Lauderdale House was full, with a warm and friendly atmosphere, and the concert began with a short and informative welcome from Pam Dix, Chair of The Akili Trust. She briefly described the aims and purposes of the Trust and thanked all the musicians who were kindly donating their time to the fundraising evening.
The Ledermann String Quartet started the programme with Haydn’s String Quartet in D major. It was a perfect start to the evening, beautifully played and the subtlety of the communication between the players was both delicate and playful.
This was followed by the soprano Siobhan Blake who introduced a trio of operatic pieces charmingly. She sang Handel’s Volate amori from Ariodante, Mozart’s Deh vieni non tardar from Marriage of Figaroand Puccini’s Si mi chiamano Mimi from La Boheme, accompanied by Helen Blake. Siobhan expressed her obvious joy of the music confidently through her voice.
We then had a powerful rendition of Khachaturian’s Sonata Monologue for solo violin by Litsa Tunnah. This dynamic piece was delivered with commitment and accomplished skill and was followed by Pigovat’s The Scarlet Sail and The Silent Music which were beautifully played and brought the first half of the evening to an elegant conclusion.
During the interval there were refreshments and trustees circulated answering questions about the running the Akili Trust. Some of the audience gave donations, some bought cards and bookmarks and others chatted and had a glass of wine. There was a terrific party atmosphere and all the musicians joined in.
After the interval the soprano Emily Phillips, accompanied by Oliver John Ruthven, sang Three Shakespeare Songs by Quilter followed by Copland’s At the River & The Boatmen’s Dance. Emily’s performance was engaging and delightfully musical, and her warm and beautifully clear voice captivated the audience.
Thomas Gould ended the evening with an inventive and extraordinary performance presenting what he termed a ‘sandwich’. Beginning with Bach’s Largo from Sonata No 3 in C, he followed with Long Line by Nico Muhly, (contemporary composer of the soundtrack for The Reader) and finished with Bach’s Adagio from Sonata No 1 in G minor. His poise, control and expressive musicality produced a magical and fitting finale.
It was a memorable and successful evening all round and the trustees have reported that thanks to everyone’s generosity more than £2000 was raised.
Congratulations to all concerned.