THERE are four rather good reasons to join Kelso Music Society for its latest concert – one of them hailing from the town.
The Castalian Quartet – winners of a prestigious Tunnell Trust Award – will be playing a beautiful programme at 7.30pm on Sunday, March 10 in the town’s high school.
It will consist of an early Schubert quartet Op.87 – a little gem – Beethoven’s Op.95 known as the Serioso, and Mendelssohn’s wonderful Op.44 No.2.
The quartet has lost two of its members since winning the award, but it has found very substantial replacements.
Min Kym, a South Korean violinist, now leads the quartet. She has recorded the Brahms and Beethoven concertos with the Philharmonia Orchestra and played as soloist with the Dresden Staatskapelle, London Philharmonic and London Symphony Orchestras, and under great conductors such as Sir Andrew Davis, Sinopoli, and Ashkenazy.
The great disaster of her life was to have her million pound Stradivarius stolen from her in a London café two years ago – every great violinist’s worst nightmare. The violin has never been recovered. The thieves, who were caught, tried to sell it for £100.
The second violin, Daniel Roberts, is an old boy of Kelso High School. His parents, who taught at Edenside Primary School now live in Roxburgh.
Daniel has fond memories of the school where he was a student for two and a half years before going on to St Mary’s Music College.
He is still very grateful for the help he had from John Mabon, who was head of department at the time, and the hard work Harris Playfair put in accompanying him, playing sonatas in his lunch breaks and teaching him the piano.
He remembers also the kindness of Dr Geoff Poole, a long-term stalwart of the society, taking him to concerts in Edinburgh and the wonderful teaching he had from Lucy Cowan from Galashiels and the late John Lindsay, whom he met through the Kelso Music Makers organisation.
Christopher Graves, the replacement cellist, has likewise performed widely as an international soloist, and in the BBC Proms Plus series of concerts.
Making up the foursome, Charlotte Bonneton is a French violist, a pupil of Gyorgy Pauk and Matthew Souter at the Royal Academy of Music, London. She performs frequently on both instruments as part of a classical duo with the violinist Daniel Pioro.
This concert will have to be quite special to live up to the five fantastic concerts so far this year, but it really does look like it’s going to be one of the best.