Concerts – The Locrian Ensemble
Led by our musical patron, Justin Pearson, the Locrian Ensemble perform throughout Cumbria, giving concerts in venues such as Tirril Village Hall. They have also performed in fundraising concerts in prestigious venues such as Greystoke Castle.
Annie Mawson of Sunbeams Music Trust said; ‘We are indeed fortunate to have, as one of our Musical Patrons, the world-renowned Cellist, Justin Pearson. He is putting Penrith on an equal footing with venues such as Hollywood and Sydney by bringing us Britain’s busiest chamber music group.’
Justin is a man of many talents, who wears many hats, or should we say, wigs! He is one of London’s busiest and most versatile musicians. As well as Artistic Director of the Locrian Ensemble, he is Principal Cellist of the National Symphony Orchestra, and guest Principal of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the English Sinfonia Orchestra. He has played chamber music at Downing Street, performed by invitation for the Queen at the Commonwealth Institute and for the Prince and the late Princess of Wales at Hampton Court. Justin has appeared, often as a solo cellist, on albums with artists as diverse as Jose Carreras, Westlife, Pavarotti, Madonna, The Spice Girls, Oasis, Tina Turner, James Galway, Shirley Bassey, U2, and our own Annie and Rachel Mawson in “The Nightingales”. He has recorded music for films as famous as “Harry Potter”, “The Lord of the Rings”, “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin” and “The Full Monty,” as well as many television programmes such as the highly successful BBC series, “Judge John Deed”. He has just completed the music for the Oscar Wilde Animation films in Ireland, and worked with Stephen Fry on his first film as Director; “Bright Young Things”.
“The Locrians have a formidable international reputation” London Evening Standard.
“The Locrians were spirited and sensitive; ensemble and balance were precise; the result was utter pleasure” The Daily Telegraph.
“A passionate display of virtuosity; time stood still for us” Sunday Times.
Locrians ‘Classics by Candlelight’
Tuesday 12th May 2009 at 7:00pm
Macdonald Leeming House Hotel, Ullswater
The Locrian Ensemble
Classics by Candlelight
A magical evening of enchanting musicand gourmet food at the prestigious and award winning Leeming House Hotel which
is set in tranquil gardens leading down to the splendour of Lake Ullswater.
The internationally-renowned Locrian Ensemble brought ‘Classics by Candlelight’ to Leeming House as a fundraiser for Annie Mawson’s Sunbeams Music Trust. The prestigious soirée evening, which took place on May 12th at the award winning Macdonald Leeming House Hotel, featured the music of Mozart, Vivaldi, Beethoven, Handel, Schubert and Bach amongst others. The Locrians wore evocative period costumes, and within the candlelight setting, the evening blended gourmet food and virtuoso musicianship amongst stunning surroundings.
The Locrian Ensemble are top classical musicians working in London, and have such a busy and varied schedule that they are considered one of the most dynamic groups working in the field of British classical music today.
Bringing together some of the most prominent string soloists in London, THE LOCRIAN ENSEMBLE was formed in 1995 by Sunbeams Patron Justin Pearson and has established an enviable reputation for its recordings, broadcasts and live performances. The group frequently expands, and this provides a vehicle for concerto playing for the group’s key members. For instance, the Locrian Ensemble regularly performs at St. Martin-in-the-Fields, presenting programmes of baroque and classical music, whilst also enlarging, when required, into a compact chamber orchestra.
The Locrian Ensemble are frequently heard on television and on film. Recent recordings include the score for Oscar Wilde’s Fairy Stories in Dublin, as well as Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter film scores. They have also notably supplied the music for popular television series such as “My Uncle Silas”, “Stig of the Dump”, “Animal Hospital” and “Judge John Deed”.
Annie Mawson of Sunbeams Music Trust said; ‘We are so fortunate to have the world-renowned Cellist, Justin Pearson as one of Sunbeam’s Musical Patrons, who brings to Cumbria Britain’s busiest and most sought after chamber music group.’
Grahame Devine, General Manager at Leeming, has chosen to support the charity having taken a keen interest in the work that the Trust does in promoting awareness of and integration amongst deprived and disabled communities in Cumbria. Grahame and the Macdonald family are proud to be supporting such an important and vital cause in improving the lives of children, adults and families with severe physical and/or learning disabilities and mental health problems.
“The Locrians have a formidable international reputation”
London Evening Standard
“The Locrians were spirited and sensitive; ensemble and balance were precise; the result was utter pleasure”
The Daily Telegraph
Oliver Cox and Owen Gunnell, percussion. Ever since these young percussionists started their studies at the Royal College of Music on scholarship they were destined to make a large impression on the musical world, such is their energy, enthusiasm and dedication.
The early fruits of their partnership became evident when they appeared on the televised finals of the BBC Young Musician of the Year, and later attracted capacity audiences and excellent reviews for their first duo show at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
O Duo have performed concertos on many occasions, playing at the Norwich and Maidstone festivals, at St Martin-in-the-Fields, and on tour to Cyprus and Eire. They also work on workshop projects with London Musici and the Philharmonia Orchestra. They are involved at the heart of the outreach programme of the National Symphony Orchestra’s residency in the London Borough of Lewisham in the coming year.
O Duo at St Andrews – part of Sunbeams Festival 2003
Owen and Oliver are invariably hugely popular with their audiences, both young and old, as they can communicate with immediacy and brilliance also introducing their musical material with humour. They have started commissioning their own repertoire – to date, concertos and concert pieces by Brian Wiltshire, Ken Johnson and Allan Hoddinott.
They won the Tap Water Award at the Edinburgh Festival. You have probably heard of the Perrier Awards for comedy. Well, some enlightened promoters came up with the bright idea of a Tap Water Award, which is a relatively new award for top acts at the festival. Olly and Owen won the award for their fringe show, Bongo Fury. They were also chosen as Pick of the Fringe for the second year running.
Sunbeams Music Trust were privileged to work with O Duo as part of the Sunbeams Festivals in October 2003 and in May 2004 – a forerunner to them continuing outreach work in venues throughout Cumbria in 2006.
They have just completed a tour in which they were joined by Chris and Sam to form the Batterie Percussion Quartet. They stunned all the teachers and children who had the privilege of hearing them. As one head teacher said,”Such concerts are a rare opportunity for most children to see and hear top-class musicians playing close at hand. As such, they are a valuable experience for the children involved.”
Locrians Mozart by Candlelight
The internationally-renowned Locrian Ensemble is bringing ‘Mozart by Candlelight’ to High Head Castle as a fundraiser for Annie Mawson’s Sunbeams Music Trust. The Concert, will take place on July 27th at the spectacular High Head Castle and will feature the music of Mozart. The Locrians will wear evocative period costumes, and within the dramatic setting, the evening will blend period delights, a delicious Hog Roast feast and virtuoso musicianship amongst stunning surroundings. The Locrian Ensemble are top classical musicians working in London, and have such a busy and varied schedule that they are considered one of the most dynamic groups working in the field of British classical music today.
Bringing together some of the most prominent string soloists in London, The Locrian Ensemble was formed in 1995 by Sunbeams Patron Justin Pearson and has established an enviable reputation for its recordings, broadcasts and live performances. The group frequently expands, and this provides a vehicle for concerto playing for the group’s key members. For instance, the Locrian Ensemble regularly performs at St. Martin-in-the-Fields, presenting programmes of baroque and classical music, whilst also enlarging, when required, into a compact chamber orchestra.
The Locrian Ensemble are frequently heard on television and on film. Recent recordings include the score for Oscar Wilde’s Fairy Stories in Dublin, as well as Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter film scores. They have also notably supplied the music for popular television series such as “My Uncle Silas”, “Stig of the Dump”, “Animal Hospital” and “Judge John Deed”. Annie Mawson of Sunbeams Music Trust said; ‘We are so fortunate to have the world-renowned Cellist, Justin Pearson as one of Sunbeam’s Musical Patrons, who brings to Cumbria Britain’s busiest and most sought after chamber music group.’
Christopher Terry, who is providing the venue is a big supporter of Sunbeams and has a keen interest in the work that the Trust does in promoting awareness of and integration amongst deprived and disabled communities in Cumbria.
Sunbeams Concert Troupe at St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Trafalgar Square, London
On the morning of one of the few sunny days we had this year the telephone rang. The caller said “Would your Troupe like to perform in a lunch-time concert in St Martin-in-the-Field in Trafalgar Square , London ?” Anybody with any sense would immediately and firmly say NO. However there is an impulsive side to Sunbeams that can thankfully and equally get us into or indeed out of trouble in the blink of an eye. We said “yes” and grasped the moment with both hands. This decision was swift and far reaching and was the catalyst for many hours of hard work, tears and much laughter.
Funding is the forge in which passion is tempered but without the generosity of so many organisations, Sunbeams would be mute and so many others would suffer. We have received amazing sponsorship from various grants and firms – including:
- the Holiday Inn in Mayfair where we all stayed for a greatly reduced rate – from over £600 per night to £45!
- Windermere and Ambleside Lions
- The Holehird Trust, Cumbria Community Foundation
- Frieda Scott Charitable Trust
- Carrs Coaches
- Greggs Foundation
- The Rotary Club of Kendal
We are so delighted that the Troupe have been recognised in this way – for many of them it was the first opportunity they had had to go to London .
Yes, the Concert Troupe existed, but, if we were to take London by storm, it would be necessary to step up the overall standard of performance. This needed time, consultation and foremost the blessing of the actual Troupe.
We had a meeting with them all, gave them the date, and described what we all needed to do to make this prestigious event, a prestigious event. It transpired that a trip to Germany conflicted with our date, several of the Troupe are too frail, and one of the Troupe always went shopping on Mondays! (“But Annie, you KNOW I always go shopping with my Nana on Mondays!”) For them it was decision time, from which there was no return. After considerable deliberation twelve members found themselves available to attend, and then the slog started. Twelve was a perfect number – with just forty five minutes for the entire concert: more would have confused the programme as each member of the Troupe always contributes a solo.
In the weeks that followed we began to think that disaster was the reward and ignominy was the future with a perpetual commentary by the “I told you so brigade!”
Time, threats and encouragement eventually started to show an improvement that became so profound as to prompt the Sunbeams Musicians to decide that they too would benefit from a band rehearsal!
The fateful day marched ever closer with all its risk assessments, evaluations and quotations flying before us like banners into the field of the unknown.
Care staff, one to one, disability accesses, diet, medication, proximity of lavatories, (at all times) coach hire, coach driver, and oh yes the hotel in Berkeley Square W1!
The day arrived and the whole caravan embarked on the coach on Sunday morning, waved off by Peat Lane staff and Kendal MP Tim Farron, for arrival in London to include a sightseeing tour at tea time. Rooms were allocated, people settled in and a lecture on the folly of even looking into the mini-bar.
Dinner at 7.00 and after just one song, in an attempt to prevent the necessity to camp in the square, bed time arrived.
The following morning and after breakfast, with no major events, the coach was boarded and Trafalgar square beckoned.
Our arrival and subsequent ushering to the Green Room proved that the nerves and stress of the Troupe were not even vaguely apparent. They had at last been given a venue (and about time) that reflected the importance of people of their stature. The rest of us considered the appeal of running and or the rapid onset of a nut allergy. We set to and set up all the sound system, which is now quite complicated but necessary. A practice in the main Church was foreshortened by the very early arrival of an expectant audience.
The time arrived and an introduction by our wonderful patron, Bishop Laurie Green that was so complimentary, that we were obliged to overcome our nerves and anyway – it was the Troupes day.
The performance can only be described in awesomely glowing words. This was not an attempt at inclusion: this was a lesson in communication delivered by people who have been marginalised and only want to bring joy and humour to their audience. They are the teachers, and if we take the time to hear them they offer intellect, love and passion. They are examples of truly rounded human beings who were true Cumbrian ambassadors for Social Inclusion in Triumph and in Action.
St Martin-in-The-Field had a capacity audience. Where they all came from I do not know, but a standing ovation is only achieved when the performers are in perfect harmony with the audience and there is no doubt that this happened.
Cumbria accounted for its self in a way that has not before happened, and it is with thanks to Annie Mawson that this triumph was even conceived.
Michael Lawson – Johnson
Director of Project Evaluation
Dear Annie and all the Sunbeams
‘Thank you so much for a wonderful concert at St Martin in the Fields on Monday. It was a triumph, every single member of the Troupe performed brilliantly and the standing ovation was so well deserved.’
Mrs Barbara Kinnear 17th September 2009
‘You were all stars yesterday. Thank you for bringing so much joy in music to those of us at St Martins in the heart of London , a memory to be treasured.’
Maggie Gibb The Royal Society of Musicians of
Great Britain 15th September 2009
Dear Annie and Liesl,
What a triumph! Congratulations on the stunning performance by the members of the group, and of course encouraged by you.
We were thrilled to be there and everyone we spoke to afterwards agreed that they had witnessed something special.
Michael and Anne Bagnall 21st September 2009
‘For me the real show stopper was Lorna Brooksbank. Lorna took a song that has on occasion been known to make me feel quite queasy and turned it into something delicate and beautiful. One of the things that first attracted me to working with the Troupe was their ability to bring something entirely unique and interesting out of songs I’ve heard a million times before, Lorna is a fine example of this…’
Neil Armstrong, Sunbeams Musician
Dear Annie and Michael,
Please share the card with your Sunbeams and accept my thanks personally too.
It was such a pleasure to see, hear and meet the Troupe ‘in person’. I hope and pray the London Concert goes as well and is joyfully received. It was good also to see the way Michael greeted every member as a friend and how you gently and unobtrusively ‘led’ from the background.
Most of all it is obviously such a benefit to many not as fortunate as we are – makes us thankful and gives delight to the musicians and to those who listen.
Thank you for the wonderful concert you gave in St John’s Church , Workington on Thursday 3rd September.
Mrs Evelyn Adams 5th September 2009