This Season's Programme - September 2016 - May 2017

Introducing our 49th Season

23rd September The Heath String Quartet
14th October The Gryphon Trio with Graham Oppenheimer and Leon Bosch
11th November Lana Trotovsek and Simon Lane
10th December Trevor Pinnock
17th January Emma Johnson and John Lenehan
20th February Vadym Kholodenko
24th March Academy Brass
26th April Juice
7th May Derby Academy of Classical Dance
24th May Stephen Hough

Welcome to the 49th season of the Abbotsholme Arts Society (Patron: Steven Isserlis C.B.E.).Since its foundation by Gordon Clarke, Abbostsholme Arts Society has regularly engaged some of the finest artists on the international musical scene and is today regarded as one of the foremost provincial music clubs in the country. Set in the beautiful rural setting of the Staffordshire countryside near the cathedral city of Lichfield,concerts mainly take place in the Abbotsholme School Chapel, where audiences enjoy hearing and seeing artists perform in a close and intimate atmosphere.

The 2016-17 season opens with The Heath String Quartet who are recognized as one of the UK's leading chamber groups. Their recent performances and recordings of the Tippett quartets have received huge critical acclaim. The Gryphon Trio from Canada having been playing together for over 20 years and they are joined by international soloists, Graham Oppenheimer, viola and Leon Bosch, double bass in Schubert's ever popular 'Trout' Quintet. Harpsichordist and conductor Trevor Pinnock is one of the world's most distinguished Early Music specialists and we are delighted that his visit to Abbotsholme forms part of his 70th Birthday tour. For his all Bach and Handel programme he is joined by many distinguished colleagues including Rachel Podger, violin.

Since winning the BBC Young Musician prize, Emma Johnson is one of the few clarinettists to enjoy an international solo career. For her popular and wide ranging programme she is joined by the UK's outstanding accompanist, John Lenehan. Russian pianist Vadym Kholodenko is fast being recognized as having a quite prodigious talent. Since winning the Van Cliburn competition in 2013 he has gained considerable plaudits for his formidable technique and musical insight. Stephen Hough was last at Abbotsholme in 2004 and is now at the summit of his profession. We are delighted to welcome back such a distinguished soloist and look forward to his varied programme with anticipation.

The Royal Academy of Music produces some the world's greatest performers so we are pleased to welcome one of its flagship ensembles, Academy Brass to Abbotsholme. This quintet will be offering a range of music that covers repertoire spanning five centuries. Juice is a vocal ensemble at the forefront of the UK's experimental/classical scene. Their exceptional tone quality and keen sense of harmony are set to provide a concert of enchanting music-making.
Extra to the line-up of concerts is the welcome return of the Derby Academy of Classical Dance. Once again these young students will enchant their audience with quality choreography and imaginative musical direction. This ticket only event is held as a fundrasing event in aid of Abbotsholme Arts Society.

You can read more about the forthcoming season on the Society’s website:-

Details of membership for the season and tickets for individual concert can be made by applying to the Society’s Secretary, Claire Tetley Tel: 01543 - 263304.

Neil Millensted
Artistic Director.
Abbotsholme Arts Society.


Friday, September 23rd 8.00pm


The Heath String Quartet

Oliver Heath Violin
Cerys Jones Violin
Gary Pomeray Viola
Chris MurrayViola

Quartet in F sharp minor, Op 50 No.4
String Quartet No 1
Beethoven   String Quartet No 14 in C sharp minor, Op 131

The dynamic and charismatic Heath Quartet are fast earning a reputation as one of the most exciting British chamber ensembles of the moment. In May 2013 they became the first ensemble in 15 years to win the prestigious Royal Philharmonic Society’s Young Artists Award.

Formed in 2002 at the Royal Northern College of Music they were selected for representation by YCAT, were awarded the prestigious Borletti Buitoni Special Ensemble Scholarship and in 2012 won Ensemble Prize at the Festspiele Mecklenburg Vorpommern.

Their recent CD of the quartets by Tippett has received superlative press reviews. The Heath Quartet members are Professors of Chamber Music at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, individually holding instrumental teaching posts in the faculty.

".. the music's potency and bravura were conveyed with thrilling convictions.” The Guardian



Friday October 14th 8.00pm


The Gryphon Trio with Graham Oppenheimer Viola and Leon Bosch Double Bass

Piano Quartet in E flat, K.479
Rossini   Duo in D for cello and double bass
Schubert   Piano Quintet in A ( Trout )

Recently celebrating its 20th anniversary, the Gryphon Trio from Canada has impressed international audiences and the press with its highly refined, dynamic performances and firmly established itself as one of the world’s pre-eminent piano trios.

With a repertoire that ranges from the traditional to the contemporary and from European classicism to modern-day multimedia, the Gryphons are committed to redefining chamber music for the 21st century.

For their Abbotsholme concert they are joined by international viola player Graham Oppenheimer and Leon Bosch, who has an honoured place among the select group of virtuoso double bass players worldwide, having performed with many of the world's most distinguished soloists and chamber groups.

“...easy on the ear .... played with highly euphonious style and virtuosity.” Gramophone

This concert is sponsored by the Fiona Ord Trust



Friday November 11th at 8.00pm


Lana Trotovšek Violin
Simon Lane Piano

Violin Sonata No.3 in D minor Op. 108
  Chaconne from Partita No.2 in D minor BWV 1004
Arvo Part   Fratres
  Violin Sonata in G minor (Devil's Trill)

Lana Trotovšek, described as "radiant" by Washington Post was a student of Ruggiero Ricci. In September 2014 she appeared in two concerts with Yuri Bashmet and the Moscow Soloists performing Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante and made her debut with Valery Gergiev and The Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra in 2012 with Prokofiev Concerto No.1.

Lana is partnered by Simon Lane, who has gained recognition for his compelling and sensitive performances and has collaborated with many of the world’s most exciting musicians including Danielle de Niese, Iestyn Davies, Allan Clayton, Guy Johnston and Jack Liebeck.

"one of the most gifted violinists I have heard'
- Ruggiero Ricci

"What is most striking about this performance is that, thanks to the brilliance of Simon Lane at the piano, the virtuosity of the piano-writing is thrillingly brought out”
- Gramophone Magazine /

Preceded at 6.45 pm. by the Society's AGM. Open to all members.



Saturday December 10th at 8.00pm


Trevor Pinnock
70th Birthday Concert

Trevor Pinnock harpsichord
Katy Bircher flute
Rachel Podger violin
Bojan Cicic violin
Jane Rogers viola
Jonathan Manson cello
Peter McCarthy violone


Bach   Overture No.2 in B minor, BWV 1067
Handel   Sonata in A for violin and continuo HWV 361
Handel   Passacaille from Op.5, No.4
Bach   Brandenburg Concerto No.5 in D major, BWV 1050

Trevor Pinnock is known worldwide as a harpsichordist and conductor who pioneered performance on historical instruments with The English Concert, the orchestra he founded in 1972 and led for the next thirty years.

He now divides his time between conducting, solo, chamber music and educational projects. In 1992 he was awarded the honour of CBE and he is also an Officier des Arts et des Lettres.

We are delighted that Trevor has agreed to include Abbotsholme as part of his 70th birthday celebration tour and to include many distinguished musical colleagues including a welcome return to Abbotsholme of violinist, Rachel Podger. "In the famous long solo in the first movement of the Brandenburg, he drew out the instrument’s depth, color and charisma in his execution of what this instrument -- whose strings are plucked rather than struck -- is capable of." Today’s Zaman Istanbul

This concert is supported by the Edward Saunders Legacy



Tuesday, January 17th at 8.00pm


Emma Johnson clarinet
John Lenehan piano

Brahms   Sonata in F minor Op. 120 No.1
Rossini   Introduction Theme and Variations
Bax   Clarinet Sonata
Paul Reade   Suite from The Victorian Kitchen Garden
Bernstein arr. Johnson/Lenehan   Scenes from West Side Story

Emma Johnson is one of the few clarinettists to have established a busy international career which has taken her to major European, American and Asian venues as well as to Africa and Australasia.

She is also in great demand as a chamber musician and continues her long-standing partnership with John Lenehan. Recent tours have been with the Takcas Con Tempo Quartets and pianists John Lill and Pascal Rogé. John Lenehan is one of the foremost chamber musicians of our time and his performances have been acclaimed throughout the world.

''Johnson is superb'' The Times ''England's best loved clarinet player''
- BBC Music Magazine ''

Beautiful piano playing from the peerless John Lenehan"
- The Guardian



Monday February 20th at 8.00pm


Vadym Kholodenko piano

Mozart   Sonata in A minor K.310
Beethoven   Sonata in B flat Op.22
LISZT   Transcendental Étude no.9 "Ricordanza"
LISZT   Transcendental Étude no.6 "Vision"
LISZT   Transcendental Étude no.5 "Feux follet"
Scriabin   Sonata No.4 in F# major Op.30
Scriabin   Sonata No 5 Op.53

Vadym Kholodenko is fast building a reputation as one of the most musically dynamic and technically gifted performers of the new generation of pianists, praised by the Philadelphia Enquirer in his performance of Tchaikovsky with the Philadelphia Orchestra for “his absorbing melodic shading [and] glittering passage work”. Winner of the 2013 Gold Medal at the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, Kholodenko has begun to forge an international career throughout Europe, Asia and North America to great critical acclaim.

Previous awards include First Prize at the 2011 Schubert Piano Competition in Dortmund, First Prize at the 2010 Sendai Piano Competition in Japan and the Grand Prix at the Maria Callas Competition in Athens.

.... intelligent virtuosity and youthful fire''
- The Guardian



Friday March 24th at 8.00pm


Academy Brass


The Royal Academy of Music’s Brass Faculty has established itself as one of the foremost conservatoire departments in the world. Led by trumpeter Mark David, they prioritise students’ experiences by offering an unparalleled range of masterclasses with internationally renowned players, one-to-one lesson time with distinguished professors and visiting professors and plenty of orchestral and chamber music opportunities.

This concert will feature some of the Academy’s best brass students performing a wide variety of music from William Byrd to Malcolm Arnold.”

''for 190 years the Royal Academy of Music has been the nursery, hothouse and generator for the British music profession and has become one of the world's greatest conservatoires.”
- The Times



Wednesday April 26th 8.00pm


Juice vocal ensemble


Juice (‘The 21st century’s answer to the Swingles or the King’s Singers’ The Times) are at the forefront of the UK’s experimental/classical scene, performing new vocal music which draws on classical, world music, jazz, folk, pop, improvisation and theatre. Juice are an experimental vocal trio whose unique sound is an avant-garde mix of classical, jazz, pop and folk with a large proportion of original works and improvisation.

They have featured on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour, BBC Radio 3 and Classic FM and have performed at London’s Wigmore Hall, the South Bank, King’s Place and the Roundhouse. Juice‘s debut album ‘Songspin’ (Nonclassical, 2011) won an international Independent Music Award for Best Contemporary Classical Album in 2012. Their programme will be a varied mix of old, new and innovative items.

“amazing razor-sharp tuning and purity of tone...they held us spellbound”
- The Daily Telegraph

“The range of this new young vocal trio is immense...perfect pitch and an ear for the most apt harmony”
- The Independent



Sunday May 7th at 8.00pm
Abbotsholme School Theatre


We welcome back the
Derby Academy of Classical Dance




For an evening of passionately conceived and expertly performed dance, choreographed by the Academy’s Director, Eve Leveaux with piano accompaniment by John Rooks.

Tickets £10 Includes a cold buffet.

Wine is available for purchase.

Fundraising event in Abbotsholme School Theatre



Wednesday May 24th 8.00pm


Stephen Hough piano


Clair de lune (Suite Bergamasque)

Debussy   Images Bk II
Schumann   Fantasie op. 17

La Terrasse des audiences du Claire de lune
(Preludes Bk II

Debussy   Images Bk I
Beethoven   Sonata in F minor op. 57 'Appassionata'

We are delighted that the distinguished pianist, Stephen Hough is returning to Abbotsholme and that he will be offering some of the great masterpieces from the repertoire. Stephen Hough was appointed CBE in the 2014 New Year’s Honours.

A laureate of the MacArthur Fellowship and Royal Philharmonic Society Award, his catalogue of over sixty CDs has garnered accolades including eight Gramophone Awards. His celebrated iPad app The Liszt Sonata was released by Touch Press in 2013. As a composer, he has been commissioned by Wigmore Hall, Musée du Louvre, London’s National Gallery, Westminster Abbey, Westminster Cathedral and the Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet.

“Stephen Hough’s steady ascent to the summit of his profession exhibits equally supreme mastery of his instrument and the deep humanity from which it has flowered.”
- International Record Review

This concert is supported by the Patrons of Abbotsholme Arts Society