Joseph Horovitz - Memorial Concert

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Joseph Horovitz - Memorial Concert

  • Thu 9 Feb 2023
  • 7:00PM

The ACF London is pleased to host a special tribute concert, marking the first anniversary of the death of composer and conductor Joseph Horovitz, celebrating the broad range of his many achievements.

The event will feature the established violinist Madeleine Mitchell with her London Chamber Ensemble, alongside young prize-winning clarinettist James Gilbert and pianist Julian Chan. Renowned music critic Michael White will present the evening, discussing the composer’s life and work.

The programme will include two key items from the Horovitz catalogue: His Clarinet Sonatina (a modern ‘standard’ for the instrument) and his 5th String Quartet (written for the Amadeus Quartet in 1969 and the piece that the composer thought his best).

When the 11-year-old Joseph Horovitz fled Nazi-occupied Vienna with his family in 1938, he ended up in Britain. He was sent to a school specifically created to turn Austro-German exiles into model Englishmen. He played cricket, sang folksongs and went to Oxford. But thereafter, he would spend the rest of his long life as a composer of distinction, straddling the divide between two homelands and two cultures. His music crossed a comparable division between ‘serious’ and ‘popular’. There were operas, ballets and chamber scores - but there was also film and TV music, like his famous theme-tune for the Rumpole of the Bailey series and the jazzy Captain Noah and his Floating Zoo.


Photo: Madeleine Mitchell & Joseph Horovitz

The London Chamber Ensemble
Madeleine Mitchell & Gordon MacKay (violins), Bridget Carey (viola), Joseph Spooner (cello)

with James Gilbert (clarinet) & Julian Chan (piano)

introduced by Michael White

Programme - works by Joseph Horovitz:
Clarinet Sonatina
String Quartet no.5
Dybbuk Melody for solo violin
Rumpole of the Bailey (arr. solo piano)
Concertante for clarinet and strings

The London Chamber Ensemble was founded by violinist Madeleine Mitchell in 1992 to perform Messiaen Quatuor pour la fin du temps, going on to perform at the BBC Proms. Their recording of the Messiaen, along with Krauze Quatuor pour la Naissance, was the widely recommended version of the work for many years. “An all star group which manages to outdo all its rivals” Gramophone.

Madeleine was asked by the Alwyn Trust to put together an album for Naxos of William Alwyn Chamber Music and Song, all first recordings. This was followed by the London Chamber Ensemble album for Naxos/BMS of chamber music by Grace Williams (2019), all world premiere recordings, Guardian CD of the Week and no.2 in the Classical Charts: “Passionate and persuasive advocacy, gripping interpretations..more please” Gramophone

The LCE were invited to appear in the Southbank Centre’s International Chamber Music Season 2020/21 in Mitchell's programme 'A Century of Music by UK Women' 1921-2021. This was live streamed from St John's Smith Square on International Women's Day, supported by the RVW and Ambache Trusts, featured on BBC Radio 4, Radio 3, Classic FM, Scala Radio, The Guardian, The Independent, BBC Music Magazine, The Strad Premiere of the Month and Musical Opinion: “very fine performances of a broad range of fresh and rewarding repertoire…the players brought energy, precision and interpretative imagination

Madeleine Mitchell won a Royal Philharmonic Society Enterprise Award in 2022 for her creative project linking art and music in film, including her Anglo-Russian LCE String Quartet introduced concert programme with the V&A exhibition Fabergé: Romance to Revolution:
The quartet returns to the Schubert Society of Great Britain with Schubert Cello Quintet June 29th, 2pm St James, Sussex Gardens W2 (free admission). With James Gilbert and Julian Chan they opened Kensington & Chelsea Music Society 2022/23 season in the newly refurbished Leighton House, in tribute to Joseph Horovitz and with Brahms Clarinet Quintet: “superb, high quality chamber music-making of which Horovitz would certainly have approved. “ Malcolm Miller British Music Society Journal/Musical Opinion

Michael White was voted Britain's least boring music critic by listeners to Classic FM – who turned out not to be great fans of critics but made a grudging exception. He studied at Oxford, began writing for the Guardian, and was chief critic at the Independent for ten years. Michael White went on to be a columnist/travel writer for the Daily Telegraph and contributor the New York Times – with other columns in Opera Now, BBC Music magazine, and the Catholic Herald.

As a radio & TV broadcaster he has presented long-running BBC series like Opera in Action and Best of Three, attempted to explain Wagner's Ring Cycle in half an hour, introduced the Proms, fronted Cardiff Singer of the World, led the (extensive) TV coverage of Pavarotti’s funeral, and made acclaimed documentaries - including Opening the Boxes on Radio 4, about his rediscovery of the hidden life of singer Jennifer Vyvyan. He’s also made many guest appearances on Newsnight, Front Row and the Today programme.

He gives talks and lectures internationally for opera companies like Glyndebourne and Garsington, orchestras like the LSO, and festivals like Edinburgh, Aldeburgh and Grafenegg. He leads study days and presents concert broadcasts for Wigmore Hall. And he has devised a words & music show about the life of Rachmaninov, Exiled Soul, which he narrates alongside soprano Ilona Domnich and pianist Sholto Kynoch.
His books include Opera & Operetta (Collins) and Introducing Wagner (Icon): a guide for the curious but wary.


Joseph Horovitz ( © Anna Horovitz) / London Chamber Ensemble ( © LCE)


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