Mozart and Mendelssohn – the Wiltshire Quartet
The Wiltshire Quartet led by Bill Benham is joined by the distinguished viola player Keith Lovell to play Mozart G minor Quintet K516.
Brian Lloyd-Wilson (violin) and Laurie MacLeod (cello), and their son Matthew Lloyd-Wilson (violin), will then join the Quartet to play Mendelssohn’s Octet Opus 20.
The Wiltshire Quartet, led by Bill Benham, is joined by distinguished violist Keith Lovell to play Mozart’s G minor Quintet, K516. The other members of the Wiltshire quartet include Catherine Demetriadi (violin), Martin Alford (viola), and Dawn Thompson (cello).
The Mozart quintet presents audiences with an aural feast. According to musicologist and editor Michael Lorenz, it is “one of the greatest pieces of chamber music ever written. Its slow movement in E flat major has been described as ‘prayer’ by Alfred Einstein”. According to Tchaikovsky, “No one else has ever known as well how to interpret so exquisitely in music the sense of resigned and inconsolable sorrow.”
Wiltshire Quartet’s Catherine Demetriadi added: “Written in 1825 when Mendelssohn was just 16, the Octet is a masterpiece – a joy to hear and, although challenging for the performers, equally a joy to play.”
She pointed out that, according to Peter Guttman’s Classical Notes 2013, “(M)any commentators have asserted that no other composer – not even Mozart – has ever written a major piece of such astounding quality at such a tender age”.
Tickets are available for just £10 each from the Salisbury Playhouse Box Office (telephone: 01722 320333) or on the door.
All concerts take place in All Saints’ Church, Farley, Salisbury SP5 1AH
Bill Benham (violin)
Bill studied the violin with a number of masters including Jean Pougnet and Alfredo
Keith Lovell (viola)
A Londoner by birth, Keith Lovell started playing the violin at the age of eight. When he left school, it was with the dire warning from his headmaster that “Music alone will get him nowhere”
After two years national service with the Band of the Grenadier Guards, he won a scholarship to the Royal College of Music where he studied the viola with Frederick Riddle. On leaving the RCM he joined the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, which in those days still had Sir Thomas Beecham as its principal conductor.
In 1958 Keith moved to Devon to become a founder member of the Dartington String Quartet which flourished both at home and abroad for over twenty years.When the Quartet disbanded, Keith joined the Allegri Quartet with whom he played for eight years. He was also appointed Professor of Viola at Trinity College of Music.
During the 1990s Keith played regularly with the Bournemouth Sinfonietta and following the demise of that orchestra, he returned to South Devon where he divided his time between teaching and freelance playing in orchestral and chamber music groups. He now lives in Wiltshire in semi- retirement and spends his spare time “messing about in boats”.
Catherine Clark Demetriadi (violin)
Catherine Demetriadi began her violin studies as a student of Anne Gombosi, principal of the All Newton Music School near Boston, continuing in high school with Joe Schaaf at the Cambridge School of Weston. Her chamber music and orchestral playing took off during summers at Greenwood Music Camp in western Massachusetts.
Catherine moved to Wiltshire in 2009 to take up the post of Head of Development for the Royal School of Church Music. She has set up a charity development consultancy, FundraisingPoint and is a founding Adviser with Church Music Future, a church consulting agency founded in 2015
Catherine plays with the Salisbury Symphony Orchestra and the Salisbury Sinfonia as well as gigging for charity events and playing in worship services. She was a founding member of the Farley Quartet along with Martin Alford, and the two of them joined forces with Bill Benham and Dawn Thompson in the autumn of 2014 to form the Wiltshire Quartet, which made its Salisbury and Dorset debuts in December. She also sings with various ‘pick-up’ groups including the Farley Chorale, Poscimur and QPM and is an artist, writer, and photographer.
Dawn Thompson (cello)
Dawn started her working life as a peripatetic cello/bass teacher in Wakefield. On moving to Cheshire she added violin to her teaching practice and coached orchestras in both Crewe and Nantwich.
She moved to Wiltshire in 1994, where she was employed as a cello teacher at St Mary’s and St Margaret’s Schools in Calne, and a few years later moved to Dauntsey’s School as a teacher and Co-Ordinator of Instrumental Music. She has led the cello section in many amateur orchestras and has enjoyed conducting, composing and arranging music throughout her career. Since leaving Dauntsey’s School (in September 2011) she has developed her love of textiles, and now spends much of her time in the Steeple Ashton Textile Studios where she is a spinner, weaver and dyer.
Martin Alford – viola, organ and piano.
Martin Alford graduated as a Bachelor of Music at London University in 1974 and then trained as a school music teacher. He moved to Wiltshire in 1978 to be Head of Music at Pewsey Vale School, where he remained until his retirement in 2012.
He has been Musical Director of Devizes Chamber Choir 1981-91, Organist and Choirmaster of St Mary’s Market Lavington 1986-2000, and Musical Director of Swindon Gilbert and Sullivan Society 1993-2006. He freelances regularly as organist, accompanist and viola player, and is Principal Viola of Salisbury Symphony Orchestra.
Brian Lloyd-Wilson (violin)