Sat Oct 26
St John's Church, Southall
Sat Oct 12
St Mellitus Church, Hanwell
Sun Oct 13
Vestry Hall, London College of Music
Sunday 11 Oct, 7.30pm
St Peter's Church, Ealing
Voskrensenije, Jurij Maruk, The Addison Singers and David Wordsworth
Open Workshop: Singing with Russians
Britten had close friendships with some of the greatest Russian musicians of his day: the composer, Shostakovich, the cellist, Rostropovich, and his wife, soprano Galina Vishnevskaya. The Festival is celebrating this by bringing together the internationally acclaimed Russian chamber choir from St Petersburg, Voskresenije (Resurrection) and the distinguished English chamber choir of the Addison Singers.
Their Open Workshop gives you the opportunity to see and hear how musicians from different parts of the world, with only their music-making in common, forge relationships. They have learnt repertoire from each other’s countries in Russian and in English and this evening they will rehearse it together.
The programme includes sacred music, folksongs, settings of Russian poetry by Britten, a setting of an English traditional song by Shostakovich and Britten’s Hymn to St Cecilia. They will all be performed in the concerts at St Mellitus Church on Saturday 12th October when the choirs will be joined by internationally acclaimed cellist, Matthew Barley.
This event is generously hosted by St Peter’s Church.
Voskresenije (Resurrection) is one of St Petersburg’s finest chamber choirs: 8 solo voices including a genuine and remarkable basso profundo. Jurij Maruk directs the choir’s repertoire of sacred Russian music and folksong with consummate skill and artistry. The ensemble was founded by Jurij Maruk in 1993. The repertoire of the ensemble includes Russian sacred music as well as folk music. Guest performances in Germany, Switzerland, Norway, Austria, the UK, France and Italy have met with great success and the choir has recorded several CDs of their repertoire, which includes some specially composed arrangements of Burns songs by John McIntosh.
Their conductor, Jurij Maruk, was born in 1961 in Barnaul, West Siberia. In 1976 he began to study music and conducting at the local music facility in Barnaul. After finishing musical school he was admitted to the Novosibirsk State Conservatory (1980-1985) in Professor Boris Pevsner's class. At this time he worked with the Chamber Choir (Novosibirsk) directed by Pervsner, who was working in close cooperation with the Wladimir Minin Choir in Moscow. Between 1987 and 1989, Jurij Maruk worked at the Mariinsky Theatre (opera and ballet) in St Petersburg as a choir singer. Here he had his initial experience as a conductor and artistic leader of the Mariinsky Theatre (sacred music). Between 1990 and 1992, Maruk worked as the choirmaster of the St Petersburg Radio and Television Choir.
The Addison Singers
The Addison Singers were founded more than 30 years ago with David Wordsworth as Musical Director since 1995. The Chamber Choir is an auditioned choir of between 20-30 voices who sing a wide range of music in prestigious London venues and further afield. This is their first adventure singing in Russian – with Russians!
The Addison Singers are made up of no fewer than four different choirs – a ladies Jazz Choir, a mixed voice Jazz Ensemble, mixed voice Oratorio Choir and the Chamber Choir. All choirs perform a regular London concert season whilst the Oratorio/Chamber Choirs have additionally performed in Scotland, Italy, Poland, Spain, France and under the baton of their President, Bob Chilcott at the Carnegie Hall, New York. The Chamber Choir have performed at a number of UK festivals and played a leading role in celebrations of the music of Percy Grainger (King's Place, London) and John Ireland (St Luke's, Chelsea). Howard Skempton, Gavin Bryars, Edwin Roxburgh and Richard Causton have written pieces especially for the choir and they have given the UK/London premieres of pieces by Cecilia McDowall, Bob Chilcott, Henryk Gorecki and Ned Rorem amongst many others. The 2012/13 season includes a visit to the Paisley Choral Festival, concerts at St Martin-in-the Fields and St Clement Dane (London), return visits to the Shipley and Ramsey Festivals, as well as concerts in Ireland, singing music ranging from Thomas Tallis and Thomas Campion to a new piece by David Matthews.
Gillian Spragg (Piano)
After studying at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, where she won the much-coveted Gold Medal, Gillian Spragg's playing was warmly received by the London press: "gifted with a physically strong technique and a patent grasp of extended structures" .... "phrasing relaxed yet fully motivated, the tone large and warm" ..... "a fine display of rhythmic freshness". For a number of years, she worked alongside Sir Roger Norrington, principally at Kent Opera, and she broadcast for VARA (Dutch radio) while taking on engagements with the London Mozart Players, Live Music Now and numerous UK music clubs and arts centres.
When her developing career was interrupted by ill health, she turned increasingly to educational projects. Her Sound Wise recordings of the ABRSM syllabus were highly valued by teachers worldwide and helped countless students to build confidence in aural tests and performance. She also held lectureships at London University and Middlesex University. Later, she spent nearly 9 years in Africa, where she was Director of the Kenya Conservatoire of Music, working on various schemes for teachers and students in co-operation with the Ministry of Education, the British Council and the American Embassy. For little light relief, she composed and directed the music at the National Theatre in the annual Nairobi Christmas pantomime.
She has been composer-in-residence at Theatro Technis where she has provided incidental and vocal music for the theatre's very diverse productions of Shakespeare and ancient Greek drama. Otherwise, she teaches the piano and plays it, with the greatest pleasure, as much as possible. As artistic director, she has taken a major part in founding the Ealing Autumn Festival.