Penzance Music & Arts Festival
Music-lovers are in for a treat, with performances by the internationally-acclaimed vocal ensemble, Marian Consort, and one of Britain’s most formidable organists Martin Baker, and includes the Cornish premium of a new piece by award-winning composer Gabriel Jackson. From choral to strings and woodwind, there is something for all tastes. You can even sing with the professionals at a choral workshop. A smorgasbord of home-grown talent includes the outstanding Truro Cathedral Choir, with its girl choristers, and much-loved Mousehole Male Voice Choir, recently voted the best Cornish Choir at national competitions.
Dynamic Marian Consort, which draws its members from the very best young professional singers in the UK, Recently shortlisted for the prestigious Gramophone Classical Awards, the Consort visits Penzance shortly before embarking on an exciting US tour. The group is passionate about inspiring a love of singing and music in others, and, to this end, will hold a singing workshop on Saturday, May 18, at 10.30am.
It has also commissioned an original piece, from doyen of choral composition Gabriel Jackson, who writes regularly for Britain’s top choirs and choral colleges, and has worked with Truro Cathedral over two decades. Mr Jackson has a long connection with Cornwall, through his parents who lived and worked in the county. His father, Harry Jackson, was vicar at Mawnan Smith.
The festival begins on Monday, May 14, with a powerful performance from foremost organist Martin Baker, who is President of the Royal College of Organists, as well as Master of Music at Westminster Cathedral.
Tuesday turns to strings, with a varied repertoire from the accomplished Cornish Quartet, Corineus. Wednesday’s audience can relish the delight of a candle-lit concert of atmospheric Baroque music, by the Heinichen Ensemble, playing period instruments. The group includes best-selling author Patrick Gale.
On Thursday, Truro Cathedral Choir, with its girl choristers, will present a fabulous programme of great anthems, by Benjamin Britten and Henry Balfour Gardiner, and tudor classics from Tallis, Byrd and Tye. Students under 21 enjoy free entry.
The redoubtable Mousehole Male Voice Choir rounds up a wonderful week of melody and harmony, on Saturday, with its grand finale of popular numbers, including extracts from musicals.