Classical: Festivals showcase top talent

Key notes: Pianist Charles Owen who will be performing in York.
Key notes: Pianist Charles Owen who will be performing in York.
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Now in its third year, the York Chamber Music Festival opens next Friday and is a most welcome addition to the city at the centre of classical music in the region. David Denton reports.

Linked to masterclasses for young local musicians, it brings together seven leading soloists on the international circuit, including the cellist, Adrian Brendel, violist, Sarah Jane Bradley, and two members of the award winning Badke String Quartet.

In various permutations, and with the pianist Charles Owen as the link, they perform six concerts over three days in various locations, their wide spectrum of music including works by Ravel, Britten, Elgar, Bridge, Tchaikovsky, Mozart and Mendelssohn.

The chamber music theme continues the following Friday (September 30), the opening event in the British Music Society of York season featuring Finghin Collins, the Irish pianist who some years back impressed with his appearances in the Leeds International Piano Competition. He plays a popular programme of music by Bach, Schubert, Field, Schumann and Chopin.

Using the excellent acoustic of the Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall, the following five concerts include the Leeds competition second prize winner in 2006, Andrew Brownhill (December 2); the young British-based Aurea String Quartet; the celebrated Bach interpreter, Angela Hewitt (January 13) and the much experienced Pheonix Piano Trio.

York Chamber Music Festival, September 23-26, www.yorkchambermusicfestival.co.uk; The British Music Society season on www.bms-york.org.uk