Neil Balfour, baritone / Sholto Kynoch, piano

Saturday 6 July, 3.00pm

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Neil Balfour at Thaxted Festival
Sholto Kynock at Thaxted Festival

Sholto Kynoch image © Fran Marshall

Rising star baritone Neil Balfour is joined by sought-after pianist Sholto Kynoch in songs encompassing Fauré and Schumann, together with new compositions.

Fauré: Cinq melodies ‘de Venise’
Robert Schumann: Frauenliebe und -leben
- interspersed with selections from
Cheryl Francis-Hoad and Sophie Hannah: One Life Stand

Award-winning baritone Neil Balfour presents a varied programme, beginning with five well-known Fauré songs, and then an innovative arrangement of Schumann’s Romantic song cycle Frauenliebe und -leben, interspersed with a selection from contemporary British composer Cheryl Frances Hoad and poet Sophie Hannah’s work One Life Stand. This piece began as a modern take on the rather outdated poetry that Schumann set, and is musically inspired by Schumann’s piano textures.

Neil’s career to date has seen him appear in major concert and recital settings, as well as in opera and oratorio, as well as at the Glastonbury Festival. He is joined by much sought-after pianist Sholto Kynoch, a specialist in song and chamber music, and founder of the Oxford Lieder Festival. With an established international career, Sholto appears regularly on BBC Radio 3 and in major concert halls, and is much in demand to work with solo artists; he is highly regarded as a partner in these performances, the term ‘accompanist’ hardly doing his work justice.

‘We ended with Balfour's tour-de-force in Buddy's Blues (from Follies), terrific! A sense of intimacy ... just the right amount of voice yet bringing out the text, and some dazzling patter moments!’ Planet Hugill

‘Kynoch’s accompaniments are beautifully sensitive, flexible and transparent throughout…’ Gramophone Magazine / Hugo Wolf: The Complete Songs, Volume Eight

Venue: United Reformed Church, Bolford Street, Thaxted CM6 2PY
Tickets: £22. Age 30 and under: £10. Unreserved seating.

“[The Tippett Quartet] concert as part of the 2023 Thaxted Festival revealed a group of musicians of profound interpretative depth, and capable of traversing a wide range of repertoire.”
Colin Clarke, Classical Explorer
“A positively life-enhancing performance of Donizetti’s The Elixir of Love in English with reduced ensemble by Wild Arts…”
Colin Clarke, Classical Explorer
“The performance was a joy … and the quartet brought out its sense of both structural and linear perfection.” Holst’s Phantasy Quartet Op 36 performed by the Tippett Quartet.
Colin Clarke, Classical Explorer
“The Tippett Quartet and Emma Abbate have performed Schumann’s Piano Quintet together many times. On this occasion they combined flawless execution with instinctive – and utterly engaging – musicianship.”
Claire Seymour, in Seen and Heard International.
“…this was a wonderfully enjoyable and engaging performance that really punched above its weight. The audience in Thaxted clearly loved it and were fully engaged, whilst this experienced reviewer was carried away as well.”
Wild Art’s production of The Elixir of Love, reviewed by Robert Hugill in Planet Hugill
“2 terrific concerts I heard with London Mozart Players.”
Thaxted Festival concertgoer
“I think Gustav is smiling down to see how his memory and that of his best friend and colleague Ralph Vaughan Williams are honoured by the expertly played pieces they both composed.”
Thaxted Festival concertgoer
“It's always the variety and quality which keeps me coming back.”
Thaxted Festival concertgoer
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