Russian Virtuosi Concert
Friday 3 April in the Orangery
Russian Virtuosi, Natalia Lomeiko (violin) and Yuri Zhislin (violin and viola), played for us in 2006 on an evening of the Art Exhibition, and we are very pleased to welcome them back. Tickets are £12, to include wine and light refreshments. Future projects for the duo include a Wigmore Hall recital on 5 June, a chamber concert at the Royal Overseas League on 21 April, return invitations to Russia, New Zealand and South America, and their debut CD for NAXOS later this year. Programme
Händel: Halvorsen Sarabande for violin and viola
Bruni: Duo Concertante, Nos 1 and 6
Dobrinka Tabakova: Maluk Pirin, for violin solo
Cheryl Frances Hoad: Snow woman, for violin solo, dedicated to Natalia Lomeiko
(World Premiere)
Prokofiev: Sonata for two violins, Opus 35 Natalia Lomeiko
Natalia's solo debut, aged seven, was with the Novosibirsk Symphony Orchestra, and since then she has performed with many other major orchestras around the world, and won first prize in the Premio Paganini and Michael Hill international competitions. She has performed chamber music with distinguished musicians such as Tabea Zimmerman and Schlomo Mintz, appearing in concerts and music festivals throughout the world. Natalia has recorded for the DYNAMIC and Trust Records labels. Yuri Zhislin
Already as a schoolboy Yuri frequently appeared as a soloist with orchestras in Russia and Europe. He has won prizes in the Dvarionas International, Pablo Sarasate and Douai Violin competitions. He has appeared in major concert halls and in music festivals throughout the world, with such orchestras as the BBC Concert Orchestra, the London Mozart Players and the Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra. He has appeared on BBC radio and other networks in Europe and the USA. Yuri made his viola concerto debut in October 2005, performing Hindemith's Der Schwanendreher in Zaragoza, Spain. He is Artistic Director of the Russian Virtuosi of Europe and also of the Evaristo Valle International Music Festival in Spain. He is Professor of Violin at the Royal College of Music in London. His recording on both violin and viola for SOMM Records was released in 2005.
[Winter 2008]
The Countess’s Tangerines

16 October 2008

On 16 October David Marsh, lecturer on the history of London and of gardens, gave us a fascinating illustrated talk on the growth of the consumer culture in this country. We learnt what big spenders the aristocracy of the 17th century were. Mr Marsh projected photos of the account books of Robert Rich, the 2nd Earl of Holland. The Countess had also put her name to copious bills listing luxury foods including exotic fruits and vegetables, which were becoming available after centuries of a rather monotonous, basic national diet. Not only did the example set by the Huguenots encourage English farmers to increase their yields by turning and fertilising the soil, but merchants were eagerly importing foreign goods (not only food), and advertising them in such a way as to persuade the wealthy that they were not really luxuries but rather necessities. On one of the Countess’s bills we saw that she had paid 3/- for “Thangoringes” (and, incidentally, a staggering 10/- for just four pears). Gardening came into vogue, and market gardens began to spring up. The building of orangeries and greenhouses meant that exotic fruit and vegetables could be cultivated, and indigenous ones could also be eaten out of season. This cultivation was labour intensive; but yes, the wealthy could eat cucumber in January if they were so inclined.

After hearing about our consuming forebears it was our turn: thanks to the intensive labour of Friend Janice Miles, we once again partook of her exotic canapés washed down with wine. [Winter 2008]

 'The Birds of Bray' 
Thursday 5 February 2009
7.00pm in the Orangery
 Sue and Chris Mitchell, who run “The Birds of Bray”, are no strangers to Holland Park. Some of you might have seen their wonderful collection of birds of prey displayed and flown in the Park on previous occasions, but this will be the first time they have come specifically to The Friends to give us an illustrated talk about them.
  Chris will talk about the hawks and falcons and Sue about the owls. They will have examples of each type of bird with them, which can even be touched; Sue’s barn owl will fly wherever she tells it – or so she says. They are both experienced speakers, knowledgeable and passionate about their extensive collection of birds, with which they have a remarkable rapport. It is perhaps just worth mentioning that all their birds are bred in captivity; none have been taken from the wild.
  This should be a really fascinating evening. We can expect to learn a great deal about some of the most characterful of birds, and have the privilege of seeing them at close quarters. Please book your tickets at £12 each, including wine and canapés to follow, using the Order Form. [Winter 2008]
Christmas Concert
9 Dec 2007
The Orangery was fuller than I can ever recall and a capacity audience were not disappointed by the eighth concert by the Tallis Chamber Choir that we have been fortunate enough to enjoy.

I was lost in admiration at the knowledge and ingenuity of Philip Simms, the conductor of the choir, in devising a new carol concert with, mostly, new music and always new readings with a slightly different balance every year. This year, apart from a wonderful carol by the Netherlands composer Sweelinck (1562-1621), and three traditional English carols arranged by David Willcocks, the Wexford carol arranged by John Rutter and a Basque carol also arranged by David Willcocks, all the songs and carols were composed by 20th and 21st century English composers. These were a reminder of how many good English 20th century composers there were, in addition to Elgar and Vaughan Williams, whose music is mainly neglected these days. I was particularly struck by the most beautiful carol “Here is the little door” by Herbert Howells and “The goslings”, a very entertaining quasi-music hall ballad by Sir Frederick Bridge, whose music is largely forgotten today.

The carols were interspersed with readings by Patricia Williams, which varied from the comical to extracts from Dickens Christmas Carol and greatly enhanced the Christmas spirit.

One must also not forget the four traditional carols in which the choir was joined by the audience, which I thought was in exceptionally good voice, and also the familiar and, for us, almost traditional two pieces “Have yourself a merry little Christmas” and “White Christmas”, arranged by Philip Simms himself.

It was a very happy and enjoyable evening topped off by the wonderful food provided by Janice Miles and copious quantities of wine. [Spring 2008] 

George Law  

Opera Holland Park 2008 The programme for this year has been announced.  All performance dates are now on the OHP website -  We list them below for your convenience, but please contact OHP direct for any queries.

Il Trovatore by Giuseppe Verdi: June 3, 5, 7, 12, 14, 18, 20.  Charity Gala in aid of NSPCC on June 10.

La Fille du Régiment by Gaetano Donizetti: June 4, 6, 11, 13, 17, 19, 21.

The Magic Flute by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: June 28, 30, July 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12.

Tosca by Giacomo Puccini: July 1, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13.  Charity Gala in aid of Venice in Peril on July 9.

La Gioconda by Amilcare Ponchielli: July 22, 24, 26, 30, August 1, 5, 7, 9.

Iolanta by Pyotr Tchaikovsky: July 25, 29, 31, August 2, 6, 8.

Priority postal booking for Opera Holland Park Friends opens on 6 February.  To join the Friends, contact Opera Holland Park Friends on 020 7361 3910 or email Booking opens to the general public on 7 April.  
[Spring 2008]

Winter Warmer
20 February 2008

Our February event was a fascinating illustrated talk - ‘Mistress of the House -Lady Caroline Lennox, Baroness Holland, and her life at Holland House' given by Rosemary Baird, who is curator of the Goodwood Collection.

Rosemary came to know all about Caroline Lennox through researching for her book ‘Mistress of the House: Great Ladies and Grand Houses' and she revealed so many interesting details of the family and the house that is now so sadly diminished. Her talk was richly illustrated with pictures from Caroline's famous Holland House gallery of family portraits and masterpieces from great artists of the day.

The evening attracted an almost full house - including present day relatives of Caroline Lennox! - and resulted in suggestions for a new Friends' booklet based on Rosemary's talk and a group visit to the Ilchester family's country home. The committee is looking at both these possibilities. [Spring 2008]