City Music Foundation musicians at Rye Arts Festival

Cordelia Williams piano

City Music Foundation Artists Cordelia Williams, Ensemble Hesperi, Richard Robbins, Harriet Burns and Mikeleiz-Zucchi Duo will perform at Rye Arts Festival this September.

Cordelia Williams

19:30 Sat, 16th Sep 2023

St Mary’s Church, Rye

Cordelia Williams is celebrated for her understanding of the music of Schubert and Schumann in particular, and she brings us a tender and passionate programme featuring both these composers. Her latest album was awarded Critics’ Choice and Recording of the Year, with her performance of Schumann singled out as “a stunning revelation… Williams finds astonishing beauty in these pieces that had me shaking my head in wonder.” (MusicWeb International) The Festival is delighted that Cordelia is able to perform this year as her concert had to be cancelled at short notice in 2022 owing to the sad death of Queen Elizabeth II.


Beethoven Six Bagatelles op. 126
Schubert Impromptu in F minor D935 no.1
Brahms Three Intermezzi op. 117
Schumann Fantasie op. 17

Ensemble Hesperi

Ensemble Hesperi & Richard Robbins

19:30 Sun, 17th Sep 2023

St Mary’s Church, Rye

Inspired by Canaletto’s famous views of Venice, Ensemble Hesperi presents a programme of instrumental and vocal music by Venetian Baroque composers. Highlights include a virtuosic concerto, La Tempesta di Mare, by the city’s famous ‘Red Priest’, Vivaldi, wild sonatas of the ‘Stylus Phantasticus’, and a sparkling divertimento by Anna Bon di Venezia. Interspersed are impassioned arias for tenor by Vivaldi and Monteverdi, and by Handel, whose Agrippina was premiered in Venice.

Headline works include the virtuosic concerto, La Tempesta di Mare, by Venice’s famous ‘Red Priest’, Vivaldi, which depicts a storm at sea, reminding the listener of the perils of life in a city surrounded by water. The beginnings of the Baroque in Venice itself are brought to life through an improvisatory ‘Stylus Phantasticus’ sonata by Dario Castello, who worked at the famous church of St Mark, and a fiery solo harpsichord toccata by Venetian harpsichordist Giovanni Picchi. Baroque Venice also boasted many talented musical women, many of whom attended the orphanage and music school Ospedale della Pietà, where Vivaldi was maestro di violino.

The programme also features a violin sonata, likely written by Vivaldi for Anna Maria, one of his talented female students, and a sparkling divertimento by Anna Bon di Venezia, who attended the school as a fee-paying student shortly after Vivaldi’s death. Interspersed throughout are impassioned arias and duets for soprano and tenor by Vivaldi and Monteverdi, and by Handel, whose early opera Rodrigo was premiered in Venice.

Mikeliez Zucchi Duo

Mikeleiz-Zucchi Duo

19:30 Wed, 27th Sep 2023

St Mary’s Church, Rye

Canadian saxophonist David Zucchi and Spanish accordionist Iñigo Mikeleiz-Borrade bring their dynamic music-making to Rye. Reflecting their unusual pairing of instruments and different cultural backgrounds, these award-winning musicians perform a wide range of repertoire, from reimagined traditional works to modern repertoire, including improvisation. You will hear pieces by Praetorius, Bach, Gershwin & Piazzolla.

M. Praetorius Suite from “Terpsichore”
C. Corea
Selection from “Children’s Songs”
R. Albayati Nafas
E. Granados Andaluza
J.S. Bach Flute sonata (TBC)
G. Gershwin Selection from “Songbook”
A. Piazzolla Histoire du Tango 


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