<strong>The Schubert Ensemble of London</strong> performs at City Hall Theatre from 8pm on February 3. The group&rsquo;s founder, William Howard, is pictured second from left. <em>*Photo supplied</em>
The Schubert Ensemble of London performs at City Hall Theatre from 8pm on February 3. The group’s founder, William Howard, is pictured second from left. *Photo supplied

WEDNESDAY, FEB. 1: Founder of the Schubert Ensemble of London William Howard will take the unusual step of describing to his audience some of the music the quintet will be performing this month.

Recognized as one of the world’s leading chamber groups, the Schubert Ensemble will perform as part of the Bermuda Festival of the Performing Arts at City Hall Theatre on February 3.

Speaking to the Bermuda Sun Howard explained: “Depending on our audience this is just something we like to do — we talk about the pieces we do, especially when there are new commissions the audience may not know.”

Lively

The show will open with “a lively piece” called American Rounds for Piano Quartet by British composer Martin Butler. There will also be a piano quartet by Schumann and piano quintet in A of The Trout by Schubert.

The ensemble typically performs around 50 concerts per year and its repertoire includes over 130 works.

The instrumental set up of violin, viola, cello, double bass and piano is what makes the ensemble unique. Its core repertoire is its piano quartet which features pieces by Brahms, Fauré, Schumann, Dvorak and Mozart as well as lesser known composers such as Enesco, Korngold and Chausson.

The group has commissioned 37 major concert works for the different combinations of instruments as well as 45 for its Chamber Music 2000 Project.

In 1998 it was recognised by the Philharmonic Society which named it Best Chamber Ensemble.

During their visit, the group will be actively working with schools as part of their outreach programme. On Saturday, February 4 they will work with an orchestra of Bermuda’s young string students. Each member of the ensemble will work with a different section of the local orchestra in preparation for an afternoon concert for students, possibly including a movement of a Mozart piano concerto.

Following a break the concert will conclude with a fun presentation by the Schubert Ensemble called Barefoot Schubert “everything you have always wanted to know about classical chamber music, but never dared to ask”.

Howard said: “We like to do a lot of educational work and what is nice about this trip is we normally go to a place, do a concert and leave but on this trip we’ve got the chance to do some work with the schools. It’s a nice way to make contacts and to get to know the place.”

Following its Bermuda performance the group have several single trips followed by a US tour.

Performance details:
Where: City Hall Theatre
When: Friday, February 3
Time: 8pm
Tickets: Available online at www.bermudafestival.org or at www.bdatix.bm.
Tickets can also be picked up at BermudaTix Ticket Centres or at the venue one hour prior to performance.
The help desk can be contacted on 232-8499 or email sales@bdatix.bm. Tickets are $65 for adults and $25 for students.