We attended a concert this afternoon in the charming setting of the Bournville Friends’ Meeting House. The model village of Bournville is on old stamping grounds for my husband, but I’d not actually been into the Meeting House before, so that was an added bonus. (Apologies for the slightly jaunty angle of the phone snap!)
The concert was the splendid idea of Elisabeth Al-Khalifa, who organised it as both a celebration for her 70th birthday and as a fund-raiser for Freedom from Torture, who provide support and direct clinical services to survivors of torture who arrive in the UK. Donations were invited at the concert and for anyone reading this who might wish to support a worthy cause, there is a JustGiving page. Oh, and happy Birthday, Elisabeth!
(Update: some £800 was raised on the day and almost £1500 in total – a splendid effort by Elisabeth and supporters.)
The guest performers were Magda Nasidlak, pianist and teacher at the Birmingham Conservatoire, and Judith le Breuilly, a third-year Vocal Studies Scholar at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (talented daughter of a friend and former colleague of mine, hence the invitation).
The programme ranged from Handel (Lascia ch’io pianga) to Britten (Ca’ the Yowes) and John Ireland (The Darkened Valley) to Chopin (Ballade no 3), via a trio of Cabaret Songs by William Bolcom (Over the Piano, The Song of Black Max, Amor) which were the discovery of the day for us; reading up on them, I can’t quite work out how I have completely missed them over the years… Bildungslücke.
I’m sorry not to be able to post any of the actual performances; you missed a treat! I hope the links above give a flavour of what we enjoyed.
The concert ended fittlingly with a piano duet from Magda and her pupil, our hostess Elisabeth, who returned to learning the instrument after a 40-year break. They chose the Schubert Fantasia in F minor to finish the afternoon off in fine style.
Our sweetly pleasant afternoon contrasts starkly with the bitter experiences of those served by the charity supported.