Sheku & Isata Kanneh-Mason and Bath Philharmonia - Thursday 24 September 2020 Bath Forum

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PROGRAMME Beethoven, Piano Concerto No.3, Op.37 1. Allegro con brio 2. Largo 3. Rondo. Allegro

INTERVAL Dvoล รกk, Cello Concerto in B minor, Op.104 1. Allegro 2. Adagio ma non troppo 3. Allegro Moderato

Bath Philharmonia is generously supported by the Roper Family Charitable Trust

Introduction to the music by Jason Thornton, Music Director, Bath Philharmonia At the end of February 2020, Bath Phil played the grand final cadence of Tchaikovsky’s Romeo & Juliet at the Wiltshire Music Centre. The applause was rousing and warm and the musicians all came off stage smiling and on a high. As per normal, I said goodbye to all the players with a cheery “…see you in a couple of weeks”. Nearly two hundred days later we are finally and safely back together. I once said in an interview that being a musician is not only a job, it defines who you are. When you are unable to express who you are for a long period of time, it is very difficult and combined with a decimation of income it is dreadful. Many of my friends and colleagues have faced all sorts of hardships, both financially and in terms of their mental health, but I have been overwhelmed by their sense of hope and dogged resilience.

Our performance is a tribute to hope and resilience and for all of us involved, it marks a turning point as we all look to a different future. I am so proud of everyone at Bath Phil and the amazing way the orchestra has adapted to the ever-changing restrictions and challenges of the past six months. The highlight of Bath Phil’s Summer was delivering over 100 hours of online music-making sessions to Young Carers across B&NES and the South West, some of the most isolated young people in our communities. However far apart we are, music can bring us together and this is one of the first live concerts with a live audience in the UK since lockdown. I really hope you enjoy being safely back in a concert hall as much as we do and let us all look forward to a new future together. Jason

Beethoven, Piano Concerto No.3

Dvořák, Cello Concerto

Beethoven introduced his third Piano Concerto at a benefit concert on 5th April 1803 at the Theatre Wein. The programme was entirely Beethoven including ‘Christ on the Mount of Olives’, Symphony No.1 and Symphony No.2. According to Beethoven’s pupil Ferdinand Ries, the only rehearsal for the entire concert began at 8am and was a complete shambles. The orchestra was the Viennese ‘second-string’, the city’s best players had been hired by a competing presenter for a performance of Haydn’s The Creation that same evening. “It was frightful!” Ries recalled, “At half past two everyone was exhausted and dissatisfied. Prince Karl Lichnowsky [one of Beethoven’s patrons] who was at the rehearsal from its beginning, sent out for large baskets of buttered bread, cold meats, and wine. He invited all the musicians to help themselves, and a collegial atmosphere was restored.”

Dvořák’s Cello Concerto is one the greatest of all romantic concertos. It is full of beautiful melodies and orchestrations and contains love, life and joy and sadness. It also contains influences from other composers particularly Wagner, but it never loses its Bohemian roots of countryside and folk music, and I think one of the most sunny, celebratory pieces in all classical music.

Beethoven had not finished writing out the solo piano part for the 3rd Piano Concerto in time for the concert day. On a practical level, he felt it was unnecessary as he himself was the soloist and the piece was in his head and in any case the practice of the time would have allowed for a fair amount of improvisation. However, Beethoven may have made a misjudgment in failing to notate the solo part prior to the premiere. Ignaz von Seyfried, the Theatre an der Wien’s conductor, who was turning pages for Beethoven during the concerto, left an alarmed account of his experience; “I saw almost nothing but empty leaves; at the most, on one page or another a few Egyptian hieroglyphs, wholly unintelligible to me, were scribbled down to serve as clues for him; for he played nearly all of the solo part from memory since, as was so often the case, he had not had time to set it all down on paper. He gave me a secret glance whenever he was at the end of one of the invisible passages and my scarcely concealable anxiety not to miss the decisive moment amused him greatly and he laughed heartily during the jovial supper which we ate afterwards.” The first movement has a dark dramatic mood, whilst the second is consoling and beautiful. The finale is a quirky yet powerful conclusion to one of Beethoven’s greatest achievements.

In 1865 Dvořák fell in love with his piano pupil Josefina Kaunitzova and proposed marriage. He was devastated by Josefina’s rebuttal but eight years later married her younger sister Anna. In 1894/5, Dvořák was in his third year as Principal at New York’s National Conservatory of Music. Whilst finding the hustle and bustle of New York life difficult and demanding, combined with an overwhelming homesickness for Bohemia, he was enjoying a creative Indian summer as well as the significant financial gain associated with his role at the conservatory. His friend the cellist Hanus Wihan had been suggesting a concerto for some years but Dvořák thought the instrument didn’t have the ‘expressive range’ to warrant the endeavour. Wihan persisted and they collaborated on some smaller works including the orchestration of the cello and piano work Silent Woods, until eventually Dvořák began work on his concerto in the autumn of 1894. Whilst writing the second movement he received a letter from Josefina (his now sister in law) saying that she was very ill. This prompted Dvořák to include Josefina’s favourite song “Leave me alone” as a central theme of the second movement. Arriving back in Bohemia in 1895 Dvořák received the news that Josefina had died. He re-wrote the ending of the concerto referring back to the song and including a beautiful 65 bar elegy for Josefina. Love, life, joy and sadness but always music.

Isata Kanneh-Mason (piano) Isata Kanneh-Mason’s debut album, Romance, drew popular and critical acclaim, entering the UK classical charts at No. 1 when it was released in July 2019 and leading Gramophone magazine to extol the recording as “one of the most charming and engaging debuts” and Classic FM to praise Isata as “a player of considerable talent”. Isata recorded the all-Clara Schumann disc for Decca Classics as an homage to the composer and pianist in the year of what would have been her 200th birthday, selecting works from across her compositional output including solo piano pieces, a sonata, chamber music with violinist Elena Urioste, transcriptions of two of her husband Robert’s songs, and the piano concerto, which she recorded with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and conductor Holly Mathieson. Since her studies with Joanna MacGregor and Carole Presland at London’s Royal Academy of Music, Isata KannehMason has embarked on a successful and increasingly busy concert career as a solo artist, with concerto appearances, solo recitals and chamber concerts throughout the UK and abroad. She also continues to perform with her siblings, including regular duo recitals with her brother, the cellist, Sheku Kanneh-Mason. Recent highlights include appearances at the Edinburgh Festival, Wigmore Hall, London, Théâtre des Champs Elysées, Paris, Teatro della Pergola, Florence, and an extensive ten-city North American tour, including their debut recital at New York’s Carnegie Hall and a return to the Vancouver Recital Society. Isata has also performed in the Portland Piano Series in Oregon, the Barbican Centre’s Sound Unbound festival, The Color of Music Festival in South Carolina, at the Edinburgh, Cheltenham, and Bath festivals, the Snape Proms, the Musikfestspiele Saar, and in venues from Antigua and the Cayman Islands, to Perth. During the UK’s Covid-19 lockdown in spring 2020, she and her siblings performed in twiceweekly livestreams from their family home in Nottingham to audiences of thousands around the globe. Isata’s rendition of the first movement of Beethoven’s third piano concerto accompanied by a chamber ensemble comprised of her

brothers and sisters garnered over one million views. Future live performances include at the Kissinger KlavierOlymp, BBC Radio 3’s Wigmore lunchtime concert series, the Salzburg Mozarteum, Klavier Festival Ruhr, the Kimmel Center Philadelphia, and with the Sarasota, Gothenburg Symphony, Hallé, Johannesburg Philharmonic, KwaZulu Natal Philharmonic, and Paris Mozart orchestras. From the 20/21 season, Isata will become Young Artist in Residence with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. Isata reached her category final in the 2014 BBC Young Musician competition, winning the Walter Todds Bursary for the most promising musician. She has since performed several times on television and radio, including on BBC Radio 3 In Tune, the South Bank Sky Arts Awards, The Andrew Marr Show, the Radio 3 RPS Awards, BBC2 Proms Extra, Radio 4 Front Row and Woman’s Hour, Al Jazeera TV, BBC World Service, Channel 4, The One Show, ITV Born To Shine, BBC2 Classroom Heroes, and a feature for CBS Sunday Morning. Isata made her debut as a television presenter for the coverage of the 2019 BBC Proms. She completed her undergraduate degree at the Academy as an Elton John scholar, and performed with Sir Elton in 2013 in Los Angeles. Isata is also grateful for support from the Nottingham Soroptimist Trust, Mr and Mrs John Bryden, Frank White, and Awards for Young Musicians.

Jason Thornton (Conductor) Jason Thornton is Music Director of Bath Philharmonia. He has conducted orchestras throughout the UK, Europe, America and the Far East, including the RPO, London Mozart Players, City of London Sinfonia, Beijing Symphony Orchestra, Jykasyla Sinfonia (Finland) and the Kaposvar Symphony Orchestra (Hungary). Jason grew up in the West Midlands and was recipient of a free musical education courtesy of Sandwell Music Service. He switched viola playing for conducting at the age of 16, conducting various youth ensembles and forming Sandwell Sinfonia, his own orchestra inspired by collaborations with friends. Studies for a PGCE brought him to Bath where he formed Bath Philharmonia and since then has had an amazing time making music with everyone from local school children to

some of the world’s finest musicians including Renee Fleming, Sir Willard White, Joseph Calleja, Sumi Jo, Nicola Benedetti, Jennifer Pike, Tasmin Little, Sheku Kanneh-Mason, Jess Gillam, Peter Donohoe and Stephen Hough. Jason is also a Community Music Leader, directing many creative learning projects throughout the UK and abroad in numerous contexts, working with orchestras, schools, music hubs, festivals and venues.

Sheku Kanneh-Mason (cello) Winner of the 2016 BBC Young Musician competition, Sheku Kanneh-Mason is in great demand from orchestras and concert halls worldwide. He became a household name in May 2018 after performing at the Wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex at Windsor Castle. In January 2020, Sheku released his second album, Elgar, featuring the Cello Concerto, which he recorded at Abbey Road Studios with Sir Simon Rattle and the London Symphony Orchestra. On its release, it reached No. 8 in the UK Official Album Chart, making Sheku the youngest classical instrumentalist and the first cellist in history to reach the UK Top 10. Sheku has made debuts with orchestras such as the Seattle Symphony, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Netherlands Chamber Orchestra at the Concertgebouw, the Atlanta Symphony, Japan Philharmonic, BBC Symphony, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, and Baltimore Symphony orchestras. Forthcoming highlights include performances with the City of Birmingham Symphony, Toronto Symphony, BBC Scottish Symphony, and Stockholm Philharmonic orchestras. Recent recital performances include Wigmore Hall, Zurich Tonhalle, Lucerne Festival, Festival de Saint-Denis, Théâtre des Champs Elysées Paris, Teatro della Pergola Florence, and a critically acclaimed tour of North America that took in Los Angeles, Berkeley, St Paul, Vancouver, Ann Arbor, Boston, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Sheku’s recital debut at Carnegie Hall New York. Upcoming recital debuts include London’s Barbican Hall, L’Auditori Barcelona, Madrid’s Auditorio Nacional, and the chamber hall of the Berlin Philharmonie. Sheku is passionate about making music accessible to all

Bath Philharmonia Performing concerts with the world’s greatest musicians and leading creative learning projects across the UK, Bath Philharmonia inspires creativity; enhances wellbeing; reduces isolation; and celebrates talent. Each year, Bath Philharmonia performs to audiences of over 5000 people and reaches many more through broadcasts and recordings. Bath Philharmonia’s vision is to make orchestral music part of life for many people.

and is an ambassador for Music Masters and Future Talent. During the Covid-19 lockdown in spring 2020, Sheku and his siblings performed in livestreams from their family home in Nottingham to audiences of hundreds of thousands. Sheku is currently a full-time ABRSM Scholarship student at the Royal Academy of Music, studying with Hannah Roberts. He began learning the cello at the age of six with Sarah Huson-Whyte and then studied with Ben Davies at the Junior Department of the Royal Academy of Music where he held the ABRSM Junior Scholarship. He has received masterclass tuition from Guy Johnston, Robert Max, Alexander Baillie, Steven Doane, Rafael Wallfisch, Jo Cole, Melissa Phelps, and Julian Lloyd Webber and, in July 2017, participated in the Verbier Festival Academy in masterclasses with Frans Helmerson and Miklos Perenyi. A keen chamber musician, Sheku performs with his sister, Isata and brother, Braimah, as a member of the KannehMason Trio. Sheku was appointed a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2020 New Year’s Honours List.

Bath Philharmonia is a charity and is reliant on the support of many generous individuals, friends, patrons, trusts and foundations. In its 20th anniversary year, Bath Philharmonia continues to make its mark, both on and off the concert platform, across the South West and beyond. Whilst delighting audiences with remarkable concerts and working with talented young musicians in schools across the region, its role in transforming the lives of Young Cares remains a central and essential area of work.


Bath Philharmonia would like to thank everyone who supports us including: TRUSTS & FOUNDATIONS • The Roper Family Charitable Trust • The Medlock Charitable Trust • The Brewster Maude Charitable Trust • St James’ Place Charitable Foundation • St John’s Foundation • Quartet Community Foundaiton • The Stephen Clark 1957 Charitable Trust • The Leonardo Trust • The Joyce Fletcher Charitable Trust • The Arts Society, Patricia Fay Memorial Fund • The National Foundation for Youth Music

BATH PHILHARMONIA BENEFACTORS • Mr Andrew & Mrs Jill Clarke • Mrs Elaine Marson • Mr Andrew & Mrs Katherine Mortimer • Mrs Fran Ralli


Players’ { { List First Violin Leader: Sophie Langdon Rosemary Wainwright Peter Fisher Gill Austin

SECOND VIOLIN Pr: Declan Daly Claire Parkin Matthew Schrivener

VIOLA Pr: Mike Briggs Suzanne Evans

CELLO Pr: Miriam Lowbury Toby Turton


• Mr Martin Bax MBE • Mr Tony Doughty • Mr Denis & Mrs Tor Gamberoni • Rear Admiral & Mrs Austin Lockyer • Mr Rod & Mrs Karin Morgan • Ms Jill Rowe • Mrs Joanna Wiesner MBE

BATH PHILHARMONIA PATRONS • Mr Peter & Mrs Liz Ash • Mr John & Mrs Sally Bowman • Mr Alasdair Campbell • Mr Guy & Mrs Jules Channer • Mr Peter Clegg • Mr & Mrs Martin Davis • Mr Michael & Mrs Anne Davis • Mr Robert & Mrs Rebecca Derry-Evans • Mr Maurice & Mrs Anne Dixson • Mr Gavin Douglas • Dr Keren Fisher • Mr Andrew Fletcher • Prof Barry & Mrs Von Gilbertson • Mrs Pauline Gough • Mr Peter & Mrs Anna Gunning • Mr Richard & Mrs Yasemin Hall • Mr Roy Hatch • Mr Peter Holland • Mr Bernard & Mrs Clare Horn • Mr Tony Howell • Mrs Joy Isaac • Mr Mark & Mrs Alison Millar • Mr Peter Morrison • Ms Jadis Norman • Mr Robert & Mrs Barbara Tan • Mrs Bridget Wakefield • Mr Richard & Mrs Teresa Wharton • Dr Charles & Mrs Heather Wiffen • Capt. Brian Woodford

BATH PHILHARMONIA FRIENDS • Mrs Christina Avison • Mrs Diana Bourdon Smith • Ms Shiena Bowen • Mr Andrew Butterworth • Mr Antony Corfe • Mrs Brenda Cumberlidge • Mrs Rosemarie Cunningham • Mr Tony & Mrs Vicki Davies • Mr Charles & Mrs Joan Donovan • Mrs Kate Elston • Mr & Mrs P Franklyn • Mr & Mrs J Furber • Mr Eddie Gold • Mr Peter Goodden • Mr Philip Harris • Mr John & Mrs Angela Hathaway • Sir Robert & Lady Deborah Hill • Mr Gerry Hoddinott • Mr E Horesh • Mr Peter Ives & Miss Pat Oakley • Mr Tim & Mrs Maggie Lewis • Mr Neville D Lintern • Mr & Mrs W Mathias • Mr Andrew & Mrs Jinny Matters • Mr David & Mrs Hilary Oliver • Mr Michael & Mrs Sue Platt • Mr Roger Purcell • Mr John Ridgewell • Ms Teresa Robinson • Mr Alan & Mrs Judy Singleton • Ms Mollie Weatheritt • Mr Robert & Mrs Molly Worlidge

Pr: David Brown

FLUTE Ian Mullin Victoria Brawn



CHAIR Dr Charles Wiffen


BOARD OF TRUSTEE Christina Avison Declan Daly Robert Derry-Evans Richard Hall Tony Howell Jane Jones Hilary Oliver Adam Powell Vicki Pickering



Anna Hashimoto

BASSOON Martin Gatt

HORN Richard Wainwright

TIMPANI Jeremy Little


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