Perhaps it’s something in the bracing moorland air, but Kelly College Music Society always seems to be first out of the blocks each year, with 2013 opening with trumpet and soprano duo Clive Matthews and Jacqueline White.
Whereas 2012 celebrated the works of John Ireland, this year’s birthday-boy is the somewhat more quirky French composer Francis Poulenc, whose works are commemorated in this early January event.
Killing two musical birds with one stone, the duo then repeats its anniversary bash two days later, as part of the Newton Abbot and District Society of Arts series.
Chamber music also opens Plymouth’s New Year account, when the highly-acclaimed Emperor String Quartet, main picture, returns to Plymouth University’s Sherwell Centre in the Peninsula Arts Chamber Music series, with music by Haydn, Britten and Schubert.
February begins with a flute and harpsichord recital as part of the Totnes Early Music Society, and it’s more chamber music when the Aquinas Piano Trio, pictured above, takes the second slot at Kelly College a few days later.
This outstanding trio, led by violinist Ruth Rogers has already made a lasting impression on Plymouth audiences so this recital is certainly one not to be missed.
Devon Baroque returns to Dartington’s Great Hall with an all-Bach of Suites and Cantatas while, at the complete opposite end of the musical spectrum, the Peninsula Arts Contemporary Music Festival 2013 fills the final weekend of the month, where the premiere of Eduardo Miranda’s Symphony of Minds Listening should be one the spring’s highlights.
March opens with two Singing Workshops, by the East Cornwall Bach Choir, and Dartington Community Choir, pictured above,respectively, while a 20th Anniversary Composers’ Concert, featuring three other local composers and myself, will help concert-organiser Jeanie Moore celebrate the close of the current International lunchtime series at the City Museum.
Lovers of large-scale choral music have Requiems by Mozart and Faure to look forward to, courtesy of the University of Plymouth Choral Society and Plymouth Philharmonic Choir respectively, with Dartington Community Choir’s Verdi Requiem certainly looking to round off the month with a bang.
Orchestra aficionados can enjoy Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto at the next Plymouth Symphony Orchestra Concert followed, the night after, by a welcome Plymouth Pavilions return from the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, with its programme of Hollywood Blockbusters.
With Lulu, Madam Butterfly and The Cunning Little Vixen, pictured above, from Welsh National Opera at the start of April, there’s definitely something for everyone over the coming months.
Click here to read my review of the classical year 2012. Click on the tags at the top of this story or hit the ‘classical’ and ‘opera’ buttons on the navigation bar to see more of my reviews from the past year.
PHILIP R BUTTALL