A prestigious quintet in Alnwick concert

Sarah Beth Briggs, Alnwick Playhouse, Wednesday, April 18, 7.30pm. Tickets £14, £13 conc.

ALNWICK Music Society’s penultimate concert of the season sees the return of Sarah Beth Briggs to Alnwick in her 40th birthday celebration year.

The concert, at the Playhouse on Wednesday, April 18, sponsored by Covance, will also feature the violinist Richard Howarth and the cellist Hannah Roberts, who, together with Sarah Beth, form the Trio Melzi, now in its 12th year.

For the Alnwick concert, Sarah Whittingham (violin) and Richard Williamson (viola) join the Trio and so bring to the programme Mozart’s Piano Concerto in A major and the Brahms Piano Quintet in F minor.

Sarah Beth Briggs was educated in Newcastle and rose to international attention when at the age of 15 she became the joint winner of the International Mozart Competition in Salzburg.

She then embarked on a career as a solo pianist as well as playing with all the leading European Orchestras in prestigious venues throughout the world. Because of her strong links with the North East the society has been fortunate to have had several recitals over the years and it is always a pleasure to welcome her back.

As a chamber musician Sarah Beth has played with the clarinettist Janet Hilton and the ex-Lindsay violinist Robin Ireland, as well as establishing a strong association with the Manchester Camerata.

In Alnwick, she is accompanied by Richard Howarth (violin), whose career includes appearances as guest leader with several orchestras and more recently as their conductor. Hannah Roberts (cello) was a finalist in the BBC Young Musician of the Year and won the Jacqueline du Pre Memorial Award. She has worked with Yehudi Menuhin, Martin Roscoe and Tasmin Little.

The Trio are joined by Sarah Whittingham (violin) from the Manchester Camerata Ensemble who has also worked with the Halle, the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and the Australian Richard Williamson, the principal viola with the Manchester Camerata. Richard has given an acclaimed solo recital at the Wigmore Hall.

This innovative concert is in two parts; the first from the classical period with a work by Haydn – Piano Trio in C major – composed when he was 65 followed by a work from Mozart – Piano Concerto in A major – composed when he was 28 and performed 15 years before the Haydn was written.

The second part of the concert comprises of a work from the romantic era by Brahms, written for String Quintet, revised two years later for two pianos and finally revised a further two years later for Piano Quintet.

The concert begins at 7.30pm in the Playhouse and tickets may be obtained from the box office.

The committee extends a welcome to everyone who would like to hear this remarkable Quintet perform a fascinating programme of pieces which do not feature regularly in the classical repertoire.

As is the Society’s policy, students in full-time education will be admitted free of charge.