Future Events


24 June



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Choir of Clare College, Cambridge

St Mary's Church, Hay-on-Wye

Tickets: £12     Now booking


A Selection of well-known and rare Choral Gems

Graham Ross, director
Nicholas Morris and Eleanor Carter, organ

For more details, see the Home page


21 July



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The Solem Quartet

St Mary's Church, Hay-on-Wye

Tickets: £12     Now booking

Amy Tress (violin), Alistair Vennart (viola),
Catherine Guy (violin), Stephanie Tress (cello)



String Quartet in D minor K421


String Quartet in F major




Quartet No 8


Winners of the 2014 Royal Overseas League Ensemble Competition, The Solem Quartet were brought together in 2011 by their studies at the University of Manchester, where they take their name from the University motto "arduus ad solem", meaning "striving towards the sun".

The quartet has a busy concert schedule at venues across the UK including the Wigmore Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall and Bridgewater Hall, as well as performing internationally in several European countries. Their repertoire extends widely from early Haydn to living composers such as Emily Howard, whose quartet 'Afference' they recently performed in a BBC Proms Extra broadcast live on BBC Radio 3. They have recorded two CDs of 20th Century British music for Divine Arts record company. They have recently been announced as 2016/17 Park Lane Group Artists and will give recitals at Kings Place, St John's, Smith Square and St Martin-in-the-fields in the coming year as part of the PLG recital series.

In September 2016 they took up the position of Quartet in Residence at the University of Liverpool. They were also recently appointed Ensemble in Residence at Aberystwyth MusicFest. They have been privately commissioned to undertake a complete Beethoven cycle, to take place over five years starting in 2017, in London and Aberystwyth.

Violinist Amy Tress enjoys a busy career around the UK and abroad as a soloist, chamber musician and teacher. Winner of numerous awards including Oxford University's Gibbs Prize for the highest 1st class Music degree and the Royal College of Music Violin Competition and Unaccompanied Bach Prize, in recent years Amy has regularly appeared at major concert venues across the UK such as the Queen Elizabeth Hall and Wigmore Hall. Having studied Music at Christ Church, Oxford, Amy went on to complete a Masters and Artist Diploma at the Royal College of Music with Professor Maciej Rakowski. Subsequently she won a place at the Scuola di Musica di Fiesole, Italy, to undertake a Corso di Perfezionamento with Professor Pavel Vernikov. As well as the Solem Quartet, Amy is violinist of the Lipatti Piano Quartet, winners of the Elias Fawcett Trust Award for an Outstanding Chamber Ensemble at the finals of the Royal Overseas League Competition 2016. They were selected as Park Lane Group Artists 2015-16. Amy's performances with orchestra include the concertos of Shostakovich, Mendelssohn, Beethoven, Korngold, Schnittke (Concerto Grosso) and the Bach Double, as well as Ravel's Tzigane, Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherezade and Sibelius's Humoresques. She has participated in many solo and chamber music festivals, including IMS Prussia Cove, Mendelssohn-on-Mull Festival and Academie Internationale de Maurice Ravel. Since August 2014 Amy has directed her own course, La Mariette Junior Masterclasses in France, where she teaches violin and chamber music.

Catherine Guy is from Hampshire and came to Manchester to study on the joint course run between the Royal Northern College of Music and Manchester University. She studied violin with Maciej Rakowski and whilst at University won the Hargreaves academic prize and graduated with a First Class MusB (Hons) degree and GRNCM Diploma. Catherine graduated from the RNCM with a Postgraduate Diploma (Distinction) in 2013 and now plays in the first violin section of the Orchestra of Opera North. She also freelances with orchestras including the Halle, Manchester Camerata, BBC Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Scottish Ballet, Sinfonia Cymru and Bournemouth Symphony.

Alistair Vennart is from Northumberland and started playing the Viola when he was nine years old. He graduated from the University of Manchester in 2011 gaining several prizes including the Keith Elcombe Award for highest overall performance. He was awarded the Thomas Barratt Memorial Prize for Viola in July 2013. He studied with Louise Lansdown for 4 years at Manchester University and the RNCM, and with contemporary specialist Garth Knox from 2013-14. He has had lessons and masterclasses with some of the world's greatest Violists including Thomas Reibl, Nobuku Imai, Maxim Rysanov, Roland Glassl, Tatjana Masurenko, Simon Rowland-Jones, Adam Romer and Susie Meszaros. He works professionally with the Hallé, Sinfonia Cymru, Northern Chamber Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic and the Royal Northern Sinfonia. He has appeared as a soloist in Germany, Italy, Switzerland and the UK, including performing Mozart Sinfonia Concertante with Manchester University Symphony Orchestra and Bach Brandenburg Concerto No. 6 with the Talich Quartet's Vladimir Bukac. He also has a side-profession in composition and arrangement, writing new music commissions for the Solem Quartet and fiddle trio 'Y Singhs', as well as creating new arrangements of existing music, notably for the BBC documentary 'Dancing Cheek to Cheek: An Intimate History of Dance'.

Winner of numerous awards including the 2013 Sir John Barbirolli Cello Prize, Stephanie Tress has performed around the UK and abroad as a chamber musician and soloist. Before moving to Manchester, Stephanie studied with Michal Kaznowski and then with Alexander Baillie for a year at Bremen Hochschule für Künste in Germany. She completed the Joint Course at the University of Manchester and the Royal Northern College of Music in 2014, with a First Class degree from both institutions. She studied at the RNCM with Nicholas Trygstad and has had masterclasses with Natalia Gutman, Ralph Kirshbaum, Gary Hoffman, Jens Peter Maintz and Miklos Perenyi. Stephanie freelances with various orchestras and also plays with London Chamber Collective and contemporary music group the house of bedlam. As a soloist, Stephanie has given numerous concerto performances with orchestras.

19 August



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The Camilli String Quartet

Richard Booth's Bookshop

Tickets: £10     Now booking

Erin smith - violin, Nandita Bhatia - violin,
Elin Parry - viola, Olivia Clayton - cello

Formed while studying at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, the quartet were the winners of the John Barbirolli Competition 2015, and were also awarded a place on the Richard Carne Chamber Mentorship Scheme. The quartet is made up of experienced chamber and solo musicians, and they currently hold individual scholarships at Trinity Laban. They have performed at venues around the UK including Kensington Palace, the Old Royal Naval College Chapel, Farnham Maltings, opening of Madhurst Arts Festival, Benslow Music Trust and the Wigmore Hall.

They will perform a programme of popular classics (including Vivaldi Four Seasons) and light pieces (Gershwin, Cole Porter, Scott Joplin, etc). Full details to follow.

1 September



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Emma Abbate and Julian Perkins
Piano Duo: Four Hands on One Piano

Dorstone House, Dorstone

Tickets: £14     Now booking


P. Grainger

Let's Dance Gay in Green Meadow

W. A. Mozart

Sonata for four hands in C major, KV 19d

C. M. von Weber

From Huit Pièces, op. 60

R. Wagner

Polonaise in D Major, op. 2

R. Schumann

Kinderball, 6 leichte Tanzstücke, Op. 130

C. Debussy

Petite Suite, L 65

G. Gershwin


(arr. Gregory Stone)

I got rhythm


Described as 'an amazingly talented pianist' by the leading Italian magazine Musica, the Neapolitan pianist Emma Abbate enjoys a demanding career as a piano accompanist and chamber musician, working with some of the finest singers and instrumentalists of her generation. She has performed in duo recitals for international festivals and concert societies in Salzburg, Lisbon, Naples, Ischia, Koscierzyna and Sorrento, and at many prestigious UK venues such as the Wigmore Hall, Southbank Centre, Royal Opera House, St John's Smith Square, St George's, Bristol and Aldeburgh Festival, in addition to broadcasts on BBC Radio 3.

Emma has recently released the first of two volumes of Mozart's complete piano duets on original fortepianos with Julian Perkins for Resonus Classics, and two discs devoted to works by Stephen Dodgson for Toccata Classics: world-première recordings of his cello and piano music with Evva Mizerska, and his piano quintets with the Tippett Quartet. She is also releasing a series of recordings devoted to 20th century Italian vocal chamber music, the latest of which is the world-première disc of Shakespeare Sonnets by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco with the BBC New Generation Artist Ashley Riches for Resonus Classics. Future plans include the world-première recording of songs by Ildebrando Pizzetti with the mezzo-soprano Hanna Hipp for Resonus Classics.

Based in London, Emma is a professor at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and a coach for the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Following her graduation from the S. Pietro a Majella Conservatoire in Naples and an Advanced Diploma from the S. Cecilia Conservatoire in Rome, Emma studied in London with Yonty Solomon. She completed her studies with Geoffrey Pratley as a scholar at the Royal Academy of Music, from where she graduated with distinction. She was also awarded an Italian Literature and Culture degree cum laude from the Federico II University in Naples.

Described as 'exuberantly stylish' by the Sunday Times, Julian Perkins is Founder Director of Sounds Baroque and designate Artistic Director of the Cambridge Handel Opera Company.

Solo recitals have included appearances for international festivals at St Albans, Buxton, Canterbury, Oundle, Ryedale and Two Moors in repertoire including J. S. Bach's 48 Preludes and Fugues. Julian has appeared with many leading soloists and ensembles at venues such as the Wigmore Hall, London, Lincoln Center, New York, and Sydney Opera House, as well as at the BBC Proms and Edinburgh International Festival. In addition to performing as solo harpsichordist in productions at The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and Welsh National Opera, Julian has performed concertos with groups including the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Orchestra of the Sixteen and New London Soloists. As a conductor, Julian has performed staged opera productions for organisations such as the Buxton Festival, Dutch National Opera Academy, Grimeborn Festival, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Kings Place, New Chamber Opera and New Kent Opera, and concert performances with, among others, the Bampton Classical Players, Barts Chamber Choir, Bury Court Opera, New London Singers, Rodolfus Choir, Southbank Sinfonia and Spiritato.

Julian's discography has seen acclaimed solo and chamber recordings for Avie, Coro, Chandos, Opus Arte and Resonus on a wide range of instruments, including the Queen's harpsichord at Kew Palace. Recent releases include the world-première of J. C. Smith's op. 3 solo harpsichord suites, described as 'brilliant and fresh' by American Record Guide. His 2016 recording of J. S. Bach's French Suites on clavichord was described as 'music making of the highest order' by the Boston Clavichord Society.

Julian read music at King's College, Cambridge, and completed his formal studies at the Schola Cantorum, Basle and the Royal Academy of Music, London. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists, and has been elected an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music in recognition of his 'significant contribution' thus far to the music profession.

1 October



Jayson Gillham (piano)

Dorstone House, Dorstone

Tickets: £15

20 October



Marsyas Trio

St Mary's Church, Hay-on-Wye

Tickets: £10