This letter was sent out to all members in October 2020

Dear Members and Friends

We hope you have all kept well over the summer, being able to enjoy meeting up with friends and family where possible and maybe listening and watching the music that so many artists have made available online.  October 7th should have been the first concert of our 75th Season featuring Paul Lewis, an old friend of the Club, as well as welcoming returning and new members.  By this time next year we hope there is as close to a normal season of live music as possible and are pleased to say that Paul will be part of that season, as will all the artists of the 2 cancelled and the other 2 postponed concerts we have already announced.

Government advice about social-distancing protocols and the availability of the King’s Hall are continually being monitored by the Committee to enable us to restart live concerts as soon as it is safe to do so.  As you may know there is no news yet about the King’s Hall availability, and therefore the January concert with Rachel Podger and Voces8 will be postponed.  You will be advised about the final 4 concerts as and when those decisions are made.

Annual General Meeting

Under normal circumstances we would be holding our AGM before the November concert and you would all have received the invitation and papers with your tickets.  Our constitution requires us to hold an AGM before 30th November but under the current circumstances it will not be realistic to do that face to face.  Since our AGM usually attracts only a small audience and conducts a very limited agenda, the committee, have agreed that we will hold it virtually via a Zoom Video and Teleconference.

As such you are cordially invited to attend the AGM on 11th November 2020 at 7:00pm.  The AGM agenda and papers are available from our website –  Look for the menu item About Us and the section Annual General Meeting 2020.

If you wish to attend the AGM please contact Robert Templar – or 07720409611 – and he will ensure that you receive the joining instructions for the Zoom Meeting.  Robert will also assist you if you are unable to access the website to read the papers.

Recommended Listening

As mentioned above we should have been enjoying a Paul Lewis concert this month, featuring the 13th and 14th sonatas of Beethoven (op 27 nos. 1 and 2) and the amazing Fantasia op 77, the closest Beethoven came to writing down one of his famous improvisations. The final work would have been Schubert’s G major sonata D894, perhaps the most tranquil and serene sonata that Schubert wrote, and the last to be published in his lifetime.

Paul has recorded all of these works and you can watch recitals of him playing the ‘Moonlight’ sonata (op 27 no. 2) and the Schubert D894 on YouTube using the following URLs:

Beethoven Moonlight

Schubert D894     

As usual we asked Raymond Waud to provide his recommendations.  Paul Lewis’s recordings of Beethoven and Schubert have all received considerable critical acclaim and details of those relating to the postponed concert are as follows:

Beethoven Piano sonatas nos. 13 & 14:  Currently only available in a 3 CD set, which also includes nos. 1-4, 12, 22, 23, and is available at medium price on Harmonia Mundi HMC 901906-8.

Beethoven Fantasia op 77:  Coupled with the bagatelles op 33, 119, 126, at full price, on Harmonia Mundi HMM 902416.

Schubert Piano G major sonata D894:  Coupled with piano sonatas D840, D850, and Impromptu D899 on a 2-disc full price set from Harmonia Mundi HMC 902115-16.

Also available is a 14 CD set containing the concertos, sonatas and the Diabelli variations on Harmonia Mundi HMX 290888-93. One on-line retailer has this available for £20.

Good budget alternatives, by other pianists are:

Beethoven:  all the piano sonatas and bagatelles op 119 & 120.  I highly recommend this set from Warner 9029586922 (for around the cost of 1 full price CD), played by Stephen Kovacevitch.

Schubert:  As well as D894 (no. 18), the 2-disc budget set includes sonatas nos. 14, 15, 20, 21, played by Alfred Brendel on Decca 475 7191

During the summer period we received recommendations from both members and artists.  Where these are local or feature artists that ICC have supported in the past, we thought to pass them on.

One member let us know how they had enjoyed both listening to and watching the York Chamber music festival in late September which is available to watch free of charge via their website:  Donations can be made via their website.  That also featured Katya Apekisheva who should have played for us in December and has played for us previously in March 2017 with Philip Dukes

Many of you have probably been watching and listening to the Wigmore Hall recitals, which have included many artists that have graced the King’s Hall for the Club.  One of these is Leon McCawley who has played for ICC 3 times and whom we plan to have back soon.  He contacted us to say he is giving a recital at Wigmore Hall on 10th October at 7.30pm and this will be live-streamed for free here:  The programme will consist of works by Schubert, Janáček, Grieg and Schumann.  More information about the concert is on the Wigmore’s website link here

Ilkley Chamber Music Online

To cheer a winter in which we have to anticipate increasing restrictions and a further lack of live music we have considered what the Club could do, both to bring some entertainment to our members and also help the artists who are suffering such financial hardship through loss of employment.

The Club is lucky to have sound financial reserves because of the regular support of our loyal members and volunteers and we are in a position to commission four specially prepared podcasts from the artists who are unable to perform in the concerts we have been forced to cancel: Paul Lewis, the Gould Trio, Natalie Clein and Rachel Podger with Voces8.

Each recording will have a special Ilkley introduction and we plan to release these on-line on successive Wednesdays from mid-November to early December. They will have free password-controlled access for ICC members and will be available for a limited period, constituting a ‘mini-Festival’ of musical performances to brighten the dark days of winter!

All the details will be available in our November Newsletter.

E-mail addresses

We are still eager to have e-mail addresses for as many of our members as possible as it reduces the administration and costs of keeping you in touch with the Club. If you have an email address and it is not in our contact database, would you please let Robert Templar know at

Ilkley Concert Club