The Liberal Jewish Synagogue, Ensemble Émigré and The Royal College of Music present a programme of words and music that brings together the voices of German and Austrian composers who came to Britain seeking refuge from Nazi oppression and who were ‘collared’ by Churchill in the internment camps on the Isle of Man from 1940–41.
The concert is preceded by a conversation with Sue Lukes, a founder of the charity Music in Detention, and a performance by Lucky Moyo, a former member of Zimbabwean music and dance ensemble Black Umfolosi, who will speak about his experience as an immigrant to the United Kingdom.
The Barbed Lyre: Leaves from the Isle of Man celebrates the extraordinary resilience and creative spirit of artists in the face of migration, detention and uncertainty.
Ensemble Émigré and students of the Royal College of Music present a concert that weaves together poetry and music written in the internment camps with stories of contemporaries, and music that celebrates the cultural legacy of an Island where sun-seeking holidaymakers after the War found themselves staying in boarding houses that were once occupied by refugees.
The programme includes works by Kurt Schwitters, Hans Gál, Peter Gellhorn and others. Performances by Norbert Meyn, Alke Quartet, Lucy Culquhoun and Cathy Heller Jones. Narrator and libretto: Joseph Kohlmaier.
A pre-concert conversation with Sue Lukes, a founder of the charity Music in Detention, and performance by Lucky Moyo, a former member of Zimbabwean music and dance ensemble Black Umfolosi, who will speak about his experience as an immigrant to the United Kingdom.
German tenor Norbert Meyn is equally at home singing baroque, classical and contemporary music. As a concert soloist he has appeared at the Barbican Hall, the South Bank Centre, St. John’s Smith Square and the Royal Albert Hall in London, also at Usher Hall in Edinburgh, the Halle International Handel Festival, the Utrecht Festival of Early Music, with the Salzburg Bach Choir and in the Bach Cantata Pilgrimage of the Monteverdi Choir and Orchestra, with conductors including Sir Roger Norrington, Howard Arman, Simon Halsey, Phillip Pickett and Sir John Eliot Gardiner. Norbert was born in the German city of Weimar. After studying music and singing in Dresden, Riga and Weimar, he moved to the UK in 1997 to study at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. Since 2001 he has been a professor there, and since 2005 also at the Royal College of Music, where he teaches German Lieder classes.
The work of Joseph Kohlmaier crosses over different disciplines and brings together practices such as writing, design, teaching, performance, editorial and curatorial work, and composition. Joseph founded Musarc in 2008, one of London’s most progressive amateur choral ensembles, and acts as its creative director. He is a senior lecturer in the history and theory of architecture at The Cass, London Metropolitan University where he also teaches a cross-faculty dissertation studio on performance and the creative process. He runs a postgraduate contextual studies module on sound, architecture and the city; and is currently developing the MA by Project: Course in poetics. Joseph is one of the founding directors of graphic design practice Polimekanos.
The Alke Quartet was formed in 2011 from members of the Southbank Sinfonia and during 2015/17, the Alke Quartet are in residence at the Royal College of Music on the Chamber Music Course, kindly supported by a legacy from the late Albert and Eugenie Frost. Following their highly successful Park Lane Group (PLG) audition in Spring 2015, the Alke Quartet has given the PLG’s annual performance of Haydn’s The Seven Last words from The Cross at St. Martin-in-the-Fields, performed with great success in the PLG Young Artists Spring Series in St John’s Smith Square last April and will be presented by the PLG in Wigmore Hall on the 13th March 2017. Part of the ChamberStudio, Kings Place London, the Alke Quartet have received masterclasses from Rita Wagner, Krysia Osostowicz, Simon Rowland-Jones and Richard Ireland. Finalists in the Bloch Music Competition and St. Martin-in-the-Fields Chamber Music Competition, they were accepted for the International Music Seminar Prussia Cove, working closely with the Endellion Quartet’s David Waterman. In January 2017 they participated in the Winter Residency Programme at Banff, Canada. Their performance venues include St. Martin-in-the-Fields, St John’s Smith Square, St James’s Piccadilly, Bath’s Pump Room and the Barbican Centre.
Lucy Colquhoun graduated from the Royal College of Music in 2014 having studied with Roger Vignoles and prior to that with John Blakely. She won all the major prizes for piano accompaniment, including the Alisdair Graham Prize for Piano Accompaniment, the Joan Chissel Schumann Prize and the Titanic Memoriam Prize in the Lies Askonas Competition. She was also the recipient of the Douglas and Hilda Simmonds Award, the Kendall-Taylor Award and a scholarship from the Knights of the Round Table. This year she was the winner of the Ronald Tickner Trust Award as part of the Somerset Song Prize. She is currently studying privately with Roger Vignoles funded by the Knights of the Round Table. Prior to this Lucy gained a BMus(hons), PGdip and MMus(perf) from the Royal Northern College of Music studying with Dina Parakhina and Mark Ray and was the winner of the RJ Forbes Prize for Piano Accompaniment. She was generously supported by the Walter Deakin Bursary for Young Musicians and the RNCM bursary fund. Recent and forthcoming performances include The Purcell Room (Park Lane Group New Year Series) St. James’s, Piccadilly, St-Martin-in-the-Fields, The National Gallery, London, 22 Mansfield Street, Park House, Cheltenham, Leicester University Young Concert Artist’s Trust, Trinity College Cambridge, Brighton, Leeds, Oxford, Carlisle, the Lake District, The Yorke Trust, Norfolk Danish Song Society, Copenhagen, the Schubert Society of Great Britain, the Delius Society, British Music Society, the Buxton Festival and the Royal Albert Hall, Elgar Room. She has an interest in contemporary music having premiered works by Gary Carpenter, John Casken, Adam Gorb, Larry Goves and Andy Scott. She has attended masterclasses in Austria, Denmark and France. She is a Britten-Pears Young Artist and a Making Music Concert Promoters Group selected artist.
Cathy Heller Jones is the Director of Music at the Liberal Jewish Synagogue. Prior to that she sang in the synagogue's professional choir and was their cantorial soloist. She was born in NYC and gained her BMus degree at Boston University, followed by postgraduate singing studies at the Guildhall School of Music. Her professional work combines conducting, singing and teaching. Her singing career has taken her all over the world - much of it with London Voices, London Sinfonietta Voices and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields. She toured with Steve Reich in the UK, with Kaija Saariaho in the USA, and sung in the Paris premiere of John Adams’ oratorio El Niño, directed by Peter Sellars. She recorded the complete vocal works of Leonard Bernstein with Simon Rattle and Kent Nagano. In Benjamin Britten’s centenary year she toured with London Voices to China in performances of his War Requiem and Peter Grimes. She has recorded numerous choral works and film soundtracks with composers John Williams, Howard Shore, Alexandre Desplat and Paul McCartney, and can be heard as part of the choir in recordings with Sir Neville Marinner and the ASMF. Cathy is the music director of Musarc – one of Britain’s most innovative and progressive choral ensembles. She frequently leads choral workshops and directs the chamber choir and teaches singing at St. Albans HS for Girls.
Ingrid Pearson has performed with major UK period ensembles including The Hanover Band, English Baroque Soloists, The English Concert, Florilegium, Gabrieli Consort and Players, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique and The Symphony of Harmony and Invention, in venues throughout the UK and abroad. Recent projects on modern clarinet have chamber music of Robert Kahn, new works by Graham Hair and an exploration of 19-tone equally-tempered microtonality.
An interest in the history, repertoire and development of the clarinet brought Ingrid to the UK from her native Australia. Since completing doctoral studies in historical performance practice, Ingrid has also been active as an academic. She joined the professoriat at London’s Royal College of Music in 2005 where she is currently Research Fellow in Performance Practice. This role allows her a broad remit of activities across theory and practice.
Kindly supported by:
Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany
Leo Back Institute London
We are also grateful to:
Culture Vannin, Isle of Man
Music in Detention