For years, musicians of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra have been giving chamber music concerts in the Recital Hall as part of the Close-up Series. These intimate concerts organised by the Friends of the Concertgebouw and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra present a unique opportunity to enjoy up close these outstanding musicians’ individual qualities in small ensembles.
The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra’s principal flautist Emily Beynon has put together a colourful programme and is sharing the stage with her colleague cellist Johan van Iersel and the English pianist Andrew West. The programme, a blend of Paris and Prague, is inspired by Alfons Mucha, a Czech artist who worked in Paris in the decades leading up to, and just after, 1900. A key figure in the Art Nouveau movement, Mucha was best known for his theatrical posters of Sarah Bernhardt. As a young choral singer in Brno, he had befriended Janáček, and music inspired him throughout his life. Mucha’s son Jiří was, in turn, a friend of Martinů’s and married the Scottish composer Geraldine Thomson (b. 1917, d. 2012). In addition to her work as a composer, Geraldine Mucha did much to preserve the work of her illustrious father-in-law.