Callia Quartet in Bloomsbury

Back in Bloomsbury

Sunday 6th November 2022. 5.00pm.

The Music Room, 49 Great Ormond Street. WC1N 3HZ . a one hour programme followed by drinks. Limited tickets available.

The Callia Quartet has enjoyed several performances in this historic corner of London. Last year we were honoured to be included in the programme for the Conway Hall Sunday Concerts series, and then a lovely discovery of the October Gallery, who hosted us later on in the year, coinciding with the photography exhibition of Benji Reid. This year’s venue has the historical claim of being the oldest house in Bloomsbury. Restored by architectural conservationist and professional musician Alec Forshaw, who has restored it to it’s original features, this beautiful house is now host to chamber concerts and we are really looking forward to performing our one hour programme in this very special venue. Drinks will be served and a chance to chat after the concert.

Not only is this a unique performance venue, but our chosen programme will be very special.

We will be performing a World Premiere of Summer Air by Wendy Hiscocks. This is the final movement of 4, representing the 4 seasons. Wendy Hiscock’s string quartet which initially started off life as 3 movements initially premiered in 2001, each inspired by a piece of art or a photograph. This final movement “Summer Air” was then added to provide some contrast against the relative density of the other movements. Reflecting on a magical moment when the composer saw insects and seeds floating in a meadow in a soft summer light – thereby adding to the 3 existing movements to form the final of 4 seasons. This movement has never been performed previously, and we are looking forward very much to giving this world premiere.

We will also be performing Thomas Hewitt Jones’ Divertimento. A piece which we commissioned in 2019 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Chamber Players. This piece also started off on a smaller scale, as a 1 movement piece (now the finale), but then developed into what it is now, forming a 5 movement string quartet. This was premiered in 2020, and had 2 performances, before Covid lockdown cancelled all subsequent performances, and so we are very happy to be able to have this opportunity to bring this back to an audience again.

As well as these 2 contemporary works, we will be performing Florence Price’s sublime quartet no. 1, (details) and Haydn’s very 1st string Quartet op 1. No. 1 the exquisite slow movement of which foretells all the possibilities still to come from a composer who could go on to produce such a wealth of string quartet writing.

I wonder whether Haydn would have observed or known of this house in Bloomsbury when he came to visit London. What occupants were at 49 Great Ormond Street during Haydn’s visits to London, I wonder?

This concert has a limited number of tickets available. Please book here.

Wendy Hiscocks ; Thomas Hewitt Jones ; Chamber Players