Wednesday 4th October, 1.15 -1.45pm – 40th Birthday Harpsichord Recital

Mark Spalding, harpsichord & Haworth Hodgkinson, percussion.

Another chance to hear our beautiful harpsichord and its versatility.

Mark is well known to Wighton audiences from previous appearances. Haworth is a composer and improvising musician, as well as a poet, playwright, and performer of the spoken word.

Admission free, donations welcome.

Wednesday 26th July. 1.15 – 145pm. Mark Spalding with El Search: Harpsichord 40th Birthday Celebration!

Wighton’s own harpsichord specialist, Mark Spalding , will be playing with Dundee’s long established free improvisation group El Search in a programme specially devised as part of the 40th anniversary celebrations.

The Wighton Harpsichord is a French double-manual instrument after the 18th century maker Nicholas Blanchet , commissioned by Annette Heilbron and  built by Mark Stevenson, Cambridge , in 1983.  This is a great opportunity to hear just how versatile our beautiful instrument can be.

Admission free, donations welcome.

 

 

 

Saturday 27th May, 11am – John Kitchen MBE, harpsichord

To continue our celebrations of the Wighton Harpsichord’s 40th Birthday The Friends of Wighton are delighted and honoured to welcome one of Scotland’s most distinguished musicians, John Kitchen MBE.

After 27 years as a Senior Lecturer in Music in the University of Edinburgh, having moved there from the University of St Andrews, John Kitchen retired from university teaching, He is an Honorary Fellow in the Reid School of Music and continues as University Organist, as Director of the Edinburgh University Singers, and with the Raymond Russell Collection of Early Keyboard Instruments at St Cecilia’s Hall. John is also Director of Music of Old Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church and Edinburgh City Organist with duties at the Usher Hall. He gives many solo recitals both in the UK and further afield, and also plays regularly with several ensembles covering a wide range of musical styles.
His interest in the harpsichord inspired his doctoral thesis “Harpsichord music of seventeenth century France: the forms, their origins and developments, with particular emphasis on the work of Louis Couperin (1626–1661).
In addition, he is much in demand as a continuo player, accompanist, lecturer, writer, adjudicator and reviewer. John has recorded extensively for both Priory and for the Edinburgh-based label, Delphian Records.
We are very excited that we shall hear him play our lovely harpsichord on Saturday.
Admission is £5 at the door.

Wighton Harpsichord’s 40th Birthday Concert – 11th March, 11a.m.

This year sees the beautiful Wighton Harpsichord’s  40th Birthday and Friends of Wighton will stage several special events to mark the occasion.

Celebrations begin with a double treat!   Tim Heilbronn will remember (Time) Travels with My Aunt Annette, the distinguished musician who commissioned the instrument. We will then have a delightful harpsichord and baroque violin recital from The Highlands Duo.

 

The Highlands Duo began performing together in 2009 in Freiburg, Germany, where violinist Benjamin Shute and harpsichordist Anastasia Abu Bakar were studying at the Hochschule für Musik. The duo has performed at European venues including Schlosskonzerte Bad Krozingen and Schlossfestspiele Marburg and performed at American institutions including the Wheaton College Conservatory of Music, Dickinson College, Southeast Oklahoma State University, Oklahoma Baptist University, and Ouachita Baptist University.

Anastasia Abu Bakar  studied at the conservatories of Freiburg (BM), Florence, and Frankfurt (MM), She has performed as soloist with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, Janus Ensemble Freiburg, Tactus, Oklahoma Virtuosi, and others.  Recital appearances include the Museo San Marco (Florence), “Notte Bianca” Festival Florence, Schlosskonzerte Bad Krozingen, and, most recently, Bach’s complete Goldberg Variations at Oklahoma City UniversityShe has also served as a répétiteur for theater and oratorio productions including Scarlatti’s La Colpa, il Pentimento, la Grazia for the 2013 Rheingau Musik Festival. A specialist in the various national styles of basso continuo, she has published realizations for Blavet’s Op. 2 sonatas as well as J. S. Bach’s D-major Sinfonia (BWV 1045) and youthful G-minor fugue for violin and continuo (BWV 1026) though PRB Productions.

Violinist Benjamin Shute began performing on period instruments as a teenager after attending the Oberlin Baroque Performance Institute in Ohio. During subsequent studies at the New England Conservatory (DMA, BM) and the conservatories of Freiburg and Frankfurt, he studied with Rainer Kussmaul, Bernhard Forck, Masuko Ushioda, and Lucy Chapman and served as co-founder/director of the New England Conservatory Early Music Society. He has performed internationally on modern and period instruments as chamber musician, soloist with orchestras in the States and Europe in concertos from the 17th to 20th centuries, and concertmaster of ensembles including the Boston Chamber Orchestra, Oklahoma Virtuosi, TACTUS ensemble, and numerous ad hoc modern- and period-instrument ensembles on both sides of the Atlantic.

Tim Heilbronn, oldest nephew of harpsichordist Annette Heilbron (n), graduated in Crop Protection from the University of Bath in 1979, then joined the British Antarctic Survey as Terrestrial Biologist on South Georgie where there are no crops to protect. The environment, however, did prepare him well for the climate of the east coast of Scotland. Where he joined SCRI (now James Hutton Institute) in 1983.  Tim joined the University of Dundee in 2007 as SIPR Business Director, retiring in 2019. He is Past President of the Rotary Club of Dundee; Past Charity Convenor of the Nine Incorporated Trades of Dundee; Past Deacon of the Dyers Craft and now spends his time making Haggis- Hunting Whistles

The Wighton Harpsichord is a French double-manual instrument after the C18 maker Nicholas Blanchet. It was commissioned by the distinguished musician Annette Heilbron, a founder member of the National Early Music Association and the Helicon Ensemble, and built by Mark Stevenson, Cambridge 1983 and purchased for the Wighton shortly after the Centre opened.

Since arriving in the Wighton Heritage  Centre, the instrument has been kept in tune and good repair by FoW Members, and professional musicians, Simon Chadwick and, currently, Mark Spalding, who is curating the celebration programme.

Ensemble Hesperi present music from their debut CD “Full of Highland Humours”: Thursday 17th November, 2.15pm

Ensemble Hesperi is a London-based Early Music ensemble specialising in Scottish Baroque music and more!  They are no strangers to the Wighton Centre or to the Wighton Collection which has been a great resource for their work.

Ensemble Hesperi  are Mary-Jannet Leith – Recorders; Magdalena Loth-Hill – Baroque Violin; Florence Petit – Baroque Cello; Thomas Allery – Harpsichord

Tickets £5 at the door

Henry Lebedinsky: Wighton Harpsichord concert

When a renowned American early music specialist says he is coming to town and would like to play your harpsichord what can you do but add an extra Cappuccino Concert to your programme?

Henry Lebedinsky last played at the Wighton Heritage Centre in October 2010 while on his honeymoon!  His return visit is on Saturday 15th October, from 11am to noon, when his programme will include17th and 18th century works by Élisabeth-Claude Jacquet de la Guerre, Giovanni Battista Draghi and Elizabeth Turner.

Hailed by The Miami Herald for his “superb continuo… brilliantly improvised and ornamented,” Henry Lebedinsky performs as a historical keyboardist and Irish traditional guitarist across the United States and the United Kingdom. In addition to performing, Mr. Lebedinsky has taught masterclasses and workshops on historical performance practice at the University of Edinburgh, and many American institutions. He is also an avid composer of music for choir and organ. He currently lives in the Seattle, Washington area.

The venue for the concert will be the lovely Wighton Centre, upstairs in Dundee Central Library. This airy space houses the internationally important Wighton Collection of old Scottish music books: over 700 volumes from the 17th, 18th and 19th century.

The Wighton Harpsichord is a French double-manual instrument after the C18 maker Nicholas Blanchet. It was built by Mark Stevenson, Cambridge 1983 for Annette Heilbron (1928 – 2011), of the Helicon Ensemble and founder member of the National Early Music Association.

The concert will be at 11am on Saturday 15th October. Coffee and newspapers will be available from 10.30am. Admission will be £5.

 Henry Lebedinsky at his last concert playing the Wighton Harpsichord in Dundee in 2010

Wighton Centre open days

The Friends of Wighton group will welcome the Scottish Traditional Music Awards to Dundee by inviting visiting and local music lovers to take a close-up look at the fascinating Wighton Collection and enjoy a live music sessionat the same time.

The Centre will be open from 2pm to 5pm on Friday 4th December and from 10am -12.15pm on Saturday 5th December. Books will be on display and Wighton tutors and committee members will be there to sing, play and answer questions!

The Wighton Heritage Centre was opened on 24th November 2003. Located upstairs in Dundee Central Library, it provides a dedicated space for the storage and display of the internationally important Wighton Collection. 700 volumes of old Scottish music were collected together in the early 19th century by Dundee merchant Andrew Wighton, and were bequeathed to the city after his death. 

The Wighton books with other donations and acquisitions, are now kept in glass-fronted bookcases in the Wighton Centre. The Centre also acts as a bright, atmospheric performance and study centre, allowing scholars to access the riches of the collection, and providing a lovely performance space for music and other events.

As well as a monthly Cappuccino Concert, and a free Wednesday lunchtime recital every month, the Friends of Wighton run classes in traditional Scottish music every week: Scots song, Gaelic song, fiddle, whistle and clarsach (Scottish harp).

The Friends also work towards the conservation and cataloguing of the collection of books, and have made some important acquisitions to add to the collection.  They are currently fundraising to conserve rare music books from the collection of Sir Jimmy Shand and visitors will be able to contribute.  Jimmy’s musical taste was exemplary, as shown by the lovely 18th and 19th century manuscripts in his collection.  Rumour has it that one or two of the Shand books, currently not on public display, might make an appearance at the Open Days!

Recording in the Wighton Centre

Last Monday, the Wighton Centre was turned into a recording studio by recording enginner Bob Turner, to record some tracks for the forthcoming limited edition CD produced by the Friends of WIghton as part of the fundraising for the Sir Jimmy Shand Collection.

Tracks were recorded from Mark Spalding playing a Ronald Stevenson composition on the harpsichord, the Wighton Singers, Ellie McDonald reading poetry, Simon Chadwick playing the replica Queen Mary harp, and Morag Anne Elder on the fiddle with Katie playing cello.

At least two of the tracks are the first ever recordings (the harpsichord and harp track). Other tracks are being recorded at Gardyne Studios, and also some tracks will be donated by other artists from their published CDs.

If you missed claiming the CD as a perk on our Indiegogo crowdfunding last month, you will still be able to buy your copy when the strictly limited edition is released.

Illustrated talk on the Sir Jimmy Shand Collection

There will be a unique aspect to the Cappuccino Concert in the Wighton Heritage Centre, Central Library, Dundee on Saturday 19th September.

The distinguished Scottish music expert Dr KAREN McAULAY, Music and Academic Services Librarian at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (formerly RSAMD), will give an musically illustrated talk on the Centre’s recently acquired Sir Jimmy Shand Collection of 18th and 19th century music books.

Karen is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals, and is in demand to talk not only about Scottish music history but also about library and research skills.  She’s also a practising musician, as a church organist and music arranger.  With the help of the Wighton’s harpsichord, she will explore the musical treasures contained in these volumes and some of the rarer and most interesting volumes will be on display.

Karen’s visit comes at a key moment.   The Friends of Wighton members are raising funds to have the Shand Collection conserved so that it can be on permanent display and available for use by musicians, singers, scholars and community group.  A crowdfunder for The Sir Jimmy Shand Connection has topped £1100 with some weeks still to run.  Contributions from the great man’s admirers have come from across the UK as well as Europe and the USA!

“We’re delighted with the success of the crowdfunder so far,” said Sheena Wellington, Friends of Wighton Honorary Librarian, “but we still have a target to reach and there are still lots of special thank you gifts waiting!”    ‘Perks’ for those donating online include limited edition CDs, signed prints, etchings, specially composed tunes, house concerts and the opportunity to be entered into a founder’s book to be kept in the Wighton Centre.

To find out more visit http://igg.me/at/jimmyshand

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