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Classical Music - The Chicago-Sussex Quintet

In 1940 Boston’s marvellous concert venue The Edward Hatch Memorial Shell was built. The designers chose to adorn the Hatch Shell with the names of who they considered to be the 86 most important classical composers in history. There was not a woman among them. In July 2000, the Boston Pops (annual proms-type concert) paid tribute to a woman whose oeuvre was coming back into fashion nearly fifty years after her death. Her name is Amy Beach, and in her lifetime she was considered to be every bit as brilliant as her European contemporaries Chopin, Mendelssohn and Brahms. To commemorate her work, Beach’s name was engraved into the granite wall of the Hatch Centre. Yet her oeuvre is hardly known this side of the Atlantic.

The Chicago-Sussex piano quintet has been formed to celebrate the arrival in Lewes of three brilliant musicians from the States, Paganini-prize winning violinist Elaine Skorodin, viola-playing Sally Didrickson and cellist Julie Bevan. They are joined by locals Cynthia Eraut (violin) and Jon Walker (piano), who normally play together in the Konstanza Piano Quartet. Tonight this ensemble are playing Beethoven’s Rondeau, and Elgar’s Piano Quintet. They are also playing Amy Beach’s Piano Quintet, in tribute to one of America’s greatest composers. Proceeds will go towards the desperately needed repairs to St Anne’s Church’s Norman tower. AG

Life’s a Beach: and then you get the recognition you reserve
St Anne’s Church, Western Rd, Lewes
When? 8pm
How Much? £8 (accompanied children free)

Chicago-Sussex Quintet
(t) 01273 478290