A series of six concerts in the historic Sussex church of St Thomas the Martyr, Winchelsea.
The Ancient Town of Winchelsea, part of the Cinque Port Confederation, is an historical, architectural and environmental gem; set on a hill overlooking Romney Marsh and the English Channel, protected by its status as a conservation area, yet easily accessible by the motor car and public transport. For some two centuries, the town has been a magnet for writers, artists and musicians, drawn by its charm, peace and inspiration. Central to these qualities and geographically central to the Town itself is the Church of St Thomas the Martyr.
This Church, of which only the choir nave remains of a much more extensive early 14th century structure, contains magnificent monuments, a unique collection of stained glass windows by Douglas Strachan and features excellent acoustics.
These attributes make the Church a perfect venue for concerts.
Full details of all six concerts are listed below. You may buy individual tickets for each concert or buy a season ticket
We are delighted to include two concerts this season featuring musicians from the Royal College of Music Junior Department. Marie Sato started playing flute at the age of 7 and, since 2009 has been a student at the Royal College of Music Junior Department (RCMJD), where she has won the RCMJD Marjorie Humby and the Gordon Tuner Memorial Competitions. She is principal flute of the National Youth Orchestra 2016, and was a Woodwind category finalist in the 2016 BBC Young Musician Competition.
Lucy Dundas was one of the youngest students ever to be accepted on piano, violin and recorder at the RCMJD aged 7, passing her grade 8 piano 3 years later and more recently her piano Diploma in Music Performance, both with high distinction. She has recently been appointed principal bassoon of the National Youth Orchestra. Lucy is principal bassoon of the JD Symphony Orchestra, winning the prestigious Peter Morrison Concerto Competition. She has won top prizes at numerous music festivals across the country.
A string quartet comprising the leading string players from London’s Royal College of Music Junior Department will perform at this very exciting final concert of the season. The concert will include the winning entry in the Winchelsea Arts Composition Competition, this year run in collaboration with the RCMJD. The winning entry will be written in response to a brief about the history of the Town.
Sounds and Sweet Airs
To mark the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death, the Pegasus Choir return to Winchelsea with a programme of choral works and solo songs. The concert includes music by Ralph Vaughan Williams, Gerald Finzi, Bob Chilcott, Roger Quilter and EJ Moeran as well as works showing how Shakespeare has caught the ear of composers elsewhere in Europe, such as Switzerland’s Frank Martin. Along with excerpts from some of Shakespeare’s best-loved poetry, this concert promises to transform Winchelsea into Prospero’s isle of ‘noises, sounds and sweet airs that give delight’. Matthew Altham - director. Graham Wood - organ and piano. Nigel Ashton, Ann Rachlin, Jennifer Smith and Robin Whitehead - readers
Following an exceptional concert in 2015, we are thrilled that Itamar Rashkovsky and Luis Parés are returning to WInchelsea this season.
Itamar is an outstanding young violinist who has performed around the world, in prestigious venues including Carnegie Hall, Cadogan Hall and the Royal Albert Hall. He has also performed and made recordings for the BBC, Israeli Broadcasting Authority, and Slovenian television. Itamar won the University of Manchester Concerto Competition last year.Venezuelan/Italian pianist Luis Parés enjoys an international career as a soloist and chamber musician. He has appeared at the most prestigious British venues, including the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Wigmore Hall, Cadogan Hall and Bridgewater Hall among many others. He has appeared with distinguished orchestras in Europe and South America and has made live broadcasts for BBC Radio 3, RAI, Kol HaMusika, Israeli and Spanish radio.
Venezuelan/Italian pianist Luis Parés enjoys an international career as a soloist and chamber musician having performed in numerous countries in Europe, Asia, North and South America. He has appeared at the most prestigious British venues, including the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Wigmore Hall, Cadogan Hall and Bridgewater Hall among many others. He has appeared with distinguished orchestras in Europe and South America and has made live broadcasts for BBC Radio 3, RAI, Kol HaMusika Israel and Spanish radio.
BLOCK4 is a London based recorder quartet formed in 2012, featuring Emily Bannister, Lucy Carr, Katie Cowling and Rosie Land. They present a dynamic approach to contemporary consort music as well as offering a captivating interpretation of music from the Renaissance and Baroque periods. The quartet's innovative style has resulted in them being the 2014 winners of the Royal Overseas League Ensemble competition, the first recorder consort to receive this accolade in the competition’s 62 year history. They have also been successful in a range of other competitions. BLOCK4’s performances have included concerts at prestigious venues including the National Gallery, the Queen Elizabeth Hall, the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, the Wigmore Hall, St. Martin-in-the-Fields and the Greenwich International Early Music Festival.
The Arcana Ensemble is a family group of classical musicians that graduated from the Royal Academy of Music in London. The Ensemble has performed extensively in Massachusetts, USA, since July 2011. Several years of experience have allowed them to develop a rich and varied programme consisting of string duos, piano duos and trios, also performing repertoire for larger string ensembles and piano quintets with guest artists on a regular basis. They have an extensive repertoire that encompasses the classics of chamber music as well as entertaining arrangements and transcriptions of virtuosic works, and have performed extensively in the UK as well as the USA, France and Romania. In the UK, the Arcana Ensemble has performed numerous times within the Royal Academy and in the London area. They gave their debut recital at St James’s Church Piccadilly in March 2016.