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Musicians from the Highgate Festival

12th January 2020 · 6:30pm - 8:30pm

In person | Virtual event

 Musicians from the Highgate Festival
Haydn | Trio in E flat Hob.XV:10
Sibelius | String Trio Movement in G minor JS210
Natalie Klouda | Solo Cello Suite in 6 movements*
Brahms | Cello Sonata in F Op.99
Beethoven | Duo for viola & cello in Eb ‘Eyeglass’ WoO 32
* Please note change to previously advertised programme.  See below for further details.


Natalie Klouda (violin)
Benjamin Roskams (viola)
Robert Cohen (cello)
Ashok Klouda (cello)
Irina Botan (piano)

Founded in 2012, the Highgate International Festival of Chamber Music stages concerts in North London, showcasing some of the finest musicians from across the UK and Europe. In a special season-opening concert, they present some of the highlights from their 2019 festival.


Due to unforeseen travel complications which impacted rehearsal times, the advertised programme has had to be changed slightly.  The Clara Schumann Trio will be replaced by Natalie Klouda’s new work for cello solo, movements from which were commissioned to be played alongside Bach Cello Suites at Ashok Klouda’s Conway Hall cycle in 2019.  In the words of the composer:

This is a suite of six short, contrasting movements. Each movement is inspired by and paired with one of the Bach cello Suites. Individual movements were originally commissioned to be performed alongside one of the J.S Bach cello suites for a series of concerts given by Ashok Klouda on baroque cello at Conway Hall.  Tonight you will hear them performed together as a Suite in their own right, the premiere of this version was given in November 2019 at the Highgate International Chamber Music Festival.

Writing a contemporary work for an historical set up, such as the baroque cello, was an engaging idea for a commission and I decided to draw on Ashok’s Indian heritage and his love of Bach for this work. There is a delicacy of nuance in the Indian Classical vocal tradition which I felt would lend itself well to the baroque bow and style of release in sound production. I was particularly drawn to the songs of, Atul Prasad Sen. A renowned Bengali, composer, poet, philanthropist, educationist and lawyer, who’s songs are known throughout India, and who was one of Ashok’s distant relatives!

The sound world of these movements includes both Indian ‘Thats’ or seven note scales and to varying degrees also refers to the tonic of the relevant Bach Suite. The scordatura from Bach’s 5th Suite is mirrored in the corresponding movement and the tuning change will be, as in Traditional Indian concerts, part of the performance. At times you will notice the Tanpura like, perfect 5th drone between ideas/ phrases and also the element of dance which is so central to the Bach Suites.


Conway Hall Sunday Concerts

Founded in the 1880s, our chamber music concert series is the longest-running of its kind in Europe. Conway Hall was purpose-built in 1929 to host concerts and lectures, and they have continued here until the present day. The ethos of “affordable classical music for all” still remains. Browse our website for more information about all our Spring 2020 Season music events, including concerts, pre-concert talks and recitals.

This event is in the Main Hall on the ground floor. For accessibility info:

It is part of Conway Hall Ethical Society’s charitable programme and is tax-exempt.

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