Festival of summer music at Harpenden Musicale

LOCAL professional musicians come together next week for the annual Musicale Summer Music Festival in Harpenden.

Held at Harpenden Public Halls from this Sunday, August 14, until next Saturday, August 20, it features individual concerts by professional musicians together with Musicale’s own students.

The festival gets underway at 7.30pm on Sunday with music by Rubinstein, Rachmaninov and Mendelssohn performed by cellist Guy Johnston and pianist Nathan Williamson.

Guy, a fast-rising star on the international concert stage after appearing as the youngest-ever soloist on the opening night of the BBC Proms playing the Elgar Cello Concerto with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, is the son of Gill and David Johnson who set up Musicale in their front room in 1977.

It is now based at Homecroft in Sun Lane where formerly derelict buildings were converted into music rooms, three offices, a library, storage facility and shop.

The following night, Monday, August 15, Clare Robson, who comes from Harpenden and is co-principal flute in the Northern Sinfonia based in Gateshead, joins harpist Rhian Hanson in concert.

And next Wednesday, August 17, saxophonist Dominic Childs, a multi award-winning soloist, and pianist Naoko Makino will be playing music by Bizet, Franck, Paganini, Bach, Ryo Noda and Piet Swerts.

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The three concerts, which all start at 7.30pm, will be followed at 5pm next Friday, August 19, by the Musicale Holiday Junior Instrumental Course concert and at 7.30pm by a concert by the Musicale Holiday Intermediate Band and Orchestra.

On Saturday, August 20, The Musicale Young Artists’ Symphony Orchestra will be performing Schubert’s Rosamunde Overture, Tchaikovsky’s Polonaise and Waltz from Eugene Onegin and the Sibelius Symphony No 3 in C at 7.30pm.

As the evening concert is always sold out, there will be an opportunity to hear it at 11am that morning as well while at 3.30pm the Musicale Young Artists’ Wind Orchestra will be performing.

The festival also features lunchtime concerts from 1.15pm to 2pm Monday to Thursday given by advanced Musicale students who are thinking of making music their career and are about to enter music college.

Each programme is made up of two 20-minute recitals and entrance is free but with a retiring collection each day in aid of Rupert’s Fund which supports the Kent House Brain Injury Rehabilitation Trust in Aylesbury.

Tickets for concerts can be obtained from the box office on 01582 713333/460978 and further details can be found at www.musicale.co.uk