A Message from Dr Nigel Yandell, Director of Music
Although we continue to live in uncertain times, I wanted to share some exciting news. Wednesday, 23rd March 2022 sees the welcome return of the college music programme at Hughes Hall. As in pre-pandemic times, non-college members are very warmly welcome to attend. We continue to offer all our concerts free of charge, with a view that they should be attractive not only to college and university members, but also the local community.
While it was disappointing – but clearly necessary – to suspend much of our music programme over the past two years, we are fortunately able to look back on a rich range of events and concerts and pick up again from a strong, well-established base. Over the past few months, the music-planning group has been busy designing an eclectic programme of events that aims to appeal to a wide audience of students, staff, fellows and senior members, as well as the general public.
Although we have just three concerts (and an internal music café) planned for the remainder of the academic year, by next academic year we hope to offer our usual number of events, including concerts with participating partners. We have lots of ideas for the year ahead!
Tuesday 22 March, 8.00 – 10 pm, Pavilion Rm: Music Café
An informal evening of music-making at the popular Music Café. Open to college members only. More info/sign up click here
Wednesday 23 March, 7.30 – 8.30 pm, Pavilion Rm: Mifune Tsuji Trio
We are delighted to be welcoming back the renowned violinist Mifune Tsuji, pianist Paul Jackson and saxophonist Jin Theriault who perform as a unique trio, playing solo and trio pieces from around the world. Enjoy an hour of relaxed evening music, to include pieces by Milhaud, Saint-Saëns, Schulhoff, Rachmaninoff and Piazzolla. More info/sign up click here
Thursday 28 April, 6.00 – 7.00 pm, Pavilion Rm: Of Love and the Sea
Rachel Godsill – soprano
Marie-Noëlle Kendall – piano
From the sun-drenched sea of Chausson’s Poeme de l’amour et de la mer to the tempestuous waves of Britten’s Seascape and the salty spray of Quilter’s The Sea Bird, these songs invite you to explore the sea in all its changing moods. More info/sign up click here
Thursday 5 May, 6.00 – 7.00 pm, Pavilion Rm: A Recital of Music for Two Pianos
Enjoy an early evening recital, with Hughes Hall Director of Music, Nigel Yandell and Alumnus Naoki Toyomura performing piano works for four hands by Schubert, Fauré and Elgar. More info/sign up click here.
It was disappointing to have had to postpone (twice) one of the most ambitious projects that the music-planning group has so far undertaken – made possible as a result of two generous donations to music in the college over the past few of years. This was a venture to explore the music of British composer Gordon Crosse (who sadly died in late 2021), and which included an ‘in conversation’ with internationally-renowned cellist Alexander Baillie at Hughes Hall, and a concert in the early evening at Jesus College Chapel, in association with Jesus College Music Society. The project included the production of a new performing edition of one of Crosse’s important works from the 1980s – Wavesongs, for Cello and Piano – which until now has had only a handful of public performances due to the music only being available in manuscript form. Working with Alexander Baillie (the piece’s dedicatee and performer of the world premiere, Wigmore Hall, 1986), this was to have been performed as the central work in the Jesus Chapel concert. Although currently on hold, much work has been done – and the performing edition has been completed. Hopefully it won’t be too long before the concert can be rescheduled and Crosse’s extraordinary music can be enjoyed by a new audience.
To end this short update, I would like to thank everyone for their contribution to music at Hughes Hall. During my time as Director of Music it has been immensely rewarding to have worked with so many talented and dedicated musicians, and to oversee the continued expansion of the college’s music offering. This simply could not have been achieved without the many hours that fellow musicians and both junior and senior members of the college have contributed, as well, of course, as the many college administrative and support staff who help events run so smoothly.
We look forward to welcoming you at a Hughes music event very soon.
Nigel Yandell, Director of Music, Hughes Hall