Peasmarsh Festival 2016

2016 Guest Artists

Alasdair Beatson, piano

Alasdair BeatsonAlasdair Beatson combines a career as one of the UK’s most prominent chamber pianists with work as soloist in an especially varied and adventurous repertoire.

His solo discography includes piano music of Mendelssohn, Ludwig Thuille, and the Opus 1’s of Schumann, Grieg, Berg and Brahms. 2017 will see the release of a recording with BIS dedicated to music for horn and piano, recorded on four historical pianos spanning 1815-1890 with horn player Alec Frank-Gemmill.

Forthcoming performances include chamber collaborations with Adrian Brendel, Philippe Graffin, Anthony Marwood, Ferenc Rados and Pieter Wispelwey. Recent performances include concertos with the Scottish Chamber and Royal Scottish National orchestras, Britten Sinfonia, and the Scottish Ensemble; as soloist in Messiaen’s Oiseaux Exotiques conducted by George Benjamin, and in appearances at festivals in Aldeburgh, Bath, Ernen (Switzerland), Delft, IMS Prussia Cove, Resonances (Belgium), Oxford Chamber Music and Plush.

Alasdair is artistic director of the chamber music festival Musique à Marsac.

Lilli Maijala, viola

Lilli MaijalaLilli Maijala gave her first solo performance with the Oulu Symphony Orchestra at the age of 17, and has since appeared regularly as both a concert soloist and a chamber musician on stages around Europe. In recent years she has performed as guest soloist with orchestras including the Helsinki Philharmonic, Lahti Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Lapland, Kuopio Symphony Orchestra, Camerata Salzburg, Folkwang Kammerorchester Essen and Tapiola Sinfonietta. In the spring of 2013 she gave the world premiere of Lauri Kilpiö’s viola concerto with the Jyväskylä Sinfonia.

Maijala studied the viola at the Sibelius Academy, the Hochschule für Musik Detmold and the Edsberg Chamber Music Institute with teachers including Teemu Kupiainen, Diemut Poppen and Lars Anders Tomter. During her studies she received critical acclaim at numerous international competitions, including the Nordic Viola Competition, Tokyo International Viola Competition and the ARD Competition Munich.

Lilli Maijala was a member of the fearless quartet-lab (with cellist Pieter Wispelwey and violinists Patricia Kopatchinskaja and Pekka Kuusisto) and is now dividing her time between international chamber music venues and her teaching post at the Sibelius Academy. She also performs on baroque viola. The highlights of 2016 include the Nordic premiere of the Peteris Vasks viola concerto with the Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra and Juha Kangas as well as chamber music festivals of Resonances, Peasmarsh, West Cork Music and Schiermonnikoog. Lilli Maijala plays an instrument by Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume from 1870, on loan by kind permission of the Finnish Cultural Foundation.

Alexander Melnikov, piano

Alexander MelnikovAlexander Melnikov graduated from the Moscow Conservatory under Lev Naumov. He was awarded important prizes at eminent competitions such as the International Robert Schumann Competition in Zwickau (1989) and the Concours Musical Reine Elisabeth in Brussels (1991).

Known for his often-unusual musical and programmatic decisions, Alexander Melnikov discovered a career-long interest in historically-informed performance practice at an early age. He regularly performs with such distinguished period ensembles as the Freiburger Barockorchester, Concerto Köln, Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin and Orchestre des Champs-Élysées.

As a soloist, Alexander Melnikov has performed with orchestras including the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Philadelphia Orchestra, Russian National Orchestra, Munich Philharmonic, BBC Philharmonic and the NHK Symphony, under conductors such as Mikhail Pletnev, Teodor Currentzis, Charles Dutoit, Paavo Järvi, Philippe Herreweghe and Valery Gergiev.

Together with Andreas Staier, Alexander Melnikov developed a programme that sets excerpts from Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier (Andreas Staier – harpsichord) in musical dialogue with Shostakovich’s 24 Preludes and Fugues (Alexander Melnikov – piano). His recording of the latter piece was awarded the BBC Music Magazine Award and named as one of the “50 Greatest Recordings of All Time”. Additionally, his discography features works by Beethoven, Brahms, Rachmaninov, Schumann, Schubert, Shostakovich and Scriabin.

The 2015/16 season sees the launch of “The Man with the Many Pianos” programme, in which Alexander Melnikov performs a solo recital on three different instruments reflecting the periods in which the works were written, as well as a three-concert Shostakovich programme with the Cuarteto Casals. Further highlights include concerts with the Camerata Salzburg and Louis Langrée at the Mozartwoche in Salzburg, Seattle Symphony Orchestra, as well as engagements in London’s Wigmore Hall, Amsterdam’s Muziekgebouw aan’t Ij and Barcelona’s Palau de la Música Catalana.

Christoph Richter, cello

Christoph RichterChristoph Richter, born in Bonn, Germany, is one of the most sought-after musicians in Europe and regularly performs with artists such as András Schiff, Isabelle Faust, Heinz Holliger.

Richter was formerly cellist in the Cherubini String Quartet, and performed as a member of the ensemble in all of the world’s most prestigious concert halls. He performed the complete works for cello of Brahms and Webern (2008), Beethoven (2009+2015), and Bach (2013) in London. After his studies with André Navarra and Pierre Fournier he won prizes at international competitions, and is much in demand as a soloist with leading orchestras.

He has been principal cellist of the Cappella Andrea Barca since its founding by music director András Schiff in 1999, and is a key participant in the renowned International Musicians Seminar, Prussia Cove, in Cornwall, U.K. Other international festivals in which he is a regular participant include those of Ittingen, Marlboro, and Salzburg.

His strong interest in contemporary music has led him to work with composers such as Penderecki, Kurtág, Henze, Lachenmann, Holliger, Reimann and Widmann. Amongst his recordings are works by Schumann and Holliger for ECM, concertos by Klengel for cpo, the Divertimento KV 563 by Mozart for Naxos and the Brahms Sextet op.36 for Harmonia Mundi, which received the Diapason D’Or.

Mr. Richter is highly respected throughout Europe and the UK as a master teacher. He is professor of cello at the Folkwang University in Essen (Germany) and the Royal Academy of Music in London, and teaches chamber music at the European Chamber Music Academy and ChamberStudio (London).

Carmit Zori, violin

Carmit ZoriViolinist Carmit Zori came to the United States from her native Israel at the age of fifteen to study with Ivan Galamian, Jaime Laredo and Arnold Steinhardt at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. Ms. Zori is the recipient of a Levintritt Foundation Award, a Pro Musicis International Award, and the top prize in the Walter W. Naumburg International Violin Competition.

Carmit Zori has appeared as a soloist with the New York Philharmonic, the Rochester Philharmonic, and the Philadelphia Orchestra, among many others, and has given solo recitals at Lincoln Center, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Isabella Stewart Gardener Museum in Boston, the Phillips Collection in Washington D.C., the Tel Aviv Museum and the Jerusalem Center for the Performing Arts. She has performed throughout Latin America and Europe, as well as in Israel, Japan, Taiwan and Australia, where she premiered the Violin Concerto by Marc Neikrug.

In addition to her appearances with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Ms. Zori has been a guest at chamber music festivals and concert series around the world, including the Chamber Music at the “Y” series in New York City, Festival Casals in Puerto Rico, the Bridgehampton Chamber Music festival, the Bard Music festival, Chamber Music Northwest, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, the Seattle Chamber Music Festival, the Cape Cod Chamber Music Festival, Bach Dancing and Dynamite chamber music festival in Madison, Wisconsin. Carmit continues her association with the Marlboro Music Festival in Vermont.

Ms. Zori, who for ten years was an artistic director at Bargemusic, founded the Brooklyn Chamber Music Society in 2002. She has recorded on the Arabesque, Koch International, and Elektra-Nonesuch labels. Ms. Zori is professor of violin at Rutgers University and at SUNY Purchase, where she also serves on the chamber music faculty.

Jaime Martín, conductor

Jaime MartínJaime Martín has risen quickly to international acclaim as a conductor in recent years, following his prominent career as a flautist. Having taken up the role of Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of Gävle Symphony Orchestra in September 2013, he is also Chief Conductor of the Orquestra de Cadaqués and Artistic Director of the Santander International Festival.

As a guest conductor he works regularly with the London Philharmonic, Orquestra Sinfònica de Barcelona, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Swedish Radio Symphony, London Mozart Players, Academy of St Martín in the Fields and Ulster Orchestra. Jaime Martín made his operatic debut conducting Magic Flute at El Escorial Madrid and San Sebastian Festival in August 2012. He made his debut at the English National Opera in February 2013 conducting Barber of Seville and returned in autumn 2014 to conduct Marriage of Figaro.

Recent highly successful guest engagements have included debuts with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and the Northern Sinfonia, as well as return engagements with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, São Paulo Symphony, Aarhus Symphony and Winterthur Orchestra. Jaime also recently conducted a Classic FM concert at the Royal Albert Hall with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra with soloists Steven Isserlis and Martin Frost.

Born in Santander, Spain, Jaime Martín studied with Antonio Arias in Madrid and later with Paul Verhey in The Hague, Holland. Jaime has an extensive discography both as a conductor and soloists for Sony and EMI and on the Tritó label.

London Mozart Players

London Mozart Players logoFounded by Harry Blech in 1949 as the UK’s first chamber orchestra, the London Mozart Players (LMP) has achieved international renown for its outstanding live performances and CD recordings of the core Classical repertoire. Music Directors have included Gérard Korsten, Andrew Parrott, Matthias Bamert and Jane Glover, who grew and developed the orchestras strong Classical tradition. The LMP enjoys connections with Hilary Davan Wetton as Associate Conductor, and Howard Shelley as Conductor Laureate, and continues to work closely with many of the world’s finest conductors and soloists. In 2015 the LMP appointed cellist Laura van der Heijden as its first Young Artist in Residence.

In addition the LMP also plays an active part in contemporary music, giving many world premières and commissioning new works, in recent years by composers including Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Tarik O’Regan, Sally Beamish, Cecilia McDowall, Lynne Plowman, Fraser Trainer and Jonathan Dove. In March 2011 the LMP appointed Roxanna Panufnik as Associate Composer.

The LMP has been committed to providing a platform for sharing the creative arts with schools and communities for over 25 years. LMP Voyager is an education and community hub which allows music to inspire, educate & enrich communities through an extensive programme of work across the UK.

The LMP enjoys the patronage of HRH The Earl of Wessex. In June 2014 the LMP began a new and exciting phase in its history, becoming the first chamber orchestra in the UK to be managed both operationally and artistically by the players.

Castalian String Quartet

Castalian String QuartetWinner of the First Prize at the 2015 Lyon International Chamber Music Competition, the Castalian String Quartet is fast becoming a favourite with audiences in the United Kingdom and abroad for its ‘richly romantic energy and passion’ (Strad Magazine).

Formed in 2011, the quartet has been the beneficiary of awards from the Royal Overseas League (2011 Elias Fawcett Trust Award), the Countess of Munster Trust, the Tunnell Trust, the Royal Philharmonic Society, and Mozarteum de France. In 2013 it won both the Audience Prize and First Prize in the Kammermusik Hannover Next Generation Competition, broadcast on German radio station NDR.

Engagements in 2016/17 include recitals at the Wigmore Hall, Jubilee Hall Aldeburgh, and the Frankfurt Quartetaffairs, Hitzacker and Conques Festivals, and a CD for Meridian Records. Highlights from previous seasons include performances at the Wigmore Hall, the Purcell Room, Kings Place, the Edinburgh Festival and a BBC Radio 3 recital from the Cheltenham Festival. 2013 saw its German recital debut in the Heidelberger Frühling String Quartet Festival and first concerts in Switzerland at the Ceresio Estate Festival, Lugano.

2014 brought the release of the quartet’s recording of Mendelssohn on the Champs Hill label (awarded BBC Music Magazine’s ‘Critic’s Choice’ for September, and ‘Chamber Music Disc of the Quarter’ by the German Record Critics Association), a second tour of Scotland, and recitals in Berlin and the Festival de Musique de Conques.

In 2014 they graduated from the Hannover University of Music, Dance and Theatre with a Masters Degree in Chamber Music, studying with their mentor Oliver Wille. The quartet has also worked closely with Thomas Brandis and Levon Chilingirian.

Peasmarsh Chamber Music Festival 2016 poster2016 Programme


Thursday 23 June 2016, 8pm

Anthony Marwood, Richard Lester, Alasdair Beatson, Carmit Zori, Lilli Maijala, Christoph Richter, Alexander Melnikov

  • Schumann Piano Quartet in C minor, WoO 32
  • Beethoven Piano Trio in E flat major, Op. 70 No. 2
  • Shostakovich Piano Quintet in G minor, Op. 57

Our Artistic Directors, alongside our guest artists, open this year’s festival with music of high emotional power and ardour. Schumann was only 19 when he composed his first piano quartet, full of youthful impetuosity. Perhaps one of Beethoven’s most subtle chamber pieces, his piano trio in E flat major shortly followed his sixth symphony and was dedicated to his close friend and advisor Countess Marie Erdödy. The programme concludes with an undisputed masterpiece of the Russian repertoire, Shostakovich’s piano quintet, premiered in 1940 by the Beethoven Quartet with Shostakovich himself at the piano, and for which the composer won the first Stalin prize.

Venue: Church of St Peter & St Paul, Peasmarsh


Friday 24 June 2016, 1pm

Castalian String Quartet, with participants from our education workshops. Led by Sam Glazer

Come and participate in the concert marking the fruition of our successful education programme. In the weeks leading up to the festival, students at local primary schools will work with our brilliant music educator Sam Glazer to compose short works building on themes from the festival programme. This concert will offer our very young composers the chance to hear their works performed live and also enjoy a performance from our guest ensemble the Castalian String Quartet.

Education work at the Peasmarsh Festival is generously funded by the Rudi Martinus van Dijk Foundation.

Venue: Church of St Peter & St Paul, Peasmarsh


Friday 24 June 2016, 8pm

Anthony Marwood, Richard Lester (soloists), London Mozart Players, conducted by Jaime Martin

  • Prokofiev Symphony No. 1 in D major, Op. 25 ‘Classical’
  • Haydn Cello Concerto in D major, Hob.VIIb:2
  • Beethoven Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 61

Following the success of last year’s orchestral concert, we are thrilled to welcome again the London Mozart Players, the longest-established chamber orchestra in the United Kingdom. Under the baton of Jaime Martin, they will be joined by our Artistic Directors for an ambitious programme featuring two great concertos in D major: the wonderful lyricism and serenity of both these works conceal their extreme technical demands. The concert starts with Prokofiev’s ‘symphony in the Classical style’, a whimsical piece composed as an experiment in what Haydn might have written had he lived in the 20th century.

“Polished and meticulous playing from the London Mozart Players… every note a rediscovered treasure.”
– Oxford Times, March 2012

Venue: St Mary’s Church, Rye


Saturday 25 June 2016, 11.30am

Castalian String Quartet, Alasdair Beatson

  • Ravel String Quartet in F major
  • Fauré Piano Quintet No. 2 in C minor, Op. 115

In this morning’s recital, our guest ensemble the Castalian String Quartet, winners of the First Prize at the 2015 Lyon International Chamber Music Competition, will play Ravel’s only string quartet, an instinctive and innovative piece which received mixed reviews when it was premiered in 1904. It was modelled on the quartet by Claude Debussy’s String Quartet and was dedicated to Ravel’s sympathetic and sensitive mentor, Gabriel Fauré. Fauré’s second piano quintet, completed in 1921, demonstrates the creative nostalgia of a composer in the autumn of his life.

Venue: Church of St Peter & St Paul, Peasmarsh


Saturday 25 June 2016, 6.30pm

Anthony Marwood, Richard Lester, Carmit Zori, Sini Simonen, Charlotte Bonneton, Christoph Richter, Castalian String Quartet, Alasdair Beatson, Lilli Maijala

A programme featuring dramatic music inspired by the hunt.

  • Onslow String Quintet No. 15 in C minor, Op. 38 ‘The Bullet’
  • Jörg Widmann Jagdquartett (String Quartet No. 3)
  • Liszt Grande Étude de Paganini S.141 No. 5 in E major ‘La Chasse’
  • Mozart String Quartet No.17 in B flat major

We are delighted to take you on a fascinating journey exploring the theme of the hunt and its manifold musical interpretations. The programme features the most famous of Mozart’s six quartets dedicated to Haydn, which draws its name, the piece drawing its name from its 6/8 theme in the first movement that resonates like hunting horns. While Onslow’s string quintet relates an actual incident in 1829 in which the composer was accidentally shot in the cheek while boar hunting, Widmann’s third string quartet symbolically hunts down and tears the ensemble apart. This contrasts with Liszt’s penultimate etude based on virtuoso violinist Paganini’s ninth caprice and dedicated to Clara Schumann.

Venue: Church of St Peter & St Paul, Peasmarsh


Saturday 25 June 2016, 9.45pm

Alasdair Beatson, Alexander Melnikov

  • Stravinsky The Rite of Spring, version for piano four hands

Written for the 1913 Paris season of Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes company, The Rite of Spring’s premiere sparked a riotous reaction and was described by Pierre Boulez as marking the birth of contemporary music. Based on the rituals and sacrifices performed by a pagan tribe to win the benevolence of the gods of spring, Stravinsky’s piece has remained as startling and powerful as ever. Our guest pianists Alexander Melnikov and Alasdair Beatson take us through the percussive and thrilling piano duet version.

Venue: Church of St Peter & St Paul, Peasmarsh


Sunday 26 June, 11.30am

Richard Lester, Carmit Zori, Castalian String Quartet

  • Kodály Duo for Violin and Cello, Op. 7
  • Beethoven String Quartet No. 7 in F major, Op. 59, No. 1

This morning’s concert pairs Kodály’s Duo for Violin and Cello, an intimate but powerful work maintaining a perfect balance between the two instruments, with the first of Beethoven’s ‘Razumovsky’ Quartets, commissioned by the then Russian ambassador to Vienna. While the first piece employs characteristics of Hungarian native folk songs in the realm of concert music, the second sews Russian themes into its musical fabric.

Venue: Church of St Peter & St Paul, Peasmarsh


Sunday 26 June 2016, 4:45pm

Alexander Melnikov

  • Shostakovich Preludes and Fugues, Op. 87

Alexander Melnikov performs a selection of the 24 Preludes and Fugues Shostakovich composed in 1950-1951 in Moscow, inspired by Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier. Championed by Tatiana Nikolayeva, this work represents one of the greatest examples of music written in all major and minor keys.

“Melnikov’s playing has wonderful colour and imagination … Everything is testament to reflection and skill, yet the pianist is not lecturing, but laughing, dreaming, lamenting and dancing.”
– Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, November 2010 on Alexander Melnikov’s recording of Shostakovich’s 24 Preludes and Fugues

Venue: Church of St Peter & St Paul, Peasmarsh


Sunday 26 June 2016, 7pm

Anthony Marwood, Richard Lester, Alasdair Beatson, Carmit Zori, Lilli Maijala, Christoph Richter, Alexander Melnikov

  • Mozart Piano Quartet in E flat major, K. 452 (arrangement of quintet for piano and winds)
  • Bartók Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 1, Sz. 75
  • Schumann Piano Quartet in E flat major, Op. 47

Our 2016 festival is brought to a close with three major chamber music works showing their composers at the peak of creative output. “I myself consider it to be the best thing I have written in my life”, Mozart wrote to his father shortly after the premiere of his Piano Quartet in E flat major, composed in the midst of an extraordinarily creative period. Bartók’s first violin sonata draws from his extensive collection of Hungarian folksongs and its last movement is a wild and thrilling edge-of-the-seat dance. The concert concludes with Schumann’s better known and well-loved piano quartet composed in 1842 (13 years after his early quartet featured in the opening concert), and written during a year when he and his wife Clara studied the trios and quartets of Beethoven and Mozart.

Venue: Church of St Peter & St Paul, Peasmarsh