2016 Festival Programme

Here is the 2016 Peasmarsh Chamber Music Festival programme.

You can download the full brochure that includes the concert listings below.



Thursday 23 June 2016, 8pm
Anthony Marwood, Richard Lester, Alasdair Beatson, Carmit Zori, Lilli Maijala, Christoph Richter, Alexander Melnikov

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.

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

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.

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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