Park Lane Group/Holy Sepulchre


Something I miss is the former "Young Artists and Twentieth Century Music" series which the Park Lane Group used to present in the Purcell Room for a whole week stuffed with concerts every January. I say "Twentieth Century" but in fact these events continued well into the 21st Century; now though, they have been replaced at the Southbank by trendier fare, and fair enough. But the old series was remarkable in bringing so many new music generations together, playing a lot of buried repertoire, particularly by women composers, and of course introducing the cream of conservatoire graduates to the joys of composers, commissions and premieres. There are quite a few people I don't see any more since the programme exited that comfortable venue.


However, PLG are always on the go with their year-long, intelligently programmed series of mostly lunchtime concerts, and it was a pleasure to visit their newest home, Holy Sepulchre Church, just up from the Old Bailey in the City of London. This beautiful building with so much light and space is not unknown to musicians, being by tradition the National Musicians Church. A few years or so ago there was a bit of a furore when the church announced that no more musical hires would be accepted. So it was good to discover that a new incumbent, Rev. Nick Mottershead has reversed the policy, and made PLG particularly welcome. Have a look, concerts are livestreamed and the series is weekly.


As ever, the carefully auditioned young artists are superlative performers. Harpist Gabriella Jones gave a suave and wide-ranging recital, the harp sounding gorgeous in a springy acoustic. Amongst her surprises was her own sensitive transcription of my piano piece Fragile, sounding completely harp-istic in her expert hands.

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JUDITH WEIR

Composer