Alison Balsom & Anna Lapwood

Saturday 15 October 2022, 7.30pm

The Chapel of St Augustine, Tonbridge School
Tonbridge, TN10 3AB


Alison Balsom
(trumpet)
Anna Lapwood (organ)

 

A truly fabulous start to TMC’s 60th anniversary season!

International superstar Alison Balsom, and the highly acclaimed organist Anna Lapwood, come together in a rare live performance to present Images; an innovative and creative programme. This is a concert absolutely not to be missed!


Images

Kristina Arakelian: World Premiere
Tomaso Albinoni: Concerto in D Minor
Claude Debussy: Syrinx
Claude Debussy: Andantino from String Quartet in G minor
Claude Debussy: The Girl with the Flaxen Hair
Benjamin Britten: Sunday Morning
Petr Eben: Green Window, Gold window
J S Bach: Chorale Erbarm dich mein, o Herre Gott, BWV 721
Owain Park: Images
Jehan Alain: Litanies

 

“Her playing is breath-taking” (BBC Music Magazine)

“The organ could not have a more dedicated or capable ambassador than Lapwood” (ArtMuse London)

 

Approx length of concert: 1hr (no interval)

* In recognition of our special Anniversary, TMC is delighted to host a Post-Concert Members’ Reception at Tonbridge School for all our Members offering a chance to meet Alison and Anna and to join in celebrating the start of our very special season.

 

Standard ticket £25  | Under 18s & Students £5
Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult

 

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Alison Balsom has performed with some of the greatest conductors and orchestras of our time including Pierre Boulez, Lorin Maazel, Sir Roger Norrington, l’Orchestre de Paris, San Francisco and Toronto Symphony Orchestras, Philadelphia Orchestra, New York and London Philharmonic orchestras, and has appeared as soloist at the Last Night of the BBC Proms. She regularly collaborates with some of the world’s leading chamber ensembles including the Academy of Ancient Music, Il Pomo d’Oro, The English Concert and most recently The Balsom Ensemble (a handpicked group of leading Baroque soloists). Alison is a recipient of numerous prestigious awards, including Gramophone Artist of the Year, the Nordoff Robbins O2 Silver Clef Award, three Echo Klassik Awards and three Classic BRIT awards (two of which as Female Artist of the Year).

Alison studied trumpet at both the Paris Conservatoire, and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and, in addition to her honorary doctorates from the Universities of York and Leicester and Anglia Ruskin University, is now an Honorary Fellow and Visiting Professor at the Guildhall. Alison regularly teaches masterclasses worldwide, including at the Juilliard School and the Curtis Institute. In addition to her performing schedule, Alison has previously given a TED talk, entitled ‘Music as a Healer’ and a lecture at Somerville College, Oxford University on ‘Women in the Arts’. A passionate advocate of the importance of music education, she is also an ambassador for the BBC’s Ten Pieces project.

Alison enjoys the artistic process of producing and managing her own bespoke projects, including the critically acclaimed production of Gabriel at Shakespeare’s Globe in London where Alison acted as creative producer and protagonist. This project was recently revived in concert at the Barbican in October 2019 as part of her residency at Milton Court, London. Other recent career highlights include residencies at the Wigmore Hall and Cambridge Corn Exchange, concerto performances with the New York Philharmonic, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Music of the Baroque Chicago and Orchestre National de Toulouse as well European tours with the Kammerorchester Basel, Zurich Chamber Orchestra and The Balsom Ensemble.

Passionate about pushing the boundaries of her instrument, Alison has had numerous concertos written especially for her. She gave the World Premiere of Guy Barker’s Lanterne of Light at the BBC Proms and she includes Bramwell Tovey’s Songs of the Paradise Saloon, Qigang-Chen’s Joie Eternelle and Thea Musgrave’s Trumpet Concerto (which made its UK premiere at Cheltenham Music Festival in 2019, and its US premiere with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl in the summer of 2021) amongst her repertoire.

From 2018-19, Alison was Artistic Director of Cheltenham Music Festival where she curated a season that brought together the London Symphony Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Academy of Ancient Music alongside soloists Nicola Benedetti, Jess Gillam and Danielle de Niese. A hugely ambitious programmer, Alison’s 2019 festival included no fewer than 20 new commissions (and subsequently world premieres) and included music by Ruth Gipps, Kaija Saariaho, James MacMillan, Lili Boulanger, Oliver Knussen and many more.

In the 2021/22 season, Alison enjoys a new collaboration with Britten Sinfonia, makes her debut with the Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liège, appears as guest soloist at Classic FM Live at the Royal Albert Hall, and gives prestigious concerto performances in Lerici and Parma.

Alison has built a rich recording catalogue for Warner Classics (formerly EMI Classics) and has released over 12 solo albums. Alison’s latest recording entitled Royal Fireworks was released in November 2019 and toured to some of the most prestigious concert halls all over Germany, including the Konzerthaus Berlin, Alte Oper Frankfurt and Elbphilharmonie Hamburg. In March 2022, Alison signed a new 5 album deal with Warner Classics which will showcase her diverse musical interests and artistic range into the years to come, with her new recording Quiet City to be released in August 2022.

 

Anna Lapwood is an organist, conductor, and broadcaster. She is Director of Music and a Bye-Fellow at Pembroke College, Cambridge (UK). As well as conducting the Pembroke College Chapel Choir she also runs the Pembroke College Girls’ Choir, an ensemble she set-up in 2018 to inspire girls aged 11 to 18 to explore the world of choral music.

While studying at Oxford University, Anna became the first female in Magdalen College’s 560-year history to be awarded the Organ Scholarship. Now performing organ concertos with leading orchestras and multiple recitals each season across Europe, Anna released her debut solo album ‘Images’ on Signum Records in 2021. The recording includes her transcription for organ of Britten’s ‘Four Sea Interludes’ from “Peter Grimes”; the sheet music is published by Boosey & Hawkes. A new anthology of organ pieces by female composers ‘Gregoriana’, commissioned and edited by Anna, was published in 2022 by Stainer & Bell.

In 2021 Anna made her BBC Proms debut as a soloist in Saint-Saëns ‘Organ Symphony’ with the Hallé Orchestra conducted by their Music Director, Sir Mark Elder, repeating the work later that month with conductor Kazuki Yamada and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. Other recent performances include a concert with the BBC Singers for International Women’s Day 2022, conducted by Grace Rossiter and broadcast live on Radio 3; George Baker’s Toccata-Gigue for Classic FM from the Royal Albert Hall; an organ recital at St David’s Hall, Cardiff for BBC Radio 3; and a performance of Poulenc’s ‘Organ Concerto’ with the London Chamber Orchestra conducted by Chloé van Soeterstède from St. John’s, Smith Square (London). In 2019 Anna opened the BAFTA TV awards on the organ of the Royal Festival Hall. Anna performs two organ recitals at the Aldeburgh Festival 2022 following her annual 24-hour Bach-a-thon from Pembroke College which raises money for the Muze-Pembroke Music Exchange Programme.

Making her TV presenting debut hosting coverage of BBC Young Musician, Anna was also invited to present a televised Prom from the Royal Albert Hall in 2021. In 2022 she served as an adjudicator for the Welsh choral competition, Côr Cymru, on S4C alongside Karen Gibson and Wyn Davies. As a radio broadcaster she is a regular contributor to BBC Radio 3 and Radio 4, and until July 2020 she hosted a live, weekly classical music show on Radio Cambridgeshire. Anna has also been featured on Classic FM and presented for Scala Radio.

The debut recording on Signum Records by Pembroke Chapel Choir and Pembroke Girls’ Choir, “All Things are Quite Silent” was released in 2020 to widespread critical acclaim. Two new albums will be released on Signum Records in 2022: “Celestial Dawn” recorded with Pembroke Girls’ Choir, and a Christmas album with both the Chapel Choir and the Girls’ Choir. Anna and the Pembroke Choirs were also invited to perform on “To Shiver the Sky” by Grammy-winning American composer, Christopher Tin, for Decca, recording at Abbey Road Studios.

​Increasingly in demand as a guest conductor, Anna has also directed the BBC Singers as part of the Proms Inspire programme and has led choral workshops around the world. A strong advocate for music education at home and abroad, she specialises in bringing music to children from impoverished backgrounds. She is a Trustee of the Muze Trust, a charity committed to making music accessible to children and young adults in Zambia, in association with the Muze-Pembroke Music Exchange Programme. When the Covid-19 pandemic put a stop to much of Anna’s work in this area overseas she focussed her efforts closer to home, founding and conducting the NHS Chorus-19, made up of over 1000 NHS staff from across the UK. Anna also runs organ workshops for young players around the country including the Cambridge Organ Experience for Girls.

Having been encouraged to “play like a man” and with a dedication to her art and mission that belied her early years as a performer, Anna is now humbled to find that she is an inspiration to many young women and proud that they have adopted her hashtag, #playlikeagirl. She recently joined violinist Esther Abrami on her new series “Women in Classical” honouring women’s success in classical music and was featured in The Sunday Times discussing the Society of Women Organists Adjustable Bench Campaign.

Anna’s passion for the organ is matched by her mission to support girls and women in music. Her commitment to opportunity, equality and diversity is evident in almost every aspect of her life and work, especially in programming.