• Four specially curated, intimate concerts from January to June 2023
  • Programme’s themes include Emerging Art, Women in Art, Art in Conflict and Three Trios
  • Tickets are now on sale here

Following a successful collaboration during London Art Week and the first four concerts of the residency from September to November 2022, the Philharmonia and Cromwell Place are now delighted to announce the programme for the second half of the residency from January – June 2023. Members of the Philharmonia have formed ensembles and selected music to reflect the themes of the changing exhibitions at Cromwell Place.

The concerts are held in Cromwell Place’s Pavilion Gallery, their largest space, and their historical Lavery Studio, the former studio of prominent British society painter Sir John Lavery (1856-1941). Tickets include a glass of prosecco or non-alcoholic equivalent, and entry to all the exhibition spaces at Cromwell Place.

The first concert of 2023 (Emerging Art, 28 January) includes Dvořák’s popular ‘American’ Quartet – one of the fruits of his time running the National Conservatory of Music in New York in the 1890s where he was introduced to African-American spirituals by a student, Harry T Burleigh, who became one of the first prominent Black American classical composers. The quartet is full of melodies inspired by spirituals and other American folk music. The four movements of Dvořák’s quartet are interspersed with Burleigh’s arrangement of Deep River, music by Mexican composer Diana Syrse in which the string players also play pre-Columbian instruments, and a brand new short piece by Yshani Perinpanayagam. Her piece was written especially for this series, to accompany Cromwell Place’s exhibitions championing young and emerging artists.

The second concert (Women in Art, 11 March) complements Cromwell Place’s focus on women in art for Women’s History Month. Four members of the Philharmonia’s cello section have put together a captivating programme showcasing women composers past and present, and memorable female characters from film and opera. Barbara Strozzi, a 17th century composer of exquisite songs, rubs shoulders with two living composers, Roxana Panufnik and Rosie Trentham. Women in leading roles are represented by music from Richard Strauss’s opera Der Rosenkavalier, the classic Audrey Hepburn movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and a new suite from Madam Butterfly arranged by the ensemble.

Music by Ukrainian Borys Lyatoshynsky and Russian Dmitri Shostakovich, composed during the Second World War, accompanies Cromwell Place’s Art in Conflict (1 April). Both composers trod the tightrope of working under the Soviet authorities while expressing their own truth. Both won the Stalin Prize (Shostakovich for the work in today’s programme), but also had their music denounced by the regime, risking arrest or worse. Lyatoshynsky’s beguiling quartet incorporates Ukrainian and Polish folk songs and dances, reflecting his family’s heritage. Shostakovich’s quintet, composed so that he could perform as pianist with Moscow’s leading string quartets, features a hauntingly beautiful Fugue and a poetic Intermezzo among its five movements.

The fourth concert (1 June) features Three Trios. Debussy and Bax both wrote their trios in anguished times – Debussy during the First World War, and Bax (Streatham born and bred, but fascinated by all things Irish) in the aftermath of the Easter Rising. But there’s no sign of violence or distress in their music. Debussy’s sonata conjures an ethereal, dreamy atmosphere, and Bax’s trio seems to hark back to times long past, flute and viola singing over an intricate harp accompaniment. The music of British composer and flautist David Heath spans an eclectic range of influences, from jazz and funk to minimalism, rap and Celtic folk. His new trio was commissioned by flautist Samuel Coles with support from the Philharmonia, to complement the other pieces in this captivating programme.

Tickets for the Philharmonia Concerts at Cromwell Place are on sale now and can be purchased here.

The Philharmonia recital series at Cromwell Place is supported by NJA Limited.