31 July 2021

News from Samling Artists – July 2021

Live music and audiences are finally returning to our stages, but the best laid plans can still be thrown into the air by the ongoing effects of the pandemic. At the Verbier festival, pianist James Baillieu found himself called on to jump in for an entire orchestra, pulling together a last-minute opera recital with cast members when Covid forced the festival orchestra to withdraw from the planned performance of La fanciulla del West.

Image:James Baillieu performing with fellow Samling Artist Benjamin Appl at this year’s Verbier Festival, photo credit: Lucien Grandjean

Mystery Proms

The BBC Proms have just announced the programmes for their four ‘mystery Proms’. These include a performance on Friday 20 August of Mozart’s Requiem by the National Youth Choir of Great Britain and Britten Sinfonia with Samantha Clarke, Nick Pritchard and one of our newest Samling Artists, William Thomas.

Edinburgh Festival

The Edinburgh International Festival returns in August, with a number of Samling Artists appearing in concerts and opera performances.

Rowan Pierce and Kathryn Rudge are the soloists for Felix Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Royal Scottish National Orchestra on Wednesday 11 August.

Nardus Williams is Belinda in Errollyn Wallen’s highly acclaimed new take on Dido and Aeneas, Dido’s Ghost (20–22 August)

David Butt Philip, Catriona Morison and Filipe Manu appear in concert performances of Ariadne auf Naxos from 25–29 August and this production will also be available free to view online.

Wigmore Hall September – October

Wigmore Hall have announced their September to October season, with Samling Artists appearing in the following concerts:

Sunday 5 September: Ed Lyon and Theatre of the Ayre present a programme of 17th century song from England, France and Italy.

Saturday 18 September: Rowan Pierce and Kathryn Rudge appear in an English translation of Wolf’s Italian Songbook, created and directed by Jeremy Sams and Christopher Glynn.

Saturday 2 October Ema Nikolovska, Olivia Warburton and James Baillieu appear in a gala concert to celebrate the launch of Richard Stokes’ new book on Hugo Wolf.

Jonathan Ware appears in lunchtime recitals with violinist Randall Goosby on 5 October and cellist Maciej Kułakowski on 19 October.

7 October: Lucy Crowe performs songs and madrigals Byrd, Gibbons and Purcell with viol consort Fretwork.

Look out for news coming soon of this year’s very special Samling Artist Showcase at Wigmore Hall on Sunday 7 November.


An imaginative animated lockdown take on Ravel’s L’Enfant et les Sortilèges by Virtual Opera Project (VOPERA) with the London Philharmonic won the opera category in the Southbank Sky Arts Awards. The cast included Kieran Rayner (L’horloge), Claire Lees (La princesse) and Jerome Knox (Le chat).

The film can be seen online at Marquee TV


Rebecca Afonwy-Jones sings Beginnings: Three Early Songs by Hugh Wood on a new album by the Presteigne Festival Orchestra and George Vass of works premiered at the Presteigne Festival.

Kitty Whately appears on the final volume of Malcolm Martineau’s complete Fauré song recordings, recently released on Signum Classics. Reviewing the album for The Guardian, Fiona Maddocks writes ‘The cycle La Bonne Chanson, Op 61 … is the centrepiece, sung with grace, finesse and variety by Kitty Whately’

This month we welcomed eight new Samling Artists to our international family – we’ll be bringing you all the news and photos from our Samling Artist Programme week very soon.

Rebecca Afonwy-Jones appears on Presteigne Premieres: New Music for String Orchestra

Kitty Whately appears on the final volume of Malcolm Martineau's complete songs of Fauré

Claire Lees as La Princesse in VOPERA's animated 'L’Enfant et les Sortilèges'