|Welcome to Wimbledon for the 2014 Festival||8 - 23 NOVEMBER|
|I was most encouraged to receive such warm audience feed back after last year’s Festival which has spurred me on to raise the bar and continue to bring world-class artists to Wimbledon.
We had a wonderful response from our loyal core of Friends whose generous donations are not only vital support for the Festival, but each Friend on average bought an average of 9.7 tickets each.
Last year we added nearly 500 people to our new ticket purchaser’s list, and we continue to fulfill our aim to extend awareness of the Festival well beyond SW19 to become the International Festival for South West London centred in Wimbledon.
New this year: There are some exciting new additions to the Festival this year, supported by an Arts Council Grant to help ‘audience development’.
Each year I receive dozens of emails, CDs, invitations to concerts from budding young artists, so this year we will be starting a series of FREE lunchtime concerts giving a platform to brilliant new generation artists.
For the first time we will be holding a public master class under the inspirational eye of the great viola player Lawrence Power as part of a Viola Day supported by the Tertis Foundation again giving a platform to four talented young violists. I am delighted to say that after several years of consultations a Blue Plaque in honour of the great Lionel Tertis has been granted to 42 Marryat Road where the legendary artists lived and died and whose legacy is so vital a support of this festival.
Also giving experience to young musicians we are launching a Wimbledon Festival Orchestra in association with the Philharmonia Orchestra, in which each desk will be shared between a young student orchestra playing beside a highly experience professional from one of the world’s leading orchestras.
We will be extending our jazz offerings in association with Maggie Black Jazz Promotions, with the added promotional opportunity of being under the umbrella of the London Jazz Festival which conveniently occurs during the Wimbledon Festival period.
‘War and Peace’: We will not be alone in 2014 in our choice of theme - ‘War and Peace’. Coming at the end of the year I have tried to find an imaginative way of commemorating the centenary of WW1.
The centrepiece of the Festival will be an original full-length costumed, narrated, danced performance of Stravinsky’s iconic work ‘A Soldier’s Tale’ costumes inspired by Picasso’s equally iconic ‘Guernica’ from the Wimbledon College of Arts, and dancers from Trinity-Laban, with soloists from the Philharmonia Orchestra, but it will be set in a most unusual and innovative way. It will have two performances at the Wimbledon College of Art Theatre, and in the Laban Theatre in Deptford, before hopefully being available to tour.
|The Academy Choir and Baroque Players and a wonderful quartet of soloist will open the Festival with a concert including Haydn’s ‘Nelson’ Mass, so appropriate for Wimbledon because of Nelson’s association with Merton.
Denis Kozhukhin, the young Russian composer described as being the “leader of the pack of young Russians under forty” will included Prokofiev’s famous ‘War Sonata’ No. 7.
Four wonderful young singers, with Joseph Middleton at the piano will present ‘Anthems for Doomed Youth’, a moving collection of songs drawn from Russia, Germany, France, Spain, Britain and America.
The brilliant Spanish guitar duo, The Katona Twins will bring a programme of Spanish music interwoven with the poems and prose of the Spanish and famous international writers who responded to the tragedy of a civil war.
And the Yehudi Menuhin School with a programme entitled ‘The Pity of War’ featuring three wonderful violin sonatas by Debussy, Janacek and Poulenc all composed a memorials.
But not all is ‘War, we offer ‘Peace’ with Mozart’s ‘Exsultate Jubilate’ and the Rachmaninov ‘Vespers’; with Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet; Beethoven’s final quartet Op.135.
Again this year we will have a double bill, two concerts of Schubert (set against works of Mozart) with a Trio, Quartet, the ‘Trout’ Quintet, performed by the Fibonacci Ensemble, ending the sequence with Schubert’s glorious Octet. In between a Viennese Dinner at the Light House Restaurant - no prizes for guessing what might be on the menu!
Enjoy – food for the body, and nourishment for the soul.