19 November 2014
Next January, Ben will be joining other eminent musicians at the Wye Valley Music Festival. The Festival was established back in 2000 to bring world-class chamber music to beautiful and intimate venues up and down the Wye Valley. It has attracted world-class musicians from the outset and is now an important year-round cultural presence in the Wye Valley.
Ben will be playing two concerts over the weekend of 17/18th January 2015; Korngold's String Quartet No.3 and Piano Quintet in E major. Full details can be found at the Wye Valley Chamber Music website.
5 November 2014
The Sacconis have picked up yet another fantastic review, this time for their Ripon concert from Tim Robinson and published in the Ripon Gazette. All three pieces receive high praise, starting with Haydn String Quartet Op. 20, No. 5, where the Quartet 'make us want to get up and dance with their extraordinary internal rhythm', before continuing on to the Janáček String Quartet No. 1, described as 'electrifying, exhausting and exhilarating'.
His highest praise is reserved for the Sacconis' performance of Beethoven String Quartet Op. 132, in particular for the third movement, where words almost fail him; he enthuses 'I hesitate to describe the third movement. Words just will not do. Go and listen to it. Find it on You Tube! Buy the Sacconi’s recording which they about to make. Then go and listen to it live. You must listen to it live. It will change you'.
16 October 2014
The Sacconi's recent start of season concert for the London Chamber Music Society has picked up a glowing review on Musicweb International. The piece, by Claire Seymour, begins by describing it as 'an impressively mature and focused performance', before going on to highlight the individual contributions from each of the Sacconis.
The Beethoven Op. 132 merits special praise, being described as 'an astonishingly assured and mature reading...' and 'the consistency of shared vision and musical voice was still remarkable, and suggested a deep, shared penetration of the work’s musical and philosophical arguments'.
The full review can be found at the Musicweb International website
7 October 2014
Just a quick reminder that the Sacconis perform this Friday, 10th October, at St Martin in the Fields, where Ben will be Musical Director for an evening of Vivaldi and Bach concertos. Baroque concertos from Ben and Hannah (Vivaldi) and Robin (Brandenburg 6 with Philip Dukes), plus the CPE Bach cello concerto performed by Guy Johnston and Bach's Brandenburg 3; all with Cara playing too.
Don't miss this opportunity to hear the Sacconis performing solo in the beautiful setting of St Martin in the Fields, and all played by candlelight. Full details can be found at the St Martin in the Fields website.
23 September 2014
This October, on Friday 3rd, Cara (and cello) will be performing a lunchtime concert at St Barnabas church, Ealing. She will be joined by Fenella Humphreys on violin and Daniel Lowenberg on piano. They will be playing Beethoven: Piano trio in G major Op 1 no 2 and Brahms: Piano trio in C minor Op 101. This free concert will start at 1pm and last approximately 45 minutes.
Full details can be found at the St Barnabas Church website.
16 September 2014
Just a quick reminder about Hannah's upcoming appearances on the International Musicians Seminar Autumn Tour, where she is playing Mendelssohn string quintet in B flat with Pekka Kuusisto, Rachel Roberts, Caroline Henbest and David Waterman.
Her hectic schedule starts on Sunday 28th September at the Hall for Cornwall in Truro followed by Monday at St George's Bristol, Tuesday at West Road Concert Hall in Cambridge, Wednesday at Champs Hill, West Sussex and finishing up at Wigmore Hall on Thursday. Full details can be found at the IMS website.
Do come along to one!
2 September 2014
In anticipation of their upcoming Autumn season, the Sacconi's latest newsletter is now available. Inside, it covers what they've been up to over the past few months, as well as looking forward to the new season. The link to the Newsletter can be found here.
Looking back, it features a personal perspective by Hannah on their performance of Beethoven's Op 132 at the Bristol Proms, which used innovative staging and video to give an immersive experience for both the audience and the quartet. Hannah can be found explaining it all as part of a video interview for Classic FM. It also includes the glowing reviews for the Mendelssohn disc set from Champs Hill records, which includes the Sacconis preforming the Op.13 quartet in A minor.
Looking forward, there are details of the first concerts of the new season, as well as the exciting news that the Quartet have been invited back to the beautiful island of Ischia for another Kirker Music Holiday, October 2015. Definitely a date for your diaries, along with the Christmas Party, which this year is on Thursday 11th December.
16 August 2014
This October, Ben will be Musical Director for an evening of Vivaldi and Bach concertos at St Martin in the Fields, where he will performing with the Locrian Ensemble and the cellist Guy Johnson. The performance will be on Friday 10th October, and full details can be found at the St Martin in the Fields website.
As an added bonus, Ben will be joined for the Vivaldi – Concerto for Two Violins by Hannah!
6 August 2014
The Champs Hill Mendelssohn Quartets four disk set, which features the Sacconis playing Mendelssohn's String Quartet No.2 in A minor Op.13, is BBC Music Magazine's Chamber disc of the month / Critic's Choice in their September issue, receiving a double 5* review for both the performances and the recording.
The enthusiastic and positive review, by Roger Nichols, opens with his observation that it is "... a true delight to me to find ten groups of young string players who take the composer's notes seriously..." and concludes with him saying "Overall, I can only applaud the musicianship of these excellently recorded performances which give us Mendelssohn in his infinite variety".
3 August 2014
The Sacconis recent performance of Beethoven's intense and complex Op. 132 as part of the 2104 Bristol Proms was an ambitious attempt to bring this life-changing piece to a wider audience through the innovative use of multiple, simultaneous camera projections of the four Sacconis, coupled with roving cameras to capture the finest details of the performance. At the centre of the performance was the third movement, performed in almost total darkness; played from memory by the Quartet.
This performance has received considerable coverage on Classic FM, including a wide-ranging interview with Hannah, in which she explains how they hoped the additional visual elements would make this complex piece more immediately comprehensible to a wider audience. The Classic FM coverage also includes pictures from the evening, and the performance is given a 4 star review in the Bristol Post.
21 July 2014
The Sacconis have received a glowing review in this month's Gramophone magazine for their performance of Mendelssohn's String Quartet No.2 in A Minor Op.13 on the recent release of 'Mendelssohn Complete Works for String Quartet' on Champs Hill Records. The Quartet were described as 'elegant and understated' in a glowing review of the 4-disc set. A fuller extract of the review, along with details of where to get the set can be found in the Recordings section.
16 July 2014
This Autumn Hannah is one of a select group of musicians, all specially invited by the IMS Artistic Director Steven Isserlis, who will be taking part in the IMS national tour with the aim of bringing the work done at IMS at Prussia Cove to a wider audience. This hand-picked group of talented musicians also includes Pekka Kuusisto, who was such a hit at this year's Sacconi Festival.
The programme for the performances will be; Beethoven - String Quintet Op.29, Martinů - String Quartet No. 5 and Mendelssohn - String Quintet in B flat; and the dates and venues for the performances are as follows:
Sunday 28th September - Hall for Cornwall, Truro
Monday 29th September - St George's Bristol
Tuesday 30th September - West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge
Wednesday 1st October - Champs Hill, West Sussex
Thursday 2nd October - Wigmore Hall, London
Full details can be found at the IMS website.
4 July 2014
The award-winning Sacconi Quartet, associate artists at Bristol Old Vic, follow up their exquisite interpretation of Schubert's Quintet in C (Bristol Proms 2013) and their unforgettable semi-staged Beethoven 131 (Bristol Jam 2010), with the magnificent Beethoven's great Quartet opus 132. In collaboration with Judith Aston and her colleagues from the UWE Filmmaking department, the performance will experiment with cameras, multiple projections and vj-ing to explore how a cinematic environment can be created to help evoke the imagination and emotion that comes with the music. You should expect a traditional recital performed in a non-traditional setting, creating respectful new ways in to the sublime beauty of Beethoven’s late work.
9 June 2014
This Thursday, 12th June, 7.30pm, the Sacconis perform with pianist Simon-Crawford-Phillips at Kings Place as part of its on-going 'Chamber Classics Unwrapped’ series, a project by Kings Place, with BBC Music Magazine, to find the Top 50 most loved pieces of chamber music.
The Sacconis present two of Dvořák’s most popular chamber works, along with the short, but deeply moving ‘Meditation on an Old Czech Hymn' by his student, Joseph Suk.
Dvořák’s American quartet, at no.9 in the Top 50, was composed whilst in rural America, and evokes scenes of the New World with music inspired by the surrounding nature, African American spirituals and, as the composer himself observed, differs very much from his earlier works.
His Piano Quintet No.2 (no.28 in the Top 50) is a tantalising mixture of Dvořák’s own personal lyricism and rhythmic intensity, coupled with elements from Czech folk music. Written at the height of his powers, it is one of his happiest creations; radiating warmth and exuberance.
Full details of this exciting concert can be found at the Kings Place website.
7 June 2014
The Sacconis feature on a new release of the complete works of Felix and Fanny Mendelssohn, which sets out to challenge preconceptions about the Mendelssohns, as being composers of 'safe' repertoire. This a four disk set sets aims to be a complete and comprehensive survey of the Mendelssohns' work, including their less well-known compositions. Full details of the recording, and of the Sacconis' part in it, performing Mendelssohn's String Quartet No.2 in A Minor Op.13, can be found at the Champs Hill website.
4 June 2014
Hannah will be performing in Music for Liberia’s annual fundraising concert on Saturday 14 June. Music for Liberia is working with Street Child to support education projects in Liberia. The concert takes place at 7pm in St.Gabriel's Church, Pimlico SW1V 2AD; see Music For Liberia's website for details. All proceeds will be matched by the UK Government, so do come along and contribute to this very good cause!
3 June 2014
This August, Robin is one of the lead performers at the Menter Rhosygilwen Second Summer Proms. These concerts take place in beautiful rural Pembrokeshire, near to the historic town of Cardigan. Menter Rhosygilwen promotes music, the arts and culture and they are passionate about live classical music by Welsh and international artists. The concerts takes place over three days, from Wednesday 27th through to Friday 29th August 2014; all at 7:00pm. Full details can be found here at the Festival website.
27 May 2014
This Monday at 4:30pm, the Sacconis are on BB Radio 3's 'In Tune' programme (see 'BBC In Tune'). They will be playing movements from Mozart E flat quartet k. 428 and Dvorak's 'American', so looking back to last weekend's Sacconi Festival in Folkestone, and forward to their upcoming concert at Kings Place on 12th June (see the Kings Place website). Catch them live on the day, or later on iPlayer. Better still, come along to Kings Place as well!
20 May 2014
The Sacconis have been busy preparing for their Festival (#Sacconi14) in Folkestone, but still managed to find the time for a marathon series of concerts over the weekend; three concerts and three different locations, all in the space of 24 hours! First up was Wallingford, with a diverse programme encompassing the beauty of Puccini, the edgy darkness of Janacek and the majesty of Schubert. Next up was Oxford with Ben and Cara performing Messiaen's 'Quartet for the End of Time', with the 24 hour odyssey finishing off triumphantly back in London at the RCM with Strauss' Metamorphosen.
If you missed out on the excitement, then there is a second chance to experience the jealousy, rage and passion of Janacek, the spiritual beauty of Messiaen and the epic Schubert, along with repertoire spanning every emotion and character from Mozart, Debussy, Vivaldi and others; not to mention not one, but two World premieres! Come and join the Sacconis in Folkestone this weekend; the weather forecast is good and there is still time to buy tickets (https://www.quarterhouse.co.uk).
See you all there!
28 April 2014
Hannah is off to Southwell in Nottinghamshire this August, playing in the Southwell Music Festival, which runs from 22nd - 25th August.
25 April 2014
The Sacconis are gearing up for three exciting performances at Kings Place over the coming weeks; twice on 2nd May and the third on 12th June.
First up, on Friday 2nd May, is an epic evening, featuring two ground-breaking collaborations as part of Matthew Sharp's RE:naissance festival. The Sacconi Quartet and Sharp start the evening with Rautavaara's ‘Les Cieux Inconnues’, and round the night off with the dazzling cabaret concerto 'Death's Cabaret - A Love Story' , by Stephen Deazley and Martin Riley, also with Sharp. Details of both concerts can be found here (Rautavaara) and here (Death's Cabaret).
The Sacconi Quartet return to Kings Place on the 12th June as part of the Chamber Classics Unwrapped series, which features the nation's top 50 chamber works, as voted by the general public. The Sacconi Quartet will be performing a programme of Dvořák and Suk with pianist Simon Crawford-Phillips, with Dvořák's Piano Quintet ranking 28th and his 'American' Quartet ranking 9th. Details can be found here (Chamber Classics).
23 April 2014
Ben and Cara, along with Sarah Beaty (clarinet) and Alasdair Beatson (piano) will be performing Messiaen's 'Quartet for the End of Time' on two separate occasions prior to the Sacconi Festival; at Southwold on 10th May (see the Southwold website) and at Oxford on 18th May (see the Oxford Coffee Concerts website).
The quartet, composed in a prisoner of war camp in Germany at the start of WW2, is one of the most haunting and powerful works ever written.
11 April 2014
Ben is playing with the London Bridge Ensemble tomorrow evening (Sat 12th April) in Sevenoaks. Programme: Bridge Phantasy Piano Quartet, Mozart Piano Quartet in E flat and Brahms Piano Quintet.
The Ship Theatre, Walthamstow School Hall, Sevenoaks - 7.30pm
21 March 2014
Today (21st March) is the LAST DAY to get your Sacconi Festival Rover Ticket for the discounted price of £80 instead of £85, don't miss out!!
See you there!
11 March 2014
Here at Sacconi HQ we're feeling Spring in the air, the birds are singing, the sun is shining (behind the clouds) and we're in a great mood! We're feeling so buoyant in fact that we've decided to extend the Sacconi Festival Rover Ticket Early Bird Offer for another two weeks until the 21st March! (Well, actually we had an almighty printing disaster that's put us back two weeks. Details, details...) So, that means you've got another chance, if you haven't already, to get a Rover ticket for £80 instead of £85. Box Office: 01303 858500 www.quarterhouse.co.uk