2019 Performer Profiles: Adi Tal

Associate Artistic Director Jamie Campbell introduces some of the outstanding performers taking part in the 2018 Southwell Music Festival.

“We’re looking forward to welcoming cellist Adi Tal to the Southwell Music Festival.

1) Who are you, where are you based, and what work do you do?

My name is Adi Tal. I am an Israeli born cellist, based in London for the past 12 years. I am a member of Fidelio Trio and the West Eastern Divan Orchestra, and frequently perform with Aurora Orchestra and Camerata Tchaikovsky.

2) What music are you most looking forward to performing in Southwell this year?

I am very much looking forward to Sunday’s concert ‘American Chamber Classics’ programme. Copland’s Appalacian Spring was a piece I had studied some years ago in music literature class as part of my undergraduate course in the States, and I am really excited to finally get to perform it.

In that same programme I will also be performing Michael Torke’s Adjustable Wrench, which gives me the opportunity to explore a composition which is much more Jazzy in character; something I haven’t had the chance of doing yet, so I am particularly looking forward to that.

3) What other things have you got coming up that are interesting in the next few months?

I am looking forward to performing Schumann Andante and Variations with Martha Argerich, Daniel Barenboim, Ben Goldscheider and Astrig Siranossian in Salzburg Festival, as well as Fidelio Trio concerts at Bodrum Chamber Music Festival in Turkey, King’s Place, Music@Malling Festival, Sound Festival in Scotland, Neufchâtel concert series in Switzerland, as well as my trio’s annual winter chamber music festival in Dublin. Other exciting coming up projects include a tour of Germany and UK with Aurora Orchestra playing Berlioz Symphony Fantastique by heart, to be also performed in the BBC Proms twice in one night.

I am also excited to work with wonderful friends and colleagues during a week of Open Chamber Music at Prussia Cove this coming September.

2019 Performer Profiles: Celine Saout

Associate Artistic Director Jamie Campbell introduces some of the outstanding performers taking part in the 2018 Southwell Music Festival.

“We’re looking forward to welcoming Celine Saout to the Southwell Music Festival.

1) Who are you, where are you based, and what work do you do?

I play principal harp with the orchestra of Opera North. Based in Leeds.
I’m also a member with contemporary music ensemble based in Birmingham, BCMG.

2) What music are you most looking forward to performing in Southwell this year?

I am most looking forward to performing Mahler 4.

3) What other things have you got coming up that are interesting in the next few months?”

Straight after the festival I am most looking forward to performing chamber music at the proms, Fantasia upon all the notes by Birtwistle. And beyond that, getting started on the new opera season with Martinu Greek passion and Britten Turn of the Screw later on.

2019 Performer Profiles: Marianne Schofield

Associate Artistic Director Jamie Campbell introduces some of the outstanding performers taking part in the 2019 Southwell Music Festival.

“We’re looking forward to welcoming double-bassist Marianne Schofield to the Southwell Music Festival.”

1) Who are you, where are you based, and what work do you do?

My name is Marianne and I am a freelance double bass player based in West London. I’m lucky to lead a really varied work life, performing and touring with lots of different UK orchestras and chamber groups. I also enjoy the challenge of playing a lot of contemporary music, which can usually be relied upon to be a good workout for bass players! I am a founder member of the quartet The Hermes Experiment (which is an unusual line-up of soprano, harp, clarinet and double bass) and I am also an artistic board member of Riot Ensemble.

2) What music are you most looking forward to performing in Southwell this year?

I always find Mahler’s Symphony no. 4 really special to perform; although the scope and emotional depth of the piece is huge, it still has so much lightness and a chamber music feel to it. I’m also looking forward to playing Handel’s Israel in Egypt on a gut string bass on the Saturday!

3) What other things have you got coming up that are interesting in the next few months?

I’m currently in the final (slightly panicky) stages of memorising Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique for memorised performances coming up with Aurora Orchestra, including at the BBC Proms in September. I’m also currently learning the aptly-titled Fury for double bass solo by Rebecca Saunders, as well as preparing to record The Hermes Experiment’s debut album in the Autumn, which is very exciting!

2019 Performer Profiles: Joseph Doody

Associate Artistic Director Jamie Campbell introduces some of the outstanding performers taking part in the 2019 Southwell Music Festival.

“We’re looking forward to welcoming tenor Joseph Doody back to the Southwell Music Festival.”

1) Who are you, where are you based, and what work do you do?

I’m Joseph Doody, a tenor originally from Shipley in West Yorkshire, living the freelance life in southeast London now. Opera has been taking up most of my time lately, but I also do concerts with choirs, and I’m a member of the choir of Lincoln’s Inn chapel in Holborn, so I sing Sunday services too.

2) What music are you most looking forward to performing in Southwell this year?

I’m really looking forward to Israel in Egypt on the 24th. Handel is one of my favourite composers, and it’s a great English oratorio but isn’t performed that often. I’ve only done it once before, and it was so much I was dying to do it again as soon as it was over! I’m also really looking forward to performing in the opera gala on the 22nd, which will be a nice contrast. I love singing duets and ensembles with friends.

3) What other things have you got coming up that are interesting in the next few months?

Coming up I have quite a few concerts with choral societies, including The Creation and The Seasons by Haydn, and Handel’s Messiah. I’m also making my Welsh National Opera debut in The Cunning Little Vixen, playing The Mosquito and covering a few other roles, so that should be fun.

2019 Performer Profiles: Claire Wickes

Associate Artistic Director Jamie Campbell introduces some of the outstanding performers taking part in the 2019 Southwell Music Festival.

“We’re looking forward to welcoming flautist Claire Wickes to the Southwell Music Festival.”

1) Who are you, where are you based, and what work do you do?

My name is Claire Wickes, I grew up in Croydon and I now live up the road from there in Tooting, though I went via Manchester and Oxford. I’m the Principal Flute of the English National Opera Orchestra, and I absolutely love working alongside singers every day – I spend most of my time trying to emulate them on the flute. In addition to my work at ENO I love getting out of the pit and playing Guest Principal with other orchestras, and I also try to fit in as much chamber music and solo playing as I can. When I’m not working I take any opportunity to go travelling – I’ve backpacked around Sri Lanka and India, and hitch-hiked my way from London to Morocco. Next on my agenda is Vietnam!

2) What music are you most looking forward to performing in Southwell this year?

I’m excited about so much of the repertoire in this year’s festival, but if I had to pick one thing out it would be the Poulenc sextet. I’ve never performed this piece and I can’t wait to rehearse and explore it. Poulenc’s Flute Sonata, which I’m also looking forward to performing in the festival, is so full of contradictions – to me it’s bittersweet, constantly ebbing and flowing between nostalgia, melancholy and occasional moments of almost hysterical joyfulness. It forces the performer to constantly change masks, adapting to whichever personality the music takes on moment to moment; I’ll be really interested to see whether the sextet has a similar energy.

3) What other things have you got coming up that are interesting in the next few months?

We’re on the brink of starting a busy season at ENO, with a series of operas inspired by the orpheus myth including Harrison Birtwhistle’s Mask of Orpheus – the instrumentation requires pretty much every wind instrument you can think of, so I’ll be playing alto and bass flute which will be a fun change! In the coming months I’m hugely looking forward to performing some of the Brandenburg concertos – it’s always a pleasure to play Bach, and I feel especially lucky to share the stage with incredibly talented colleagues.

2019 Performer Profiles: Jennifer Clark

Associate Artistic Director Jamie Campbell introduces some of the outstanding performers taking part in the 2019 Southwell Music Festival.

“We’re looking forward to welcoming soprano Jennifer Clark to the Southwell Music Festival.”

1) Who are you, where are you based, and what work do you do?

My name is Jen Clark and I’m based in Tring, Hertfordshire. I’m a freelance soprano with a primary focus on opera, having sung with WNO, The Grange Festival and Bury Court Opera among others, though I also do a lot of oratorio and consort work. I tend to play children, fairies and the occasional comic heroine – kid roles and high notes, really – which I love! I’ve just finished a really interesting season with The Grange Festival in collaboration with The Sixteen, staging Handel’s ‘Belshazzar’ for the first time in the UK, which was a groundbreaking and rewarding project.

2) What music are you most looking forward to performing in Southwell this year?
This is my first year at Southwell and I’m really excited about taking part in some fantastic music-making. I expect Handel will be the highlight for me this year, though I’ve rather enjoyed preparing two particularly cheeky Britten duets – ‘Soldier won’t you marry me’ and ‘The Deaf Woman’s Courtship’. They’re bursting with character and have a playfulness that I really like. I’m also looking forward to getting to know ‘Israel in Egypt’, and to singing some arias from ‘Messiah’, ‘Jeptha’ and ‘Acis and Galatea’.
3) What other things have you got coming up that are interesting in the next few months?
There are a few interesting firsts for me this year – my first Prom, Berlioz ‘L’Enfance du Christ’ with Britten Sinfonia Voices, and my first Mabel (in ‘The Pirates of Penzance’.) I’ve always been drawn to comic soprano roles and this one has been on my list for some time, so I’m particularly looking forward to exploring it. In the spring, I’ll be making my company debut with Opera North, singing Flora in Britten’s ‘The Turn of the Screw.’ The role is an old favourite – I sang it first in Budapest, and again earlier this year at Bury Court, so it will be interesting to revisit it in a new production.
southwell music festival

The Musicians of Southwell Music Festival

Southwell Music Festival is a special music festival. One of the key reasons for this is that the musicians who come to perform in the town are resident here for much of the festival and take part in a number of different events. This is not a festival with a carousel of touring acts for whom Southwell is another show along their road. No, Southwell is almost unique in welcoming musicians who, in their turn, treat the town like home for the duration.

This short film (by Simon Platts) we’re publishing today reflects that experience from the perspective of these terrific musicians who visit Southwell for the festival – this year about 100 leading professional singers and players from across Britain and further afield. We really hope that it gives you a fresh perspective on Southwell Music Festival and encourages you to come and be part of all the wonderful events that the town has to offer over the August Bank Holiday weekend every year.

Learn more about Southwell Music Festival events via southwellmusicfestival.com/events