The new, exciting ensemble London International Players make their Cadogan Hall debut tonight, presenting a programme of ‘Bach to Britten’. Speaking to Gramophone about the programme, Artistic Director Ana de la Vega explains the programme as being ‘built on the aesthetics of purity, simplicity and transcendence: one can explore this in literature, other art movements, philosophy and religion’. Speaking further about the importance of this intellectual programming, Ana expands ‘people don’t want to feel gratified and indulged, they want to feel satisfaction that they have achieved something intellectually, understood something they thought was out of reach. We can do this by helping them to create a link between the music they are experiencing and the knowledge they already have.’ Pianist Irina Botan, speaking to Classic FM, said of the concert: “I particularly enjoy playing the Vaughn Williams quintet. It is a very beautiful early piece, which is reminiscent of Brahms, especially the first movement. Interestingly, its premiere was in 1905 and due to an embargo has not been performed again until the 1990s. It is a difficult piece but also very gratifying”.
Speaking on BBC Radio 3’s In Tune programme ahead of this Cadogan debut, Sean Rafferty described the ensemble as having a “rollicking start” to their career thus far, noting that “excellence will always find people delighted to listen”. As an ensemble keen to widen classical music and change the demographic of the concert hall, the London International Players elaborated on this, speaking to Sean live on air. Violinist Daniel Röhn said that the ensemble aim to “present the best pieces… for a listener of any age”, whilst Ana de la Vega said that younger audiences attending concerts are “lovely to see and needs to be encouraged”, whilst bringing in said audience still remains to be one of the “biggest challenges of today”.
The London International Players is an ensemble born largely of the Menuhin School and IMS Prussia Cove, comprising distinguished soloists and chamber musicians from many corners of the world who have come together through a mutual love of chamber music and musical ideals. In an interview with Classic FM they expressed their goals as being able “to perform music using our own individual voice. We hope that when you will listen to us on the Radio, you will be able to tell it is us”. After their electrifying Wigmore Hall debut on September 19th, the ensemble look forward to their Cadogan Hall debut this evening, which is followed by a residency at St John’s Smith Square this spring to celebrate the 150th birthday of Richard Strauss. Speaking to Ideas Tap, Ana de la Vega described forming the London International Players as one of her greatest achievements, “bringing some of the greatest young musicians of my generation together and creating an ensemble of this calibre, now performing in the greatest halls in Europe!”.