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Saturday 20 November 2021

BRAHMS Tragic Overture
GRIEG Piano Concerto Stephen Meakins
DVORAK Symphony No. 8

Stephen Meakins is one of the UK’s busiest young pianists. A keen collaborator, he is in great demand as a chamber musician and has performed in major concert venues as both soloist and accompanist. 

Born in Northampton, his formative musical education began as Organ Scholar at All Saints’ Church, Northampton, where he continues a working relationship with its musicians to this day. Subsequently, Stephen held the Scholarship at St Paul’s Cathedral, Melbourne, Australia. 

Stephen then went on to study at the Royal College of Music with Niel Immelman and Kathron Sturrock. Whilst at the RCM he was awarded the accompanist prize in the Kathleen Ferrier Competition for Young Singers and was also a prize winner in the prestigious Schumann Competition. In his final year there, Stephen was invited to represent the college at Wigmore Hall and upon graduation joined the Junior Department as an accompanist and teacher.

St Mary's Church, Aylesbury, HP20 2JJ


Saturday 12 February 2022

RACHMANINOV The Rock
TCHAIKOVSKY Violin Concerto Fenella Humphreys
BORODIN Symphony No. 2

Described in the press as ‘amazing’ (The Scotsman) and ‘a wonder’ (IRR), Fenella Humphreys is one of the UK’s most established and versatile violinists. Winner of the BBC Music Magazine’s Instrumental Award 2018, she enjoys a busy career combining chamber music and solo work, performing in prestigious venues around the world. She is frequently broadcast on the BBC, Classic FM, DeutschlandRadio Berlin, West-Deutsche-Rundfunk, ABC Classic FM (Australia) and Korean radio.

Fenella performs widely as a soloist. Her first concerto recording, of Christopher Wright’s Violin Concerto with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Martin Yates (Dutton Epoch) was released in 2012 to great critical acclaim (“Fenella Humphreys’ performance is a wonder” – International Record Review; ‘Fenella Humphreys captures the music’s wistful cantabile to perfection, producing a golden tone in all registers with the utmost sensitivity to where every phrase is moving’  – The Strad), and was selected as Orchestral CD of the Month in a 5 star review in BBC Music Magazine.

A number of eminent British composers have written works for Fenella, both in her own right and as a former member of the Lawson Trio. Fenella’s recent Bach to the Future project, a set of six new unaccompanied violin works by Cheryl Frances-Hoad, Gordon Crosse, Sally Beamish, Adrian Sutton, Piers Hellawell and Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, was a huge success, garnering performances at acclaimed UK venues including Aldeburgh, St. Magnus Festival, Presteigne Festival, Ryedale Festival, The Forge, Manchester University, Queen’s University Belfast. The series has now been recorded over two CDs for Champs Hill Records. The first of these discs, released in August 2015, was picked by BBC Music Magazine as October’s Instrumental disc of the month, and described as ‘a radiant recording’ with ‘golden precision and effortless virtuosity’ (Five Stars, The Scotsman). The recently released second CD received the same accolade in January 2017’s issue of BBC Music Magazine, and was Editor’s Choice in Gramophone Magazine in February 2017.

Described on BBC Radio 3’s Record Review as an ‘absolutely exquisite album’, and a Recommended Recording in the Strad Magazine, Fenella’s CD, ‘So Many Stars’ with Nicola Eimer was released on Stone Records in 2019. She then released her ‘Max Richter: Four Seasons Recomposed’ album on Rubicon Classics which was chosen as BBC Music Magazine’s Concerto Choice, Scala’s Album of the Week, and included in Apple Music’s Classical A-List. Her latest album, which features Sibelius’ Violin Concerto Op.47 and Humoresques Op. 87 & 89, was released in April 2021 to great acclaim and was also chosen as Scala Radio’s album of the week.

Fenella is a passionate chamber musician, enjoying performances with Ensemble Perpetuo, Counterpoise and I Musicanti as well as collaborations with artists including Alexander Baillie, Adrian Brendel, Pekka Kuusisto, Nicolas Daniel, Alec Frank-Gemmill and Martin Lovett, and is regularly invited by Steven Isserlis to take part in the prestigious Open Chamber Music at the International Musicians’ Seminar, Prussia Cove. Concertmaster of the Deutsche Kammerakademie, Fenella also enjoys guest leading and directing various ensembles in Europe, and can be found playing Tango in duo and larger ensembles with the great Uruguayan bandoneonist, Hector Ulises Passarella.

Fenella’s teachers have included Sidney Griller CBE, Itzhak Rashkovsky, Ida Bieler and David Takeno at the Purcell School, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and the Robert-Schumann-Hochschule in Düsseldorf where she was awarded the highest attainable marks both for the ‘Diplom’ exam and the ‘Konzertexamen’ soloists’ diploma.   She has taken part in masterclasses with musicians including Thomas Brandis, Lorand Fenyves, Anthony Marwood, Thomas Riebl and Krzysztof Penderecki.

Fenella plays a beautiful violin from the circle of Peter Guarneri of Venice, kindly on loan from Jonathan Sparey.

St Mary's Church, Aylesbury, HP20 2JJ


Saturday 7 May 2022

ARNOLD Beckus the Dandipratt Overture
ELGAR Cello Concerto Indira Grier
ARNOLD Symphony No. 6

Already the recipient of several international prizes, Indira was recently selected to be one of only eight cellists worldwide to participate in the 2020 Verbier Festival Academy Soloist programme. She has completed a Masters degree with Alexander Chaushian at the Royal College of Music, London, where she held an RCM Scholarship. Previously she was taught by Melissa Phelps and then by Troels Svane at the Musikhochschule Luebeck. Indira has won Making Music’s 2019 ‘Philip and Dorothy Green Young Artist Award’, the 2019 RCM Unaccompanied Bach Prize, the 2018 RCM Concerto Competition performing the Elgar Cello Concerto and a Gold Medal in the 2019 Vienna International Music Competition. In the last year she has also won awards from the Hattori Foundation and the Countess of Munster Musical Trust and she is very grateful to be supported by Help Musicians UK. Other competition successes include winning prizes at the 2016 Royal Overseas League Competition, the 2014 Tunbridge Wells International Young Artists Competition and the 2012 Bromsgrove International Young Musicians’ Platform. She was awarded the Junior Guilhermina Suggia Gift on two consecutive occasions (2010 & 2012) and she won all available prizes at the Junior Royal Academy of Music, including the 2013 Concerto Competition. 

Indira has performed across the UK and Europe and has participated in masterclasses with David Geringas, Frans Helmerson, Thomas Ades and Steven Isserlis at the Accademia Chigiana, Siena, Schleswig-Holstein Festival, IMS Prussia Cove and Wigmore Hall. 

She has been performing as soloist from the age of twelve working with conductors such as Stephen Cleobury, Jonathan Willcocks and Robert Max, and also frequently performs across the UK as part of the Grier Trio. A keen chamber musician, Indira has enjoyed working with artists including Simon Crawford-Phillips, Andrew Marriner, Clio Gould, Matthew Truscott, Rebecca Gilliver and the Castalian Quartet in festivals such as Prussia Cove Open Chamber Music and Wye Valley Chamber Music. Indira believes strongly in promoting diversity in classical music and has taken part in projects with Chineke! In addition to her playing, Indira read English Literature at University College London from 2014-17.  

St Mary's Church, Aylesbury, HP20 2JJ


Saturday 9 July 2022

Film Music Concert

St Mary's Church, Aylesbury, HP20 2JJ


November 2022 - date and programme to be confirmed

BORODIN Steppes of Central Asia
TCHAIKOVSKY Symphony No. 6

St Mary's Church, Aylesbury, HP20 2JJ