Archives for: February 2015

John McCabe, 1939-2015

John McCabeDirector Denis McCaldin writes following news of the death of John McCabe.

“Composer and pianist John McCabe CBE has died at the age of 75. A person of striking honesty, humour and integrity as well as being a fine musician, John managed a successful dual career as both pianist and composer.

He studied at the Royal Northern College of Music under pianist guru Gordon Green, who fired his interest in Haydn by playing a Richter recording of one the keyboard sonatas. John recorded all the Haydn sonatas for Decca between 1974 and 1976, setting new standards of musicianship and insight into the music. The discs are still in the catalogue.

John was a member of the Haydn Society of Great Britain’s Committee of Honour. His article ‘Five works inspired by Haydn’ (Haydn Society Journal 1993 p 44 et seq) describes the diverse ways in which the older composer influenced John’s own music. He ends with the words ‘Haydn is a model who sets himself challenges, sometimes obviously, sometimes subtly, within the context of music that seems spontaneous and unforced. Whatever one’s success in trying to learn from his lessons, the effort is unfailingly enjoyable and revealing.'”

Royal Society of Musicians march tradition continued at Wigmore Hall

haydn march rsm

Haydn’s March for the Royal Society of Musicians, composed 1792

We have received a message from our friends at the Royal Society of Musicians about the 20th Annual Jacqueline du Pré Charity Concert at Wigmore Hall on 3 March which we are pleased to share with you here.

Haydn was invited to the annual dinner of the Royal Society of Musicians in 1792. For the occasion, he composed a march for orchestra, the autograph of which is still preserved by the Society.

Three short marches for 3rd March 2015 have been composed especially for the 20th Jacqueline du Pre Charity Concert in aid of the Royal Society of Musicians of Great Britain. The marches have been written by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, the Society’s President, Robert Saxton and Toby Young, who are active Members of the charitable organisation. Toby is the Society’s youngest Member.

Two of Britain’s finest award-winning string quartets, the Sacconi and Navarra, are joined at Wigmore Hall by top British cellist, Guy Johnson in a programme of contrasts – the brilliant textures and vibrant colours of Bridge and Ravel and the titanic Classical quintet by Schubert.

This will be the 20th Annual Jacqueline du Pre Charity Concert at Wigmore Hall, being performed in what would have been, poignantly, the cellist’s 70th birthday year.

Johann Peter Salomon Celebration with RPS

The Royal Philharmonic Society contacts us this week with news that they plan to celebrate the life of one of their early members, Johann Peter Salomon on the 11 March. The first leader of the Philharmonic orchestra, Salomon brought Haydn to London and commissioned some of his finest work for his subscription concert series. The plaque that we are subsequently unveiling on 24 March is to be installed where Salomon lodged with Haydn during that stay.

salomon haydn westminster abbey2015 marks 200 years since Salomon died and the RPS would like you to join them for an evening’s music with members of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and some food. Details of the event and tickets may be found here. In the meantime you might like to go and visit Salomon’s own memorial (right) which lies in the South Cloister of Westminster Abbey.

Sir Neville Marriner to unveil Haydn plaque

Neville Marriner for Haydn plaque

Image (c) Richard Holt

We are delighted to be able to share the news that Sir Neville Marriner has agreed to unveil our plaque to Haydn on 24 March. Sir Neville Marriner celebrated his 90th birthday last year, an event that was an opportunity for everyone to reflect on the conductor’s unique and sustained contribution to the musical life of this country. As the founder of the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, Marriner has always been noted for his performances of later 18th century music, his huge recording legacy, and his work in the fine Milos Forman film of Mozart’s life Amadeus (1984), for which Marriner supervised the soundtrack recording.

Details for the unveiling of the plaque at 18 Great Pulteney Street are still to be finalised but we hope that you will be able to join us there on the 24 March at midday.