Programme 2021-22

20 September
30 Years before the Public
After three decades of delighting audiences worldwide, the violinist Tasmin Little OBE retired from the concert platform last year to devote her time to teaching, mentoring and broadcasting. She talks to Peter Avis about her life and career.

4 October 
Leporello in Chelsea + AGM
A little-known fact about our President David Cairns is that he graced the early days of Chelsea Opera Group as Leporello at his friend Colin Davis’s performance of Mozart’s Don Giovanni. After tonight’s AGM he recalls those heady times in the early 1950s with the fledgling company he co-founded.

18 October
Young Renaissance Man
Composer, conductor, film maker and painter, Noah Max is already established as one of today’s brightest talents in today’s musical world. Barely into his twenties and son of respected professional musicians, he talks to his friend the journalist and pianist Anthony Cheng about his work, growing up in a musical household and the place of music in society today.

1 November
Continuing the line…
…of great British mezzo-sopranos, Dame Sarah Connolly, familiar to audiences from the Proms to Glyndebourne, the Wigmore Hall to Covent Garden, the South Bank to New York’s Metropolitan Opera, talks to our vice-president Ian Partridge.

15 November
Deep Purple and Despair
This year marks the centenary of Sir Malcolm Arnold, prolific composer in all genres including orchestra with the rock group mentioned above. Our vice-president David Mellor presents a portrait of this prolific composer and troubled man.

29 November
Members Evening: Society members choose a particular piece of music and talk about why it is special to them.

6 December *
Veteran Virgin
During his time as Manager of Classics for Pleasure, EMI UK, Virgin Classics (a label he founded in 1988 at Richard Branson’s behest), and latterly co-founder of Avie Records, Simon Foster has been responsible for some of the most significant releases of the past forty years, including Nigel Kennedy’s recording of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and Elgar’s Violin Concerto, and Steven Isserlis’s CD of Tavener’s The Protecting Veil. He talks to Andrew Keener about his life in the classical recording industry.


24 January
Pianists of Today 1
Since his success as joint-winner of the Tchaikovsky Competition in 1982, Peter Donohoe has been among the forefront of British pianists. As much at home in the big Romantic concertos as in the sonatas of Haydn and Mozart, and with an extensive discography in the solo, chamber and concerto repertoire, he talks to our vice-president Piers Lane.

31 January
From one desk to another
After a career as cellist in the Amphion Quartet, the Philharmonia Orchestra and the world of commercial sessions, Michael Hurwitz nowadays occupies much of his time as archivist of the Philharmonia Orchestra. He talks to Andrew Keener about these aspects of his life and of his late father Emanuel Hurwitz, leader of the Aeolian Quartet, the English Chamber Orchestra and the Philharmonia through the 1970s.

7 February *
Pianists of Today 2
Born in Paris and now living in London, Emmanuel Despax studied at the Yehudi Menuhin School, then at the Royal College of Music with the legendary Ruth Nye, pupil of the great Chilean pianist Claudio Arrau. These major influences are reflected in the seriousness, integrity and intelligence of his performances, both in his rapidly expanding discography and in the concert hall. He talks to his recording producer Andrew Keener.

21 February
Leading Lieder Man
Sholto Kynoch wears two ‘hats’: as a pianist and as inspirational Artistic Director of the Oxford Lieder Festival which he founded in 2002, since when it has become the UK’s largest festival of art song. He talks to Putney Music’s vice-president Ian Partridge.

7 March
Managing Matters
In 1982, a young man by the name of Ian Maclay took on the task of Managing Director of the Royal Philharmonic, then on the verge of bankruptcy. Still active with the orchestra, he talks to Peter Avis about a career over which he has presided with aplomb and imagination throughout the changing nature and fortunes of British orchestral life. A colourful and insightful evening is ensured!

21 March
Public Passions. Michael Berkeley, familiar as presenter of the long-running Radio 3 series Private Passions, talks to Martin Neary about his career both as composer and broadcaster, and about his father Lennox Berkeley.

Please note only 1 week between meetings
   Programmes may be subject to alteration

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