Letters Over Numbers

I wasn’t very good at maths at school.  Really bad, in fact.  Bottom group for me, but still, we had a whole load of fun in our class and there was something I did kind of grasp: algebra (I’ve always favoured letters over numbers.)  However, there’s one equation I really can’t get right now….

X =classical music can alleviate depression

Y = more and more school goers are depressed

so by my, albeit ‘dodgy bottom of the class’, calculation

Z = politicians should encourage music-making in schools

But no.  Apparently not!  The Arts are being marginalised in the curriculum and these narrow-minded people at the top are not quite seeing the big picture and getting the formula right.  Nul Points for Westminster.  When Churchill was asked to cut arts funding to support the war effort, he replied “Then what are we fighting for?”  Oh, Winston, if only I could put an X next to your name on June 8th.

Anyway, rant over.  Concerts this month.  Well, the Aldeburgh Festival celebrates its 50th anniversary of  music at Snape Maltings and my have they come up with a stellar programme this year between June 9th and 25th.  Highlights for me will be Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Ann Murray and Malcolm Martineau’s Masterclasses on Britten songs and cellist Stephen Isserlis’ recital of sonatas by Britten/ Bridge/ Adès/ Schumann/ Kurtág.  www.snapemaltings.co.uk for the full programme.

Symphony concerts are plentiful this month too.  On Saturday 24th June you have a choice of Suffolk Sinfonia playing Tchaikovsky violin concerto and Beethoven’s 4th Symphony at The Apex, Bury St Edmunds or Ipswich Symphony Orchestra giving you a feast of Stravinsky (Petrushka) and Mendelssohn Violin Concerto at the Corn Exchange, Ipswich.

Four choirs are joining forces on June 17th to perform Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius at The Royal Hospital School with Richard Edgar-Wilson once again assuming the role and William Saunders at the helm.  Felixstowe Music Series presents Brahms Sextet in G major & Tchaikovsky “Souvenir de Florence” on June 10th at St Peter and St Paul’s Church, Felixstowe.  And God bless Andrea King whose Upbeat Contemporary Choir is performing on June 4th at The Apex in aid of Help for Heroes.  Her focus is on ‘confidence building through vocal performance’ and they have already raised nearly £10,000 for local charities.  Now she gets my vote.

This month’s Get Classical with FJ radio highlight:  On Monday 5th June Fiona will be talking to Harriet Bennett, cellist and organiser of the Felixstowe Music Concert Series ahead of their exciting programme of concerts this summer.  Tune in Mondays at 6pm on ICR 105.7FM & online at www.icrfm.com/live