Stour Valley Arts & Music

25 August 2017SVAM Newsletter 2017-18
20 March 20172017-18 season announced
11 September 2016Soprano Alison Rose at Last Night of the Proms
11 May 2016Royal Philharmonic Society Award
04 November 2015Young Musicians' Platform
01 September 2015SVAM Newsletter 2015
18 April 2015Young Musicians' Concert
01 October 2014SVAM Newsletter 2014

Click on a row to display more details about the news

SVAM Newsletter 2017-18

Friday 25 August 2017

The newsletter is also available as a download.

Welcome to the 67th Season

SVAM is pleased to present a varied programme of recitals, a lecture and a platform for young musicians during its 67th season.  To make it easy to remember this time, everyone of our events this year is at 4pm on a Sunday.

As always, we focus on the core chamber music repertoire.  This year, however, we have a fascinating novelty: a classical accordion recital.  The soloist, Bartosz Glowacki, comes with glowing endorsements, including selection by the Countess of Munster Trust.

AGM and Membership

The 66th Annual General Meeting of Stour Valley Arts & Music Society will be held on Sunday 22 October at 6pm, after the concert, in St Mary's Church, East Bergholt.  All members are welcome to attend.  Under current rules you become a member by buying a season ticket.

Ticket prices

Ticket prices are unchanged this year including season tickets, which remain extremely good value.  For a couple wishing to attend just three of our concerts, there is a saving of £4 when buying a Double Season ticket.  Despite this, the uptake on season tickets is declining while purchases of tickets for individual concerts are rising.  Apparently other societies and venues are seeing similar trends.

Our concert costs are also rising, with fees for performers in particular increasing, and our tickets are now rather cheaper than most concerts in our area.  We will keep an eye on the situation and there may have to be a modest increase next year.

Preview of next season by Richard Evans

The 67th season of concerts promoted by the Stour Valley Arts & Music Society begins on 22 October with a recital given by the award-winning CASTALIAN QUARTET, who have gained prizes at several international competitions and pursued a concert career throughout Europe, besides appearances at Aldeburgh and Cheltenham and recitals in the Purcell Room, London.

We are particularly pleased to welcome a return visit by the TRIO CON BRIO COPENHAGEN on 12 November, who will be playing works by Haydn, Smetana and Schubert.  Originally founded in Vienna, this piano trio has forged an impressive reputation since winning the ARD competition and subsequently giving complete Beethoven trio cycles to widespread critical acclaim.

On 21 January, the classical accordionist BARTOSZ GLOWACKI will give a varied programme of works, including by Scarlatti, Piazolla and Marcello-Bach, among others.  Bartosz won the Polish Young Musician of the Year in 2009 and subsequently studied at the Royal Academy of Music where he graduated with distinction.  He has appearances at an impressive number of concert halls in Britain and Europe to his credit.

On 18 February, SAVITRI GRIER and RICHARD UTTLEY will give a recital of works for violin and piano, featuring compositions by Schubert, Messiaen, Poulenc, Beethoven and Bartok.  Savitri read music at Oxford before continuing her studies with David Takeno.  Richard Uttley is both a soloist and an accompanist, having the accolade of being the first artist to record at the Milton Court concert hall in London.

The season ends on 18 March with a concert given by the SACCONI QUARTET with MICHAEL COLLINS, when they will play the clarinet quintets of Brahms and Mozart.  The Sacconi Quartet originated at the Royal College of Music and has since gained huge recognition in Britain and Europe.  Michael Collins won the BBC Young Musician of the Year at the age of sixteen and has appeared with leading orchestras and chamber groups ever since.  He was appointed conductor of the City of London Sinfonia in 2010.

The Annual Lecture

After lectures on fine art, music, and literature, we return to architecture this season.  We are fortunate to have a distinguished architect with an award-winning London practice who lives very close to the Constable Hall.  JOHN LYALL FRIBA FRSA will talk about his work and career in a lecture with the intriguing title, Gold and Dirt: Reflections on an architectural journey.

Report on last season by Richard Evans

The undoubted highlight of last season was the visit of the CALDER QUARTET, who showed during the course of an outstanding conert, why they presently have neither peers nor rivals in the world of chamber music.  We hope to organise a return visit in due course.  ALISON ROSE and JAMES CHEUNG gave a varied recital of works for soprano and piano in November and the New Year got off to a splendid start with a concert by the much sought after pianist CLARE HAMMOND.

DR LOIS OLIVER gave an illustrated lecture entitled Love and Loss: The story of Orpheus and Eurydice in Art and Music, which was much admired.  The return to the Constable Hall after its technical make-over was a vast improvement.

The popular VANBRUGH QUARTET, on the verge of retirement, made one last appearance at St Mary's and a concert devoted to the younger generation of performers was given in March at the Constable Hall.

The season ended with nine musicians of the KAMMERPHILHARMONIE EUROPA giving a concert of favourites that included Grieg's Holberg Suite.


We are most grateful for the continuing support of our sponsors, whose financial assistance makes it possible to present concerts that would otherwise be unaffordable.

This year we have yet again a mix of private supporters and company sponsors.  The CASTALIAN QUARTET concert on 22 October is supported by a legacy from Michael Brown, who was chairman of the Society until 1998.  We are delighted that his widow, Joan, and members of her family will be with us for this special concert in memory of Michael.

The TRIO CON BRIO concert in November is generously supported by Jane Jewell, who is also a committee member.  The January concert with BARTOSZ GLOWACKI is part of our regular annual series of concerts supported by the Countess of Munster Musical Trust.

Grier and Partners are long-term sponsors and this year they have sponsored our publicity bookmark, and are also supporting the concert by SAVITRI GRIER (no relation) and RICHARD UTTLEY.

The final concert of the season with one of our favourite ensembles is generously supported by Martin and Alicia Herbert.

We would also like to thank the many who make donations to us when ordering their tickets.

SVAM Education projects

The pianist Clare Hammond gave workshops at East Bergholt and Dedham Primary Schools on Monday 23 January.  Last season's Platform for Young Musicans was, again, a great success, enjoyed by performers and audience.

This season's Young Musicians' Concert will be held on Sunday 4 March at the Constable Hall.  Please let us know if you have any suggestions for possible performers.

Website and Ticket Sales

We have been very pleased with the ticket sales from our website, which links to TicketSource.  It is very convenient for customers as well as for our booking secretary.

Apart from season tickets, which double as membership, all other tickets can be purchased in this way until a few hours before the concert and printed or downloaded.

Do make use of this facility and do tell your friends.  There is also detailed information about concerts and performers on the website.

Helpers needed

We finally got our new stage for the start of last season and it has worked wll and supported the weight of a grand piano without being as heavy and cumbersome as the old stage.

However, it would be wonderful to have more help to put it up and take it down.  We start at about 11.30 on a concert Sunday, and the stage gets dismantled and stacked on its trolley on Monday.  At the beginning it took a good half hour, but it should get quicker with practice.

If you are able to help with this or other tasks, or if you know others who might, we would love to hear from you.  We would also be happy to pay for regular help with the stage.

Thanks again

Finally, huge thanks are due to all our supporters; and all who help the committee in so many ways, and to the committee itself.

Special thanks to Old Hall where we store our stage and, as always, to the Church, to Rodney Brundell and the Rector, Canon Stephne van der Toorn.  We are also grateful to the ladies who give up their Sunday afternoon to serve interval tea.

We look forward to seeing you on 22 October.