in the programme but not always what you might expect. For instance, Stile Antico will be singing Dowland’s Lachrimae pavans but to modern text of testimonies from migrants, and interspersed with semi-improvised work by Rihab Azar. Our horizons are likely to be stretched! See .

Booking is also open for Brighton Fringe which will take place from 3 May to 2 June. There’s plenty of classical chamber music, including the Lewes Chamber Music Festival Launch Concert on 15 May, which will feature works for piano and strings by Mozart, Fauré and Lekeu. See .

The current series of chamber music concerts run by the Nicholas Yonge Societyin Lewes concludes with the Notos Piano Quartet on 29 March, playing Mozart, Schumann and Jean Françaix. Tickets are available on or on the door.

Details of concerts in Brighton and Hove churches and those organised by other music societies in Seaford and Chichester can be accessed via the Strings Attached website. Go to and choose “Calendar” from the menu. One that stands out is a performance at St Luke’s on 12 April by the Archaeus String Quartet of Beethoven’s Op.59 No.1 and Op.132, as part of their series of the complete Beethoven cycle.