Pianist Kathryn Selby is joined by a raft of old and new friends in an excitingly diverse season.

A number of familiar faces and exciting newcomers will take part in Kathryn Selby’s chamber music series, Selby & Friends, in 2018. The season is dedicated to the exploration of new soundscapes and the deconstruction of ensembles, with trios expanding to quartet and reducing to duos. Composers like Messiaen, de Falla, Piazzolla, and Arensky are set to make the upcoming year a thrillingly varied one.

The season kicks off with a tour dedicated to Beethoven, featuring returning young violinist Grace Clifford and cellist Clancy Newman. The programme gives each player their time in the spotlight – Beethoven’s Piano Trio in B, WoO. 39 is joined by his Spring Sonata, his joyful third sonata in A, and the popular Archduke Trio, something of a specialty for Selby who performed it in 2016 to acclaim.

The second tour, aptly titled Alchemy, begins in April, with the return of spirited Finnish duo Vesa-Matti Leppänen and Timo-Veikko Valve. They join Selby for Schumann and Kirchner’s Sechs Stücke in kanonischer Form, Arensky’s nostalgia-laden late work, the second piano trio in F minor, and Brahms’ trio for violin, violoncello and piano, after his sextet in B, Op. 18.

Dubbed A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Romantic, the third tour brings back frequent collaborators Andrew Haveron and Umberto Clerici, sure to be an audience favourite. They perform Mendelssohn’s violin sonata in F (1838), a work that remained unpublished during the composer’s lifetime until 1953, when Yehudi Menuhin arranged it for publication. The work is paired with Brahms’ wide-ranging, atmospheric second cello sonata in F, and Schubert’s late composition, the second piano trio in E.

The penultimate tour of the season explores the idea of “tormented souls”, with Beethoven’s Kakadu Variations and Schumann’s driving G minor piano trio capped off by Messiaen’s deeply personal quatuor pour la fin du temps, a work Selby has successfully programmed before. Star players Natalie Chee and Julian Smiles welcome newcomer Lloyd Van’t Hoff, a young Australian clarinettist.

The final tour in October, Four Seasons, marks the Selby & Friends debut of the Canadian superstar violinist Alexandre Da Costa-Graveline. He is joined by Umberto Clerici, making his second appearance of the year, in a programme of de Falla’s evergreen Canciones Populares, Debussy’s forward-looking, experimental sonata for cello and piano in D minor, Piazzolla’s tango masterpiece The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires, and Mendelssohn’s enduring first piano trio in D minor.


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