We have much to look forward to in the visit of keyboard player Steven Devine and soprano Kate Semmens this coming Friday, 30th November at 7.30pm at the United Free Church in Totnes – not least hearing Steven’s copy of a 1785 Viennese fortepiano, the sound of an instrument that Mozart and Haydn would have heard, and indeed written for. Their programme will include songs by both composers, as well as Mozart’s Piano Sonata in A Minor and Haydn’s E Minor Piano Sonata. It concludes with Haydn’s dramatic Arianna a Naxos, first performed in London in 1791 by the composer himself with the soprano castrato Gasparo Pacchierotti, Steven and Kate are firm favourites with TEMS (he performed a memorable Goldberg Variations for us in 2012) and it is a great pleasure to welcome them back.
The next TEMS concert takes place on Saturday 22nd October, with the visit of four postgraduate students from the Royal College of Music playing works by Vivaldi, Bach and Telemann in their Baroque Gems programme. Sadly, we have had a last minute change in the line up as Iain Hall has unfortunately broken a finger, but we are pleased to welcome Luke Challinor as his replacement.
Luke is studying viola da gamba at the RCM, having been awarded a Foundation Scholarship and ABRSM Scholarship. He also plays Baroque cello, theorbo, organ and viola d’amore, and previously studied at Chethams School of Music. During his studies, he has played in masterclasses for Vittorio Ghielmi, Jordi Savall, and Hille Perl. In 2015 – 2017 he was awarded a full scholarship by the Dartington Trust to attend the Advanced Viol Consort course with Fretwork at the Dartington Summer School.
The Annual TEMS AGM will take place next week on Tuesday 24th July at 3.00pm at the Guildhall, Totnes. There will be short reports from the chair and on the financial position, before elections for the committee take place. An informal discussion will follow, to give members the opportunity to feedback and influence future programming decisions. All are welcome.
The new 2018/19 TEMS season has just been published, with tickets going on sale this week (from 2nd July) through the Dartington website and box office, and in person from Totnes Bookshop. For the first time we are offering £1 discount on all tickets bought in advance. We hope you will find plenty to interest you from another varied programme. September sees the folk-influenced Emily Askew Band, playing medieval and renaissance music, followed by a Baroque programme from our Royal College of Music alumni in October, and then Mozart and Haydn songs from Kate Semmens with Steve Devine on fortepiano in November. The second half of the season has music for recorders and theorbo and the return of a wonderful harpsichord and violin pairing, Duo Dorado, and ends with the captivating wind-band Syrinx next April. Of course membership of TEMS enables you to catch all six concerts for the price of four, but we will hope to see you at one, some or all of our concerts in the coming year!
The Ensemble Moliere concert on Saturday 28th April brings our 2017/18 season to a close. It has been a particularly good year, with the outstanding musicianship of young performers Convivio and Masumi Yamamoto and Boris Bizjak providing particularly memorable highlights. We will certainly hope to bring them back in future seasons.
Plans for our next season have been developing since January, and are now largely finalised. We are pleased that there will be a mixture of old friends returning (including Duo Dorado playing a Bach programme, and Steven Devine and Kate Semmens – who will be bringing a fortepiano with them!), as well as exciting younger performers we are keen to hear. We have again been fortunate in linking up with the Royal College of Music to bring a quartet of their former students to play for us next October.
Full details of the new season will be announced in late June, with tickets going on sale through the Dartington Box Office and website from the start of July. In the meantime, we can look forward to enjoying the delights of the Summer School programme at Dartington, with some wonderful music and musicians scheduled to appear. How lucky we are to have this wonderful place “just down the road”!
We enjoyed a thoroughly entertaining and informative talk from Dr Ian Mortimer on 8th March on the Restoration, as a precursor to Passamezzo’s equally memorable performance of Restoration music on 10th March. A big thanks to Ian, who is always worth going to listen to if you get the opportunity, and to the Friends of the Museum who helped set up his event. Thanks too to the members of Passamezzo, whose rehearsal plans had been blighted by the bad weather and who travelled down early to ensure they had prepared properly, a lovely group of people, and fine, versatile musicians who really care about their music – thank you. Finally our thanks must go to everyone at St Mary’s, as always, and to those supportive members of TEMS who brought CDs for our annual CD event which raised more than £70 for us.