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|Dear Friends and supporters,|
Well, I’m sure you will all agree that 2020 is a year best left behind us and our fervent hope is that this newsletter finds you all well. You will be pleased to hear that the RVIPW committee are all fine – becoming accustomed to the obligatory “Zoom” meetings which we have all had to utilise rather than meeting in person, though we all agree that we miss Helen Longworth’s flapjacks..!
With the arts and culture being one the hardest hit sectors to say it has been challenging for us and for so many of our colleagues and RVIPW performers is something of an understatement. But looking on the bright side, the Winter Solstice is now behind us so we are beyond the shortest day. Spring is just around the corner, bulbs are pushing their way out of the darkness into light and so must we. The herculean efforts of scientists and medics around the world has given us – in an amazingly short timeframe – a vaccine to fight this terrible pandemic so there really is an end in sight. I will personally be first in line as soon as I am offered the opportunity of what promises to be a way to return to normality and I expect many of you will already have had your first inoculations if you are eligible. There’s a cause for celebration if ever I heard one!
Although all our efforts to bring live music to RVIPW in 2020 were thwarted, we are beginning to feel optimistic that by July we will be in a position to welcome you all once again to join us in what promises to be one of our most hotly anticipated festivals yet – the dates 14-17th July 2021 are writ LARGE in all our diaries and please be assured we are doing everything we possibly can to make that happen. Many of the cancelled performers from 2020 are already booked in and we have some additional musicians in prospect which we are very excited about. Watch this space… we literally can’t wait to welcome you back.
The feeling is generally that April or May 2021 is possibly too soon to be gathering in a venue for the launch concert, although we will watch the unfolding situation extremely closely and are investigating ideas to try and bring you something before the main festival in July.
In amongst the gloom of recent months there have been some glints of light and some unexpected benefits – one of which is the availability of so much online music and some truly ingenious and creative performances. Some of our personal favourites, for various reasons, are listed below and to get you all into true festive spirit I hope you enjoy browsing through our suggestions!
Wishing you all a peaceful Christmas and a healthy and safe (dare we hope for “normal”?) New Year.
Chair, Ribble Valley International Piano Week
RVIPW’s Festive Favourites!
First, a special message from Scott Brothers Duo, who we will be welcoming back in 2021 following their postponed 2020 appearance…“We ho-ho-hope you can join us this Christmas Eve (Thursday 24th December 2020, 7pm UK Time) for our very festive HO-HO-HOME CONCERT!!! We perform some wonderful Christmas music with brand new keyboard arrangements! There will be a World Premiere of Tom’s animation to accompany Tchaikovsky’s Miniature Overture from The Nutcracker Suite! + Expect a few Seasonal Surprises & Stories here and there!”
Next, Recorded live at St John’s Smith Square Friday 4th December 2020, Jess Dandy contralto and Martin Roscoe piano present ‘Let the Earth Open’, a sequence of song for Advent. From darkness into light at its most effervescent, join Jess Dandy and Martin Roscoe as they plot the most beguiling of Advent calendars. Includes songs by Britten, Warlock, Wolf, Rodrigo, Ravel & Poulenc.
This one is not piano related but very, very Christmassy! A full Christmas concert from The Halle Orchestra – Filmed in Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall and conducted by Hallé Pops Maestro Stephen Bell, this magnificent performance includes contributions from the entire Hallé Orchestra, its family of Choirs and special guest readers. These include Lemn Sissay reading his poem Let There Be Peace, and singer songwriter (and long-time friend of the Hallé) Guy Garvey giving his narration of The Night Before Christmas!
Next, just in case you missed it, is a performance given by Tasmin Little and Martin Roscoe back in October for Manchester Chamber Concert Society. Once again we would like to thank those of you who helped us to send Tasmin a retirement present from us – she asked us to pass on her personal thanks now that she has stepped back from the concert platform for ever.
Finally, the most heartwarming musical story we’ve seen this year, featuring the BBC Philharmonic. This short clip from BBC Breakfast tells how the orchestra transformed dementia sufferer Paul Harvey’s improvised tune on four notes on the piano to a fully orchestrated version – a story to warm the cockles of your heart!
Once again, with heavy hearts we have had no choice but to cancel our plans to invite Tasmin Little and Martin Roscoe, and Victor Braojos to play for us in a one day event on 23rd October.
We look forward very much to welcoming you to our next live event – which we hope will be in 2021. We have already asked Victor to join us during what we plan to be the main festival dates, 14th – 17th July 2021, but sadly as Tasmin is retiring soon she will not be able to join us.
This is a very sad blow both for us and for Tasmin who has had to endure a series of cancellations in what should have been her triumphant and celebratory final year of playing on the concert platform.
We’ve decided, given the circumstances, to offer Tasmin a cancellation fee but we’d welcome any donations towards that if you feel able. Tasmin’s playing has given us and our audiences so much pleasure over the years.
Of course we know that you will be being bombarded by requests for financial support from arts organisations of all shapes and sizes – so many venues are in serious trouble however big or small – and that personal finances are in many cases under severe pressure at the moment, so we want to close by assuring you that it is your loyalty which is of paramount importance to us as we wait, patiently, until we have the pleasure of being able to welcome you back to what will hopefully be our next LIVE event, in 2021.
RVIPW April 2020 Newsletter
I do hope you and your loved ones are keeping well and coping with lockdown quarantine restrictions. If any of you would like to talk about RVIPW business or have exciting ideas for future projects, or even more generally please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org .
We have been carefully monitoring the situation and Government Guidelines surrounding the Covid-19 crisis and with enormous regret we have come to what was in the end the inevitable conclusion that all our events scheduled between 15th– 18th July 2020 will have to be postponed.
I know how disappointed you will be to hear this news – the timing of the lockdown came so soon after we mailed out the leaflets of our programme of events that we have thousands of these now redundant leaflets left over – but at least you will see just what a fantastic line-up we had put together for the summer. Of course, by far the worst affected by this news are the performers themselves who have all seen every booking – and therefore their entire income – vanish from their diaries from 23rd March for the foreseeable future and it has been really hard to make the decision to add to this very long and depressing list on their account.
The good news is that we have been working really hard behind the scenes to ensure that (all being well in terms of lockdown restrictions by then), ALL the artists are available to play for us and will be rebooked immediately. This is a POSTPONEMENT – not a cancellation! So you can expect to hear Steven Osborne, Lauren Zhang, and Martin plus the Scott Brothers and one of our two lunchtime performers during the 2021 festival – please put the dates in your diaries now – it will happen between 14th – 17th July 2021. The actual dates for each performer will be announced nearer the time – the hall is booked, the piano is coming – everything is in place.
The obvious exception to the above list is Tasmin Little, who as I’m sure you know will be retiring in December 2020. The thought that we had lost this event was the most disappointing of all, and we are determined to do everything possible to invite her back before she leaves the concert platform for ever.
We have some very important news for you and another date for your diaries. After much hard work and deliberation we are delighted to announce we are doing everything possible to hold a one day RVIPW celebration, on Friday 23rd October 2020! We are arranging for one of our July lunchtime performers to play on the same day, and we are aiming to hold other events too – maybe a discussion forum in the afternoon, with a pre-concert talk before Tasmin and Martin play for us together in the evening for what will be the very last time at RVIPW. So it will be a full day of events – full timetable to be announced soon – and we do hope you will put this date in your diary straight away! Tickets for this very special once-in-a-lifetime occasion will not go on sale until AUGUST 2020 at the earliest. We will be making announcements via newsletters and on our website and social media outlets.
In case you haven’t had the opportunity to see them yet, we are delighted that Martin has been sending us videos of himself playing his own piano from his home in Cumbria during this quarantine lockdown period! You can watch these on our website here.
He is sending us one a week – as things stand there are currently four to watch – Schumann’s Traumerei, Bach’s Aria from the Goldberg Variations, Debussy’s La Fille Aux Cheveux De Lin and Schubert impromptu in A flat. Next week will be Brahms Impromptu in A major from op118 will be the 5th – keep watching! Martin is also promising to send us an exclusive video which will only be available to our Friends and Supporters. News of this to come – but do make sure your subscriptions are up to date in order not to miss this one.
There are also two other videos there both of which were filmed in the Theatre at Westholme school, our much-missed venue. We have an interview between Yamaha and Peter Donohoe and Martin Roscoe, and finally the Scott Brothers Duo filmed their rehearsal of Saint-Saens “The Swan” when they came and played The Carnival of the Animals for us in 2018, complete with Tom’s bewitching animations.
We hope you enjoy watching these videos, reminiscing of happy occasions spent with us there in the past and looking forward with anticipation and excitement at the wonderful events to come in the future in this welcoming space, on October 23rd 2020 and 14th – 17th July 2021. We can’t wait to see you all there then.
Any tickets already purchased will be transferrable from July 2020 to the relevant dates when they are rescheduled – or if you prefer to have a refund please contact Roger Darling and he will arrange for this to happen. Contact details are on the booking form.
Warmest wishes to you all on behalf of the RVIPW committee,
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MARTIN ROSCOE’S MAY 7TH LAUNCH CONCERT CANCELLED
A message from our Chairperson, Marianne Bailey.
We are sure that, like us, you have been watching the unfolding crisis surrounding Covid-19 closely. The Government advice we are now faced with has led us to the inevitable conclusion that we must take the unprecedented step to cancel our RVIPW launch concert – Martin Roscoe’s solo recital on May 7th 2020.
As Chair this has been the toughest decision I have had to make and I am grateful to the RVIPW committee of volunteers who all care as passionately as I do about our festival for their support in making this decision. In the end, it was unanimous.
Whilst this is incredibly disappointing for us all – and financially it will be a struggle to try and recoup costs we have incurred so far – we will be monitoring the situation as it unfolds over the coming months and we very much hope to be able to go ahead with the summer festival from 15th to 18th July. Of course we will keep you informed.
In the meantime we will endeavor to provide some RVIPW online content to keep you in touch with us. Watch out for further newsletters in which we will direct you to anything we manage to produce – and there will be regular updates on our Facebook and Twitter accounts – plus on our own website www.rvipw.org.uk . So we won’t be disappearing completely and would welcome your input whenever you feel you want to get in touch with ideas, comments or suggestions for things we might do online, please email us at email@example.com or get involved in the social media posts.
Anyone who has bought tickets for the launch concert already – our thanks for doing so – you are fully entitled to a refund. If you would like to have your money back please email us.
Although this is a difficult time for us, it is far more difficult for all the musicians who have watched their diaries empty at a terrifying rate over the last week or so, leaving them with no income whatsoever. Please, we implore you, when the concert halls open again do your utmost to support them – buy tickets, go to concerts and in the meantime buy their CD’s. That old saying goes “you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone” – perhaps the current enforced concert embargo might make us appreciate all the more just how vitally important live music is for our culture and society.
Keep well. This crisis will pass. We are here for your questions and comments and we are hopeful that we will see you in the summer.
Now there has been time to draw breath following the intense activity required during RVIPW itself I wanted to send a heartfelt “thank you” to all of you who came to concerts, and to those of you who sent messages of support and appreciation. Plus of course to the committee themselves who worked so hard – sometimes battling against unpredictable circumstances – to keep everything running smoothly.Once again it was striking how much pleasure this occasion gives to so many people, but it is clear that we cannot continue and thrive on ticket sales alone – so a huge thank you to all who support us in an extra capacity by becoming “friends and supporters” – your contribution REALLY makes a difference. If you are one of those who can’t imagine a summer without “piano week”, please consider signing up for one of these packages –http://www.rvipw.org.uk/frien
ds-and-patrons/ . It was lovely to meet some of you at the Supporters Reception – I wish I could have spent longer chatting to you all but the piano required attention!On with next year’s planning – many of you will have seen in the programme that our dates for 2019 will be Thurs 11th – Sun 14th July. For the first time in my experience with RVIPW we will be including an orchestral concert! In a joint production with Blackburn Symphony Orchestra, on Sat 13th July 2019 Martin Roscoe will perform Rhapsody In Blue, the concert starts at 7.30pm, so put that date in your diary now! Watch this space for further information as it becomes available – we have our next planning meeting at the end of September so I will compile another newsletter soon after then.Enjoy the rest of the summer and we look forward to seeing you next year!Warmest wishes,Marianne BaileyChairman RVIPW
With just two weeks to go until Martin Roscoe launches this summer’s RVIPW on May 9th, excitement is building…
Martin played two sell-out concerts in Lancaster recently – Brahms 1st Piano Concerto with the Haffner orchestra at Lancaster University, (the biggest audience they’ve ever had apparently) and then a solo recital at Lancaster Royal Grammar School last week. There were numerous comments from delighted audience members praising everything from the exquisite sensitivity to the awesome power and over-arching musicianship of his playing. This will come as no surprise to our regulars!
These attributes will be on display for us on May 9th when Martin plays us a delightful programme centred on the theme of dances, so don’t miss out. Of course in addition to a wonderful evening of music we will also be revealing details of the main festival, 18-21st July. Plus you will have the opportunity of choosing which culinary delights you might enjoy from The Mill Outside, who will be providing interval refreshments too. Buy your tickets online in advance to save queuing at the door on the night.
If you can’t bear to wait until 9th May to find out all the details don’t forget that one of the advantages of joining our Friends and Supporters scheme is that you will be sent the festival brochure a week ahead of the Launch concert (on May 2nd). We now have a whole range of packages starting from just £30 so have a look at www.rvipw.org.uk – it’s easy to sign up for these packages on our website using PayPal and there are a whole host of benefits – not least that you will be helping to secure our future.
We look forward to seeing you at 7.30pm at The Croston Theatre, Westholme School, Mein’s Rd Blackburn, BB2 6QU
We are in the final run-up to #RVIPW30 now with just a week to go until our first concert on 19th July – a thrilling musical dialogue between violinist of international acclaim Tasmin Little and Martin Roscoe. The festival opens at 1830 with their pre-concert talk.
Everything is in place now for the week with innovative and imaginative ideas enhancing the usual incomparable selection of concerts on offer over the four days of the festival.
We are excited to welcome Rimmers Music from Blackburn to RVIPW – they are very kindly supporting us with supply of a wonderful Yamaha CFX concert grand from their sister store in Bolton, but will also be bringing some musical gifts and accessories for you to browse through in the foyer AND will be running a fantastic free prize draw – a £30 voucher to be spent in-store. You can enter the draw during the week and the lucky winner will be announced during the interval on Saturday night. (more…)