Feb 15th – Alauda String Quartet

Assembly House Classical is pleased to present the next event in the series of lunchtime classical recitals from The Alauda Quartet. Thursday February 15th, 1pm in the music room of The Assembly House in Norwich. Tickets are £12 each and can be purchased online here. Cash or cheque payments are also welcome. Please call 07786940878 or email info@assemblyhouseclassical.co.uk for more information on that.

Programme info:

Beethoven; Quartet in F major Op 18/1

Brahms; Quartet No 1 in C minor Op 51

The Alauda Quartet is one of the leading young European string quartets formed at the Royal Academy of Music in London in 2011. An internationally diverse ensemble, the quartet shares a unifying passion for chamber music and a strong desire to explore the repertoire of the string quartet.

Selected as Park Lane Group artists in 2015 they gave their debut recitals at the Purcell Room, Queen Elizabeth Hall and St. Martin-in-the-fields in London. They were also selected Concert Artists with Making Music for 2016-17.

The quartet enjoys a busy performing schedule and has performed extensively across the UK at venues and festivals including Barbican Hall, Conway Hall, St Margarets Westminster, Kings Place, Kings Lynn Festival, Friends of Beaminster Festival, Bury St Edmunds Concert Club, Winchester College Concert Series, City Music Society, Avon Valley Concerts, Stockbridge Music Festival, Lincoln International Concert Series and Bradford Cathedral Chamber Series among others.

As well as their concerts in the UK the Alauda Quartet have enjoyed performing in various music festivals across Europe and Asia holding regular tours in Spain, Italy, Serbia and Germany. They gave their debut recital at the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing in 2014.

The Alauda Quartet recorded at the Radio Nacional de España as part of the Young Artist Platform Series and have also been broadcast on Radio Vaticana in Rome.

From 2016 the Alauda quartet, under the guidance of Simone Gramaglia from the Quartetto Di Cremona, joined the Italian “Le dimore del quartetto” project, created by the Associazione Piero Farulli.

During their time at the Royal Academy they studied with Jon Thorn and had masterclasses with eminent quartets including Belcea Quartet, Artemis, Endellions and Emerson. They also received their Masters in Chamber Music from the Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien Hannover where they studied with Oliver Wille of the Kuss Quartet.

The Alauda quartet was selected to perform at IMS Prussia Cove in 2013 and since 2014 has been taking part on the ProQuartet – CEMC programme in France. At ProQuartet they studied with Günter Pichler with whom they also studied at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, July 2014. They have also had the great honour of performing for the late Sir Colin Davis.

They have recently recorded the complete string quartets of the Italian composer Roffredo Caetani, which have been released on Brilliant Classics in November 2016. The CD is a World premier recording supported by the Caetani foundation in Italy and will be promoted during the 2017 season.

The Alauda Quartet is also involved in several educational projects across the UK. Appointed Young Professional String Quartet in residence at Pro Corda in 2013 and giving workshops at public schools through the Westminster Music Service.

Cristina Prats-Costa plays a Jean Baptiste Vuillaume, kindly on loan from MERITO String Instruments Trust GmbH.


Joanna MacGregor – January 11th

The new series of lunchtime classical recital got off to a fine start with full house and a brilliant and varied performance from Pianist – Joanna MacGregor.




Click to read the review from the Eastern Daily Press

Programme information:

Alberto Ginastera (1916 – 1983)

Danzas Agentinas Op 2

1. Danza del viejo boyero (Dance of the Elderly Herdmen) The left hand plays only black notes and the right hand plays only white ones!

2. Danza de la moza donosa (Dance of the Beautiful Maiden)

3. Danza del gaucho matrero (Dance of the Arrogant Cowboy) Marked to be played furiously, violent and wild! Ginastera was born in Buenos Aires but went to America to study with Aaron Copland. He was a prolific composer of operas, ballets, orchestral and concerto works but these Dances are amongst his best known works.

Frédéric Chopin (1810 – 1849)

Mazurkas Op 6 no 1 F sharp minor

Op 17 no 2 in E minor

Op 56 no 2 in C major

Op 30 no 3 in D flat major

Op 17 no 4 in A minor

Op 59 no 3 in F sharp minor

Chopin wrote nearly 60 Mazurkas based on traditional Polish dances though he transformed them into an entirely new genre. He fled his native Poland at the time of the 1830 Uprising and never returned and wrote new mazurkas almost every year of his life as if they were personal tributes and longing for his homeland.

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 – 1827)

Sonata in F minor Op.57 Appassionata

1. Allegro assai

2. Andante con moto

3. Allegro ma non troppo

This is sonata is No 23 in Beethoven’s canon of 32 piano sonatas and dates from his so-called “middle period’ when he produced some of his best known works including the fifth & sixth symphonies, the violin concerto and fourth piano concerto. It is also one of a trio of popular sonatas of the period, the other two being the Waldstein and Les Adieux.

Joanna MacGregor

Joanna MacGregor is currently Head of Piano at the Royal Academy and Artistic Director of the International Summer School at Dartington. She was one of the first artists to be selected for the renowned Young Concert Artists Trust scheme and made one of her early appearances in the Music Room of the Assembly House for Norfolk & Norwich Music Club on 30th April 1988. Her piano recital career has taken her around the world from the major venues in London and Europe to the United States and the Far East with the major international orchestras and conductors. Joanna is one of the most versatile musicians in Europe and her work ranges composition, writing and broadcasting, to conducting and festival curation. She was Artistic Director of the Bath Festival from 2006-2012. Joanna is also famous for her promotion and interpretation of other composers works and has premiered piano concertos by Harrison Birthwistle, Django Bates, John Adams and James MacMillan. She was awarded an OBE in the Queens 2012 Birthday Honours list.