Alina Ibragimova talks on film

Alina Ibragimova (who with Cédric Tiberghien opened our 2011-12 Season) continues to captivate the musical world.

So where was this astonishing talent nurtured and developed? The UK Foreign Office has chosen to include Alina Ibragimova in a series of short films called See Britain through my eyes, in which individuals from both here and abroad reflect on their experiences of modern Britain. Alina talks about her move from Russia to Britain, where she took up a place at the Yehudi Menuhin School, as well as about what Britain’s cultural climate means for young musicians. The film includes her first public performance, aged six!

(posted 03.08.11)

The Smetana Trio and Czech Dreams

Czech Dreams logo

Czech Dreams is an international cultural project dedicated to the promotion of Czech music – 2011 is its third year, under the joint patronage of Magdalena Kožená and the late Václav Havel, and of Jiří Besser, Minister of Culture of the Czech Republic.

The project’s goals include the presentation of the Czech Republic in Europe, support for cultural projects in the European regions and support for and the strengthening of partnerships between European cities and regions.

One of the project’s significant benefits involves the presentation of top Czech performers (both native Czechs and performers who are permanently active in the Czech Republic) abroad, and support for new concert opportunities for top young Czech performers.

Smetana Trio

Around 100 concerts on the theme ‘Czech Dreams – Impressions and Memories’ will be held in approximately 70 towns and villages (mainly outside the capitals) in 16 European countries between 28 May and  3 December  2011.

This year the Smetana Trio are participating in Czech Dreams, and we are proud that Malvern Concert Club has been selected as one of the British venues to be featured in the project.

(posted 26.09.11)

Kopelman Quartet visit Elgar grave

On the day after their acclaimed concert for the Club on 17 March 2011, the members of the distinguished Russian Kopelman Quartet – Mikhail Kopelman, Boris Kuschnir, Igor Sulyga and Mikhail Milman – visited St Wulstan’s Churchyard, Little Malvern to pay tribute to Sir Edward Elgar at the family grave.

(posted 18.01.12)

Malvern Concert Club and the Chandos Young Musician Competition 2012

Jacqueline Martens with the Chandos prize 2012

As many members will already know, the Chandos Symphony Orchestra holds an annual competition, inaugurated in 1994, for serious young musicians who live within a 50 mile radius of Malvern. This applies to all instruments (including saxophonists!) and singers. The standard is invariably extremely high, and the competition has attracted many fine performers, including Matthew Denton, winner in 1997, whom we now know as leader of the Carducci String Quartet, and of course, Caroline Pether, the 2008 winner, who played for the Concert Club AGM in 2010 and later as a concerto soloist with the Chandos Symphony Orchestra.  Students from Birmingham Conservatoire are often to be found amongst the competitors.

This year, the competition took place last Saturday, 28 January at St Edmund’s Hall, Malvern College. The Concert Club is delighted to have presented the first prize of £1,000, as a result of the very generous donation which has been given to the Club by The Kay Trust, from the estates of, and in memory of Ernie Kay’s two late wives, Kathy and Margaret.  Ernie, now one of the Club’s Vice Presidents, has stipulated that this fund may not be used for ‘day-to-day running costs’, and as many of you know, some of it is also to be used to commission a major new work to be performed at the Concert Club in May 2013. He was equally keen that some of the money should go towards a Chandos Competition Prize, and we are of course very glad to have an opportunity of supporting a young musician in this way.

We are pleased that the first prize was awarded to the 16-year-old violinist Jacqueline Martens from Solihull, a student at Chetham’s School, Manchester. For her final piece she played an arrangement of Shostakovich’s first violin concerto, and she undoubtedly has a great future.

The pictures show Jacqueline with her prize and also with Joseph Brand and Ernie Kay, Chairman and Vice President of Malvern Concert Club, after they had presented her with her prize.

(posted 18.01.12, updated 28.01.12)

Annual General Meeting 2011-12

ELGAR ENIGMA VARIATIONS Troyte Griffith , variation VII ( Troyte )

The 2011-12 Annual General Meeting was held on Thursday 28 June at the Elgar Birthplace Museum, Lower Broadheath, Worcester. Despite the local floods, there was a good attendance of some 40 members.

The Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer& Membership Secretary presented their reports. Despite ongoing financial constraints, the past season had been highly successful artistically. Membership numbers were healthy.

The Chairman gave special thanks to Bob Steel who had recently retired as Treasurer after five years’ service. Simon Payton, who had been Acting Treasurer since then, we formally ratified as Treasurer in addition to his role as Membership Secretary. Other officers and committee were re-elected en bloc, there being no committee members who had come to the end of their three-year term.

Book cover about Troyte Griffith

The formal business was followed by a talk about Troyte Griffith, the very first secretary of the Club, given by Professor Jeremy Hardie, a Club committee member who has recently published a most interesting biography of Troyte Griffith. The book, priced £12.90, is widely available.

(posted 16.07.11, updated 19.07.12)