Saffron Hall Spring Highlights

March 6, 2014

With the arrival of March, we say farewell to winter and our first four months of events.

Each and every event was a highlight, but among them were some particular standouts: John Lill’s all-Beethoven programme and his incredible praise for the Hall’s acoustics, Germaine Greer’s sold-out evening (her first-ever talk in Saffron Walden) and young pianist George Harliono, who amazed the 600-strong audience who saw him play with Uttlesforde Orchestra.

Thanks to everyone who has made the opening of Saffron Hall such a resounding success. Behind the scenes we’re putting the finishing touches on the autumn and winter programme – more news very soon – but before that, Saffron Hall welcomes spring with a range of events for all ages. We take a look at what’s coming up.

ANDREW MOTION in partnership with Words in Walden
Friday March 21 | 7.30pm

Former Poet Laureate, Andrew Motion, returns to Saffron Walden to perform ‘The
Poetry of War’ – a special commission for the centenary of the outbreak of World War One. In what will be a deeply moving and unique performance, Andrew Motion will read from the much-loved works of the War Poets including Wilfred Owen, Siegfried Sassoon and Edward Thomas as well as from his own series of poems drawn from the experiences of soldiers in both World Wars, through to the recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

MR BIG FAMILY CONCERT with Britten Sinfonia & Ed Vere
Sunday April 6 | 3pm

The story of Mr Big, the musical gorilla, has made Ed Vere the UK’s most published picture book author ever. Over 750,000 copies of his book Mr Big have been distributed to primary school students since 2009. So Saffron Hall is thrilled to bring a family concert based on Ed Vere’s book to Saffron Walden. Alongside Britten Sinfonia performing popular classical works and presenter Hannah Conway telling the story, Mr Big creator Ed Vere will be illustrating live on stage projected onto a big screen. The show has performed in Cambridge and Norwich to rave reviews and heads our way for the Easter holidays.

Saturday April 19 | 7.30pm

Saffron Hall welcomes some of country’s finest voices to perform Bach’s St John Passion. Composed for Good Friday vespers in 1724, Bach’s masterpiece perfectly balances the theatrical with the devotional. For this performance, Britten Sinfonia and professional ensemble Britten Sinfonia Voices (directed by Eamonn Dougan) are joined on stage by the superlative countertenor Iestyn Davies – garnering incredible reviews in Handel’s Rodelinda at English National Opera – alongside soprano Julia Doyle, tenor Nicholas Mulroy, tenor Jeremy Budd and bass Matthew Brook. A truly stellar line-up for a special Easter weekend event!

“Iestyn Davies triumphs…  the singer who is replacing Scholl as the world’s top countertenor…” The Independent

ALBION FIELDS | Britten Sinfonia & Maxim Rysanov
Saturday May 24 | 7.30pm

Virtuoso violist Maxim Rysanov (a Gramophone Young Artist of the Year and BBC New Generation Artist Award-winner) makes his Saffron Hall debut in an evening of beautiful pastoral works. Maxim will be performing in Britten’s Lachrymae, Vaughan William’s unique elegy Flos Campi and Elgar’s polyphonic masterpiece Introduction & Allegro. Selections from Holst’s Eight Canons and Vaughan William’s ever-popular Tallis Fantasia complete this fascinating programme which explores the British pastoral tradition and the rediscovery of landscape as a creative force.


Saffron Walden Choral Society performs Bach Magnificat & Handel Dixit Dominus, youth choir Cantate celebrate their 20th anniversary, Saffron Walden & District Music Group presents the Aquinas Piano Trio, Granta Chorale performs Martin’s Mass for Double Choir and Anglia Ruskin Orchestra & Chorus perform Beethoven’s C Major Mass alongside the world premiere of Anthony Scott’s Violin Concerto.

For more details, including events presented by Saffron Walden County High School, visit our What’s on Page.

See you in the concert hall soon.