Peasmarsh Festival 2018

2018 Guest Artists

Hsin-Yun Huang, viola

Hsin-Yun HuangViolist Hsin-Yun Huang has forged a career performing on international concert stages, commissioning and recording new works, and nurturing young musicians. Highlights of 2016-2017 included performances for the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, the 92nd Street Y, Chamber Music Columbus, and the Seoul Spring Festival. The 2017-18 season includes performances as soloist under the batons of David Robertson, Osmo Vänskä, Xian Zhang, and Max Valdés in Beijing, Taipei, and Bogota; she is also the first solo violist to be presented in the National Performance Center of the Arts in Beijing. She has commissioned compositions from Steven Mackey, Shih-Hui Chen, and Poul Ruders. Her 2012 recording, titled Viola Viola, for Bridge Records won accolades from Gramophone and BBC Music Magazine. Her next recording will be the complete Unaccompanied Sonatas and Partitas of J.S. Bach, in partnership her husband, violist Misha Amory, to be released by Bridge Records in 2017.

Ms. Huang first came to international attention as the gold medalist in the 1988 Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition. In 1993 she was the top prize winner in the ARD International Competition in Munich, and was awarded the highly prestigious Bunkamura Orchard Hall Award. A native of Taiwan and an alumna of Young Concert Artists, she received degrees from the Yehudi Menuhin School, The Juilliard School, and the Curtis Institute of Music; she now serves on the faculties of Juilliard and Curtis.

Edvard Pogossian, cello

Edvard PogossianEdvard Pogossian (cello) is a senior studying with Natasha Brofsky at The Juilliard School. As the recent winner of the Juilliard Concerto Competition, Edvard performed the Tchaikovsky Rococo Variations at David Geffen Hall in New York and at the Harris Theater in Chicago with the Juilliard Orchestra under the direction of Itzhak Perlman. The Chicago Tribune praised Edvard’s performance for his “astonishing musical and technical maturity,” as well as his “winning lightness of touch to everything he played, combined with a velvety tone.” In the summer of 2016 he performed the Rococo Variations with the Boston Pops in Symphony Hall on the annual “Armenian Night at the Pops” concert. He was also the winner of the inaugural Los Angeles Philharmonic Young Artists Competition, giving him the honor to play the Saint-Saens Cello Concerto with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra in Walt Disney Hall. Edvard’s other notable performances include appearances at Carnegie Hall, Zipper Hall, and on NPR’s From the Top radio show. Edvard is a long time participant of the Apple Hill Chamber Music Festival in New Hampshire, and has also attended Yellow Barn, Perlman Music Program’s Chamber Music Workshop, and Kneisel Hall. He has studied in Los Angeles with Paul Cohen and Rick Mooney, and later spent two years studying with Ronald Leonard at the Colburn Young Artists Academy. Dedicated to chamber music, Edvard is a founding member of the Zelda Piano Quartet, a group currently a part of the Juilliard Honors Chamber Music Program. He represented the Juilliard School at various high profile occasions, including the recent performance for the First Lady of China, and is a proud recipient of a Kovner Fellowship from the Juilliard School.

Mark Steinberg, violin

Mark SteinbergMark Steinberg is first violinist and founding member of the Brentano Quartet, in existence since 1992. With the quartet he has performed extensively in North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, as well as in Japan, Israel and Colombia. The quartet is ensemble in residence at Yale University having previously had that position at Princeton University for 15 years. The group has won many awards, such as the Naumburg Chamber Music Award, the inaugural Cleveland Quartet award and the Royal Philharmonic Society award for best debut in the UK. With pianist Mitsuko Uchida, Steinberg presented the complete Mozart sonata cycle in London’s Wigmore Hall and has also recorded for Philips. Mr. Steinberg has been soloist with the London Philharmonia, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the Auckland Philharmonia. He has performed often on period instruments and in new music ensembles. Mark Steinberg holds degrees from Indiana University and The Juilliard School and has studied with Louise Behrend, Josef Gingold, and Robert Mann. Currently on the faculty of the Manhattan School of Music and The Graduate Center at CUNY, he has taught often at the Banff Centre for the Arts, the Aspen Festival and the Taos School of Music and has given master classes at the Eastman School of Music, the Cleveland Institute of Music, the Britten-Pears Institute in Aldeburgh, and numerous other schools. He has been a jury member at the Banff String Quartet competition, the London String Quartet competition and the Mozart String Quartet competition in Salzburg.

Dénes Várjon, piano

Dénes VárjonHis sensational technique, deep musicality, wide range of interest have made Dénes Várjon one of the most exciting and highly regarded participants of international musical life. He is a universal musician: excellent soloist, first-class chamber musician, artistic leader of festivals, highly sought–after piano pedagogue.

Widely considered as one of the greatest chamber musicians, he works regularly with pre-eminent partners such as Steven Isserlis, Tabea Zimmermann, Kim Kashkashian, Jörg Widmann, Leonidas Kavakos, András Schiff , Heinz Holliger, Miklós Perényi, Joshua Bell. As a soloist he is a welcome guest at major concert series, from New York’s Carnegie Hall to Vienna’s Konzerthaus and London’s Wigmore Hall. He is frequently invited to work with many of the world’s leading symphony orchestras (Budapest Festival Orchestra, Tonhalle Orchestra, Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Russian National Orchestra, Kremerata Baltica, Academy of St. Martin in the Fields). Among the conductors he has worked with we find Sir Georg Solti, Sándor Végh, Iván Fischer, Ádám Fischer, Heinz Holliger, Horst Stein, Leopold Hager, Zoltán Kocsis. He appears regularly at leading international festivals from Marlboro to Salzburg and Edinburgh.

He also performs frequently with his wife Izabella Simon playing four hands and two pianos recitals together. In the past decade they organized and led several chamber music festivals, the most recent one being „” at the Franz Liszt Music Academy in Budapest. In recent years Mr. Várjon has built a close cooperation with Alfred Brendel: their joint Liszt project was presented, among others, in the UK and Italy.

He has recorded for the Naxos, Capriccio and Hungaroton labels with critical acclaim. Teldec released his CD with Sándor Veress’s “Hommage à Paul Klee” (performed with András Schiff, Heinz Holliger and the Budapest Festival Orchestra). His recording “Hommage à Géza Anda”, (PAN-Classics Switzerland) has received very important international echoes. His solo CD with pieces of Berg, Janáček and Liszt was released in 2012 by ECM. In 2015 he recorded the Schumann piano concerto with the WDR Symphonieorchester and Heinz Holliger, and all five Beethoven piano concertos with Concerto Budapest and András Keller.

Dénes Várjon graduated from the Franz Liszt Music Academy in 1991, where his professors included Sándor Falvai, György Kurtág and Ferenc Rados. Parallel to his studies he was regular participant at international master classes with András Schiff. Dénes Várjon won first prize at the Piano Competition of Hungarian Radio, at the Leó Weiner Chamber Music Competition in Budapest and at the Géza Anda Competition in Zurich. He was awarded with the Liszt, with the Sándor Veress and with the Bartók-Pásztory Prize. Mr. Várjon works also for Henle’s Urtext Editions.

Huw Watkins, piano / composer

Huw WatkinsHuw Watkins was born in Wales in 1976. He studied piano with Peter Lawson at Chetham’s School of Music and composition with Robin Holloway, Alexander Goehr and Julian Anderson at Cambridge and the Royal College of Music.

In 2001 he was awarded the Constant and Kit Lambert Junior Fellowship at the Royal College of Music, he now teaches composition at the Royal Academy of Music.

Huw is one of the UK’s foremost composer-pianists, in great demand with orchestras and festivals including the London Sinfonietta, Britten Sinfonia, the BBC orchestras, and Aldeburgh and Cheltenham Festivals.

Strongly committed to the performance of new music, Huw has recently had piano concertos written for him by Philip Cashian, Helen Grime and Tansy Davies.

A favourite partner for chamber collaborations, Huw Watkins performs regularly with his brother Paul Watkins, as well as Tamsin Waley-Cohen and Mark Padmore.

Recent appearances include Wigmore Hall, Birmingham Town Hall, Kettle’s Yard Cambridge, Saffron Walden and West Cork Chamber Music Festival. Further afield Huw has toured extensively all over Europe, and performed in Canada, Mexico and the USA.

He has also featured as both Composer in Residence and pianist at festivals including, Presteigne Festival and Lars Vogt’s ‘Spannungen’ Festival in Heimbach, Germany.

He is currently composer-in-association with BBC NOW and won the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center 2016 Elise L. Stoeger Prize in recognition of significant contributions to the field of chamber music composition.

Navarra String Quartet

Navarra String QuartetMagnus Johnston – violin
Marije Johnston – violin
Rebecca Jones – viola
Brian O’Kane – cello

Formed in 2002, the Navarra Quartet has built an international reputation as one of the most dynamic and poetic string quartets of today. Selected for representation by the Young Classical Artists Trust (YCAT) from 2006 to 2010, they have been awarded the MIDEM Classique Young Artist Award, and a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship. They have appeared at major venues throughout the world including the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Royal Festival Hall, Wigmore Hall, Sydney Opera House, Luxembourg Philharmonie, Berlin Konzerthaus, the Laeiszhalle in Hamburg, and at international festivals such as Rheingau, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Aix-en-Provence and Bergen. The Quartet collaborates with artists such as Li-Wei, Guy Johnston, Mark Padmore, Allan Clayton, Francesco Piemontesi, John O’Conor, Simone Young and the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain.

Highlights in 17/18 include performances at the Southbank Centre’s International Chamber Music Series, Wigmore Hall, Newcastle Chamber Music Society, Lakeside Arts Nottingham, Leeds International Chamber Music Series, and a BBC Lunchtime Concert in Perth. The quartet make their US debut at the Lincoln Center NY as part of the ‘Complimentary Classical’ series in February 2019. Projects include tours as the Mendelssohn Octet with the Elias Quartet; recording of Pēteris Vasks’ String Quartets 4 & 5; and directing the fifth edition of the Weesp Chamber Music Festival. In December 2017, the Quartet was awarded the prestigious Dutch Kersjes Prize at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw.

Britten Sinfonia

Britten SinfoniaBritten Sinfonia is acclaimed for its virtuoso musicianship, and inspired programming. Britten Sinfonia breaks the mould by not having a principal conductor, instead collaborating with the finest guest artists.

Britten Sinfonia is an Associate Ensemble at the Barbican in London with residencies in Norwich, Cambridge and Saffron Walden, and performs chamber music at Wigmore Hall. Britten Sinfonia also appears at major UK festivals including the Aldeburgh Festival and BBC Proms. The orchestra has toured extensively and made its debut in China in May 2016.

Founded in 1992, and inspired by Benjamin Britten’s ethos, Britten Sinfonia offers world-class performances, programmes where old meets new, and a commitment to bringing outstanding music to concert halls and local communities alike. Central to this ethos are creative learning projects including the youth ensemble Britten Sinfonia Academy, and competitions for unpublished composers. Britten Sinfonia is a BBC Radio 3 broadcast partner and records for Harmonia Mundi and Hyperion.

In 2017–18, Britten Sinfonia collaborates with: Thomas Adès, Sir Mark Elder, Jeremy Denk, Elizabeth Kulman, Nicolas Hodges and Ailish Tynan, with premieres from composers including Emma-Ruth Richards, Leo Chadburn and Nik Barsch. Britten Sinfonia was awarded the Royal Philharmonic Society Music Ensemble Award in 2013. Britten Sinfonia recordings have received a BBC Music Magazine Award, Gramophone Award, and an ECHO/Klassik Recording Award. In 2014 Britten Sinfonia with the Richard Alston Dance Company was nominated for an Olivier Award.

Sam Glazer, composer

Sam GlazerSam Glazer is a composer, cellist and creative leader. He is co-creator of Spitalfields Music’s RPS-shortlisted Musical Rumpus, making operas for babies and toddlers, touring London, nationally and internationally (2012-2017). His choral score for circa’s Depart (LIFT/ Spitalfields Music/ Hull UK City of Culture 2017/ LeftCoast/ Brighton Festival) premiered in an East London Victorian woodland cemetery, and toured the UK in 2017. In 2012 he was commissioned by Create Arts to compose a community song cycle, which was performed in Rochester by over 100 young and adult singers.

Sam has led projects for The Sixteen, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Sinfonia Viva and developed creative learning programmes for the Florestan Festival at Peasmarsh, the Winchester Chamber Music Festival and the Mid-Wales Music Trust. He has devised and presented schools concerts for the Britten Sinfonia, Sinfonia Cymru and the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. Sam has been involved for over ten years with Wigmore Hall’s pioneering Music for Life project, working in care homes with people with dementia, and subsequently went on to co-found Raise Your Voice Opera, Glyndebourne’s group for people with dementia and their carers living in the community. Since 2005 he has been teaching at the Royal Academy of Music, mentoring young musicians who are studying Music in the Community, and he is currently lead mentor for Spitalfields Music’s Trainee Music Leader programme. Sam plays and sings with the groundbreaking band firefly burning, who released their latest album Skeleton Hill in Spring 2015 and are currently working on a new album with support from Snape Maltings.

Peasmarsh Chamber Music Festival 2018 poster2018 Programme


Thursday 21 June 2018, 8pm

Anthony Marwood, Huw Watkins, Mark Steinberg, Richard Lester, Dénes Várjon, Navarra String Quartet, Hsin-Yun Huang, Edvard Pogossian

  • Schubert Rondo in B minor for violin and piano, D.895 ‘Rondeau Brillant’
  • Schumann Piano Trio in G minor, Op.110
  • Brahms String Sextet in G major, Op.36

Festival Directors Richard Lester and Anthony Marwood are joined by this year’s internationally renowned guest artists to take the audience on a sumptuous journey through the 19th Century. The evening concludes with Brahms’ Sextet No. 2, written for Agathe von Siebold following the end of her relationship with the composer, as the young Brahms finds a maturing style to bid her farewell.

“Here I have freed myself from my last love.”
– Brahms

Venue: Church of St Peter & St Paul, Peasmarsh


Friday 22 June 2018, 1pm

Members of the Navarra String Quartet with participants from our education workshops. Led by Sam Glazer.

We are delighted to welcome Sam Glazer back to Peasmarsh, this year as both the composer of a new work for Sunday’s concert and the inspiring leader of this interactive concert programme, presenting compositions by participants in education workshops at Peasmarsh and Beckley schools. The Navarra String Quartet have been working with the children to bring their compositions to life and will in turn perform some of their quartet repertoire to the students.

Limited space is available for members of the public to attend; tickets are free but please reserve your place.

Education work at the Peasmarsh Chamber Music Festival is generously funded by the Rudi Martinus van Dijk Foundation and by Little Cheyne Court Wind Farm Ltd., which is operated by Innogy Renewables UK Limited. Sussex and Kent Community Foundations co-ordinate the grant scheme.

Venue: Church of St Peter & St Paul, Peasmarsh


Friday 22 June 2018, 8pm

Anthony Marwood, Richard Lester (soloists), Douglas Boyd (conductor), Britten Sinfonia

  • Haydn Symphony No. 22 in E flat major ‘The Philosopher’
  • Boccherini Cello Concerto in D Major, G.483
  • Bernstein Serenade (after Plato’s ‘Symposium’) for solo violin and orchestra

Following last year’s spectacular concert, it is with anticipation that we welcome back Britten Sinfonia, this time under the baton of acclaimed conductor Douglas Boyd. Gaining its nickname post completion, and likely not from the composer, the presence of Haydn’s philosopher is palpable. Juxtaposed is Peasmarsh’s contribution to the 2018 Bernstein centenary; his depiction of the great thinkers presenting their statements on love – the fantastically scored Serenade for strings, solo violin, harp and (a great many!) percussion. Boccherini – a wizard on the instrument himself – wrote twelve virtuosic concerti for the cello. Here we hear No. 10, with Richard Lester as soloist.

“…one of the world’s most celebrated and pioneering ensembles.”
– Britten Sinfonia

Venue: St Mary’s Church, Rye


Saturday 23 June 2018, 11.30am

Richard Lester, Dénes Várjon, Navarra String Quartet

  • Chopin Cello Sonata in G minor, Op.65
  • Schubert String Quartet in D minor, D.810 ‘Death and the Maiden’

Join us in the beautiful church in Peasmarsh to celebrate the short lives of two giants of 19th Century chamber music. With performances of works composed just before their untimely deaths, prepare for an emotional journey as Chopin’s lyrical cello Sonata makes way for Schubert’s depiction of his struggle with mortality – Death and the Maiden – passed over at the time, but now considered a masterpiece of the chamber repertoire.

Venue: Church of St Peter & St Paul, Peasmarsh


Saturday 23 June 2018, 6:30pm

Anthony Marwood, Hsin-Yun Huang, Richard Lester, Mark Steinberg, Huw Watkins, Edvard Pogossian

  • Beethoven String Trio in C minor, Op.9 No.3
  • Hindemith Violin Sonata in E flat major, Op.11 No.1
  • Elgar Quintet in A minor for piano and string quartet, Op.84

This evening’s programme looks back one hundred years to the final year of the First World War, with Elgar’s lush writing coexisting in war torn Europe with Hindemith’s developmental style, as the Romantic era draws to a close. Beethoven’s dramatic String Trio for over a century earlier begins the journey to Romanticism.

Venue: Church of St Peter & St Paul, Peasmarsh


Saturday 23 June 2018, 9.45pm

Anthony Marwood, Mark Steinberg, Hsin-Yun Huang, Edvard Pogossian, Richard Lester

  • Sciarrino Sei Capricci
  • Purcell Fantasias

Salvatore Sciarrino, perhaps Italy’s finest living composer, wrote 6 caprices for violin inspired by Paganini. Performed by Anthony Marwood, Sciarrino’s evocative and ethereal soundscape is interspersed with some of Henry Purcell’s magical and enigmatic fantasias for 3, 4 and 5 parts. The result is a fascinating, intimate and meditative listening experience.

Venue: Church of St Peter & St Paul, Peasmarsh


Sunday 24 June 2018, 11:30am

Navarra String Quartet, Hsin-Yun Huang, Anthony Marwood, Richard Lester, Mark Steinberg

  • Mozart String Quintet in D Major, K.593
  • Glazer Festival Commission – world premiere

Originating in 16th century Italy, the popular and subversive street-theatre form Commedia dell’arte depicts a cast of characters from cunning servants to enchanted lovers. Inspiring artists and composers through the ages, we are delighted to present the world premiere of a new suite of Commedia-inspired songs for young people and string quartet, composed by Sam Glazer and paired today with Mozart’s sublime quintet.

Venue: Church of St Peter & St Paul, Peasmarsh


Sunday 24 June 2018, 4.30pm

Huw Watkins, Hsin-Yun Huang, Edvard Pogossian, Mark Steinberg, Dénes Várjon

  • Watkins Fantasy for viola and piano
  • Schubert Arpeggione Sonata in A minor, D.821 for cello and piano
  • Schumann Violin Sonata in D minor Op.121

A very special afternoon awaits as our guest artists take to the stage for a concert filled with glorious music and technical prowess. From Schumann’s passionate violin Sonata to Watkins’ Fantasy for viola and piano, this rich and varied programme will delight. Excited by the arrival of the Arpeggione – something like a six stringed bowed guitar – Schubert set about composing his Sonata for arpeggione and piano. Sadly, beset with practical issues, as little as 10 years later the instrument was no longer in use. Luckily for us, the work is still played in transcription for viola or cello, with young American cellist, Edvard Pogossian responsible for the fireworks in this afternoon’s concert.

Venue: Church of St Peter & St Paul, Peasmarsh


Sunday 24 June 2018, 7pm

Huw Watkins, Mark Steinberg, Hsin-Yun Huang, Richard Lester, Anthony Marwood, Magnus Johnston, Rebecca Jones, Brian O’Kane, Edvard Pogossian, Dénes Várjon

  • Weber Piano Quartet in B flat major, J76 Op.18
  • Schulhoff String Sextet
  • Beethoven Piano Trio in B flat major, Op.97 ‘Archduke Trio’

Our 20th anniversary festival concludes with works from three composers who pushed boundaries and challenged convention. Crucial in dismissing the restraints of the Classical form, Beethoven and Weber produced works full of originality and Romantic virtuosity. Premiered by the composer himself, Beethoven’s colossal Archduke Trio is no exception; poignantly one of the last pieces Beethoven ever performed in public. In a life punctuated by two world wars, Schulhoff saw music as a tool for revolution. Encouraged and taught by Dvořák and Debussy, Schulhoff collected inspiration anywhere he could find it, pioneering the use of Jazz rhythms and influences from the avant-garde in his compositions. His remarkable sextet is full of dark beauty and intensity.

Venue: Church of St Peter & St Paul, Peasmarsh