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Rising Stars - The Castalian Quartet, Clare Hammond, The Gesualdo Six, The Amatis Trio

The Castalian Quartet
Clare Hammond (piano)
The Gesualdo Six
Amatis Trio 

Pre-concert talks are included, by writer and broadcaster Stephen Johnson.

Stay for two nights at the ever-welcoming Castle Hotel in Taunton, where all the events of the weekend take place.

  • The Amatis Piano Trio
  • The Gesualdo Six, photo credit: Ash Mills
  • Castalian String Quartet
  • Clare Hammond, © Julie Kim
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Three ensembles and a soloist descend on Taunton for an exciting opportunity to hear some of the highly talented musicians in the early stages of their career. ‘Rising stars’ is perhaps a misnomer is some cases: they have already risen (or risen further since we engaged them) and are already in demand by concert halls and festivals worldwide.

Castalian String Quartet

Formed in 2011, the Castalian Quartet enjoyed success on the competition circuit (prizes at Lyon, Hannover and Banff) and won awards from the Young Classical Artists Trust in 2016 and the Borletti-Buitoni Trust in 2018. They are now being signed up by promoters across Europe, Wigmore Hall among them.

Clare Hammond

Clare is a pianist of ‘amazing power and panache’ (Telegraph) and is recognised for the virtuosity and authority of her performances and for her ‘brilliantly imaginative concert programmes’ (BBC Music ‘Rising Star’). In 2016, she won the Royal Philharmonic Society’s ‘Young Artist Award’.

The Gesualdo Six

Comprising some of the UK’s finest young consort singers, the group was formed in 2014 for a performance of Gesualdo’s Tenebrae Responsories in Cambridge. They went on to give over sixty performances around the United Kingdom and abroad in its first three years. The director, Owain Park, is also a composer.

Amatis Piano Trio

Violinist Lea Hausmann, cellist Samuel Shepherd and pianist Mengjie Han founded the Amatis in 2014. Since winning the International Parkhouse Award at Wigmore Hall in 2015, they have been named Dutch Classical Talent 2016, BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artists 2017/18 and ECHO Rising Stars 2018/19. The trio perform extensive in major halls across Europe including debuts in Vienna Konzerthaus, Palau de la Musica, Barcelona and tours in the US and India this season.

Friday 25 January, 6.00pm

Pre-concert talk: 5.30pm 

Castalian String Quartet

Haydn, String Quartet in C, Op.20, No.2
Britten, String Quartet No.2 in C, Op.36
Brahms, String Quartet No.2 in A minor, Op.51, No.2

Saturday 26 January, 11.00am

Pre-concert talk: 10.30am

Clare Hammond piano 

Haydn, Sonata in C, Hob XVI:48;
Mendelssohn, The Bee’s Wedding;
Schumann, Humoreske, Op.20;
Debussy, Préludes, selection;
Rimsky-Korsakov, Flight of the Bumblebee;
Rachmaninov, Sonata No.2 in B flat, Op.36.

Saturday 26 January, 6.00pm & 9.15pm

The Gesualdo Six

Pre-concert talk and Part 1 will be held in the St John’s Church in Taunton, with the second part at the hotel after dinner.

Pre-concert talk: 5.00pm

Part 1: 6.00pm

Tallis, Te lucis ante terminum;
Cornelius, The Three Kings;
De Machaut, Gloria from Messe de Nostre Dame;
Byrd, Aspice Domine;
Rimkus, My Heart is Singing Like a Bird;
Marsh, Fading;
Ligeti, Selection from Nonsense Madrigals;
Park, Sequence In Parenthesis;
Rheinberger, Abendlied

Part 2: The Castle Hotel, 9.15pm

Londonderry Air arr. Peter Knight;
Molly Malone arr. Owain Park;

Tallis, selection from Tunes for Archbishop Parker’s Psalter;
Greensleeves arr. Bob Chilcott;
The Oak & the Ash arr. Gordon Langford;
Poulenc, Les Petites Voix;
Oh my love is like a red, red rose arr. Simon Carrington;
Migildi Magaldi arr. Bill Ives.

Sunday 27 January, 11.00am

Pre-concert talk: 10.30am

Amatis Piano Trio

Beethoven, Piano Trio in E flat, Op.1, No.1
Shostakovich, Piano Trio No.1 in C minor, Op.8
Mendelssohn, Piano Trio No.1 in D minor, Op.49

Price – per person

£780 (there is no single supplement); garden room £960. At a later stage, we may be able to offer double rooms for single occupancy for £50.

One dinner only

Subtract £40 per person from the prices above, should you wish to attend  one dinner only.


All concerts and talks, accommodation for two nights at The Castle Hotel, breakfasts, two afternoon teas, dinners (choose to attend one or two dinners), interval drinks, programme, tips for hotel staff.


The Castle Hotel, Taunton: renowned for its excellent service, for comforts traditional and modern and for its superb catering. It has been owned and run by the Chapman family for over 60 years. There is a lift to all floors but please let us know if you require a bedroom without step access, or if you use a wheelchair.

How strenuous?

These weekends are very leisurely affairs – everything takes place within the confines of the hotel. However please read the paragraph above if you use a wheelchair or have difficulties with negotiating stairs. Please note there is a 10 minute walk from The Castle Hotel to St John's Church.

Group size

Maximum 76 resident participants.


Individual concert tickets

Friday 25 January, evening: £25. Both morning concerts: £20. Saturday 26 January, evening: £30 for parts 1 and 2 combined, or £20 for just one part. Interval drinks and a programme are also included. To book individual concert tickets, please contact The Castle Hotel.

Map for Taunton.