Beethoven Chamber Music & Songs

1 October 2017
  • 18:30
  • £12 / £10, available online




A quartet of experienced musicians - colleagues, friends and RAM alumni - present a delightfully varied all-Beethoven programme featuring the Piano Trio in E flat, Op1 No1, some of the most renowned songs for voice and piano, and a generous selection of the composer's endlessly inventive and enchanting arrangements of Welsh folk songs for piano trio and voice.

The British folk song arrangements commissioned by Edinburgh publisher George Thomson represented a surprisingly significant proportion of Beethoven's musical output, amounting to more than one hundred and thirty settings composed over a period of eleven years. The intimate and intensely moving song cycle 'An die ferne Geliebte' is recognised as a pivotal early example of the genre, particularly for the profound coherence of its musical structure. And, of course, the piano trio is not only hugely satisfying in its own right but, as the first of three the young composer chose to acknowledge as his Opus 1, is also infused with a sense of the momentous musical story that was about to unfold.





JOHN BARKER (baritone)


Before having her family, violinist Hilaryjane Parker held leading positions in many London orchestras and chamber groups, including the Philharmonia, the Orchestra of St John's and the Kantrovitch Ensemble. From 2000-2002 she was guest Concertmaster of the Royal Opera House in Copenhagen. She has recently revived her busy schedule, playing regularly with the London Symphony Orchestra and the London Sinfonietta. Hilaryjane studied at the Intermediate School of the RAM with Rosemary Rapaport before reading Classics at Exeter College, Oxford. Subsequently, she studied violin with Hermann Krebbers in Amsterdam.

Cellist Alexandra Mackenzie is a recitalist, chamber musician and orchestral player, and has performed with major orchestras in the United States and throughout Europe. Following her studies with Florence Hooton and David Strange at the RAM, she pursued advanced studies with David Soyer and Peter Wiley (of the Guarneri Quartet) at the Manhattan School of Music and lived and worked in New York for eight years, appearing at the Carnegie Hall, Weill Hall and Alice Tully, at venues across forty-three states, and at leading festivals including Tanglewood. She also teaches at the Junior Academy, is an ABRSM examiner and was awarded an honorary ARAM in 2011.

Ensemble playing and song accompaniment have always been central to Helen Cawthorne's work as a pianist. Concert work has covered a wide repertoire, including many new commissions, and has taken her to most of the leading chamber music venues in the UK, with numerous appearances at London's South Bank and the Wigmore Hall. As a song recital accompanist she has a long-standing partnership with her husband John Barker. They have specialised in Romantic Lieder and 20th century English Song, which they often perform in the intimate setting of small music club venues. Helen is a diploma examiner for the ABRSM and currently teaches at the University of Southampton and the Junior Academy of the RAM.

John Barker studied with Raimund Herincx and Kenneth Bowen at the RAM and, subsequently, with Rudolf Piernay and Joy Mammen. He has given solo recitals at the Purcell Room and at recital venues and music societies across the country, including song cycles for the Schubert Society of Great Britain. Earlier in his career he made numerous broadcasts for BBC Wales. For many years he combined recital work with a demanding role as the programme coordinator for Bedales Arts in Hampshire and is now relishing a return to full-time music making.

Hilaryjane Parker plays on an early 18thC violin by Ruggieri. Alexandra Mackenzie plays on a Matthew Hardy cello made in 1818 and purchased with help from the Foundation for Sport and the Arts.


Tickets £12 / £10 conc, available here