Moreton is proud to present the inaugural season of the newly founded Barbirolli Society. The Barbirolli name is synonymous with music: Sir John Barbirolli was a British conductor and cellist who is remembered above all as conductor of the Hallé Orchestra in Manchester, which he helped save from dissolution in 1943 and conducted for the rest of his life. Earlier in his career he was Arturo Toscanini’s successor as music director of the New York Philharmonic, chief conductor of the Houston Symphony, and was a guest conductor of many other orchestras, including the BBC Symphony Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, the Philharmonia, the Berlin Philharmonic and the Vienna Philharmonic. However, the connection with the Barbirolli name runs deeper than his connection to music; his wife, Lady Evelyn Barbirolli, who was an oboist, opened Moreton’s own Music Department in 1972.
This new society has been created to extend the flourishing music department at Moreton by bringing a wealth of new and exciting opportunities to students. Moreton’s musicians will have the opportunity to further their studies to the very highest level through coaching from a series of masterclasses and workshops run by visiting professional musicians. We are very lucky to have such a wealth of opportunities for the students to take part in and learn from.
Along with the Musicianship programme, which was started in September 2017 and which runs weekly chamber music classes, and the music tuition that students already receive from our own visiting professional music staff, music will continue to excel to the very highest levels at Moreton. Moreton’s masterclass series was kicked off by soprano Claire Wild last term to great acclaim and its success has led to a whole programme of events run by the Barbirolli Society over the coming months. Visiting musicians will include renowned British pianist Ben Powell, a staff pianist and tutor at the RNCM and pianist of Psappha, Violinist Kelly McCusker who is a violinist with the Astaria Quartet and Head of Strings at Repton School, and also clarinettist Heather Gordon-Redfern, a tutor at the JRNCM and a founding member of the London Clarinet Quartet. Heather has also recorded several albums and is much in demand as an adjudicator.
In addition, we are fortunate enough to have James Llewellyn-Jones giving a choral masterclass for those taking part in the English Première of Karl Jenkins’ Dewi Sant at Birmingham Symphony Hall in April. James is no stranger to Moreton, conducting choral workshops for the younger years. He is passionate about choral singing and has worked with some of the world’s leading children’s choirs in Chicago, Toronto and spent 11 years conducting the National Children’s Choir of Great Britain. The performance coach Beccy Goldberg will be delivering a full day of performance classes. Beccy has had a fulfilling career as a horn player and now teaches at the Royal Northern College of Music and works in Complementary Health. Many musicians use Beccy’s performance techniques, based on those used by elite athletes and footballers.
Clients have included students from the Royal Northern College of Music, Trinity Laban Conservatoire, Chetham’s School of Music, Lucerne Conservatoire, Birmingham Conservatoire, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and professional and amateur musicians.