BMS Diary

British Art Song Competition (BASC) 2017

BMS member and Artistic Director of the London Song Festival, Nigel Foster, has been hard at work on BASC 2017. He has recently informed us that the LSF website is now accepting applications for BASC 2017 and the first forms are already coming in. The masterclass/competition will be run on the same grounds as the previous two years. Soon after the closing date for applications on Friday September 22, auditions will be held in London from which fourteen singers will be invited to attend a masterclass with Dame Felicity Palmer on Saturday October 21 at The Nicholas Boas Charitable Trust, 22 Mansfield Street, London W1G 9NR. At this point, the finalists will be asked to contribute £30 for their participation in the masterclass. Only singers under the age of 35 may apply and in both the audition and the masterclass they are asked to present one song by Peter Warlock and one other by a British composer from memory. 

Members of the public are able to attend either or both masterclasses with BMS members paying a concession rate. The first session begins at 2.00pm and the second session at 6.00pm at a cost of £15 adult/£10 concession for a single session plus a processing fee. People wishing to attend both sessions will pay a £25 fee plus a processing fee. Please book your place via the LSF website.

At the end of the second masterclass, Dame Felicity Palmer will award a first prize of £500 donated by the BMS and The Stephen and Diane Trowell Prizes of second place £250 and third place £100 generously donated once more by our Treasurer.

Last year’s decision to present all fourteen finalists with a gift of the Composer Profiles and a BMS CD was much appreciated. If possible, we would like to explore the possibility of extending this gesture to a gift bag by inviting BMS members and other interested parties to donate material relevant to young professional singers at the start of their careers - perhaps a recording, score, book or even a voucher. If you have something you would like us to consider for inclusion please contact Wendy Hiscocks first via e-mail before going to the expense of posting any material.

Other Concerts and Events


In this section, members may submit infomation about British music events around the UK and beyond. We very much hope this will be a source of inspiration!


Please note that whilst every effort is made to check the details which are posted here, they are provided by a third party. You should always check programmes, venues and dates before travelling to these events.

Echoes of Land & Sea - CD Launch and Drinks Reception
Monday 18th September 7:00–8:30pm
All Souls Church, Langham Place
2 All Souls Place, W1B 3 London, United Kingdom
Maria Marchant performs excerpts from her debut SOMM Recordings CD and Roderick Williams introduces the world premiere of his new composition, 'Sea Fever' followed by a drinks reception.



Autumn in Malvern Festival

23rd - 30th Sep 2017

Graham Road, Great Malvern, WR14 2HU

Saturday 23rd September 11am

An illustrated talk by
The distinguished composer, Alec Roth, has collaborated with several living poets including Vikram Seth. His illustrated talk will offer some personal insights into the creative processes where words and music come together. Alec's song-cycle with words by the Dymock poet, Edward Thomas, will be premiered by Mark Padmore at tomorrow's concert in Great Malvern Priory.


Church Street, Great Malvern, WR14 2AY
Sunday 24th September 3.30pm
Mark Padmore - Tenor & Freddie Brown - Piano
Finzi - A Young Man's Exhortation
Alec Roth - A Song Cycle on poems by Edward Thomas for Tenor & String Quartet (World Premiere - Festival Commission)
Vaughan Williams - On Wenlock Edge for Tenor String Quartet & Piano


27th September 2017 at 7.30pm

Great Malvern Priory  

“Musical Delights” – An Evening of Chamber Music from Great Britain                      

Edward Elgar: Andante & Allegro for Oboe and String Trio      

Malcolm Arnold: Fantasy for Clarinet Op. 87                      

Henry Purcell: Fantasy No. 5 for String Quartet  

Benjamin Britten: Two Metamorphoses after Ovid for Oboe Solo Op. 4

Ralph Vaughan Williams: Six Studies in English Folksong for Clarinet and String Quartet

Arthur Bliss: Quintet for Clarinet and String Quartet: Allegro molto

Gordon Jacob: Trio for Oboe, Clarinet and Cello                     

Gustav Holst: Three Pieces for Oboe and String Quartet Op. 2

Sergio Simón Alvarez         Oboe

Francesco Negrini               Clarinet

Fiona Swadling                    Violin

Stefan Glaus                        Violin

Daniel Neville                       Viola

Hugh Molloy                         Cello

Douglas Bostock                  Compere

The Argovia Philharmonic, one of Switzerland’s most innovative professional symphony orchestras ( organises regular “Kulturreisen” (Culture Tours) for its patrons and subscribers, led by Adrian Zinniker, himself a member of the orchestra. Three leading musicians from the Argovia Philharmonic will join the group of Swiss music lovers on their trip to England this September. Together with three outstanding colleagues from the UK they will perform “Musical Delights” – an unusual and varied programme of British chamber music for wind and string instruments – in the beautiful and inspiring setting of Malvern Priory. The concert will be introduced by the orchestra’s British-born Principal Conductor of sixteen-years’ standing, Douglas Bostock.


Autumn in Malvern 

Avenue Road, Great Malvern, WR14 3AG
Thursday 28th September 7.30pm
Readings from the recently published anthology
The Great War is over. In the Spring of 1919 the village of Oakby awaits the return of survivors. Each household has its own story. Through the words of 20 contemporary poets, we hear the voices of villagers struggling to recall their past, to understand the present and to imagine the future.
Hylton Road, Worcester, WR2 5JN
Sunday 1st October 3pm
Kazuki Yamada - Conductor & Hyeyoon Park - Violin
Britten-Variations & Fugue on a Theme of Henry Purcell
Bruch-Violin Concerto No1 in G minor
Dvorak-Symphony No9 in E minor (New World)
Mill Lane, Colwall
Saturday 14th October 3pm
Matthew Sandy - Tenor
Simon Over - Piano
Kate Kennedy - Narrator
Devised by biographer, Kate Kennedy, this recital tells the story of the extraordinary friendship between two Great War composers and a poet - F.S. Kelly, William Denis Browne and Rupert Brooke. The sequence weaves together song, poetry, letters and diaries. The Fateful Voyage is the title of a forthcoming biography on the subject by Kate Kennedy.
Church Street, Great Malvern, WR14 2AY
Sunday 29th October 3.30pm
Adrian Lucas - Conductor
Fenella Humphreys - Violin
Nicola Eimer - Piano
'The Lark Ascending' - Ralph Vaughan Williams (Original version for Violin & Piano 1919)
Choral works include:
Dance clarion air - Tippett
Love bade me welcome - John Tavener
O wild west wind - Elgar
White flowering days - Finzi
The evening primrose - Britten
The Flower-Roth


Saturday 30th September 2017 at 3:00pm

King's Place, London
A Journey from the East - Music from Britain and Japan
Women of the World Festival 

Celebrating the works of pioneering female composers from Britain and Japan

Midori Komachi (violin)
Simon Callaghan (piano)
Sumie Osaki (koto)

A concert featuring the diversity of inspiring sound world created by pioneering Japanese and British female composers through time. Featuring both traditional music on the koto and contemporary pieces by leading female composers from Japan and Britain, this concert explores a unique collaboration across two cultures.
Rebecca Clarke: Midsummer Moon for violin and piano
Yuka Takechi: Beyond the Spring for solo violin (2000)
Grace Williams: Sonata for violin and piano (1938)
Japanese Folk Songs (arr. Komachi)
Nicola LeFanu: Abstracts and a Frame for violin and piano (1971)
Traditional music on the koto * performed by Sumie Osaki 
The concert starts with a solo koto performance of traditional Japanese music by Sumie Osaki (3-3:30pm). Komachi & Callaghan's performance will start from approximately 3:40pm, following a short interval. The concert will finish at 4:30pm.


6th-8th October 2017

English Music Festival 2017 Yorkshire Autumn Festival

St Andrew’s Church, Aysgarth


Friday 6th October 2017 at 7.30pm

Ireland: Piano Trio No.2

Holst: Short Trio in E major

Stanford: Piano Trio No.2

Moeran: Piano Trio in D major

Rupert Marshall-Luck, violin

Joseph Spooner, cello

Duncan Honeybourne, piano

Saturday 7th October 2017 at 11.00am

Alwyn: Sonata alla Toccata

Delius: Three Preludes

Howells: Sonatina

Milford: Prelude, Air and Finale

Vaughan Williams: Hymn Tune Prelude on ‘Song 13’ (Orlando Gibbons);

The Lake in the Mountains

Ireland: Sarnia

Duncan Honeybourne, piano


Fogg: Poem

Cooke: Sea Croon

Delius: Sonata

Alwyn: Two Folk-Songs

Ireland: Sonata

Milford: Threne

Joseph Spooner, cello

Duncan Honeybourne, piano


Howells: Sonata No.1

Havergal Brian: Legend

Vaughan Williams: Violin Sonata

Delius: Violin Sonata No.2

Ireland: Violin Sonata No.1

Rupert Marshall-Luck, violin

Duncan Honeybourne, piano

Sunday 8th October 2017


Bach: Sonata for Solo Violin in G minor, BWV 1001

Bach: Sonata for Violin and Organ

Richard Pantcheff: Sonata for Violin and Organ

Maxwell Davies: Sonata for Violin Alone

Joseph Phibbs: Suite for solo violin


Moeran: Loveliest of Trees

Butterworth: The Lads in their Hundreds

Bax: When I was one-and-twenty

Orr: Along the Field

Ireland: In Boyhood

Sommervell: Into my heart an air that kills

Delius: To Daffodils; The Violet; In the Seraglio Garden

Finzi: Let us Garlands Bring: Come away, come away death; Who is Sylvia; O Mistress Mine; Fear no more the heat o’ the sun; It was a lover and his lass;

Armstrong Gibbs: Old wine in new bottles; Silver

Howells: Five Songs for Low Voice: The Valley of Silence; When the dew is falling; By the Grey Stone

Howells: St Bride’s Song; When there is Peace

Vaughan Williams: The House of Life

Christopher Foster, bass-baritone

Duncan Honeybourne, piano

Saturday 7th October 2017, 7.30pm

St Martin’s West Acton, Hale Gardens W3 9SQ 

Barbara THOMPSON Saxophone Concerto (Saxophone: Jess Gillam)
HOLST The Perfect Fool
PROKOFIEV Symphony No. 4

Ealing Symphony Orchestra

John Gibbons, conductor



11th - 14th October 2017
The William Alwyn Festival 2017
Holy Trinity Church, Blythburgh




14th - 15th October 2017

Royal & Derngate, Northampton

The Malcolm Arnold Festival




14th October 7:30pm

Orchestra of St. John's, Bromsgrove, Worcs.

Ian Venables: UK Orchestral Premiere of  ‘Venetian Songs’ Op.22

Anando Mukerjee, Tenor
Richard Jenkinson, Conductor



15th October at 3:30pm

Huntingdon Hall, Worcester
Walton- Two pieces from Henry V
Elgar/Fraser- Salut d'Amour
Sawyers- Concerto for Trumpet, Timpani and Strings (world premiere)
--Simon Desbruslais- trumpet
Elgar- Serenade for Strings
Tippett- Little Music for Strings

English String Orchestra
Kenneth Woods- Artistic Director
Simon Desbruslais- trumpet



Delius Society Event

Tuesday 24th October 2017 at 7.15pm

'Sir Malcolm Sargent, on the 50th anniversary of his death' - a talk by Stephen Lloyd

Delius authority, Stephen Lloyd, sang under Sargent many times in works such as Gerontius, Mass of Life (twice), Belshazzar’s Feast, Messiah, B minor Mass, Missa Solemnis, attended many of his Proms and other concerts and has a number of off-air recordings of him conducting Delius, Elgar and others.  His talk will feature, in particular, Sargent's championing of British music.
Rutland Room, Royal Over-Seas League, Over-Seas House, Park Place, St James's Street, London SW1A 1LR
Admission charge: £5 for members and £10 for non-members, of which £5 is refundable for those who join the Society.



Friday 27th October 2017

Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham
Elgar: Overture: Cockaigne
Ireland: Piano Concerto
Holst: The Planets
Barry Wordsworth  conductor
Mark Bebbington  piano
Cantamus Girls Choir
Free pre-concert talk, 6.30pm in the auditorium: Bruce Phillips, Director of the John Ireland Charitable Trust, in conversation with Mark Bebbington.
Supported by the John Ireland Charitable Trust



Wednesday 1st November 2017 at 7:30pm

Cadogan Hall, London
Vaughan Williams: The Wasps: overture
Ireland: Piano Concerto
Vaughan Williams: The Lark Ascending
Elgar: Enigma Variations on an Original Theme for Orchestra, Op.36

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Barry Wordsworth, Conductor
Mark Bebbington, Piano
Duncan Riddell, Violin
Supported by The John Ireland Charitable Trust.



4 November at 7:30 PM

Malvern Priory 
(Pre-concert talk at 6:45)
Mozart: Divertimento in D K.136 
Schubert: Rondo in A for violin and strings D.438 
Kreisler: Liebesfreud, Liebesleid and Schön Rosmarin 
Elgar: Serenade for Strings 
Britten: Simple Symphony 

English String Orchestra

Zoe Beyers- Soloist/director



3rd - 5th November 2017 

Stanford Festival Weekend



Friday 10th November 2017, 7.30pm
High Street Methodist Church, Witney, OX28 6HG
Herbert Howells, Requiem
The Carice Singers



Friday 10th November 2017 at 1:00pm

Birmingham and Midland Institute, Birmingham
'The Slaughter of the Times': English Piano Music and the First World War
Cyril Scott: Britain's War March
Lord Berners: Trois Petites Marches funebres
William Baines: Seven Preludes
John Ireland: London Pieces
Arnold Bax: Sonata No. 2

Eric McElroy, piano



Saturday 11th November 2017
Vaughan Williams: Job: A Masque for Dancing
Ravel - Piano Concerto for the Left Hand
Dinara Klinton - Soloist
Walton - Portsmouth Point
Martinu - The Frescoes of Piero della Francesca
Northampton Symphony Orchestra
John Gibbons, conductor



Sunday 12 Nov 2017 7.30pm
The Forum Theatre, Malvern
Butterworth        A Shropshire Lad
R Strauss              Four Last Songs
Elgar/Payne          Symphony No 3

Chandos Orchestra

Michael Lloyd  conductor
Alison Roddy  soprano



21 November at 7:30 PM

Cheltenham Town Hall 
(Pre-concert talk at 6:30)

Elgar Violin Concerto 
Brahms arr. Woods- Piano Quartet in A major (world premiere)

English Symphony Orchestra
Kenneth Woods- Artistic Director
Alexander Sitkovetsky- violin


Saturday 25 November 2017, 7.30pm

St Barnabas Church, Pitshanger Lane, London W5 1QG 

To include:

Matthew TAYLOR Symphony No. 4
WAGNER Ride of the Valkyries
NIELSEN Symphony No. 4

Plus a concerto to be confirmed.

Ealing Symphony Orchestra

John Gibbons, conductor



Saturday 25 November 2017 at 7.30pm
Arnold - Peterloo Overture
Vaughan Williams - Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis
Elgar - In the South
Howells - Hymnus Paradisi

Orchestra of Opera North
Leeds Philharmonic Chorus
Leeds College of Music Student Chorus
St Peter's Singers
David Hill - conductor
Sarah Fox - soprano
Ben Hulett - tenor

Pre-concert talk 6:45pm - Peter Whitfield discusses this evening's works.


25 November 2017 7.30pm
St Mary's Church, Hitchin SG5 1HP
Hitchin Symphony Orchestra (Leader: Janet Hicks)
Conductor: Paul Adrian Rooke
Paul Ibbotson: Concerto for Violoncello and Orchestra (First performance) 
Soloist: Lydia Dobson (RCM and a BBC Classical Introducing Artist)
Mozart: Overture to Cosi fan tutte

Beethoven: Symphony No.7



3rd December 2017 at 6:30pm

Kings Place: Hall One, London
Elgar: Introduction and Allegro for string quartet and string orchestra, Op.47
Holst I.: The Fall of the Leaf

Ireland: Cello Sonata
Rubbra: Soliloquy
Britten: Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge for string orchestra, Op.10

Orchestra of the Swan
David Curtis, Conductor
Raphael Wallfisch, Cello



4th December: (evening)
Erin Arts Centre, Isle of Man
Haydn, Brahms, Leighton Five Studies (Selection), Debussy & Mussorgsky

Philip Leslie, piano



Monday 15th January 2018

Royal Festival Hall, London

Gala Concert for the Refugee Council 

Edward Gardner, conductor

Hilary Hahn, violin 

Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto

Tippett: Child of Our Time

Alice Coote, Sophie Bevan, Toby Spence and Brindley Sherratt, soloists

London Philharmonic Orchestra 

London Philharmonic Choir



Saturday 10 February 2018, 7.30pm

St Barnabas Church, Pitshanger Lane, London W5 1QG

An Ealing Music and Film Festival concert

DELIUS Appalachia
GERSHWIN Porgy and Bess, Concert Version (arr. Robert Russell Bennett)

Ealing Symphony Orchestra

John Gibbons, conductor



25 February, 2018 at 3:30 PM

Hereford Shirehall Sunday Series
Mendelssohn- Hebrides Overture
Sawyers- Violin Concerto (world premiere)
Schumann- Symphony no. 2 in C major

English Symphony Orchestra

Kenneth Woods, conductor

Alexander Sitkovetsky- violin



Saturday 5 March 2018, 7.30pm

St Barnabas Church, Pitshanger Lane, London W5 1QG

VERDI Overture – The Force of Destiny
ELGAR Cello Concerto (Cello: Sheku Kanneh-Mason)
Jerome MOROSS The Big Country
GLAZUNOV Symphony No. 4

Ealing Symphony Orchestra

John Gibbons, conductor



Saturday 17 March 2018, 7.30pm

To include:

ELGAR The Music Makers
RACHMANINOV Three Russian Songs

Ealing Symphony Orchestra

John Gibbons, conductor

With the Lord Williams Festival Chorus

Thame Leisure Centre, Oxford Road, Thame OX9 2BB



17 March, 2018 at 7:30pm

Malvern Priory
(Pre-concert talk at 6:45) 
Sawyers- The Valley of Vision (world premiere)
Haydn- Missa in tempore belli (Mass in Time of War)
Beethoven- Symphony no. 3 “Eroica”

English Symphony Orchestra

Kenneth Woods, Conductor

Academia Musica Choir


4th - 7th May 2018

Parry and his Pupils Festival


Saturday 5th May 2018 at 7:15pm
Gloucester Cathedral

Gala Concert:
Parry: I was glad
Vaughan Williams: Fantasia on a theme of Thomas Tallis
Holst: Hymn of Jesus
John Ireland: Greater Love
Parry: Ode on the Nativity
Parry: Jerusalem

Philharmonia Orchestra
Zsolt-Tihamér Visontay, leader
Gloucester Choral Society
Oxford Bach Choir
Adrian Partington, conductor


Sunday 6th May 2018 5:30pm
Gloucester Cathedral
Choral Hymns from the Rig Veda: Gustav Holst
Two Part Songs: Ralph Vaughan Williams
Hymn of Jesus: Frank Bridge
Songs of Farewell: Hubert Parry

Saint Cecilia Singers
Jonathan Hope – conductor


Monday 7th May 2018
9:30am – Morning Coffee
10:30am – Instrumental Recital: Royal College of Music
12:00pm – Buffet lunch at Highnam Court
2:00pm – Prof. Jeremy Dibble: Tradition & Innovation in Parry’s Choral Music
3:00pm – Afternoon Tea
4:30pm – Choral Evensong sung by Gloucester Choral Society Consort
Church of the Holy Innocents
Gambier Parry Hall
Highnam Court
Royal College of Music
Prof. Jeremy Dibble
Gloucester Choral Society Consort
Tickets: £54 – includes all events during the day, morning coffee, afternoon tea and fully catered buffet lunch at Highnam Court (tickets for individual events cannot be purchased separately).
To book, click the button below or call the Three Choirs box office: 01452 768928 (lines open 10am-4pm, Monday-Friday).
Bookings open 10am, 4 SEPTEMBER
This day forms the most unique part of the Parry festival, as we move to the village of Highnam where Parry lived as a child.
Students from the Royal College of Music, where Parry was director and taught composition to many of England’s finest composers, will give a recital featuring music by Parry and his pupils. It will be a real privilege to hear some of the most gifted musicians in the world at the very start of their careers, and a great tribute to Parry’s enduring legacy as a composer and teacher.
At lunchtime, we walk across the field to Highnam Court, Parry’s childhood home. There will be an opportunity to explore the beautiful gardens and to see the music room where Parry played the piano.
After lunch, Professor Jeremy Dibble, Parry’s biographer and a great authority on British music of the Victorian, Edwardian and Georgian eras, gives an illustrated talk on Parry’s choral music.
Round off the Festival with choral evensong, accompanied by the organ that Parry used to play. This will be a very special day with rare opportunities to experience Parry’s music in the place where he grew up and to see the landscape of his childhood..

9th May, 2018 at 7:30 PM

St Georges, Bristol

(Pre-concert talk at 6:45) 
Elgar arr. Fraser- Piano Quintet
David Matthews- Symphony no. 9 (world premiere- part of the 21st Century Symphony Project)
Elgar- Cello Concerto

English Symphony Orchestra

Kenneth Woods, conductor
Sheku Kaneh-Mason- cello

19 May 2018 7.30pm

St Mary's Church, Hitchin SG5 1HP
Hitchin Symphony Orchestra (Leader: Janet Hicks)
Conductor: Paul Adrian Rooke
John McCabe: Concerto for Chamber Orchestra
Malcolm Arnold: Concerto for viola and Chamber Orchestra

Soloist: Helen Sanders-Hewett
Mendelssohn: Symphony No.3


Saturday 19th May 2018, 7.30pm

St Barnabas Church, Pitshanger Lane, London W5 1QG

To include:

DVORAK Carnival Overture
George LLOYD Symphony No.4

Plus a concerto to be confirmed.

Ealing Symphony Orchestra

John Gibbons, conductor


Saturday 14th July 2018, 7.30pm

St Barnabas Church, Pitshanger Lane, London W5 1QG 

KODALY Hary Janos Suite

BRITTEN Sinfonia da Requiem
DEBUSSY Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune
SCRIABIN Poem of Ecstasy

Ealing Symphony Orchestra

John Gibbons, conductor


28th July - 4th August 2018

Three Choirs Festival

Preview details (evening highlights):


Saturday 28 July
Ireland: These things shall be
Smyth: Mass in D


Sunday 29 July
Holst: The Planets

Monday 30 July
Elgar: King Olaf

Thursday 2 August
Parry: Blest pair of Sirens
Parry: Symphony No 5
Parry: Invocation to Music


Friday 3 August
Ravel Le tombeau de Couperin
Boulanger Psalm 130
Walton Viola Concerto
Stravinsky Symphony of Psalms

Saturday 4 August
Vaughan Williams: Toward the Unknown Region
Parry: Elegy for Brahms

Brahms Ein deutsches Requiem


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