Not your average pianist…

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You wouldn’t be alone in thinking classical music is not for you, and one man is working hard to change the perception of a genre of music often thought of as elitist or unfathomable. Meet James Rhodes…

Cosmos Blog 3

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Welcome back Cosmos enthusiasts! It’s been a while, but I am pleased to say that I am back in action…

Slapstick Festival 2016

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St George’s Bristol is delighted to be partnering with the Slapstick Festival, presenting a selection of unique comedy events over the festival weekend (23-25 January).

Natalie Clein Update

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Natalie Clein is just eight weeks away from having her second child and this is affecting her performance abilities earlier than she had anticipated.

Poised to listen… …. .

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Everyone here at St George’s is feeling thoroughly zen after our wonderful Alexander Technique sessions with Gudi Schepokat last week. A number…

St George’s secures funding for new music…

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St George’s Bristol is delighted to confirm that it has secured funding from the PRS Music Foundation for the commission of a new work from one of the UK’s leading composers, Graham Fitkin.

Launching Apollo

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A unique sound wave sculpture spearheads the final stage of St George’s Bristol capital fundraising appeal Building a Sound Future….

Cosmos Blog 2

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Wow – what a fantastic first rehearsal at Cosmos! Last Thursday we welcomed 33 singers into the small hall at…

An Interview with Barb Jungr

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We caught up with Barb Jungr this week to talk music, politics and seizing the day. Here is our interview with her, exclusively for you.

Cosmos Blog

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Welcome, Cosmos enthusiasts, to my very first blog! For those of you who don’t know me, I am Caitlin Callahan,…

Andrew Lloyd Webber Funding!

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We are delighted to announce that The Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation has chosen to support an exciting new education project which we will be launching in the Spring in partnership with New Music in the South West (NMSW).

Music Mentors Continues…

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We launched our MUSIC MENTORS scheme last season with a masterclass for three lucky cellists (by the scheme’s patron Julian Lloyd Webber). This coming season we are thrilled that Xuefei Yang and Craig Ogden have each agreed to run a masterclass for a number of lucky young guitarists during their visit here on Friday 18 September.

Bach Doubles

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Our new series offers all the drama and instrumental contrast of the Bach Double but with two players sharing their love of Bach in their own solo concert each evening – the first at 7pm and the second at 9.15pm.

Green Poems for a Blue Planet Exhibition

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We are delighted to be hosting an exhibition of the poems and illustrations from the books ‘Green Poems for a Blue Planet’ and ‘Verse for the Earth’. The poems were written by Martin Kiszko, the UK’s Green Poet and the Poet in Residence for Bristol 2015 European Green Capital. The illustrations are by Nick Park, creator of ‘Wallace and Gromit’.

Mud Morganfield / Sunday 12 July

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One Friday evening when I was 14 an older schoolfriend called for me to go and see Muddy Waters at the People’s Theatre, Jesmond. I can’t remember if there was a prior arrangement because people just did things then. Anyway, my mother wouldn’t give me the 5 shillings for the ticket (25p in “the new money”) so I didn’t get to go. It’s true that I never quite forgave her. I never did see Muddy Waters, who died in 1983, either.

Sounds Inspiring – 14-27 June 2015

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We’re pleased to have teamed up with Bristol Plays Music to present the first ever Sounds Inspiring Festival, over two weeks of events involving thousands of Bristol’s young people. Taking place in venues across the city, the festival celebrates everything about young people’s music-making: their energy, talent and imagination.

Sounds of spring and enchanting Mozart…

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On Saturday 16 May, Brandon Hill Chamber Orchestra teams up once again with pianist Tom Poster, recognised as a versatile and sensitive musician whether he is performing as a soloist, chamber musician or accompanist.

Bristol Folk Festival – FREE Events!

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The Bristol Folk Festival returns to St George’s Bristol for two full days of fantastic live music from some of the genre’s most accomplished artists. Across the festival St George’s Bristol has programmed a range of FREE activities for all to enjoy!

10% Off at Boston Tea Party!

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We’ve teamed up with our friends at Boston Tea Party and St George’s audiences can now enjoy 10% Off* food and drink at the company’s flagship cafe on Park Street.

Bristol Americana Weekend

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Feat. Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell, Dan Penn & Spooner Oldham, Larkin Poe, Police Dog Hogan and more!
Saturday 11 – Sunday 12 July 2015

Julian Lloyd Webber Interview

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Julian Lloyd Webber, one of the world’s most influential classical musicians, was forced to step down from public performance in 2014 due to a neck injury. On Monday 11 May he visits St George’s for a special evening. Joined by his cellist wife Jiaxin Lloyd Webber and pianist Pam Chowhan, Julian will take his audience on an historical and musical journey, giving an insight into his extraordinary life.

Appeal Funding News…

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PRESS RELEASE: St George’s Bristol today announced it has secured initial support* for a £750,200 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) as part of its current ‘Building a Sound Future’ appeal, a £5.5 million capital project to reconfigure and extend the world class music venue.

The Clarinet and Jazz

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The Clarinet and Jazz It is no accident that New Orleans is widely credited with being the birthplace of jazz….

Design a logo competition!

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We’re holding a competition for young people aged 6 to 11 years old to get involved and put their creative skills to the test by designing a logo for the Sounds Inspiring festival.

The Piano Man: Ulrich Gerhartz

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“Is this the most powerful man in classical music? In an all but invisible way, Gerhartz is probably the single most important figure in the entire piano world, at least to pianists and to concert halls.”

Real St George’s Wedding: Rupert & Sarah

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We were lucky to host some beautiful wedding receptions at St George’s Bristol last summer and we are delighted that Rupert & Sarah have allowed us to share some of the beautiful images of their day.

Calling all Cellists!

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Cellists of Bristol! If you are looking to inspire yourself (or your students) to live up to those practice related…

Hang-ing with Manu Delago…

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Most famous for playing the Hang, Delago is back with a new sense of musical freedom. His new album ‘Bigger Than Home’ incorporates the soothing timbre of the hang with the boundless possibilities of electronic music.

SCENE NORWAY PLUS

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I’d been playing Norwegian music on BBC Radio 3 whenever I could, being pretty much the only UK radio exposure this music was getting. As my experience grew and I became involved with festivals and venues, working with different musicians, it was a privilege to ‘spread the word’.

Review: Friday 3 October – Bill Laurance Project

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what I found inspiring about this performance was its freshness and vitality, its “can-do” delight in taking on a serious challenge and winning, and the evident regard the musicians held for the experience of the audience. There was real sharing going on, and you could see it in the faces of both players and listeners as the music seemed to float on a cloud of mutual appreciation and goodwill.

A Great Quartet

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Emerging from the North East of England in the mid 1970s, the Brodsky Quartet today represents the very best, and over the years they have engaged audiences with ambitious programmes and creative collaborations, proving itself to be so much more than a Classical ensemble.

The Return of Nic Jones

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Nic, who started his musical career in Essex, had emerged among the second generation of 1960s folk revivalists at the end of the decade. His debut album Ballads & Songs was released in 1970 and I clearly remember it arriving in Bristol’s then folk mecca, the Troubadour Club in Clifton, where we nearly wore it out on the club’s elderly Dansette. Suddenly, here was a new performer to rank with other current icons of English folk music like the great Martin Carthy.

R.I.P. Kenny Wheeler (1930-2014)

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The great trumpeter and composer Kenny Wheeler, who died yesterday, appeared a number of times at St George’s, where his unmistakeable flugelhorn sound – simultaneously full-bodied and half-formed, plangent (that inevitable trumpet adjective), melancholy, always distinctive – found a perfect complement in the hall’s celestial reverb.

Amazing Animal Artwork!

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St George’s Bristol recently showcased a fantastic exhibition, featuring artworks created by children from six local primary schools, inspired by Saint…

An Evening with Roger McGuinn

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Just to say that Roger McGuinn performs these songs, however, doesn’t even get close. He’s such a star turn, and so expert a guitarist for solo shows like this, that the songs are no by-rote versions buoyed up on a wave of sentimental goodwill.

So many strings to his bow…

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From bestselling albums and intoxicating live performances, to books, films and charitable projects, Daniel Hope is so much more than a violinist…

All That Jazz

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This autumn’s International Jazz Series continues the story while fulfilling two increasingly vital functions: introducing St George’s jazz audience to important new acts, and presenting the music in as natural a way as we can, with performers playing acoustically, without a PA, wherever possible.

With Great Pleasure…

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On Thursday 24th July the show will feature the favourite works of our beloved actor, Simon Callow. Simon will be joined by Patricia Hodge (Miranda’s hilarious Mother in BBC 1 TV comedy show MIRANDA) who will be reading works by Shakespeare, Dickens, Fitzgerald and more.

R.I.P Bobby Womack, 1944-2014

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No recording artist has meant more to me than Bobby Womack, who died on Friday aged 70. Certainly there have been better and more important singers – better soul singers, even – songwriters, guitarists and producers, but no one touched me the way Bobby did.

Americana

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Originally developed as an alternative radio format to mainstream country music in the USA, what we call Americana has now become a genre in its own right, encompassing popular US ‘roots’ music from country to folk to blues, and from lone singer-songwriters playing Martin acoustic guitars to rocking boogie bands plugged into the mains.

Meet Your Wedding Co-Ordinator

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My role is to bring my wedding expertise to the events team and I do this by offering email support to couples in the planning stages and by meeting with couples a few weeks before the wedding to make a very thorough running order for the day.

Dawn Cooper: The Artist Behind The Art

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This is second season we have used an illustrated cover for our seasonal brochure and this time we wanted to support Bristol talent. Bristol is very well known for its street artists, illustrators and animators. So what about the freelancers this cultural city is home to? Cue Dawn Cooper.

The Treorchy Male Choir Returns To St George’s

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Treorchy have sung popular songs by artists such as Queen and Bob Marley and tonight the choir will sing a variety of crowd pleasers. Perhaps the most potent song choice from this shows diverse lineup is ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’, an incredibly powerful song on record but even more so sung with the strength and passion that Treorchy have.

The Buskaid Story

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2014 marks the 20th Anniversary of Democracy in South Africa. Of the 28 young musicians playing on 11 July, it is worth noting that six were born in the 1980s and can clearly recall life in the township pre-democracy, ten belong to the so-called ‘born-free’ generation, and the remainder were just a few years old in 1994. The Buskaid Ensemble, founded in 1997, therefore represents two very distinct eras in South Africa’s recent past.

5 TOP WEDDING TRENDS FOR 2014

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This year I have seen a lot of DIY vintage inspired weddings with couples stretching their budgets and going for a relaxed vibe with long tables, family sharing platters and a lot of bake off style cake tables in place of traditional desserts.

10 TOP WEDDING BUDGET TIPS

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There are lots of ways to knock thousands of a wedding budget with a few clever DIY tips and by using the talents of friends. Here’s some top budget busting tips from How 2 I Do.

Buskaid Soweto String Ensemble

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An evening with Buskaid always closes with some heart-warming kwela, the infectious and lilting rhythms of township song and dance. When you hear those kids surrender to the sheer joy of playing the old tunes they grew up on, it’s not difficult to see why they can bring the same deep feeling and exuberance to playing Rameau or Bach.

Towards Silence – Soul Music

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I’m often asked how far in advance I plan our classical music season. It can be anything between 3 months and 2 years, but I can now add that one event has been almost exactly 5 years in the planning: the two performances of Sir John Tavener’s Towards Silence on Thursday 10th July.

‘It Began With The Music..’ – Taraf de Haidouks Exhibition

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In December 2008 the Taraf de Haidouks visited Bristol for the first time and played here at St. George’s. I met some of the musicians on my way in and they were warm and friendly, the evening was amazing and I had an idea… Eight months later on 18th July 2009 they returned to the UK to play at my wedding. Their presence and music made for a joyous and magical day.

Taraf de Haidouks – Sunday 25th May, St George’s – Soul Global

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Taraf de Haidouks seen live are an experience you will remember forever. They’ve played St George’s once before, in late 2008, when they launched our landmark Migrations series, and it was awesome. Arriving later than expected, with the Crypt bar already jam-packed for the sold-out show, the band sat down at a long table for their pre-gig meal surrounded by eager onlookers, like some weird version of Leonardo’s Last Supper. Food attended to, and following an extended fag-break outside the box office door, the band took to the stage looking relatively sedate, even nonchalant, as people who’ve modelled for Yamamoto have a right to. After all, they’ve entranced Johnny Depp, impressed Yehudi Menuhin and the Kronos Quartet, and played most of the world’s larger halls.

Filmic 2014 Review: Jocelyn Pook Ensemble

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Following Cath Rymell’s excellent review of the first Filmic 2014 show, ‘O Bro: A Musical Celebration of the Coen Brothers’, which you can read further down this page, it doesn’t seem fair to let the second go without a brief mention, too. Mainly because it was so awe-inspiringly great.

An Interview with Leonard Elschenbroich

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Earlier this year cellist Leonard Elschenbroich came to St George’s for a few days of recording… We caught up with him during a break for a quick chat about this week’s return visit, which sees him performing Elgar’s Cello Concerto and Bridge’s Oration with Bristol Ensemble as part of our series THE WORLD CHANGED.

REVIEW: O Bro

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This was one of those rare occasions when you have no idea what to expect from a gig. ‘O Bro:…

Ears wide open

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Jocelyn Pook Ensemble – Filmic 2014 – Friday 9 May, St George’s Bristol, 8pm. After receiving an Olivier Award for…

Soul Global

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Along with J S Bach and John Coltrane, my favourite music is soul. I remember as a kid seeing Otis Redding live on ‘Ready Steady Go!’, and I bought the 70s albums of Marvin Gaye and Aretha Franklin – for me the two greatest singers ever, in any genre – as they came out.

Tord Gustavsen Ensemble

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When ‘Changing Places’, the debut album by the trio of Norwegian pianist and composer Tord Gustavsen, came out in 2003, it nearly passed me by. It took a telephone call from David Fraser, ECM’s British press person, who’s the most unpushy PR imaginable, to tactfully advise me that I needed to give it a listen.

KLEZMER VS. CLASSICAL

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What happens when you combine the UK’s most creative and innovative orchestra with “Britain’s best Klezmer and Balkan music band”? “Electric fizz and pungent colours” was the way The Times described the creative collision of two seemingly disparate musical genres – and that’s what makes Aurora Orchestra stand out from the crowd…

Guitarists…

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But Renbourn, who’s close to the nicest musician I’ve met, and – unusually for his calling – interested in music other than his own, kept on developing, adding bluegrass picking and Merle Travis-a-billy to the storehouse of styles. His brilliance is also not without effort, and one of the many pleasures of a Renbourn performance is seeing him dig in and wrestle with his muse.

Q&A with Christian Wallumrød

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Performing as part of the Bristol New Music Festival on Sunday night read on for a feel of the Christian Wallumrød Ensemble concert…

Christian Wallumrød…

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When it comes to music, some things grab you straight from the off, asserting their particular effect immediately. Others take time and familiarity before you even recognise what it is you are listening to, never mind learn to appreciate it. So it was with me and Christian Wallumrød.

The Royal Academy.. Small ensemble, BIG sound.

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The sound coming from the hall during these three days was truly glorious: wave upon wave of full-bodied, passionate playing that made me think there must be at least a symphony orchestra in situ downstairs.

Police Dog Hogan

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The one thing most people know about Police Dog Hogan, if they know anything at all, is that Guardian Weekend columnist Tim Dowling is in it…

Three Cane Whale

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It was probably seeing them in concert on a rain-misted afternoon (Saturday June 2, 2012, I checked) in the beautiful setting of the small but perfectly formed 11th century church of Partrishow in the Black Mountains that did it for me.

O Brother… Music for the Coen’s

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It was the Coen Brothers’ debut, ‘Blood Simple’, seen at Watershed (and didn’t we call it ‘The Watershed’ then?) on its first run. After the opening sequence plays out, a black bartender in a redneck tavern puts a record on the jukebox and we hear ‘It’s The Same Old Song’ by The Four Tops, a solid-gold Tamla Motown classic.

Olivia Chaney

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Since I booked her for the gig on the strength of great word of mouth and a few youtube clips that showed beyond doubt that she was a fantastic new talent, Olivia has been signed to a prestigious contract by classy Nonesuch Records and been nominated for two BBC Folk Awards.