Anyone who has been in the Vicars’ Hall knows just how special a place it is. Not only is it ideal for our consultations but it lends itself perfectly to chamber-style cultural performances, whether music, literature or lectures. Thus we are pleased to host there the St George’s House Cultural Programme and other similar events.
Each term we offer a different cultural event. Attendance is by invitation only, open to those within the Castle community and Associates of St George’s House. If you would like to enjoy fine music, excellent literature, and stimulating lectures in historic surroundings why not become an Associate of St George’s House? For further information visit our Become an Associate page.
On Friday 7th February, St George’s House presented An Evening of Music by Bach with Cellist George Ross.
George was a student at the Purcell School where he studied with Alexander Boyarsky. During his time there, he won prizes in Porec, Liezen, Marlow Festival Concerto Competition, was awarded the Martin Musical Scholarship fund and was given the Pierre Fournier prize in 2009. In the same year, he won a scholarship to study at the Royal College of Music, and, whilst continuing to work with Boyarsky on modern cello, also cultivated a passion for the baroque cello, which he studied with Richard Tunnicliffe. He has worked with such groups as The Hanover Band, The King’s Consort, the Academy of Ancient Music, the Dunedin Consort, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Arcangelo and Florilegium.
George is a member of the Consone Quartet, dedicated to performing classical and romantic repertoire on period instruments. Winners of the ensemble category at Royal Over-Seas League Competition in 2016 and prize-winners at the International Young Artists’ Competition at the York Early Music Festival, Consone have recently released their first CD featuring works by Haydn and Mendelssohn. Recent UK highlights include an acclaimed debut at London’s Wigmore Hall, performances at King’s Place, St Martin-in-the-Fields, Cheltenham, Lammermuir, Buxton and King’s Lynn Festivals. The Consone Quartet has just been selected as BBC New Generation Artists for the season 2019 to 2021.
On Friday 13th September, St George’s House presented An Evening of Summer Song with Hanna Hipp – Mezza Soprano and Emma Abbate – Piano, which was an exploration of folk songs from different countries. The programme included pieces by Francis Poulenc, Benjamin Britten, IIdebrando Pizzetti and Manuel de Falla.
Increasingly in demand, Hanna Hipp’s most recent operatic debuts were Isabella (L’italiana in Algeri) for Opéra Orchestre National Montpellier, Beatrice (Beatrice and Benedict) for Seattle Opera, where she also sang Dorabella (Così fan tutte); Frances, Countess of Essex in Gloriana for Teatro Real in Madrid, directed by Sir David McVicar and as Clairon in Capriccio for Garsington Opera.
The Neapolitan pianist Emma Abbate enjoys a demanding career as a piano accompanist and chamber musician. Described as “an amazingly talented pianist” by the leading Italian magazine Musica, she has performed in duo recitals for international festivals and concert societies in Salzburg, Lisbon, Naples, Ischia, and Koscierzyna, and at many prestigious UK venues such as the Wigmore Hall, Southbank Centre, Royal Opera House, St John’s Smith Square, St George’s, Bristol and at the Aldeburgh Festival, in addition to broadcasts on BBC Radio 3.
On Friday 5th April 2019, we welcomed back British pianist Alexander Soares, he has garnered a reputation as a pianist of “huge intensity” (The Telegraph), developing a reputation as an artist of formidable technique and virtuosity, with performances of “diamond clarity and authority” (BBC Radio 3 ‘In Tune’). Since winning the Gold Medal in the prestigious Royal Overseas League Competition in 2015 – and his subsequent selection as a solo artist by City Music Foundation – he has performed in major venues and festivals across the U.K., Europe and United States, and broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on numerous occasions. The programme included pieces by Bach, Ravel and Beethoven.
On Monday 17th December St George’s House presented The Marmen Quartet, an evening of Haydn and Debussy. The Marmen Quartet were the winners of the 2018 Royal Overseas League Competition and the inaugural winners of music in the round’s “Bridge” scheme as well the Royal Philharmonic society Albert and Eugenie Frost prize. They were selected for the musicians company concerts Concordia Award for 2018/2019, featured as a selected artist with making music for 2017 and are ensemble in residence with Salomon Smith Chamber Music Society in Sweden. Performing regularly in venues around the UK and internationally, they were founded as the Royal College of Music, London, in 2013. They consist of individually acclaimed musicians Johannes Marmen, Ricky Gore, Bryony Gibson-Cornish and Steffan Morris.
On Friday 8th June 2018, St George’s House presented ‘Across the Pyrenees’, An Evening of French and Spanish Music for Saxophone. We welcomed prizewinning British saxophonist Jonathan Radford. This hugely talented musician has performed as a soloist at major venues in the UK and Europe, including the Wigmore Hall, St John’s Smith Square, Bridgewater Hall, Grieg Hall, Centre Pompidou and Philharmonie de Paris. Jonathan studied at Chetham’s School of Music and at the Conservatoire National Superior de Musique de Paris (CNSM), graduating in 2017 with Masters Degrees in both saxophone and chamber music with distinction. Jonathan was accompanied by London-based Maltese pianist Christine Zerafa. Christine has appeared as a soloist and chamber musician in various venues and festivals in Malta, the United States and across the United Kingdom, and has also performed live on BBC Radio 3
On Friday 23rd February, St George’s House welcomed prizewinning Violinist Mathilde Milwidsky. This hugely talented young musician has enjoyed extensive musical success, including RAM’s much coveted Patron’s Award in 2015 and the Karl Jenkins Classic FM Music Competition in 2017. A full scholarship student at the Royal Academy, Mathilde recently won the string section of the 2017 Royal Overseas League Music Competition and was subsequently awarded a place on the St John’s Smith Square Young Artist Scheme. Notably, she has been broadcast live throughout Europe on BBC’s Radio 3 and Radio 4, Radio Swiss Classic, Classic FM and on the BBC One Show. Mathilde was accompanied by versatile pianist John Reid. A deeply experienced song accompanist and chamber musician, John has played worldwide and has recorded many times for Radio 3.
Natural Numbers, Natural Shapes by Professor Gábor Domokos
To mark the presentation of a Gömböc to St George’s House, Professor Gábor Domokos distinguished Hungarian mathematician, co-inventor of the Gömböc gave a lecture entitled, “Natural Numbers, Natural Shapes”.
The Gömböc was invented by Professor Domokos and Mr Péter Várkonyi. To use the mathematical definition, it is the first known homogenous object with one stable and one unstable equilibrium point, thus two equilibria altogether on a horizontal surface. In other words, it is an object that rights itself up every time, no matter how you move it or where on its surface you place it. The mathematical theory took ten years to prove. The implications for biology, astrophysics, planetology and geomorphology to name just a few disciplines are far-reaching.