Weekend of music with St Albans International Music Festival

A WEEKEND of concerts featuring internationally-celebrated pianist Melvyn Tan and the Gould Piano Trio, is being promoted by St Albans International Organ Festival (IOF) next month.

The festival opens at 7.30pm on Friday, July 13, in St Saviour’s Church St Albans, with the Gould Piano Trio, who celebrate their 20th anniversary this year.

They will perform music by Schubert, Saint-Sa�ns and Beethoven.

On Saturday, July 14, also in St Saviour’s Church, distinguished musicologist and organist David Ponsford will give an illustrated talk starting at 10.30am followed by an organ masterclass at 2.30pm based around his recent book, Inspiring the Baroque from Louis Couperin to J S Bach. Students from leading UK conservatoires will perform.

In a linked event to the festival weekend, St Albans Bach Choir will be performing David Fanshawe’s African Sanctus in St Albans Abbey from 7.30pm on the same day.

Three award-winning young musicians combine to perform baroque music in St Michael’s Church, St Albans, at 3pm on Sunday, July 15.

Pawel Siwczak (harpsichord/organ) and Viktor Toepelmann (viola de gamba) are joined by soprano Augusta Hebbert to play works by Couperin and Purcell.

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The climax of the festival will be a concert given by Melvyn Tan in St Saviour’s Church at 8.15pm on Sunday, July 15.

He will play music by Bach, Schumann and Chopin as well as a new work called Variations for Judith.

It is a tribute to Judith Serota who was the executive director of the Spitalfields Music Festival. When she stepped down from the role, many of the composers who had been associated with the festival each composed a variation on the song Bist du bei mir as a present for her.

Among the composers contributing variations were Master of the Queen’s Music Peter Maxwell Davies, Judith Weir, Michael Berkeley, Diana Burrell, Richard Rodney Bennett, Jonathan Dove and Thea Musgrave.

For more details of the weekend and to book tickets for the concerts go to www.organfestival.com

To book tickets for the African Sanctus go to www.stalbansbachchoir.org.uk