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Michael Collins and Friends

Saturday February 5, 2011 at 19:30
All Saints Church, Kingston upon Thames
£20, £15, £10, £5
Phone for tickets: 07984 417278
Phone lines open: Monday to Friday 11am-5pm; if no answer, please leave a voicemail message
Other Sources: Hands Music, 5-6 Griffin Centre, Market Place, Kingston
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Tickets "at the door" - until sold out
  1. Sonata for Cello and Piano in D minor - Claude Debussy
  2. L'Histoire du soldat, 'The Soldier's Tale' - Igor Stravinsky
  3. Contrasts for Violin, Clarinet and Piano Sz111 - Bela Bartók
  4. Quatuor pour la Fin du Temps, 'Quartet for the End of Time' - Olivier Messiaen

Continuing with our French season, Thames Concerts and Kingston Parish Church welcome you to an evening of French chamber music featuring four outstanding soloists. Debussy's Cello Sonata, a piece by turns energetic and tranquil, but filled throughout with beautiful lyricism, kicks off our evening's programme. Although Stravinsky was Russian, much of his work composed during a particularly fertile period in Paris in the 1910s and 1920s lent a distinctly French tone to music that was otherwise very much characterised by the sounds of his homeland; his L'histoire du soldat, a Faustian tale of a soldier who sells his fiddle to the Devil, is presented here tonight in an abridged form for violin, clarinet and piano. The concert will conclude with our solists coming together for Messiaen's seminal Quartet for the End of Time; composed for Messiaen himself and fellow musicians in a German POW camp, the Quartet is signature Messiaen, combining virtuosic instrumental writing and modernist harmony with a transcendent beauty and mysticism, and is without doubt one of the key works of 20th century classical music.

Michael Collins (clarinet) was the winner of the Woodwind category in the first BBC Young Musician of the Year competition, and since then has gone on to perform with orchestras such as the Leipzig Gewandhaus, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra and the Philharmonia, under conductors including Sir Simon Rattle, Charles Dutoit, Leonard Slatkin and Esa-Pekka Salonen. More recently Michael has also received acclaim for his work as a conductor, with (among others) the City of London Sinfonia and the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields.

Michael McHale (piano) was born in Belfast and achieved a double first-class honours degree in music from Cambridge University. For the last few years, he has been earmarked as a rising talent, having performed throughout Europe and on television in the UK, Ireland, the USA and Germany, giving renditions of piano concerti by Mozart, Beethoven, Schumann, Gershwin and Rachmaninov. Numbering among his collaborators are Sir James Galway, Michael Collins, Ensemble Avalon and Arvo Pärt.

Jack Liebeck (violin) has been performing concerti and giving recitals since the age of 11, attending the Purcell School of Music and the Royal Academy of Music in London, and has played with top orchestras all over the world. His debut recording on Quartz Records received substantial critical praise, and his concert repertoire includes performances of concerti by Mendelssohn and Magnus Lindberg. Jack is also highly active in chamber music, having appeared at classical music festivals at Bath, Montreux and Spoleto (to name bu t a few).

Guy Johnston (cello) was the winner of the BBC Young Musician of the Year award in 2000, and his engagements as a soloist have given him opportunities to work with some of the UK's and Europe's finest orchestras, including the London and BBC Philharmonic, CBSO, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and the St Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra. Guy is a founder member of the Aronowitz Ensemble, as well as collaborating with other musicians such as Steven Isserlis, and currently has a residence at Aldeburgh Music.

All Saints Church
Market Place
Kingston upon Thames
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