Sunday 11 April
I’m slightly embarrassed to say I’d forgotten how wonderful orchestral concerts are in the intimate surroundings of Dartingtons medieval Great Hall – especially with glorious sunshine flooding through the high windows. Well it was nearly sixteen years since I last saw one!!
This Sunday saw the visit of the London Mozart Players with a popular programme of the Haydn Hen symphony (La Poule), Mozart’s double piano concerto (K365) and the family friendly Saint Saens Carnival of the Animals with a text by Roger McGough performed by Matt Harvey.
The video snippet above is of the LMP in rehearsal with the final, triumphant few bars of the Mozart. For details of where you can next see the LMP see here April and whilst Dartingtons next orchestral concert will be during the Summer School On the 3rd October we welcome Academy Of St Martins in the Field . If you like to be close up to the musicians in a magical hall with real history and a stunning acoustic I doubt DH can be bettered! Do come if you can .. keep an eye on the website for more details
I discovered quite a few things today time me thinks for a list…
That I still pace nervously when concert grands are being moved, shifted or lumped around (a highly unhelpful skill I perfected at the Michael Tippett Centre in Bath),
That tuning two pianos to each other is a nightmare especially when one has been in storage for a year, and doubly especially when the piano tuners assistant doesnt know his octaves from his elbow
That I dont have much prospect of a second career as a piano tuners assistant
And finally I discovered that during the summer school you can play croquet on the courtyard lawn (and there was me thinking that the no ball games rule was sacr sant). Im now going to suggest we have an IPL style 2020 cricket tournament next year, hit a 6 over the Great Hall and well call it an Elmhirst maximum and it can be greeted by a fanfare of trumpets written especially by composer in association Hugh Nankivell.
Its been a busy few days down in Devon. We launched HOME at the end of the week and have started selling our first few tickets (hooray). Today was a reminder of just how good the natural acoustic is in the great hall and HOME will be one of the few if not only festivals where you can see great world musicians performing absolutely acoustically. The great hall line up includes Bassekou Kouyate (direct from Glastonbury), Rizwan Muazzam Qawwali Ensemble in a specially extended late night slot and Asere. Do follow the festival on facebook and tell your friends its going to be very special experience for a strictly limited 500 people! See http://www.dartington.org/home for all the details.
Earlier in the week we hosted Evolving Motions performance of DUOD which was nearly sold out, full of participants in not one but two separate young peoples dance residencies. Just one example of how we hope Dartingtons unique resources will be used when the college leaves the current site for its new home in Falmouth! Mind you Duod was another reminder of just what an influence Dartington College has had on many creative practioners up and down the country: Chris Benstead who wrote and performed the score for DUOD trained here (in his word to the audiences) before many of you were born! You can read an edited version of the post show discussion on the previous blog post.
In an innovative arrangement Dartington have engaged the hub (www.thehubuk.com) to cover the maternity leave of Lara Lloyd. As a hub associate I’ll be leading on the project on a part time basis whilst at the same time drawing on the skills and experience of the wider hub team. As a former Dartington College student its a privilege to be working back at the place which has had such a significant influence on my own career.