Pinner Music Festival 2016 was a wonderful week of music-making, with a great diversity of fine music performed by outstanding visiting musicians, and by some of the talented singers and players from Pinner and nearby. As well as established masterworks by Bach, Handel, Mozart, Beethoven and Schumann, amongst others, we profiled two Anniversary composers, Arthur Bliss (125) and Harrow-born Rebecca Clarke (130) and featured works by Cornish composer Russell Pascoe, including premieres of Keskan IV for solo violin (PMF Commission) and two other pieces.
The Fibonacci Sequence chamber ensemble delighted us in 3 concerts, and our Young Artist Recital was given by the wonderful Rebecca Hardwick & Ian Tindale. We had a very informative seminar on Bliss& Clarke by Paul Spicer & Sophie Fuller, as well as an illuminating composer seminar by Russell Pascoe, in conversation with violinist Daniel Pioro. In our first venture into Indian Classical music, we were introduced this year to Carnatic Music by Jyotsna Srikanth & colleagues. Pinner Parish Church Choir and soloists based in Pinner performed a varied and very full programme to open the week’s concerts. The week concluded with the Pinner Festival Choir & Orchestra and 4 fine young soloists, conducted by David Gould, in a rousing account of Handel’s Judas Maccabaeus.
Feedback has been very positive with many highlights identified, including the drama of the Bliss Piano Quartet; the passion & exquisite tone of Yuko Inoue in Clarke’s Viola Sonata; the intensity of Clarke’s The Seal Man, in Fiona Canfield’s gripping interpretation; the lyrical beauty of Pascoe’s I am the Song & This England, and his very personal journey through Keskan IV, brought to us with great intensity by Daniel Pioro; the musicianship and incredible pianism of Kathron Sturrock through all her performances, including the war echoes in the Bliss Interludes, and her striking partnership with Daniel Pioro in Beethoven, Bach & Arvo Pärt; the incredible atmosphere and sound world of Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time by candlelight – with many moments of magic, including Benjamin Hughes’ lovely ‘cello solo, the violin’s searing last movement, & Stuart King’s exceptional clarinet playing, with one remarkable note that emerged seamlessly from nowhere; the gentle and informative way in which Jyotsna Srikanth & her percussionists, Prakash & Prathap, drew us into the forms and range of Carnatic Music; the wonderful scope and versatility of Rebecca Hardwick & Ian Tindale in a varied programme from Handel to Strauss & Berg – Pascoe’s folksong settings being a real favourite; the high standard of the Parish Church Choir, with impressive accompaniment – and organ solo - by Paul Greally; and the conclusion with David Gould’s carefully prepared account of Judas Maccabaeus, including the four very fine young soloists, who made light of Handel’s challenges.
Our visiting artists were very complimentary about the warmth and attentiveness of the audiences, as well as the intimacy and yet generous acoustic of the Church and the piano. Wonderful teams of volunteers & committee did a great job with stewarding, refreshments, stage management, flowers (glorious!), ticketing (including online ticketing), publicity, sponsorship and much more – we are deeply grateful for their hard work. We are enormously grateful to our Business Sponsors and Personal Sponsors, whose generosity made the Festival possible, and THE BLISS TRUST & The Rebecca Clarke Society for grant support and musical help. The support of the Vicar and of the PCC of St John’s Parish Church, as well as of the Church Office, are gratefully acknowledged. We are delighted to have been able to provide funds from the proceeds of the Festival in support of our charity of the year, New Hope, a Watford-based charity providing support and services for the Homeless.
So we are now preparing for Pinner Music Festival 2017!! We will have a different mix of music and instrumentation, as well as familiar features. Our main artists are already booked, and details will be announced in due course.
Please note the dates in your diaries: June 5th to June 10th 2017.
With very many thanks and best wishes,
Professor Anthony J Pinching
Director, Pinner Music Festival