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The Aronowitz Ensemble - Chamber music masterpieces

The Aronowitz Ensemble's seven members are among the best young artists in the UK today – their weekend programme features Brahms in particular alongside works by Mozart, Schumann, Schubert, Boccherini and others.

The line up is: Magnus Johnston (violin), Nadia Wijzenbeek (violin), Rosalind Ventris (viola), Tom Hankey (viola), Guy Johnston (cello), Sarah MacMahon (cello) and Tom Poster (piano).

Stay at The Castle Hotel in Taunton, which is among the most comfortable and agreeable hotels in England – the 2014–15 season of music weekends will be the hotel’s 40th.

Concerts take place in the hotel’s ‘Music Room’, an intimate space the size of a large drawing room.

Dinners, afternoon teas, interval drinks and even gratuities for hotel staff are also included in the price.

Tickets to individual concerts are also available. Please contact The Castle Hotel directly to purchase these (telephone 01823 272 671 or visit the-castle-hotel.com).

  • The Aronowitz Ensemble
    The Aronowitz Ensemble.
  • The Castle Hotel, Taunton
    The Castle Hotel, Taunton.
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Overview

The Aronowitz Ensemble, now established over ten years ago, was formed out of the desire of seven outstanding international artists to explore and perform chamber music together in the adaptable combination of string sextet and piano.

The group has been featured extensively on BBC Radio 3 since becoming BBC New Generation Artists in 2006 – broadcasts have included performances from Wigmore Hall, Bridgewater Hall, the Sage Gateshead and the Aldeburgh, Bath, Cheltenham and City of London Festivals. The Ensemble made its Proms debut in 2008 and has returned numerous times since. In addition it has appeared on stages and festivals throughout Europe.

For this weekend, The Aronowitz Ensemble presents a rich treasury of chamber music masterpieces including (though not exclusively) quartets, quintets and sextets. Major works by Brahms are a feature, and are combined with music by Schubert, Schumann, Mozart, Fauré and Ravel alongside lesser-known gems by Boccherini, Arensky, and a short work by Spanish composer Joaquín Turina.

A special pleasure of these weekends is that the musicians sometimes choose to speak about the music they are about to perform – the members of this ensemble are well accustomed to presenting their performances and will give short talks during the concerts.

Day 1

Concert at 6.00pm:
Joaquín Turina, ‘Escena Andaluza’ for solo viola, piano & string quartet
Fauré, Piano Quartet No.2 in G minor, Op.45
Brahms, Piano Quintet in F minor, Op.34

Day 2

Concert at 11.00am:
Mozart, Sonata for violin & piano in G, K.379
Schumann, ‘Märchenbilder’ for viola & piano, Op.113
Arensky, Quartet for violin, viola & two cellos

Concert at 6.00pm:
Schubert, Adagio & Rondo Concertante for piano quartet, D487
Ravel, Sonata for violin & cello
Brahms, Piano Quartet No.2 in A, Op.26

Day 3

Concert at 11.00am:
Boccherini, String Quintet in E, Op.11 No.5
Brahms, String Sextet No.1 in B flat, Op.18

Price

Residential package: £750; Garden Room £890. No supplement for single rooms (double rooms for single occupancy may be made available at a later stage for £800). The price includes: accommodation for two nights at The Castle Hotel; admission to concerts; breakfasts; two afternoon teas; two dinners with wine, water, tea, coffee; interval drinks; hotel staff gratuities; programme booklet.

Individual concert tickets

£24 for morning concerts, £25 for evening concerts.

Please contact The Castle Hotel directly to purchase these on 01823 272 671, or visit the-castle-hotel.com.

Accommodation

The Castle Hotel is 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 sixty years.

Music weekends have been held here since 1977, and Martin Randall Music Management took over the running of them in 2003. Concerts and talks are held in the air-conditioned Music Room.

The hotel’s forty-four bedrooms are individually and charmingly decorated and well equipped. The largest – the Garden Rooms – are in the remains of the twelfth-century castle overlooking the garden, and are the equivalent of Junior Suites, with a sitting area and separate dressing room. Doubles and twins are mainly of a good size and vary in outlook. Single rooms, while comfortable, are small and generally less well appointed with single beds – for this reason we do not charge a single supplement for them. At a later stage, we may release some double rooms for single occupancy for which we charge a £50 supplement. The majority of rooms have a bath with a shower fitment.

The hotel has a lift, though some bedrooms do then involve step access. The Music Room is on a mezzanine level, reached via a flight of stairs from the lobby – there is provision for wheelchair users (please ask us for information).

Taunton lies on the doorstep of Exmoor and the Quantocks, areas with some of the loveliest countryside in England.

Map for Taunton.

'Outstanding and memorable, the quality enhanced by the youthful vitality and enthusiasm of the players as much as their technical brilliance.'

'The weekend more than amply rewarded my hopes and expectations.'

'The music was glorious: interesting in choice and magnificently energetic in performance.'

'The musicians’ vitality and enthusiasm brought the various composers’ music alive. The programme was so varied, such humour and texture in it. It was a delight. I really, really enjoyed it all.’