Welcome to the 6th Maldon Festival of Arts
There is something for everyone in this year's festival; including mediaeval Italian song, Jazz, modern a cappella close harmony, fine chamber music, choral music, an art exhibition, history and opera and operetta. In addition to an impressive collection of professional British performers, we present superb performers from Italy and the USA. Maldon Festival of Arts continues to be truly international in its scope!
We present music by Rossini, Johann Strauss Jnr, Debussy, Mozart, Beethoven, Grieg and many more.
This year is the centenary of the birth of one of Britain's most famous and most important composers: Benjamin Britten. He was born not that far away in Lowestoft and, in addition to his work as a composer and performer, famously founded the Aldeburgh Festival. There are many similarities between Aldeburgh and Maldon and we are marking this important occasion with three concerts.
On Saturday, 29th June, Maldon's own St Mary's choir sings Britten's Rejoice in the Lamb and Hymn to St Cecilia. The second half of the concert is Rossini's Petite Messe Solenelle.
Finally, we are delighted to welcome Daniel Norman back to the festival to sing Britten's Winter Words. Daniel appeared in the first ever festival, singing the Defendant in Trial by Jury in the Moot Hall. These songs are surely some of the most effective and affecting settings of Hardy's poetry ever composed. Daniel will be accompanied by Christopher Gould and the two have received rave reviews for their CD of the work.
Jazz and the lighter side
This year, for the first time, we are able to present some jazz in the form of the talented Chiara Lucchini from Italy. Italy has become the European home of jazz and Miss Lucchini and trio, represent a particularly talented example of this tradition.
There has been a huge growth in interest in young male a cappella vocal groups over recent years and we are delighted to present the Techtonics from London's Imperial College. The Techtonics have performed around the world and were finalists in this year's VoiceUK festival. Their shows are an enjoyable, very lively and sometimes irreverent romp through modern classics of the vocal repertoire.
Finally in this category, we are delighted to welcome back singers from the Caine College for the Arts at Utah's State University, USA. They will be presenting From Broadway to Hollywood, featuring songs by Rogers and Hammerstein, Jerome Kern, Stephen Sondheim and many more. An evening not to be missed.
Internationally acclaimed professional musicians from our region
We are fortunate in having so many excellent professional musicians who are based locally. Our two favourite pianists, both well-loved by Maldon audiences, Christopher Weston and Alisdair Hogarth, come together this year in a programme of music for two pianos.
Violinist, Beth Spendlove, accompanied by Nigel Clayton, delighted audiences with their lunchtime recital last year. We are thrilled that we are able to present the two of them in a full-length evening concert this year, playing Beethoven and Grieg.
Musicians from around the world
We have already mentioned both Chiara Lucchini from Italy and the Caine College of Arts, USA.
Chiara is an extraordinarily talented and versatile musician. Besides being a wonderful jazz singer and saxophonist, she is also an expert in mediaeval song. The evening before her Jazz gig in the Blue Boar, she will be joined by Ensemble Mera'ntica in the evocative location of St Mary's, Mundon to sing mediaeval Italian songs by candlelight.
Audience members may remember the incomparable Raffaele Pe and his exquisite performance of Bach's Vergnuegte Ruh in the 2011 festival. Since then, Raffaele has created quite a storm in the musical world, releasing a CD of Porpora and Scarlatti, creating a frenzy of media interest. He has given interviews all over Europe as a result. We are delighted that he will be appearing in concert with lute and harp this year.
Maldon took the delightful and energetic singers of Caine College of Arts, Utah, to its heart last year and filled St Mary's to capacity for their performance of Pirates of Penzance. In addition to their programme of songs From Broadway to Hollywood, they once again appear on the operatic stage to close the festival. This year, the repertoire is Johann Strauss junior's Die Fledermaus (sung in English). This evergreen classic by the Waltz King contains some of the most memorable tunes ever written. The combination of these and a witty script promises to provide a worthy successor to Pirates of Penzance and a memorable conclusion to the festival.