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New book on Simpson

The Power of Robert Simpson by Donald Macauley

In this insightful biography, Donald Macauley celebrates the life of composer and BBC producer Robert Simpson. The Power of Robert Simpson will let us trace the unforgettable journey that Simpson embarked on and see him in his growth through successive phases in his life.

Inspiring, remarkable and fascinating, his story is built on talent and passion and it is one that continues to inspire countless people to this day.

AGM & Quartet No. 10

The Coull Quartet will be performing Simpson’s 10th quartet (‘For Peace’) at the Leamington Music Festival Weekend, along with Frank Bridge’s Piano Quintet in D minor (with Anna Tilbrook, piano).

The concert begins at 12 noon in the Royal Pump Rooms. Lunch can be had afterwards in the Royal Pump Room Café, then the AGM will follow at 2pm. We hope to arrange for tea to be available at 4pm, so it would be helpful to know as soon as possible how many members intend to come. Tickets for the concert cost £10 unreserved or £12.50 reserved. They are available at (online), (email), 01926 776438 (telephone) or by post to Bridge House Theatre Box Office, Myton Rd, Warwick CV34 6PP (cheques payable to ‘WSEL Ltd’).

Those needing overnight accommodation can contact the Leamington Music office on 01926 497000, or the Visitors Information Centre on 01926 642762. There are some special offers for the Festival Weekend.

AGM Timetable and Agenda

Please read the PDF document for the AGM detailed timetable and agenda

String Quartet No. 11

The Tippett Quartet play Simpson’s 11th quartet, along with Mozart’s K387 and Beethoven’s Op. 59 No. 3, on Friday 18th January 2013, 8pm, at Artrix, the arts centre in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire. More details. Map.

Blue Plaque & AGM

Dear member,

On behalf of the Chairman I should like to invite you to this year’s AGM which is being held at the Royal Spa Centre, Leamington Spa. The map will show how to find the venue.

The AGM is normally held on a Saturday. The reason for the change this year is the unveiling of a plaque to Robert Simpson at his birthplace, 21 Rosefield Street, Leamington Spa. This follows the AGM; the composer’s sister Miriam will unveil the plaque. There will then be a reception and tea in the Town Hall and an evening concert, which includes Simpson’s 7th quartet, performed by the Coull Quartet. All the venues are within 150 yards of each other. A detailed timetable is given below with the AGM agenda.

If you are able to attend, could you let me know as soon as conveniently possible? In particular, could you indicate whether you expect to attend the lunch and/or reception? It will be a great help to the organisers to know exact numbers. You may wish to make your own arrangements for lunch but we thought it might be pleasant for RSS members to join together.

The Society is particularly grateful to Robin Taylor of the Leamington Blue Plaque Committee for his detailed work in making this occasion possible. He is a member of the Elgar and Richard Strauss Societies and his preferred music is late-Romantic, but on hearing three or four Simpson symphonies his reaction was; ‘this chap’s a bit difficult but admirable’. On discovering that Simpson was born in Leamington, he put the composer’s name forward to the Blue Plaque Committee. Robin has also been enormously helpful in recommending our venues for lunch, the AGM and overnight accommodation, as well as the timings for the day. We are greatly indebted to him.

I do hope you can join us at this special occasion to honour one of Britain’s outstanding composers.

Yours sincerely,

David Jones

AGM Timetable and Agenda

Please read the PDF document for the AGM detailed timetable and agenda and for recent news.

String Quartet No. 7

The Coull Quartet play Simpson’s 7th quartet along with Haydn’s Op. 33 No. 3 and Beethoven’s Op. 59 No. 2 on 17th June 2011, 7:30 at the Royal Spa Centre Studio Theatre, Leamington Spa.

Symphony No. 5

This concert is to be held in the Amaryllis Concert Hall at the RCM, starting at 13.05 (1.05pm). The programme consists of Bax’s Tintagel and Simpson’s 5th Symphony. Peter Stark will conduct the RCM Sinfonietta in this concert devoted to the memory of Vernon Handley.

Tickets cost £5, with an additional charge of £1.95 if booking by phone or online. Tickets may be collected on the day, preferably half an hour before the concert to avoid any last-minute congestion. The Box Office is open from 10am until 4pm. Tel. 020 7591 4314.

Trio for Clarinet, cello and piano

These splendid young chamber players (all with first-class degrees in music from Royal Holloway), who last performed in Sunninghill two years ago, are returning to a venue that gave them (and us) much pleasure on their last visit. They will include Robert Simpson’s Trio for clarinet, cello and piano in their programme.

St Michael and All Angels Church, Sunninghill (about 1 mile east of Ascot race course on the road to Virginia Water, post code SL5 7DD).   map

Sunday April 25th 2010, 6pm.

Entrance by programme (available at the door) £10: refreshments during the interval.

String Quartet No. 7

A chamber concert at the Sheremetev Palace, Thursday 19th November, 7pm.

  • William Alwyn – String Quartet No. 2 (Spring Waters, after Turgenev)
  • Simpson – String Quartet No. 7
  • Walton – String Quartet No. 2

String quartet to be confirmed

Details: The St. Petersburg Festival of British Music

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