The Music news at St George's Bristol

The 24-Hour Flash Sale is back!

Posted: September 8, 2017

Culture Flash Sale for Bristol and Bath! Culture fans can save money on thousands of tickets across Bristol and Bath…

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Making a Grand Entrance

Posted: August 17, 2017

Simon Farley (Head of Fundraising and Development, St George’s Bristol), Suzanne Rolt (CEO, St George’s Bristol), Helen Wheatley and Nick…

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‘Play Me, I’m Yours’ piano lessons pop up at St George’s…

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‘Play Me, I’m Yours’ piano lessons pop up at St George’s… with Chopin for shoppers and Bach for dog walkers!…

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Massive Attack, Banksy and St George’s Bristol…

Posted: August 10, 2017

  What’s the connection between Bristol’s favourite band, the world famous outlaw artist and St George’s? As a social media…

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Play Me, I’m Yours… Artists Revealed

Posted: July 20, 2017

Public get chance to see artists transform pianos for Play Me, I’m Yours First designs revealed and artists confirmed for…

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Last Tango in Berlin… Ute Lemper at St George’s

Posted: June 29, 2017

Senior Programme Producer Phil Johnson looks forward to the visit of Ute Lemper There are, as the saying goes, a…

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Play Me, I’m Yours is BACK!

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First pianos will be delivered for Luke Jerram’s Play Me, I’m Yours street pianos project in Bristol as sponsors are…

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Bristol music venues awarded £1.3 million to boost music in the city

Posted: June 28, 2017

Bristol Music Consortium – Bristol Music Trust, the independent charity responsible for Colston Hall, and St George’s Bristol – have…

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The Bella Union Takeover

Posted: June 26, 2017

by Louise Orchard I was a precocious child. A C86 fan when my teenybopper contemporaries were into Kylie Minogue and…

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Not your average pianist…

Posted: June 22, 2017

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…

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Folk is the preacher…

Posted: June 5, 2017

Senior Programme Producer Phil Johnson reflects on folk music and why it sounds great in St George’s, and previews a…

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Summer Closure

Posted: June 1, 2017

Tickets for the new season are still available online, and by phone during weekday opening hours (Monday-Friday, 9am-6pm) Book now……

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Musical Connections to the Deep South

Posted: May 18, 2017

Roger Griffith, author of ‘My American Odyssey’ shares his thoughts on Music of the Deep South — in response to…

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Carleen is coming! (and all that gospel)

Posted: May 7, 2017

Carleen is coming! (and all that gospel) By Phil Johnson, Senior Programme Producer You can keep Adele and even Beyonce….

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Chineke! Orchestra at St George’s…

Posted: April 24, 2017

                CHINEKE! ORCHESTRA BRINGS DIVERSITY TO BRISTOL ON ST GEORGE’S DAY DIVERSITY is…

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Composer in Focus – Shostakovich

Posted: April 21, 2017

Composer in Focus – Dmitri Shostakovich Name: Dmitri Shostakovich Dates: 1906-1975 Country of Birth: Russia (former Soviet Union) Musical Era: 20th Century  …

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A brief history of FILMIC…

Posted: March 29, 2017

by Phil Johnson, Senior Programme Producer Bristol’s FILMIC festival, which began in 2012, had its origins in the friendship between myself…

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Mark Springer

Posted: March 22, 2017

___________________________________________________________________________ When I began producing concerts for St George’s in 2002, one of my early dates was a double bill…

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Composer in Focus: Monteverdi

Posted: March 10, 2017

Composer in Focus – Claudio Monteverdi Name: Claudio Giovanni Antonio Monteverdi Dates: 1567-1643 Country of Birth: Italy Musical Era: Renaissance/Baroque Monteverdi was a…

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A brief introduction to Qawwali music – Music of the mystics

Posted: March 7, 2017

  Ahead of the UK tour this month with Rizwan-Muazzam Qawwali, Soni Kaur, Asian Arts Agency’s Marketing and Events Assistant,…

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MULTI-MILLION POUND EXTENSION WORK STARTS AT ST GEORGE’S

Posted: February 27, 2017

MULTI-MILLION POUND EXTENSION WORK STARTS AT ST GEORGE’S   CONSTRUCTION work is starting on a £6 million project to transform…

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The final countdown …

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The final countdown … The construction works at the heart of our Building a Sound Future project are now underway….

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What is a prepared piano..?

Posted: February 15, 2017

Well prepared… Getting ready for John Cage’s ‘Sonatas and Interludes’ Later this month we welcome the acclaimed pianist David Greilsammer,…

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Shake the Chains

Posted: February 13, 2017

A unique celebration of music and its role in social change and resistance From the industrial revolution, universal suffrage and…

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Composer in Focus – Debussy

Posted: February 10, 2017

Composer in Focus – Claude Debussy Name: Claude-Achille Debussy Dates: 1862-1918 Country of Birth: France Musical Era: Early 20th Century   While…

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An interview with… Dobrinka Tabakova

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It was in a daytime talk by Jonathan James that St George’s Bristol CEO Suzanne Rolt first discovered the music…

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Filmic 2017

Posted: February 7, 2017

We are delighted to be teaming up with Watershed and Colston Hall for Filmic 2017 – our annual look at the…

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Musings from a Senior Programme Producer…

Posted: January 24, 2017

St George’s Senior Programme Producer Phil Johnson, tells us about some of the artists and shows he’s booked for the…

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Nicholas McCarthy Interview

Posted: January 18, 2017

An interview with Nicholas McCarthy, pianist If you’ve watched the BBC Proms or Leeds Piano Competition on television in the…

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Strange Face…

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Adventures with a lost Nick Drake recording… A ‘lost’ version of the classic Nick Drake track ‘Cello Song’ provides the jumping-off…

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24-hour Flash Sale! 19 January from 10am

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  Bristol’s biggest music, theatre and art venues will again unite to offer discounted tickets in a 24-hour flash sale…

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Composer in Focus – Haydn

Posted: January 9, 2017

Composer in Focus – Franz Joseph Haydn Name: Franz Joseph Haydn Dates: 1732-1809 Country of Birth: Austria Musical Era: Classical…

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ST GEORGE’S NEW SEASON ON SALE – FROM THE OAE TO OMAR

Posted: December 2, 2016

WORLD-CLASS music covering classical, folk, jazz and world, plus family and spoken word events, feature in the new season at…

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Innovation 216 at St George’s

Posted: November 30, 2016

A grand finale for ‘The Art of Flight’ We may have seen something of a record here at St George’s…

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Composer in Focus – Handel

Posted: November 25, 2016

Composer in Focus – George Frideric Handel Name: George Frideric Handel Dates: 1685-1759 Country of Birth: Germany Musical Era: Baroque   Handel…

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BRISTOL’S BIGGEST ARTS CROWDFUND LAUNCHES

Posted: November 24, 2016

  MUSIC-LOVERS are being asked to support the city’s biggest and most ambitious arts crowdfunding appeal to date, in aid…

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Happy Birthday Trevor Pinnock!

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Trevor Pinnock CBE Trevor Pinnock is one of the UK’s most accomplished and loved conductors and harpsichordists, and we are…

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Exhibition takes flight…

Posted: November 14, 2016

A fantastic exhibition of aviation inspired art has opened in our Doric Room gallery, as part of our year-long ‘Art of Flight’ series. Acclaimed Wiltshire artist…

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Graham Fitkin on ‘Wing’

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We are delighted to have been able to commission a brand new work by composer Graham Fitkin for ‘The Art…

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The Best of The West Arrives in Bristol

Posted: October 31, 2016

The team behind Best of Britannia (BOB) heads to St George’s Bristol on the 5 and 6 November. BOB is a celebration…

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Composer in Focus – Schumann

Posted: October 21, 2016

Composer in Focus – Robert Schumann Name: Robert Schumann Dates: 1810-1856 Country of Birth: Germany Musical Era: Romantic   Never to…

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A Double Anniversary…

Posted: October 6, 2016

40 Years of Music… 30 Years of Evening Concerts This month sees St George’s reaching not one but two important…

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The Troubadour 50th gallery

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The Troubadour in Waterloo Street, Clifton, has been described as the most famous and influential folk club outside London. Running from Friday…

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Laura Wade on ‘Kreutzer vs. Kreutzer’

Posted: September 29, 2016

Passion ~ Music ~ Murder Laura Wade on Kreutzer vs Kreutzer Did she or didn’t she?  Only you can decide….

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Sisters With Voices sing out at St George’s Bristol

Posted: September 23, 2016

AN ALL-FEMALE line up of local artists pays tribute to Bristol civil rights leaders with an event presented by Ujima…

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New Music for Concorde…

Posted: September 14, 2016

NEW MUSIC FOR CONCORDE (AND BRISTOL’S AVIATION PAST) A brand new music composition inspired by Concorde’s final flight, and Bristol’s…

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Composer in Focus – Tchaikovsky

Posted: September 9, 2016

Composer in Focus – Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Name: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Dates: 1840-1893 Country of Birth: Russian Empire Musical Era: Romantic…

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Bristol International Piano Duo Festival

Posted: September 8, 2016

The Bristol International Piano Duo Festival is back! With less than two months to go, final preparations are taking place…

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24-Hour September Flash Sale for City Arts

Posted: September 5, 2016

    BARGAIN hunters looking to save money on music, theatre, cinema, art, exhibitions and more, can take advantage of…

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Beyond the Barline: Autumn 2016

Posted: August 24, 2016

  Classical Music at the Movies with Jonathan James, David Bednall and Michael Beek ‘Beyond The Barline’ returns this coming…

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Search is on for one of the lesser starts of The Troubadour Club… An old wooden cartwheel!

Posted: August 23, 2016

ORGANISERS of a major folk reunion concert are calling on people to check sheds and gardens for the old wooden…

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Composer in Focus – Telemann

Posted: July 29, 2016

Composer in Focus – Georg Philipp Telemann Name: Georg Philipp Telemann Dates: 1681-1767 Country of Birth: Germany Musical Era: Baroque Telemann was something…

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St George’s Sets Build Start Date After Major Grant Award

Posted: July 12, 2016

BUILDING work is set to start on the St George’s Bristol £5.5 million extension on September 5, following the award…

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Tuning in for Mandolin Masterclass with Avi Avital

Posted: June 28, 2016

  SUPERSTAR Avi Avital is giving a Mandolin Masterclass to locally-based amateur players before he takes to the stage at…

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Avi Avital – Between Worlds

Posted: June 23, 2016

“Today, the mandolin is seen mainly as a folk instrument. I wanted to return it to its classical roots. It…

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St George’s Bristol named as Finalist in Bristol Post Business Awards

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  We are thrilled to announce that St George’s Bristol has been selected as a finalist in the ‘Leisure and…

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FOLK STARS THE UNTHANKS ON A SYMPHONIC JOURNEY FOR ST GEORGE’S

Posted: June 15, 2016

FOLK STARS THE UNTHANKS ON A SYMPHONIC JOURNEY FOR ST GEORGE’S   STARS of folk The Unthanks join forces with…

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Autumn 2016 on sale now!

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  Autumn 2016 is jam packed with amazing concerts, fantastic family events, and inspiring talks. With a fresh new look,…

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New Season… On sale soon!

Posted: June 3, 2016

On-sale dates Mon 6 June – Patrons Tues 7 June – Benefactors Wed 8 June – Gala Friends Thu 9…

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Composer in Focus: Beethoven

Posted: May 20, 2016

Composer in Focus – Ludwig van Beethoven Name: Ludwig van Beethoven Dates: 1770-1827 Country of Birth: Germany Musical Era: Classical/Romantic Swift on the…

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Meet Bristol Symphony Orchestra

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Meet Bristol Symphony Orchestra This month sees the launch of a brand new orchestra for Bristol right here at St…

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Composer In Focus: Mozart

Posted: April 22, 2016

Composer in Focus – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Name: Johannes Chrystostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart Dates: 1756-1791 Country of Birth: Austria Musical Era: Classical  …

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Postponed: Michael Crawford: Visual Comedy Legend

Posted: April 7, 2016

    The Slapstick Festival team are very sorry to have to postpone the ‘visual comedy legend’ event we were…

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Bristol Americana Weekend 2016

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Bristol Americana Weekend is back! 15-17 July 2016 Following on from last year’s fantastic long weekend of Americana (which featured…

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Bristol New Music 2016

Posted: April 6, 2016

Expect the unexpected… Keeping the eyes of the international, new music community firmly fixed on Bristol following the remarkable events…

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HISTORIC TIMES FOR ST GEORGE’S WITH HERITAGE LOTTERY FUND GRANT

Posted: March 22, 2016

LONG-FORGOTTEN stories of St George’s Bristol will be retold as part of an ambitious project supported by the Heritage Lottery…

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Meet Clare Hammond

Posted: March 18, 2016

Clare Hammond Pianist Clare Hammond is fast becoming one of Britain’s brightest piano stars, indeed she has received much acclaim…

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Composers in Focus: Mendelssohn & Ginastera

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Composer in Focus – Felix Mendelssohn Name: Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy Dates: 1809-1847 Country of Birth: Germany Musical Era: Romantic Mendelssohn…

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University Partnership Sounds Sweet Note of Success

Posted: March 10, 2016

  We are delighted to be formally announcing a partnership which boosts learning and music in Bristol! St George’s Bristol and…

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Composers in Focus

Posted: February 19, 2016

Composer in Focus: J S Bach Name: Johann Sebastian Bach Dates: 1685-1750 Country of Birth: Germany Musical Era: Baroque J…

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The Art of Flight

Posted: February 16, 2016

A celebration of fugue and flight in 2016… Melodies that chase each other from one side of the page to…

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FILMIC 2016

Posted: February 9, 2016

Filmic is back… Our annual celebration of all things ‘filmic’ returns with gigs and screenings that highlight the symbiotic relationship between…

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‘The Fringe’ at St George’s

Posted: February 3, 2016

Fringe Benefits… Friday 12 & Saturday 13 February 2016 St George’s Bristol is delighted to be part of ‘The Fringe’,…

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Ed Cooke: Grand Memory Master

Posted: January 25, 2016

The Musical Memory Palace | Friday 5 February, 7pm Aurora Orchestra returns in February with another thought-provoking evening of music;…

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The Mechanics of Throat Singing

Posted: January 22, 2016

Anda Union | The Mechanics of Throat Singing To understand how throat singing works, one must first understand some basic…

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24 Hour Flash Sale – Fri 15 Jan

Posted: January 13, 2016

#Flashtag 24 Hour Flash Sale – Friday 15 January 2016 St George’s joins forces with other music venues, theatres, art galleries,…

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Filmic 2016

Posted: January 7, 2016

Filmic does The Bristol Sound 2016 is a big year for ‘The Bristol Sound’: 25 years since the release of…

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Slapstick Festival 2016

Posted: November 6, 2015

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).

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Natalie Clein Update

Posted: October 28, 2015

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

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Poised to listen… …. .

Posted: October 19, 2015

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

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St George’s secures funding for new music…

Posted: October 14, 2015

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.

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Launching Apollo

Posted: October 5, 2015

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

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An interview with Catrin Finch

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It’s wonderful to have her back! Here Catrin Finch answers our questions before her concert on Friday 9 October. You…

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An Interview with Barb Jungr

Posted: September 14, 2015

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.

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Andrew Lloyd Webber Funding!

Posted: September 1, 2015

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).

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Music Mentors Continues…

Posted: August 27, 2015

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.

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Bach Doubles

Posted: August 13, 2015

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.

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Mud Morganfield / Sunday 12 July

Posted: May 15, 2015

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.

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Sounds Inspiring – 14-27 June 2015

Posted: May 11, 2015

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.

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Sounds of spring and enchanting Mozart…

Posted: May 5, 2015

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.

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Bristol Folk Festival – FREE Events!

Posted: April 24, 2015

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!

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10% Off at Boston Tea Party!

Posted: April 23, 2015

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.

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Bristol Americana Weekend

Posted: March 25, 2015

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

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Julian Lloyd Webber Interview

Posted: March 23, 2015

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.

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Appeal Funding News…

Posted: March 13, 2015

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.

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The Clarinet and Jazz

Posted: March 4, 2015

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

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Exhibition: Journey into Exile

Posted: February 23, 2015

Art Refuge UK – Journey into Exile Exhibition Journey into Exile: Part 1 The art in this exhibition is taken…

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A Digital Future for Indian Classical Music

Posted: January 28, 2015

“I can’t remember a particular day that I was initiated into the world of music,” Amjad Ali Khan says. “It was a part of me from as early as I can remember.”

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Highly Strung… An Interview with Thomas Gould

Posted: January 27, 2015

He has become something of a familiar face at St George’s of late and this Friday (30 Jan) violinist Thomas Gould returns to the stage, this time without Aurora Orchestra following his lead.

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The Piano Man: Ulrich Gerhartz

Posted: January 22, 2015

“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.”

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Hang-ing with Manu Delago…

Posted: October 30, 2014

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.

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SCENE NORWAY PLUS

Posted: October 16, 2014

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’.

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Review: Friday 3 October – Bill Laurance Project

Posted: October 6, 2014

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.

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A Great Quartet

Posted: September 24, 2014

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.

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The Return of Nic Jones

Posted: September 22, 2014

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.

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

Posted: September 19, 2014

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.

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An Evening with Roger McGuinn

Posted: August 29, 2014

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.

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So many strings to his bow…

Posted: August 19, 2014

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

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All That Jazz

Posted: July 15, 2014

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.

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With Great Pleasure…

Posted: July 14, 2014

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.

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R.I.P Bobby Womack, 1944-2014

Posted: June 30, 2014

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.

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Americana

Posted: June 27, 2014

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.

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Dawn Cooper: The Artist Behind The Art

Posted: June 20, 2014

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.

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Interview with MILOŠ

Posted: June 10, 2014

Charming interview! (Check the finger nails!)

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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.

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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.

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Buskaid Soweto String Ensemble

Posted: May 30, 2014

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.

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Towards Silence – Soul Music

Posted: May 23, 2014

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.

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

Posted: May 20, 2014

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.

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Matthew Halsall – Thursday 29th May, St George’s – Soul Global

Posted: May 19, 2014

Listening to ‘When The World Was One’,  the new album by Matthew Halsall (to be released on the Monday following…

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

Posted: May 15, 2014

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.

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Filmic 2014 Review: Jocelyn Pook Ensemble

Posted: May 13, 2014

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.

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An Interview with Leonard Elschenbroich

Posted: April 29, 2014

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.

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REVIEW: O Bro

Posted: April 28, 2014

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

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Ears wide open

Posted: April 24, 2014

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

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A message from the lovely Lesley

Posted: April 1, 2014

I love a challenge!

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Soul Global

Posted: March 18, 2014

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.

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In search of the perfect piano…

Posted: March 12, 2014

Would I be willing to travel to the ends of the earth in pursuit of ‘just the right’ piano for St George’s? Maybe, just maybe…

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Tord Gustavsen Ensemble

Posted: March 10, 2014

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.

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KLEZMER VS. CLASSICAL

Posted: March 6, 2014

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…

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Guitarists…

Posted: February 21, 2014

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.

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Q&A with Christian Wallumrød

Posted: February 20, 2014

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

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Christian Wallumrød…

Posted: February 14, 2014

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.

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The Royal Academy.. Small ensemble, BIG sound.

Posted: February 10, 2014

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.

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Police Dog Hogan

Posted: January 27, 2014

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…

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Three Cane Whale

Posted: January 21, 2014

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.

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O Brother… Music for the Coen’s

Posted: January 10, 2014

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.

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Olivia Chaney

Posted: January 6, 2014

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.

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