Please view The Ridgeway Ensemble's current programmes. We are also happy to create programmes of music and words to reflect your particular interests, for example the historical background of the venue or locality and people associated with them.
Walk in Beauty: Humanity's Relationship to Nature explored through music
‘Walk in Beauty’ is an exploration of humanity’s relationship with nature as seen through the eyes of musicians, a varied programme ranging from the early 19th century right up to the present day. Music written in previous generations is complemented by the response of several contemporary composers to the crisis in nature, including a work by Sally Beamish and a new commission from Peter Fender, a setting of a Navajo meditation which gives its name to the whole programme. In addition readings of prose and poetry can be included if required.
The Composer in society: Master or Servant?
In our new programme the Ridgeway Ensemble take a look at familiar figures from a more unusual angle: In Beethoven's 250th anniversary year, we ask, was he really the lonely revolutionary genius of the Romantic imagination, writing only for posterity? How did he and his predecessors Haydn and Mozart fit into society, and how did their successors live as society changed in the 19th century?
The Ridgeway Ensemble is joined by violinist Esther King Smith for a programme of chamber music and songs, with quotations from letters and contemporary accounts to explore the relationships between composers and their patrons.
Victoria & Albert - A Musical Romance
Queen Victoria and Prince Albert's mutual passion for music was at the heart of their relationship from the very beginning. An accomplished composer, Albert shared his creative process in letters to the young queen and as their married life progressed it was punctuated by concerts, private performances and audiences with the musical elite of Europe. The Ridgeway Ensemble brings to life the musical world of the royal couple through readings from their letters and diaries and contemporary accounts. At the heart of the programme are songs originally composed by Prince Albert for voice cello and piano, which have remained unpublished and unperformed until now. The programme reflects the tastes and musical achievements of Victoria and Albert and includes music by Mendelssohn, Clara Schumann, Bellini, Elgar and Sullivan, opening a window onto the musical life of Victorian England.
The relationships between three of the greatest musicians of the 19th century, Johannes Brahms, Robert and Clara Schumann are amongst the most deeply felt in classical music. The courtship and marriage of Clara and Robert, their friendship with Brahms and after Robert's early death, the passionate artistic friendship between Clara and Brahms are revealed through their songs and cello music with readings from their letters.
From Salon to Cabaret
A pot pourri of music and words from the salons of the 19th Century, the cabarets of Vienna and Berlin and the cafés of Paris. A light-hearted and tuneful concert of familiar and less well known repertoire including works by Gounod, Fauré, Bernstein, Britten, Joplin and Edith Piaf.
New Horizons - Diverging Paths
Cello, Piano and Vocal Music 1900-1930
As the 20th century dawned composers all over Europe were seeking new ways to express themselves, some reacting against the high romantic style which had been dominant for so long by turning to the traditions of their native countries while others pushed beyond the limits of accepted tonality. We explore the different paths that developed in the early years of the century, and the effect of the First World War, in a programme ranging from Richard Strauss to Weill and Gershwin.
Sir John Soane and the Music of his times
The life and times of the renowned 18th century architect of Wimpole Hall, the Bank of England and the Royal Chelsea Hospital, Sir John Soane is reflected in the music of his contemporaries. The Ridgeway Ensemble are joined by violinist Esther King Smith performing music by Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven and Bononcini, Paisiello, Lindley and Storace to paint a fascinating portrait of contemporary musical London and the great architect himself.
Four individual concerts, or one single concert of vocal and instrumental music with readings to reflect the seasons of the year .
Previous Programmes Include:
Entente Cordiale - The relationship between France and Britain explored
Unsung Heroes - Music by lesser-known composers of the First World War
A Claydon Musical History - The history of the house and the characters associated with it
Songs and Scones - An English Country Garden Tea Concert
A St Cecilia Musical Evening - With texts relating to the power of music
A Christmas Celebration - A mixture of popular and unusual seasonal music including a commissioned work by Paul Newbold.