17 May 2021

Wigmore Hall set to celebrate 120th anniversary

By Lark Music
Wigmore Hall

Congratulations to Wigmore Hall’s nine new Associate Artists who have been appointed by director John Gilhooly.

Wigmore Hall has committed to a five-year relationship with each artist and will present each musician at least once every season.

The artists are Nitin Sawhney (composer/performer), Amjad Ali Khan (sarod), Amaan Ali Bangash (sarod), Ayaan Ali Bangash (sarod), Lawrence Power (viola), Gweneth Ann Rand (soprano), Trish Clowes (saxophone), Elaine Mitchener (vocal and movement artist) and Christian McBride (jazz bass).

In another exciting move, joining Wigmore Hall’s family of partners is the African Concert Series spearheaded by pianist Rebeca Omordia who will be the subject of Lark Music’s next big interview. Rebeca, who was born in Bucharest to a Romanian mother and Nigerian father, moved to England after winning a scholarship.

In 2009, when cellist Julian Lloyd Webber was judging the Delius Competition at Birmingham Conservatoire he noted she was ‘clearly the very best’. He said: “Rebeca’s technique knows no bounds but, more importantly, she plays with a depth of insight and understanding which is all too rare.”

The Wigmore Hall series reflects the depth and diversity of African art music, a genre which forms a bridge between Western classical music and traditional African music.

After a year of streaming more than 200 concerts by 360 artists to more than six million viewers and radio listeners, Wigmore Hall will welcome live audiences from May 17.

A 25-concert re-opening festival will culminate in a major celebration of Wigmore Hall’s 120th anniversary on May 31.

The festival will run from May 17 to June 3 and feature leading artists including Louise Alder, Mary Bevan, Michael Collins, Alice Coote, Doric and Heath Quartets, Angela Hewitt, Stephen Hough, Steven Isserlis, Sir András Schiff, Dame Mitsuko Uchida and Roderick Williams.

Director John Gilhooly told Lark Music that “he cannot wait to see audiences come back through the doors”.

He said: “It will be a huge joy to hear applause in our auditorium once again. Initially, there will be socially distancing but as every day passes, I am more optimistic that we are heading back towards full houses by the autumn.

“Let’s hope that the national vaccination programme continues doing so well and that Europe and the rest of the world begin to catch up.

“We cannot begin to contemplate a truly international programme until this virus is controlled in each and every international territory.”

The first live concert on Monday May 17 at 1pm will feature Michael Collins, clarinet, and Michael McHale, piano. At 7.30pm Steven Isserlis, cello; Irène Duval, violin, and Mishka Rushdie Momen, piano, will perform Beethoven, György Kurtág and Schubert.

Visit wigmore-hall.org.uk

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