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Stratford festival to open with flourish; Classical.

Byline: PATSY FULLER

AN AUTUMN feast of classical music is being prepared for a festival in Warwickshire.

Leading British cellist Natalie Clein, pianist John Lill and the Academy of St Martin in the Fields chamber ensemble are some of the top musicians lined up for Stratford music festival, from October 10 to October 19.

Popular trumpet player Crispian Steele-Perkins will help launch the festival with a fanfare when he joins the Warwickshire-based singers of Armonico Consort and soprano Elin Manahan Thomas for the opening concert on October 11.

Natalie Clein will team up with pianist Julius Drake to play Bach, Schubert and Brahms on October 12 and the chamber musicians of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields will play Mendelssohn, Brahms and Strauss on October 14.

Pianist John Lill, who has a huge following in Coventry and Warwickshire, will play Mozart, Schumann, Brahms and Beethoven on October 16.

Other classical highlights include lunchtime concerts by the Harpham String Quartet on October 17, and violinist Alexander Sitkovetsky and pianist Olga Sitkovetsky on October 16.

The festival will have at least one Shakespeare connection. Hatstand Opera will perform 120 Lovers and Counting, a celebration of the Bard's most famous lyrics as set by composers from Purcell to Verdi and Stephen Sondheim to Johnny Dankworth, on October 17.

The closing day of the festival will include a family concert by the Warwickshire Symphony Orchestra and choral masterpieces from the festival chorus and the town's own Orchestra of the Swan..

The concerts take place at various venues across the town.

For full details call 01789 298197 or visit www.stratfordmusicfestival.com.

THE humble recorder will be centre of attention at a concert in Coventry tomorrow when Warwickshire music teacher Louise Fairbrother joins the North Warwickshire Chamber Orchestra as soloist.

Louise, who lives in Leamington, is head of music at Southam College. She will be the soloist in a concert at St George's Church, Coundon, featuring a concerto for recorder and string orchestra called The Piper of Dreams.

Louise studied music at Exeter University where she won the university's concerto competition playing The Piper of Dreams, composed by Christopher Ball. She later studied for a Masters degree at Birmingham Conservatoire where she won the recorder prize.

The concert will be conducted by Paul Godman who is organist at the church. The other works are Mendelssohn's overture The Fair Melusine and Haydn's London symphony.

Tickets pounds 6 and pounds 4 (concessions) at the door. More details from Paul on 024 7640 3087.

THE voices of Ensemble 1685 can be heard at Caludon Castle Park, Coventry, on Sunday afternoon.

They will be singing from 2.30pm to 4pm as part of Coventry City Council's Bands in the Park programme.

Ensemble 1685 was formed in 2005 from singers associated with Coventry Cathedral. With more than 200 public performances, the ensemble has built up a reputation for inspirational music-making in Coventry, Warwickshire and beyond. The ensemble performs all kinds of vocal music, from Renaissance masters to the present day, including large-scale works by Bach, Handel and Brahms.

Sunday's concert is free.

EX-CATHEDRA choir and the Warwickshire-based Orchestra of the Swan are among associate artists of Birmingham Town Hall giving free showcase performances this weekend as part of an Artsfest weekend at the hall.

Ex-Cathedra can be heard from 4pm to 5pm tomorrow and the Swan are playing from 2pm to 3pm on Sunday. Admission to all events is free.

CAPTION(S):

HIGH NOTEs... Soprano Elin Manahan Thomas appears in the opening concert of Stratford music festival next month; STRATFORD SOLOISTS... Pianist John Lill and cellist Natalie Clein.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Sep 12, 2008
Words:600
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