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Sunday sounds for all at Conway Hall

23 January, 2017 — By Sebastian Taylor

Trio Anima play Conway Hall on January 22

BRIGHT futures are beckoning the historic series of affordable concerts performed on Sunday evenings at Conway Hall in Red Lion Square, Holborn.

Barely five years after the future of the concerts was in doubt, audiences have recovered to reach near-record levels.

“Our autumn 2016 season was particularly successful with inspiring performances attended by huge audiences,” says pianist Simon Callaghan, a key figure in maintaining the series.

“Our spring 2017 season features no fewer than 32 events. We’ve got 21 concerts, seven pre-concert talks or recitals and five children’s workshops. “On the stage are not only home-grown stars – we’ve also got musicians from Sweden, Germany, Italy, and more.”

The series of affordable concerts were started by the Ethical Society in the Conway Hall as long ago as 1878 and they’ve been performed since then, apart from during the war years. The aim of the concerts is to put on chamber music at prices that can be afforded by ordinary people – currently tickets are priced at £10 with free entry for under-26s, courtesy of the Cavatina Trust.

Now, not only string quartets are performed. Coming up this Sunday, January 22, is a lovely concert of music performed by the Trio Anima made up of flute, viola and harp. They are playing pieces by Debussy, Ravel, Couperin and Fauré.

Also making its Conway Hall debut in May is the award-winning clarinet/violin/piano Decasse Trio, performing pieces by Menotti, Berg, Shostakovich and – not to be missed – an arrange­ment of Stravinsky’s The Soldier’s Tale.

The centenary of the Russian Revolution is being marked by two concerts consisting of Russian music, with a special focus on “lost” Russian-French composer Georgy Catoire.

And rounding up the spring season on June 4 is a terrific concert given by pianist Howard Shelley and the London Mozart Players. Being performed are Mozart’s first and last piano concertos plus symphonies by Haydn and Myslivecek. You can’t get better than that!

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