Winchelsea Arts aims to organise concerts of the highest quality for the town, support emerging young musicians at the beginning of their careers by giving concert opportunities and raise the profile of the historic church of St Thomas the Martyr both locally and nationally.
The Ancient Town of Winchelsea, part of the Cinque Port Confederation, is an historical, architectural and environmental gem; set on a hill overlooking Romney Marsh and the English Channel, protected by its status as a conservation area, yet easily accessible by the motor car and public transport. For some two centuries, the town has been a magnet for writers, artists and musicians, drawn by its charm, peace and inspiration. Central to these qualities and geographically central to the Town itself is the Church of St Thomas the Martyr.
This Church, of which only the choir nave remains of a much more extensive early 14th century structure, contains magnificent monuments, a unique collection of stained glass windows by Douglas Strachan and features excellent acoustics. These attributes make the Church a perfect venue for concerts.
- Details of all subscription concerts for 2023/2024 are listed here:
Saturday 16th March 2024 at 7:30pm
Violin: Philippe Graffin
Viola: Elizabeth Wallfisch
Cello: Raphael Walfisch
Piano: Piers Lane
Mahler - Quartettsatz (Piano Quartet in A minor)
Schulhoff - Duo, for violin and cello
Smetana - Polkas for piano
Dvorak - Eb piano quartet
Following Raphael’s fundraising concert for Ukraine in 2022 Winchelsea Arts is delighted to welcome him back with Amici della Musica. These outstanding, internationally renowned musicians will present a programme of music by composers who were all born in Bohemia. Between them, they have performed at many of the world’s leading concert halls, including Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, Carnegie Hall in New York and London’s Albert Hall. It is remarkable to have musicians of this calibre perform in Winchelsea.
Saturday 18 May 2024 at 7.30pm
Hastings Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Marcio da Silva
Mozart - Serenade No 10 K.361 Gran Partita
Dvořák - Serenade for wind instruments Op. 44
Mozart’s Serenade was made famous by the inclusion of the second movement in Peter Shaffer’s film and play ‘Amadeus’ in which the character of Salieri said, ‘This was a music I'd never heard... It seemed to me that I was hearing the voice of God.’ The piece is scored for 12 wind instruments and double bass, a unique combination for the era in which it was written.
In May 2024 it will be 120 years since Dvořák‘s death and his wind serenade features many references to the Slavonic style of his homeland.
Saturday 8th July at 7.30pm
The Pegasus Choir returns to Winchelsea with a delightful programme which will thrill the ear and stimulate the soul. The first half will include madrigals by William Byrd, Thomas Weelkes and their contemporaries to commemorate the 400th anniversary of their deaths in 1623. In the second half Pegasus will sing a range of folk songs from the British Isles and beyond, as well as lively arrangements of spirituals from across the Atlantic.
Saturday 2nd September at 7.30pm
Chopin, Liszt, Franck and the Impressionists:
Chopin - Berceuse, Op 57 and Barcarolle, Op 60
Ravel - Pavane pour une infante défunte
Debussy - Ballade, Masques and L’isle joyeuse
Liszt - Deux légendes
Franck - Prélude, Chorale et Fugue
One of the finest British pianists of his generation Gramophone Magazine
Charles Owen enjoys an extensive international career, performing a wide-ranging repertoire to outstanding critical acclaim. This concert will present music three giants of the Romantic era, as well as exploring the major turning point in piano composition at the turn of the Twentieth Century as exemplified by the Impressionists Debussy and Ravel. These composers began writing music which was no longer bound by the conventions of the nineteenth century, using tonality and harmony in strikingly new ways.
Saturday 7th October at 7.30pm
Rautio Piano Trio
Jane Gordon violin
Victoria Simonsen cello
Jan Rautio piano
Bridge - Phantasie Trio in C minor
Beethoven - Piano Trio in E flat Op.70 no.2
Dvorak - Trio No.4 in E minor Dumky
Since releasing their debut album of Mozart Trios in 2016, the Rautio Trio has emerged as one of today’s finest chamber ensembles known for their refined and powerfully expressive performances. With a passion for performing 18th and 19th century repertoire on both modern and period instruments, they have developed a fresh and engaging approach to their interpretations of historical masterworks.
They have performed at the Wigmore Hall, Kings Place, South Bank, Bridgewater Hall, throughout the UK and in France, Austria and Germany.
In 2022 the Rautio Trio launched the first volume of the complete cycle of Beethoven Piano Trios, receiving 5 stars in the BBC Music Magazine and glowing reviews in the Gramophone and Early Music Review.
Tuesday 19th December at 7.30pm
Ensemble OrQuesta directed by Marcio da Silva
In Dulci Jubilo - A German Christmas by candlelight
St Thomas’s Church will be lit by candlelight as Ensemble OrQuesta choir and orchestra perform to celebrate Christmas. The programme will include the famous setting of In Dulci Jubilo by Praetorius as well as music by Pez, Buxtehude, Bach Telemann and Schütz. This concert promises to be the perfect musical opportunity to mark the festive season.