Saturday 14th May 2022
St Andrew's Church
Cheadle Hulme
Violin: Nathan Fenwick | Conductor: Alex Robinson

Proceeds to support
Ukraine Crisis Appeal

Béla Bartók (1881-1945)
Romanian Dances (arr. string orchestra)

Franz Joseph Haydn (1756-1791)
Concerto for Violin in G major
c. 1760


Antonín Dvorák (1809-1847)
Serenade for Strings in E major

Nathan Fenwick Violin

A postgraduate student at the Royal Northern College of Music, Nathan has enjoyed a variety of opportunities, particularly with ensemble performance. As a recent member of the BBC Philharmonic professional experience scheme, he now plays regularly with the Hallé Orchestra, working with the likes of Ryan Wigglesworth and Marc-André Hamelin.

Nathan has sought to use his chamber experiences to bring underrepresented works to the limelight. As a member of the Hillon Piano Trio, he has exhibited works from Guillaume Lekeu and Elliot Carter, as well as showcasing various string quartet and trio pieces throughout his College experience. He has also been able to enjoy working alongside RNCM staff as well as members of the Elias Quartet to perform much more well-loved works as well, such as Beethoven’s Grosse Fugue.

With recent soloist appearances including the Bach double and Bruch violin concertos, Nathan looks forward to continuing to build his experience as an all-round performer (particularly in regards to his work with the Hillon Piano Trio) as he continues his postgraduate study.

Nathan plays on a 2015 violin made by Colin Charles Adamson.
Alex Robinson graduated from the University of Manchester with a first class degree in Music (MusB) in 2016 and the Royal Northern College of Music with an MMus in Performance (Conducting) at Distinction level in 2018.
He studied under the student conductor program at Manchester University with Mark Heron & Justin Doyle (RIAS Kammerchor) and later with Clark Rundell at the RNCM. He has also taken part in masterclasses with Sir Mark Elder, Johannes Schlaefli, James Lowe & Alim Shakh.
Alex has recently worked with the BBC Philharmonic, North West Contemporary Music Ensemble ‘Psappha’, Haffner Orchestra, Allegra Festival Orchestra (featuring members of the Sofia Philharmonic), Sheffield Philharmonic, Endcliffe Symphony Orchestra, Stockport Symphony Orchestra, Mayson Orchestra, and members of the Manchester Camerata. He is the principal conductor of the Amaretti Chamber Orchestra, Furness Bach Choir, Rotherham Symphony Orchestra and works regularly with Nottingham Youth Orchestra.
He has been assistant conductor to Sir Mark Elder (Hallé Orchestra), Sir Andrew Davies (Royal Liverpool Philharmonic), Nicholas Collon & Juanjo Mena (BBC Philharmonic). Alex was also the Assistant conductor for Heritage Opera and the BBC Philharmonic’s premiere of Alan William’s ‘The Arsonists’.
He has worked closely with renowned composer Harrison Birtwistle for the NewMusicNorthWest Festival in 2016, performing his ‘Silbury Air’ at the University of Manchester. In 2017 he worked with Samson Young on his five part radio drama series ‘One of Two Stories or Both’ for Manchester International Festival (MIF2017) which was broadcast live on Unity Radio 22.1fm and subsequently appeared on BBC iPlayer.
He will be participating in the Spokane Symphony Orchestra Conductor Fellowship in April.
Alex Robinson Conductor
Proceeds to support Ukraine Crisis Appeal
The crisis in Ukraine keeps unfolding – please donate

As you know, the humanitarian situation is increasingly dire and desperate.

Millions of people have no safe place to call home. More than 3 million have already left Ukraine, while countless more are still trapped underground, taking cover from the shelling, and desperate for a safe escape.

Hundreds of thousands of people still have no food, no water, no medical care, and no heat or electricity.

Red Cross teams have been working around the clock to get critical care to those who need it most, both in Ukraine and its bordering countries. But with recent freezing temperatures, and ongoing violence, an enormous number of people urgently need help right now.

We know the news coverage is overwhelming. But we need your support to keep responding. The best way to do that is with a monthly donation. This situation is changing rapidly and will affect people for some time. But knowing we can rely on your support, together, we can give hope to people in the darkest of times.

Please donate right now if you can.

How will my donation help people in Ukraine?

As the security situation allows, the Ukrainian Red Cross Society (URCS) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) will continue to respond to existing and emerging humanitarian needs. The Red Cross has supported people affected by this conflict for years and this will not stop now.

Your donation could help someone affected get:

• food
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Please donate today.

What is the Red Cross doing to help people now?

So far, Red Cross teams in Ukraine have helped more than 750,000 people since the conflict began. This includes distributing 400 tonnes of vital aid, including food, blankets, hygiene parcels and warm clothes.

First aid training has also been delivered to over 42,000 people so they have the skills to treat their loved ones if needed.

They've also been providing psychosocial support, and helping people regain contact with their loved ones if they've been separated.

Red Cross teams in bordering countries are offering medical care and providing food, aid and shelter to people arriving from Ukraine.

How is the British Red Cross supporting refugees from Ukraine in the UK?

We’re ready to support refugees arriving from Ukraine in the UK. We don’t yet know when or where our support may be needed but we are preparing to warmly welcome refugees who have had to leave their homes and lives behind.

We are primed to provide compassionate support, information and basics like food, clothes and blankets, if needed, along with helping families contact loved ones, wherever they may be.

Your donation will help us reach more people.

£10 could provide a hygiene kit to a family of five, giving them supplies to stay healthy for a month

£20 could provide five blankets to families taking shelter

£30 could provide 3,600 chlorine tablets to ensure that families have access to clean, safe water

£100 could provide sleeping mats for 66 people who have been forced from their homes

£210 could provide a fully equipped first aid kit, including supplies, to a first aider treating those wounded

Brigid Hemingway
Brigid Hemingway (Leader) started playing the violin aged 14. She is also Founder and Leader of The Athenean Ensemble and former Leader of The Gorton Philharmonic Orchestra. She enjoys playing string quartets with her Athenean String Quartet with fellow Amaretti players. She taught mathematics at Cheadle Hulme School for many years and is now a private maths tutor. She has two grown up children and two labradors Billy and Oscar. She is passionate about acting, having come to it rather late in life in 2015. She has since made up for lost time and has  appeared in 12 plays now. Her favourite role to date is Maggie Thatcher in Handbagged with Chads Theatre, Cheadle Hulme in 2018. 
John Phillips
John Phillips began studying the violin at the age of 10 and later became a member of the National Youth Orchestra. He read Classics at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, where he was a founder member of the Fitzwilliam String Quartet. The quartet subsequently became String Quartet in Residence at the University of York and, whilst there, gave the UK premiere of the Thirteenth Quartet of Shostakovich in the presence of the composer. He has had a special interest in his music ever since.
He later left the quartet to pursue a career in law, supporting his legal studies by freelance playing with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra and the London Mozart Players.
He left the law in 2016 to return to music and in 2020 completed the degree of Master of Music in Performance at the Royal Northern College of Music. He is a director and member of the Board of the Hallé Orchestra.
Béla Bartók (1881-1945) 
Romanian Dances (arr. string orchestra), composed in 1915
Originally written as a short work for piano solo in 1915, Bartok later arranged this collection of folk dances for small orchestra in 1917. The work has proved to be very popular amongst a large variety of different instrumentalists, each adapting the work to their own instruments. Here it is presented in a version for strings only, with the prominent wind solos being given to the principal violin. The dances each hail from Romania and are titled:

1. Bot tánc / Jocul cu bâtă (Stick Dance)
2. Brâul (Sash Dance)
3. Topogó / Pe loc (In One Spot)
4. Bucsumí tánc / Buciumeana (Dance from Bucsum)
5. Román polka / Poarga Românească (Romanian Polka)
6. Aprózó / Mărunțel (Fast Dance)

The work is notable for its use of modes, notably the Lydian and the Phrygian. Although separate dances from different regions in modern day Romania, the latter three dances segue into each other without a break and get progressively faster.

Bartók tuning a Hurdy Gurdy

Modern day Romanian Folk Musicians

Franz Joseph Haydn (1756-1791)
Concerto for Violin in G major, composed in c. 1760
Unlike the other Violin Concertos (No, 1 in C and No. 3 in A) which Haydn wrote for Luigi Tomasini - concertmaster of the Esterhazy Orchestra - in his earliest years as the court composer in Esterhaza, the Concerto in G seems likely to have been written for a different concertmaster. Prior to his engagement with the Esterhazy family, Haydn was Kapellmeister for Count Morzin from 1757 until 1761. It was here that Haydn produced some of his early symphonies to be performed by Morzin's orchestra in Unterlukawitz. Haydn often lead the orchestra from the violin and it is believed that Haydn may have written this G major concerto for himself to perform with the ensemble as he himself remarked:

"I was no wizard on any instrument, but I knew the potentialities and effects of all. I was not a bad pianist and singer and was also able to play a violin concerto"

Although the work doesn't possess the sophistication of the concertos written at Esterhaza (No. 1 and No. 3), the G major concerto is still a thrilling work. It is in three movements as was typical for a concerto of this period. The first a stately Allegro moderato, then a beautifully lyrical Adagio and to finish, a rollicking finale full of excitement. 

Haydn playing violin in a quartet (right) with Mozart (left)

A young Haydn

Antonín Dvorák (1809-1847)
Serenade for Strings in E major, composed in 1875
Composed in just 12 days in May, 1876, the Serenade became a staple work of string orchestras throughout Europe and America and is still regularly performed in concert halls today. Dvorak was gaining notoriety in Vienna, 1875 and was commissioned to write the Serenade, along with Symphony No. 5, String Quintet No. 2, Piano Trio No. 1, the Moravian Duets and the opera Vanda.
String Serenades, much like Elgar's or Tchaikovsky's Serenades are multi movement works approaching symphonic forms in concept, if not in length. Dvorak's is both. In five movements, rather than the usual four, his work is on the longer side, clocking in at around 30m. The diverse use of genres harkens back to the baroque suites of the 18th century - multi movement works base don different dance styles. Clearly Dvorak is trying to evoke a bygone era, as Hughes notes in 1967:

"The Serenade (Op. 22) was aptly entitled, since at least four of its five movements (the second of which was a delightful waltz) displayed an elegant touch suggestive of gracious living accompanied by 'serenading' in the stately home of some 18th-century aristocrat; in the finale alone did the composer discard periwig and lace cuffs, and even here the junketing, though lively, was well-bred, and in the closing moments there was a delicious return to the courtliness of the opening. Pastiche perhaps, but what excellent pastiche! Since Dvorák was as yet only on the threshold of developing an individual style, it is perhaps not surprising that this slightly uncharacteristic but extremely accomplished and enjoyable Serenade is the earliest of his compositions in which a detached listener is likely to discover enchantment"

The movement structure is as follows:
I. Moderato
II. Tempo di Valse
III. Scherzo
IV. Largehetto
V: Finale​​​​​​​

Photograph of a young Dvorák

The Orchestra
Violin 1
Brigid Hemingway*
John Phillips*
Elaine Turnock
David Graham
John Wilson
Angelika Wieck
Hannah Groarke-Young
Nathan Fenwick^

Violin 2
Pat Quirk
Sare Crouch
Simone Evans
Julia Martin
Gloria Bakhshayesh
Robert Shaw

Martin Stuart
Emma Glen
Kay Thomas
Penny Bisby

Rosy Hickman
Hilary Brice
Anna Cowham
Roger Bisby

Double Bass
Linda Pyatt
John Wearden

^Dvorak only
Concert sponsored by Dr. Downing Music

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