: Elizabeth Maconchy
A new way of programming & experiencing women’s music
ReCentred was born out of a frustration with the current stumbling block, which is performing and programming music by women composers. All too often, women composers are either programmed with other women composers (with their gender being the only point of similarity), or alongside their more well-known male counterpart, whether they be husband, lover or brother. ReCentred aims to bring these women into the centre of their own narrative, creating a performance experience which will really help the audience to understand the composer in a wider context. We have developed the first in the series, which explores the life and music of the prolific string quartet composer Dame Elizabeth Maconchy DBE.
Maconchy’s string quartet repertory spans over 50 years - we want to celebrate the breadth of her work by starting and ending the programme with an early (Quartet No.1 ) and late (Quartet No.11) Maconchy quartet. Alongside these will be works by her teacher Ralph Vaughan Williams (Quartet No.2), and her daughter Nicola LeFanu (Quartet No.2). The performance is expected to be an hour in length, without an interval.
Although this programme can be performed in any venue, we are keen to explore alternative concert layouts. In keeping with the ReCentred theme, we plan to perform in the centre of a hall, surrounded by the audience.
There will be a pre-concert multimedia installation to help familiarise the audience with the programme and the players, with a mixture of film, photography, programme notes and live extracts to be displayed around the performance space. Audience members are encouraged to freely move around the space and interact with players from the quartet. Part of the Bloomsbury Quartet ethos is to develop the relationship between performers and audience, to allow audience members to experience classical music in a more personal and visceral way.
Sincere thanks go to the Ambache Charitable Trust and Clare Norburn for their invaluable support.
17 May | Brasenose College, University of Oxford | Preview show |
21 June | Stroud Green Festival
19 October | Ethelflaeda Festival, Romsey Abbey