Bath Mozartfest 2014

With the first weekend a virtual sell-out, this has been another highly successful year for Bath’s premier music festival.  Artistic Director, Amelia Freedman, has once again excelled with a much-praised programme which has won plaudits from audience and critics alike.

Hugh Canning dedicated his page in the Sunday Times (16.11.14) to opera in Dresden and Bath’s Mozartfest.  Taking in four concerts – pianist Steven Osborne, Amelia’s own Nash Ensemble, The Myrthen Ensemble and Imogen Cooper – he found much to praise.

First, Amelia’s ‘canny programming and the city’s beautiful venues’, then a lengthy, and uniformly positive, analysis of the ‘special… programme of war-themed songs and quartets performed by the young Myrthen Ensemble’ which, he concluded, formed an ‘intense and moving programme’.  Going on to describe the mezzo-soprano Clara Mouriz as ‘simply devastating’ in Granados’s harrowing song of loss, La maja dolorosa, ‘her tone sumptuous, her chest notes piercing like daggers, her pain palpable.  A wonderful young artist, superbly partnered by Joseph Middleton {on piano}, who earned his solo spot.

Mr Canning clearly enjoyed the two solo pianists he heard performing, too, describing Steven Osborne and Imogen Cooper as ‘two of our most thoughtful and searching pianists.’  And he ended with a tribute to the Nash Ensemble ‘making a sparkling opera buffa without voices of Beethoven’s exhilarating, youthful Septet’.  Praise indeed!

And, as the ‘fest’ drew to a close Rian Evans, writing in The Guardian (17.11.14), was impressed too, awarding 4 stars in her review of The Emerson String Quartet:  ‘For their concert at Bath Mozartfest the Emerson String Quartet played works by the three composers whose quartets are the very pillars of the repertoire: Haydn, Shostakovich and Beethoven. But, counteracting any overzealous solemnity, they opened with Haydn’s Op 33 No 2 (nicknamed “the joke”), which has wit and playfulness in abundance, with some thigh-slapping rusticity to boot. In the finale, with a deadpan delivery to match the best comedians, they engineered the stop and start again – and again – of Haydn’s humorous play on listeners’ expectations, raising laughter as well as applause.

She summed up with ‘The Emersons’ … finely-honed precision – boosted now with the glow brought by cellist Paul Watkins – made this Beethoven speak with potent directness.

Combined with a raft of equally positive local and regional reviews, and many positive comments from happy and approving concert-goers, a firm seal of approval has been set on this year’s Bath Mozartfest.

So the staff team are now turning their attention to Bath Bachfest, which will take place from Thursday 19 to Saturday 21 February 2015, and then to the 2015 Bath Mozartfest – which will be our 25th anniversary.  Please watch this space for advance information about what promises to be a very special festival.

Bath Mozartfest 2015 will take place from Friday 13 to Saturday 21 November 2015.

7th - 15th November 2014

Friday 7 November 2014

8:00pm / ASSEMBLY ROOMS
· Takacs Quartet
· Louise Williams

7th - 15th November 2014

Saturday 8 November 2014

11:00am / ASSEMBLY ROOMS
· Takacs Quartet


7:30pm / BATH ABBEY
· Sophie Bevan
· Renata Pokupic
· James Gilchrist
· Andrew Foster-Williams
· Bath Philharmonia
· Bath Camerata
· Paul McCreesh (Conductor)

7th - 15th November 2014

Sunday 9 November 2014

1:00pm / ASSEMBLY ROOMS
· Samuel West (Narrator)


7:30pm / GUILDHALL
· Tasmin Little

7th - 15th November 2014

Monday 10 November 2014

1:00pm / GUILDHALL
· Steven Osborne


7:30pm / ASSEMBLY ROOMS
· Nash Ensemble

7th - 15th November 2014

Tuesday 11 November 2014

1:00pm / GUILDHALL
· The Myrthen Ensemble


7:30pm / ASSEMBLY ROOMS
· Imogen Cooper

7th - 15th November 2014

Wednesday 12 November 2014

1:00pm / GUILDHALL
· Sitkovetsky Piano Trio


7:30pm / BATH ABBEY
· Freiburg Baroque Orchestra
· Kristian Bezuidenhout
· Javier Zafra
· Gottfried von der Goltz

7th - 15th November 2014

Thursday 13 November 2014

1:00pm / GUILDHALL
· Olivier Ensemble


7:30pm / ASSEMBLY ROOMS
· Mark Padmore
· Till Fellner

7th - 15th November 2014

Friday 14 November 2014

7:30pm / ASSEMBLY ROOMS
· Emerson String Quartet

7th - 15th November 2014

Saturday 15 November 2014

11:00am / ASSEMBLY ROOMS
· Vertavo String Quartet
· Paul Lewis


7:30pm / THE FORUM
· London Philharmonic Orchestra
· Christian Tetzlaff
· Vassily Sinaisky