Opened by the National Trust for the first time in summer 2013, Leith Hill Place is now open again for the summer and autumn.
Leith Hill Place is the childhood home of composer Ralph Vaughan Williams (namesake of the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library at Cecil Sharp House). Gifted to the National Trust in 1944 by Ralph Vaughan Williams himself, Leith Hill Place was a Wedgwood family home.
There is a summer series of intimate chamber music recitals and workshops on offer at Leith Hill Place between June – August.
Enjoy music by the composer and his contemporaries in the very drawing room where he spent his childhood, looking out over the glorious view for which the house is renowned.
Leith Hill Place
The Perks Ensemble
2pm: Introduction to Strings workshop
Oscar (violin) and Elliott (viola) Perks are alumni of the Yehudi Menuhin School, where Oscar now teaches, and the Royal College of Music. Oscar also read music at Cambridge University. They are joined by cellist Hannah Sloane who recently completed her Masters at Julliard School in New York. All are seasoned performers, appearing at such venues as the Wigmore Hall, Royal Festival Hall and the Barbican. As Dorking residents, the brothers are delighted to be performing at Leith Hill Place
This concert explores music written by Vaughan Williams and Ravel just before they both enlisted in the army in 1914. Before the war commenced each completed a significant work, both now considered masterpieces - for Vaughan Williams this is The Lark Ascending, recently named the nation's favourite piece of music by Classic FM. It will be performed here in its original version for violin and piano.
The programme also includes 6 Studies in Folk Song for cello by Vaughan Williams, Ravel's Piano Trio and Bridge's Miniatures.
Midori Komachi and Simon Callaghan
Emerging violinist Midori Komachi has recently released her debut album, Colours of the Heart, with pianist Simon Callaghan. A wonderful programme of works by Vaughan Williams and his one-time teacher, Ravel. Midori and Simon will perform perennial show-pieces, including audience favourites The Lark Ascending and Tzigane, with a rare opportunity to hear the early posthumous Sonata by Ravel, and ending with his extrovert jazz-inspired late Sonata. Completing the programme are the Two Pieces and Six Studies, which find Vaughan Williams at his most pastoral and beautiful.
Gala Concert: Music and Poetry of the Great War
Roderick Williams (baritone), Gary Matthewman (piano) and John Greening (reader). A special programme to celebrate the anniversary of the Great War.
Roderick Williams is internationally renowned for his performances both in opera and on the concert platform. He is a featured artist in the 2014 BBC Proms festival and will be one of the soloists in the Last Night of the Proms. He is particularly recognised for his interpretations of English Song so our gala concert provides a wonderful opportunity to experience this exceptional artist in an intimate setting. Don't miss this unique opportunity.
The Hepplewhite Trio
An exciting young ensemble – Amy Littlewood (violin), Hetti Price (cello), and John Paul Ekins (piano) – that are passionate about bringing a fresh approach to classical music.
Hetti and Amy are Junior Fellowes from the Birmingham Conservatoire, while John Paul graduated from the Royal College of Music with First Class Honours. Relax to the sultry tango-inspired Four Seasons by Argentinian composer, Piazzolla, and enjoy the eclectic influences of Schoenfield's Café Music. Phantasy Trio by English composer Frank Bridge and works by Norman O'Neill, a contemporary of RVW, and Hans Sitt complete the programme.
Alexandra Kennedy, Violeta Barrena, Rupert Compston
Soprano Alexandra Kennedy is an 8th generation descendant of the Wedgwood family and Ralph Vaughan Williams was present at her mother's christening, so she is delighted to have the opportunity to perform in his childhood home.
Alexandra mainly specialises in recital and concert work, and has performed at Chequers and Clarence House. She is joined by talented violinist Violeta Barrena and pianist Rupert Compston in a programme which includes the beautiful Vocalises by Vaughan Williams, Along the Field song cycle for voice and violin and other favourites such as Linden Lea.
See Nature Rejoicing
10am – 4.30pm: workshop
Choir-leaders Stef Conner and Lisa J Coates return to Leith Hill Place to host a workshop day and sunset concert featuring English music inspired by the wonder of nature. The concert and workshop will include music by John Dowland, Henry Purcell Benjamin Britten, Herbert Howells and (of course) Vaughan Williams, as well as selected poems by his wife Ursula Vaughan Williams, William Wordsworth, John Clare and others.
Leith Hill Place is open Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays 11am – 5pm, until 2 November.
Leith Hill Place is looked after by the National Trust and supported by the Vaughan Williams Society, the Wedgwood family and the Leith Hill Musical Festival, co-founded by Vaughan Williams.