The Arthur Bliss Society
Please let us know of any courses or events you hear about that you think would interest our members.
__________________________________________________ The 2018 Annual Lunch was held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, Cheltenham on Monday, February 26th, and was attended by forty one members and friends, including our President Ian Venables, the Chairman of the Bliss Trust Andrew Burn and one of our patrons, Mark Bebbington. We were delighted to welcome Arthur Bliss’s daughter Karen Sellick, who was able to come to our annual lunch for the first time.  It was, as usual, a convivial gathering and our speaker David Curtis gave us an amusing account of his experiences as a conductor and told us about his out-reach work with elderly people.  We were all mightily relieved to reach home before the snow started. ___________________________________________________ The AGM Recital, 10 June 2017 L to R Matthew Secombe, Julia Liang, Alexander Kirk, Gerald Towell, Ian Venables Pre-performance talk by Giles Easterbrook: “Buried Treasure, Hidden Gold Montpellier Duo: Julia Liang (violin) and Alexander Kirk (piano) Sonata for Piano and Violin    Arthur Bliss Three Pieces Op 11 Ian Venables Violin Sonata No 2 in A minor  John Ireland Matthew Secombe (tenor), with Alexander Kirk (piano) Little Elegy    Arthur Bliss The Fallow Deer at the Lonely House This Night The Invitation to the Gondola Ian Venables Comment from John Wright: It was a most enjoyable day. I thought Giles's talk became especially fascinating when he got onto describing the origins of the violin sonata. The thought of another full score still hidden away in Alice Elgar's possessions was tantalising and exciting! The concert was excellent and I thought Bliss, Venables and Ireland shared the platform extremely well. The final Ireland work was on a large scale compared with everything else, and I was reminded what a fine composer he was. Like Bliss, he often deserves more recognition. The duo performed well and I thought Alexander was a particularly fine accompanist. Julia is also an accomplished player and displayed much technical agility in a programme that demanded a wide spectrum of moods.  It was very special to hear Matthew performing his great grandfather's songs with such commitment.  He hasn't got the big voice of his grandfather Harry yet, but bearing in mind he has only recently switched from studying zoology to singing it shows much potential and he made a lovely sound. He is someone to watch in the future, and it's encouraging that the Bliss tradition will be carried forward by a member of the family. Roger Jones’s  reviews of previous AGM recitals can be found on MusicWeb’s Seen and Heard International: June 2015July 2016  ___________________________________________________ The Society arranges occasional gatherings of members and friends for informal pub/restaurant lunches or pre-concert suppers whenever Committee members are able to attend concerts where Bliss works are being played. We have enjoyed meeting members and friends in London, Luton, Harrogate, Worcester, Hereford, Shrewsbury and elsewhere, as well as nearer to our own base in Cheltenham. If no one from the Committee can attend a concert, publicity leaflets are sent in advance to the performers or to the venue, raising awareness of the Society among the audience. In March 2015 the Society arranged to have a Bliss work included in one of the regular Lunchtime Recitals at Cheltenham Town Hall at which Rebeca Omordia played the Piano Suite. At the Three Choirs Festivals in 2006 and 2015 (both in Hereford) we arranged highly enjoyable social events, each of them taking place before a concert featuring Bliss work - a lunch out in the country setting of Wyastone in 2006 and the Tea and Talk at The Left Bank complex, beautifully situated by the river Avon, in July 2015. From time to time our Vice-President Terry Barfoot includes Bliss work in his celebrated Arts in Residence classical music breaks. Several of our members have attended these, and details of Bliss-related future programmes are always publicised here. One whose programme included Bliss works was in Oct 2016.
photography by Jill Smith
Sacred Hearts Church Hall, Moorend Road, Charlton Kings, Cheltenham GL54 8AU  on Saturday, May 5th at 2 pm, Andrew Burn, Chairman of the Bliss Trust, will talk about the Bliss Ballets.  After the talk there will be a break for tea, followed by a film of the ballet Checkmate. ALL WELCOME, click for details
The 2018 AGM will be held at the Sacred Hearts Church Hall, Moorend Road, Charlton Kings, Cheltenham GL54 8AU  on Saturday, May 5th at 12 noon. click for details
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