Classical Events

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February 2018


Sali-Wyn Ryan

Peter Nardone

Jonathan Heaton (Classical Events)
Sali-Wyn Ryan (violinist)

Sali-Wyn Ryan is the founder of Classical PopUps. Alongside her recent startup she continues to have an extensive career as a member of the RPO and also playing with other major ensembles. She has a busy and exciting schedule which takes her all over the world.

Fancy a classy miniature concert? Classical PopUps perform chamber music concerts with a twist: an unusual setting, funky repertoire or a surprising collaboration. A typical concert will encompass a wide spectrum of musical genres and take place in a coffee shop, market, theatre bar or pub. This reflects the fast-changing 'popup' world that we live in; new cafes, shops and restaurants spring out of nowhere and then vanish. Take advantage of a little taster concert in your lunch hour before moving on.

The musicians from Classical PopUps all have their own careers with top orchestras, chamber ensembles and West End shows.

JH. When did you found Classical PopUps and what prompted you to set up the organisation?
S-W R. Classical PopUps was launched in July 2016 with an event in a small studio in Farringdon, London. From its conception, the main aim has been to encourage the audience to focus on world class musicians for just a snippet of time - wherever the performance may take place. I’ve always believed that excellent music should be experienced anywhere and not confined to the formalities of a concert hall. I wanted to have the opportunity to be creative with programming and instrumental line ups and to utilise the dozens of contacts I’ve made in the music profession. Also, the idea of being able to offer fun and interesting work to colleagues and friends has great appeal! It occurred to me that it is rare to bring together instrumentalists from several major orchestras, shows, ensembles and brilliant freelancers to create one-off, small scale performances in unusual venues.

JH. What determines your concert repertoire and who chooses the music?
S-W R. Selecting concert repertoire depends primarily on the type of event and therefore has varied greatly. Occasionally I will book a pre-formed ensemble if I consider them suitable, in which case they will select repertoire. If I am working for or with a client, their needs and requests will be discussed and usually met! If I am running the event myself or collaborating with another company I will take control of the programming, usually after consultation with any soloists or key performers. I’ll suit the programme as best I can to the venue and of course the musicians - keeping it accessible, exciting and hopefully introducing a few pieces of new music to people along the way.

JH. How much of your music has to be arranged?
S-W R. This entirely depends on the event and what is required. I have several friends and colleagues that have wonderful arranging skills so nothing is impossible! We’ve had a few very specific instrumental line-ups to deal with; for example a street party in Soho which incorporated Haydn String Trios and film music medleys with the addition of one trumpet and trombone! We were also involved with the recent Classic FM ‘Car Concerts’ - an online promotion for Mazda during which all musical specifications were vastly overtaken by the practicalities of finding two instruments that could be played in the back of a car! We opted for trumpet and bassoon!


A Classical Popups concert at the Paper Aviary, London

JH. Are you considering working across art forms?
S-W R. I’m definitely interested in collaborating, not just with other art forms but various other Pop-Up companies as well. I’ve recently become a partner with the company PopUp Painting so I’m looking forward to that flourishing in 2018. I’d love, at some point to incorporate some dance into a performance as well as possibly narration. It’s interesting to look outside of the Arts as well though - I promoted an event last Christmas where I teamed up with a cocktail making company to put on ‘Carols and Cocktails’; more things like this could really work and broaden the audience.

JH. All your players have successful professional lives outside CP. With what are they currently involved?
S-W R. Where do I start?! It’s an incredibly impressive collective biography so far for Classical PopUps events….I’ve booked players from the RPO, Philharmonia, LSO, LPO, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, BSO, ENO, West End shows and a multitude of fantastic freelance musicians. Soloists have included the fabulous Kerenza Peacock (violinist) and Principal Trumpet players from both the RPO (James Fountain) and the Philharmonia (Jason Evans). It’s amazing to be able to work with players of such calibre and for everyone to find time in their hectic schedules to PopUp now and again!

JH. Can you tell us about some of your past concert successes?
S-W R. The last 12 months or so have been really varied with dozens of interesting projects but here’s a few highlights that spring to mind…. 5 days of events to celebrate the opening of St James’s Market in Piccadilly, London - this was a huge challenge to find different musicians for each day to fit in with various requirements and to incorporate as much interesting repertoire as possible; I had a range of groups including strings, brass, percussion and choirs and it was a great success. A favourite event of mine was in Soho, in collaboration with the film company, Feref - we performed on the street and it was great fun - a crazy mixture of Haydn Trios, James Bond and Star Wars! We’ve played in so many interesting venues throughout London, including a garden in Dulwich, a bar in Shoreditch, a museum in Holborn and even next to the ticket kiosks in Kings Cross station as part of a Game of Thrones promotion! We’ve recorded with the wonderful guitarist Craig Ogden for Classic FM and for the choir ‘Chantage’. We ended 2017 with Christmas music at the Roundhouse bar, Camden fora PopUp painting event.

JH. What upcoming 'PopUps' would you like to mention?
S-W R. I have just begun an exciting new collaboration with Airbnb. Classical PopUps will be providing ‘Music Experiences’ and the first one will be on February 19th. It will kick off with a ‘Concert above a Pub’ in the Yorkshire Grey function room, near Chancery Lane, London. There will be a String Quintet and Trumpet soloist (James Fountain - Principal RPO) and a fantastic mix of music including some hits by the legendary tango composer, Piazzolla. An informal setting, great music and drinks available at the bar. Tickets available online.

JH. In a nutshell what's the key to success when working with a small ensemble?
S-W R. I think creativity and versatility - It’s exciting when an unusual mix of instruments can do something really special. I think my overall aim is to create one-off performances to the highest possible standard - sometimes incorporating interesting collaborations and building up an exciting team of partner venues and companies. The USP absolutely has to be the calibre of players coupled with an informal approach to events and venues.

I believe in championing brilliant musicians - we are often led to believe that there are quick routes to success in the Arts industry and quick fixes. It feels crucial to emphasise that all of the musicians I employ and respect have worked for absolutely years to reach their goals and achievements - no gimmicks, no sob stories, just sheer hard work, true talent, commitment and sacrifice!

Classical Popups trio

Classical PopUps


Classical PopUps
Mon 19 Feb 7:30 PM
Yorkshire Grey Pub

Amazing music above a pub! Step into a cosy setting, settle down with a drink from the bar and listen to world class musicians. Classical PopUps brings you a perfect musical antidote to a busy life. A brilliant handpicked ensemble will entertain you with uplifting music, including hits by legendary tango composer Piazzolla. Including performers from the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, you'll get to meet and listen to a team of talented, friendly string players and a dazzling trumpet soloist, James Fountain. This will be a memorable evening!

Forthcoming Events


Paul Carr
Sun 4th Feb 3:00 PM
Holy Trinity Church

First Sunday in every month

A large screen projection of the organ console and a pedal camera enables the audience to see the Paul Carr in action.

Works by Vierne, Dukas, Alfred Lefébure-Wély and Jean Roger-Ducasse.

jpg Tasmin Little
Fri 9th Feb 7:30 PM
The Forum

Written during the Second World War, Britten’s Violin Concerto combines pathos and hope with extraordinary virtuosic and musical demands on the soloist and orchestra alike. His contribution to the canon of violin concerti is one of the greatest and most profound. The talents of Bath Philharmonia are also showcased in Britten’s virtuosic tour-de-force for orchestra ‘The Young Persons Guide’ performed at this concert without narrator.

Passionate that music was for and by the common man, Copland’s style combines folk-song and the sounds of rural America. The ballet music to Appalachian Spring is infused with the music of the people of the Appalachian Mountains including the famous Shaker Hymn ‘Lord of the Dance’.

Tasmin Little has firmly established herself as one of today’s leading international violinists. She has performed on every continent in some of the most prestigious venues of the world.

jpg Russian Gala Concert
Sat 10 Feb 7:30 PM
Central Church

A unique event featuring instrumental and vocal performances from Russian professional musicians presenting "Russian Gala Concert" series.

This is a rear opportunity to be taken on a musical journey to the Heart of Russian Heritage and experience its varied nature. Sample the full spectrum of Russian compositions from its sombre moods to its high energy uplifting beats. The extensive programme will include operatic arias and traditional Russian songs, violin masterpieces and folk arrangements for balalaika, featuring some of Russia's most loved Russian composers: Rachmaninov, Tchaikovsky, Sviridov and more.

The performers are all graduates from Russia and former USSR's Music Colleges and include virtuoso prize winning balalaika player Sergei Kosov, Mezzo-Soprano Iryna Ilnytska, jazz vocalist Maria Nicol, prize winning violinist Yulia Northridge and concert pianist Ekaterina Shetliffe. The evening will be hosted by Lee Shetliffe, a popular entertainer, compere and cabaret performer based in the South West.

An ideal night for all lovers of Russian Music and a new experience for those not familiar with its mystery and beauty.

Czech Philharmonic
Sat 10 Feb 7:30 PM
Leeds Town Hall

"The music of the people is a rare and lovely flower growing amidst encroaching weeds." Dvořák. In an all Dvorak concert Josef Spacek (violin) performs the violin concerto. Tomáš Netopil also conducts the Slavonic Dances, Op.46 and Symphony no.9 in E minor 'From the New World'.

Pre-concert talk 6:45pm David Fligg discusses this evening's works. Entry is free to ticket-holders for the concert.

jpg Rosalind Ventris
Sun 11 Feb 3:00 PM
Prince Michael Hall
Dean Close School

Cheltenham Contemporary Concerts

Recognised for her qualities as a soloist and chamber musician, Rosalind Ventris is emerging as one of the most sought-after young violists internationally, receiving five prizes at the 2013 Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition. James Willshire (piano) also performs internationally as soloist and chamber musician, and appears regularly at the major UK concert halls.

73f883e1-05d0-4d6b-928a-060b449fbdf5.jpg The Hermes Experimentt
Sun 11 Feb 2:30 PM
Eastgate Theatre & Arts Centre

Performing as a really exciting, innovative and unique quartet, The Hermes Experiment strives to give engaging and thought-provoking performances, incorporating new commissions, diverse arrangements of existing works from Bach to Joni Mitchell, and live improvisation. The members passionately believe that music is for all, and enjoy presenting their concerts in a way that explains and gives insights into their unusual repertoire.

In this concert, the ensemble performs a typically eclectic mix, exploiting to the full its ingenious combination of voice and instruments. There are imaginative arrangements of well-known music drawn from traditional, ‘classical’ and contemporary sources, as well as examples from the impressive array of new works the group has already commissioned.


Somerset Chamber Choir
Sun 11 Feb 3:00 PM
King's College Chapel

Unsung Heroes – Neglected masterpieces of choral music

The concert includes Rheinberger's ‘Cantus Missae’ Mass for double choir, with organ interpolations by Bach, Mendelssohn, Reger and Bruckner, followed by Kodály's haunting yet thrilling Missa Brevis". Richard Laing conducts the Somerset Chamber Choir in King’s College Chapel for their annual winter concert.

b6b385c0-5d18-447a-9611-e60352a89005.jpg Louis Vaspar
Mon 12 Feb 7:00 PM
1901 Arts Club

Chopin and Liszt

American pianist, Louis Vaspar, would like to introduce himself in an intimate classical recital in the 1901 Arts Club's Salon featuring pieces by Chopin and Liszt: Preludes, Nocturnes, Legends, Lieberstraume.

a1bb4e4f-483a-409c-ad75-3d4b5e4cbebe.jpg Passamezzo
Tue 13 Feb 7:30 PM
St Thomas the Martyr

The Battle between Shrovetide and Lent

Music, words and song from 16th & 17th Century Britain for Shrovetide and Lent. Feasting, fasting, revels, sports, pancakes, and football. Ballads, carols, dances, masque songs, theatre music and readings. Includes music by Campion, Ferrabosco, Gibbons and Peerson; words from Dekker, Dunbar, Gay, Hawkins & Shakespeare. Performed in costume by Passamezzo

21f482b8-0190-4286-8d26-6c7dc9fdef00.jpg Warren Mailley-Smith
Wed 14 Feb 9:30 PM
St James's Church

Valentine's Day Piano Recital

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with an evening of romantic piano music, performed by one of the UK’s leading concert pianists, the phenomenal Warren Mailley-Smith, in the beautiful setting of this Christopher Wren-designed landmark in the heart of London’s West End. A favourite with Classic FM listeners, Mailley-Smith has performed for Royalty on many occasions and he became the first british pianist to perform all 240 pieces of Chopin from memory in 2016.

This special after-dinner Valentines event is timed to allow for a relaxed, romantic evening of dinner and drinks without missing a second of the performance,

c7e234a5-181b-4db5-a8ad-00b895bc17a6.jpg European Union Chamber Orchestra
Sat 17 Feb 7:30 PM
Leeds Town Hall

"Handel understands effect better than any of us - when he chooses, he strikes like a thunderbolt" Mozart. Hans-Peter Hofmann conducts music by Handel, Haydn, Delius and Mozart.

Sheku Kanneh-Mason, who won the BBC Young Musician of the Year in 2016, performs Haydn's first cello concerto. This was thought to be lost until it was discovered in 1961 in the Prague National Museum.

Pre-concert talk 6:45pm. George Kennaway discusses this evening's works.discusses this evening's works. Entry is free to ticket-holders for the concert but space is limited so please arrive early to avoid disappointment.

jpg Tonbridge Philharmonic Society
Saturday 17th Feb 7:30 PM
Tonbridge School Chapel

Matthew Willis conducts Shostakovich's 7th Symphony, Copland's popular ‘Fanfare for the common man’ and Barber's ‘Adagio for Strings'.

76b68394-c690-452f-af4d-272c72203626.jpg Richard Boothby
Tue 20th Feb 6:30 PM
Handel & Hendrix House

Having been lost for nearly 300 years, Telemann’s Fantasias for solo viola da gamba have only recently been rediscovered. Richard Boothby plays some of these thrillingly diverse works and tells how this musical treasure trove came to light.

88d9b8f1-bdb2-48fb-802d-a14a1c23f50b.jpg Busch Trio
Tue 20th Feb 7:30 PM
Pittville Pump Room

This young piano trio has emerged as one of the leading piano trios among the new generation, receiving enthusiastic responses from audiences and critics across the UK and Europe. Winners of the 2012 Royal Overseas League Competition, the trio went on to win a string of international prizes. They perform Smetana, Bridge and Schubert.

3e6e1032-87f6-4eea-a91b-b383653ab86e.jpg The Brook Street Band
Fri 23 Feb 7:30 PM
St John's Smith Square

The Muffat Festival Fri 23 - Sun 25 Feb

The emergence of a new style of violin writing in Germany in the 17th century - under composers including Biber, Muffat (1653-1704) and Schmelzer - was to have a profound impact on the rise of the violin as a solo instrument in this region. Sensual music for 1 and 2 violins, 2 violas and continuo written by tonight’s composers, from the South of the country, is typified by its florid and ornate style.

Over this weekend The Brook Street Band (plus guests) delves into Muffat’s world, exploring the varied musical styles that informed and shaped him. The Band explores his legacy in the form of chamber and orchestral music by composers including Bach and Handel, with four concerts (plus a dance-music workshop and illustrated pre-concert talks) providing a comprehensive musical survey, as well as a natural ebb and flow in terms of mood and scale, small chamber versus orchestral line-ups, and art music versus dance music.

8fbfa0f3-3c34-499c-9f00-be3ccf289dc8.jpg Gorton Philharmonic Orchestra
Sat 24 Feb 7:30 PM
Holy Innocents Church

This is the opening concert of Gorton Philharmonic's 2018 season with conductor Marco Bellasi, and leader John Resek. Rosa Hartley performs Elgar's violin concerto. The concert also includes Mozart's Don Giovanni overture and Schuberts 'Tragic' 4th symphony.

234ff371-10e6-46d3-87bd-4c1ac4538f0a.jpg Holst Singers
Sat 24 Feb 7:30 PM
Rochester Cathedral

The Holst Singers, directed by Stephen Layton, present a new programme pairing music of the English reformation with that arising from the 'singing revolutions' of the Baltic states in recent history.

Framed by the intense Missa Rigensis of Uģis Prauliņš, this one-hour programme offers moments of drama and reflection ideally suited to the glorious setting of one of our most ancient cathedrals.

36d35502-6b67-4194-8287-94650463a504.jpg Luton Music
Mon 26th Feb 7:45 PM
The Bear Club

Music on Mondays is a series of weekly concerts organised from October to March by Luton Music. The theme for the current season is music from Eastern Europe.

Bartosz Woroch (violin) and Caroline Palmer (piano) perform works by Bartok, Schubert and Schoenberg.

Next Newsletter

Tasmin Little will be the main feature in the next newsletter. She is playing in the Hertfordshire Festival of Music this June.

If you would like to appear in the newsletter as an organisation or soloist please contact us here.

Classical Events is a dedicated classical music web site, and a concert listing with picture is currently free. Whether you are a professional or amateur musician your concerts are welcome. Typically this will include concerts by orchestras, ensembles, choral groups and soloists.

Jonathan Heaton, Founder - Classical Events

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