Peasmarsh Festival 2019

2019 Guest Artists

Kristian Bezuidenhout, piano / fortepiano

Kristian BezuidenhoutKristian Bezuidenhout is one of today’s most notable and exciting keyboard artists, equally at home on the fortepiano, harpsichord, and modern piano.

Kristian is an Artistic Director of the Freiburger Barockorchester and Principal Guest Director with the English Concert. He is a regular guest with the world’s leading ensembles including Orchestre des Champs Elysées, Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest, Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Leipzig Gewandhausorchester; and guest-directs from the keyboard with many other ensembles.

He has performed with celebrated artists including John Eliot Gardiner, Philippe Herreweghe, Giovanni Antonini, Isabelle Faust, Anne Sofie von Otter and Mark Padmore.

In the 2018/19 season, Kristian play-directs programmes with Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Irish Baroque Orchestra as well as Freiburger Barockorchester and English Concert. As a soloist he performs with Cleveland Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra and Deutsches-Sinfonie Orchester Berlin. Solo recitals and chamber music take him around Europe and to the US and Canada.

Kristian’s rich and award-winning discography is available on Harmonia Mundi.

Derek Gripper, guitar

Derek GripperDerek Gripper is a classical guitarist who has taken a unique path. As a South African classical musician he found limited by the music of the traditional classical guitar and so went on a journey through different musical styles, returning always to the guitar to find ways of bringing what he learned onto the instrument.

His studies took him to India where he learned the rudiments of the Carnatic percussion language, and then to the farms of the Western Cape where he created an “avant-ghoema” string quartet language (Sagtevlei 2001) with South African composer and trumpeter Alex van Heerden. He then began to explore the limits of the classical guitar’s sonority, first on eight string guitar evocations of Cape Town folk music (Blomdoorns 2003), then in compositions on a guitar by legendary luthier Hermann Hauser (Ayo 2008, Kai Kai 2009) and then in transcriptions by Brazilian composer Egberto Gismonti (The Sound of Water 2012) whose solo guitar works are an explosive rewriting of classical guitar, world music, jazz and contemporary classical. The album combines Gismonti’s music with Derek’s own compositions.

In 2012 he completed a ten year project to understand and translate the music of the West African kora (21 string harp) virtuoso Toumani Diabate to solo guitar, resulting in two critically acclaimed albums, One Night on Earth (Songlines Top of the World) and Libraries on Fire, the latter receiving a Songlines award for “Best Album Africa and Middle East” in 2017. The recognition from these albums resulted in concert tours the world over, performances at venues such as Carnegie Hall, and collaborations with classical guitar legend John Williams, Indian guitar master Debashish Battacharya, and West African Musicians such as Trio da Kali and Toumani Diabate himself.

In 2017 Derek returned to the studio and to his musical roots to record an album of the solo violin works of Bach, arranged on solo guitar and delivered with the phraseology and fire of a musician who has steeped himself in musics outside of the classical canon. That album is due for release in 2018.

Bartholomew LaFollette, cello

Bartholomew LaFolletteAmerican cellist Bartholomew LaFollette has a rich and varied career as an international soloist and chamber musician.

After being launched by YCAT (Young Classical Artists Trust) with numerous performances at the Wigmore Hall, Barbican Centre, Bridgewater Hall and the Royal Festival Hall, Bartholomew went on to win first prize at The Arts Club’s and Decca Records’ inaugural Classical Music Award.

Last year he released an acclaimed Brahms disc with pianist Caroline Palmer. Gramophone Magazine praised it for its “technical finesse and interpretative insight” and The Strad wrote, “The opening of the F major Sonata soars inspiringly… The dolce at the end of the Adagio is heart-wrenching.”

In 2011, at the age of 26, Bartholomew was appointed Principal Cello Teacher at the Yehudi Menuhin School.

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 soloist and a chamber musician on stages across Europe.

In recent years she has performed with orchestras including the Helsinki Philharmonic, the Lapland Chamber Orchestra, Sinfonia Lahti, Camerata Salzburg, Folkwang Kammerorchester Essen and Tapiola Sinfonietta. And in 2013 she premiered the viola concerto of Lauri Kilpiö with Jyväskylä Sinfonia.

Early 2019 saw the Alba Records publication of Pehr Henrik Nordgren’s Concerto for viola, double bass and chamber orchestra. Under the baton of Juha Kangas and alongside bassist Olivier Thiery and the Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra; this CD premier received excellent reviews.

Lilli was a member of the acclaimed quartet-lab with cellist Pieter Wispelwey, violinists Patricia Kopatchinskaja and Pekka Kuusisto. Now based in Amsterdam, she currently divides her time between her teaching post at the Sibelius Academy and international music festivals such as West Cork, IMS Prussia Cove, Resonances, Peasmarsh and Delft Festival. Highlights of the forthcoming season include Lilli recording the Vasks viola concerto with the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra under Juha Kangas.

Alongside the Jean Baptiste Vuillaume viola, on loan by kind permission of the Finnish Cultural Foundation, Lilli Maijala also performs on baroque viola.

Gilles Vonsattel, piano

Gilles VonsattelSwiss-born American pianist Gilles Vonsattel is the recipient of an Avery Fisher Career Grant and the Andrew Wolf Chamber Music Award, and winner of the Naumburg and Geneva competitions.

He has appeared with the Munich Philharmonic, Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, Boston Symphony, and San Francisco Symphony, and performed recitals and chamber music at Ravinia, Tokyo’s Musashino Hall, Wigmore Hall, Bravo! Vail, Chamber Music Northwest, La Roque d’Anthéron, Music@Menlo, the Lucerne festival, and Spoleto USA.

Deeply committed to the performance of contemporary music, he has premiered numerous works both in the United States and Europe and worked closely with notable composers such as Jörg Widmann, Heinz Holliger, Anthony Cheung, and George Benjamin.

Recent and upcoming projects include appearances with the Chicago Symphony (Bernstein’s Age of Anxiety), Gothenburg Symphony (Messiaen’s Turangalîla Symphonie), Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana (Berg’s Kammerkonzert),Mozart concerti with the Vancouver Symphony and Florida Orchestra, as well as multiple appearances with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. In the summer of 2018, he appeared in solo and chamber music performance at twelve major international festivals, including Schwetzingen Festspiele and the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival.

Mr. Vonsattel received his bachelor’s degree in political science and economics from Columbia University and his master’s degree from The Juilliard School.

Trio Gaspard

Trio GaspardJonian Ilias Kadesha – violin
Vashti Hunter – cello
Nicholas Rimmer – piano

Hailing from Germany, Greece and the UK, Trio Gaspard is one of the most sought-after piano trios of its generation. Praised for their unique and fresh approach to the score, they regularly perform at major international concert halls, such as Wigmore Hall and Berlin Philharmonie as well as making appearances at festivals all over the world.

Recent highlights include performing the Beethoven triple concerto in Switzerland under the baton of Gabor Takács-Nagy, a recital in Berlin’s new ‘Pierre Boulez’ Hall and the performance of Bernd Alois Zimmerman’s ‘Présence- Ballet Blanc’ for piano trio and speaker, with contemporary dancer Luka Fritsch, soon to be released on the Trio’s ‘Live in Berlin’ CD, in cooperation with German Radio. Trio Gaspard also works regularly with contemporary composers, including a commission from Irish composer Gareth Williams.

Formed in 2010, Trio Gaspard are winners of the International Joseph Joachim Chamber Music Competition in Weimar, the 5th International Haydn Chamber Music Competition in Vienna and the 17th International Chamber Music Competition in Illzach, France. In 2012 they were awarded the ”Wiener Klassik” Preis der Stadt Baden in Austria.

All three members are prizewinning soloists in their own right and continue to pursue solo careers, giving recitals and performing concertos in prestigious venues including the Tonhalle Zürich, Megaron Music Hall Athens, Teatro Verdi di Firenze, Konzerthaus Vienna, Berlin Philharmonie and Royal Festival Hall London. The members of Trio Gaspard have also performed individually with other chamber groups, collaborating with eminent artists such as Steven Isserlis, Gidon Kremer, Nicolas Altstaedt and the Quartetto di Cremona.

Aurora Orchestra

Aurora OrchestraWith its signature creative ethos, Aurora Orchestra combines world-class performance with adventurous programming and presentation. Founded in 2005 under Principal Conductor Nicholas Collon, it has quickly established a reputation as one of Europe’s leading chamber orchestras, garnering several major awards including two Royal Philharmonic Society Music Awards, a German ECHO Klassik Award and a Classical:NEXT Innovation Award.

Collaborating widely across art forms and musical genres, Aurora has worked with an exceptional breadth of artists, ranging from Patricia Kopatchinskaja, Sarah Connolly, and Pierre-Laurent Aimard to Wayne McGregor, Edmund de Waal, and Björk. A champion of new music, it has premiered works by composers including Julian Anderson, Benedict Mason, Anna Meredith, Nico Muhly and Judith Weir. In recent years, it has pioneered memorised performance (without the use of printed sheet music), and is thought to be the first orchestra worldwide to perform whole symphonies in this way.

Based in London, Aurora is Resident Orchestra at Kings Place and Associate Orchestra at Southbank Centre. Its busy UK calendar includes ongoing regional residencies at St George’s Bristol, The Apex (Bury St Edmunds) and Colyer-Fergusson Hall (Canterbury). Recent and forthcoming international highlights include appearances at The Royal Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Kölner Philharmonie, Victoria Concert Hall Singapore, Melbourne Festival and Shanghai Concert Hall.

By challenging expectations of what an orchestra can and should do on the concert platform, Aurora inspries audiences of all ages and backgrounds to develop a passion for orchestral music. Through an award-winning Creative Learning programme, Aurora regularly offers creative workshops and storytelling concerts for families, schools and young people (including children with special educational needs and disabilities).

Sam Glazer, animateur

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 2018 he was commissioned by the Peasmarsh Chamber Music Festival to compose a new song cycle for children’s voices and string quartet, inspired by the commedia dell’arte. His latest commission, for Den Jyske Oper, was Hjerte Lyd, a new opera for babies and toddlers, which is touring Denmark in 2019.

Sam has led projects for The Sixteen, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Sinfonia Viva and developed creative learning programmes for the Peasmarsh Chamber Music Festival, 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 Breathe Shallow in May 2019 with support from the PRSF and Snape Maltings.

Peasmarsh Chamber Music Festival 2019 poster2019 Programme


Thursday 27 June, 8pm

Kristian Bezuidenhout, Jonian Ilias Kadesha, Lilli Maijala, Richard Lester, Anthony Marwood, Vashti Hunter, Derek Gripper, Bartholomew LaFollette, Gilles Vonsattel

  • Schubert Adagio and Rondo Concertante in F major, D.487 *
  • Cherubini String Quintet in E minor
  • Fauré Piano Quartet No. 1 in C minor

** Programme update: Please note that the opening piece in this programme will now be Mozart’s Piano Quartet in Eb KV493 **

Join festival directors Richard and Anthony and their internationally acclaimed guest artists, on a whistle-stop tour of Europe in the 1800s. Cherubini’s rarely performed Classical masterpiece contrasts beautifully with Fauré’s unerringly elegant Romantic piano quartet. The concert opens with Schubert’s Adagio and Rondo Concertante of 1816, a pianistic tour de force and his first composition for piano and string ensemble.

“To express that which is within you with sincerity….would seem to be the ultimate goal of art.”
– Gabriel Fauré

Venue: Church of St Peter & St Paul, Peasmarsh


Friday 28 June, 1pm

Aurora Orchestra with participants from our education workshops. Led by Sam Glazer.

We are delighted to welcome you to the culmination of the festival’s education workshops, in an interactive concert for all ages that celebrates the imaginations of our young composers, as they premiere the pieces that they have been working on. Expertly led, once again, by the inimitable Sam Glazer, we are thrilled that Sam will be joined this year by Aurora Orchestra.

Venue: Bridgepoint Rye, Rock Channel via Str. Margaret’s Terrace, TN31 7DE. Disabled Parking only. Visitor and Volunteer Parking is at Gibbets Marsh, 38 Udimore Road, Rye TN31 7DS.

Education work at the Peasmarsh Chamber Music Festival is generously funded by Rother District Council, High Weald Arts Society, Sussex Community Foundation, the Rudi Martinus van Dijk Foundation and Fairlight Arts Trust.


Friday 28 June, 8pm

Anthony Marwood, Richard Lester (soloists), Geoffrey Paterson (conductor), Aurora Orchestra

  • RAVEL Tombeau de Couperin
  • VAUGHAN WILLIAMS The Lark Ascending
  • ELGAR Concerto for ‘cello in E minor, Op. 85

Tonight’s concert celebrates three masterpieces of the 20th Century, each composed (or orchestrated) 100 years ago as Europe emerged from the Great War. Ravel’s tribute to François Couperin is a highly personal work, commemorating friends lost during the conflict. Originally composed for violin and piano, and rescored for violin and orchestra in 1920, The Lark Ascending is now a cherished part of the classical canon. His last major work, it was not until the 1960s that Elgar’s moving Cello Concerto gained its rightful place as a pillar of cello repertoire.

“Fiery music making… full of zest and joy.”
– Fiona Maddocks, The Observer on Aurora

Venue: St Mary’s Church, Rye


Saturday 29 June, 11.30am

Jonian Ilias Kadesha, Vashti Hunter, Nicholas Rimmer

  • Haydn Piano Trio No. 32 in A major, Hob XV:18
  • Ravel Piano Trio in A minor, M. 67

As the First World War was engulfing Europe, Ravel, in his haste to enlist, completed his trio with the ‘…sureness and lucidity of a madman’. It now stands as arguably the most inspired and important piano trio of the twentieth century. Full of character and invention, the concert opens with Haydn’s Piano Trio in A major.

“This trio belongs to another league!”
– Ensemble Magazine on Trio Gaspard

Venue: Church of St Peter & St Paul, Peasmarsh


Saturday 29 June, 6.30pm

Kristian Bezuidenhout, Gilles Vonsattel, Anthony Marwood, Jonian Ilias Kadesha, Richard Lester, Lilli Maijala, Bartholomew LaFollette

  • Brahms Waltzes for piano, four hands, Op. 39
  • Schoenberg Chamber Symphony No. 1 in E major, Op. 9 (arr. Webern)
  • Schubert String Quintet in C major, D. 956

Schoenberg’s 1906 Chamber Symphony was ground-breaking in its modernism and even provoked a riot at one of its early performances. It is performed here in the chamber arrangement made by his pupil Anton Webern. The great ‘Cello Quintet’ was Schubert’s final chamber work. Completed in 1828 just six weeks before the composer’s death, it remains one of the most evocatively beautiful musical creations.

Venue: Church of St Peter & St Paul, Peasmarsh


Saturday 29 June, 9:45 pm

Derek Gripper with Anthony Marwood, Richard Lester, Lilli Maijala, Bartholomew LaFollette

Having made a particular study of the music of Mali and transcribed much of its virtuosic kora repertoire to solo guitar, Derek Gripper is joined by Anthony, Richard and other festival artists in a new ensemble work based on the Manding Empire’s classic composition Poyi, reputed to be the origin of the blues style and the generative piece for much of West Africa’s later repertoire.

Venue: Church of St Peter & St Paul, Peasmarsh


Sunday 30 June, 11.30am

Kristian Bezuidenhout, Richard Lester

  • Mozart Rondo in A minor, K.511
  • Mozart Piano Sonata No. 14 in C minor, K.457
  • Beethoven Cello Sonata No. 3 in A major, Op. 69

Beethoven’s noble A major cello and piano sonata took the cello to new heights of expressivity. Paired here with Mozart’s most celebrated piano sonata, this programme explores the beautiful textures and sonorities of a fortepiano of the period and a cello strung with gut.

“Above all, Kristian Bezuidenhout knows how to make a fortepiano sing.”
– Kate Molleson, The Guardian

Venue: Church of St Peter & St Paul, Peasmarsh


Sunday 30 June, 4.30pm

Derek Gripper, Jonian Ilias Kadesha, Gilles Vonsattel, Nicholas Rimmer, Vashti Hunter

  • T & S Diabaté Miniyamba arr. Gripper for Guitar and violin
  • Kurtag Játékok (Games) for piano, 4 hands
  • Mendelssohn Variations sérieuses, Op. 54
  • Saint-Saëns Piano Trio No. 2 in E minor, Op. 92

Showcasing the astounding talent of our guest artists, this afternoon’s concert is full of colour and imagery, from Kurtág’s depiction of child’s play to Liszt’s dazzling musical picture of the fountains in the Villa d’Este, near Rome, considered to be one of the first works of musical impressionism. Saint-Saëns’s large and complex second piano trio is now considered a masterpiece of French chamber music. Written during a time of isolation for the composer when musicians of the day were looking back to Wagner and forward to the next generation to lead the way.

Venue: Church of St Peter & St Paul, Peasmarsh


Sunday 30 June, 7pm

Anthony Marwood, Richard Lester, Kristian Bezuidenhout, Jonian Ilias Kadesha, Lilli Maijala, Vashti Hunter, Bartholomew LaFollette, Gilles Vonsattell, Derek Gripper

  • Beethoven Piano Trio in G major, Op. 121a ‘Kakadu Variations’
  • Carter String Trio
  • Schumann Adagio and Allegro for cello and piano, Op. 70
  • Brahms Piano Quartet No. 1 in G minor, Op. 25

Beethoven’s Kakadu Variations – an early work, although much revised – was ultimately his final piano trio to be published. Elliott Carter’s string trio has been described by Charles Rosen as a ‘…dramatic and satisfying work’. Composed in the year before his death, the trio promotes the viola to the primary voice in the ensemble. Robert Schumann’s touching and spirited Adagio and Allegro was written to exploit the newly developed valve horn, with alternative solo parts for violin, viola or cello. The work delighted Clara Schumann when she gave the first performance. Also premiered by Clara, the young Brahms’s extravagant G minor piano quartet explores the extremes of virtuosity and emotion, closing the festival with its famous rousing ‘Gypsy’ finale.

Venue: Church of St Peter & St Paul, Peasmarsh