Classical Music Society
Copies of our history booklets, “The First Sixty Years” and "The Seventh Decade" are available at £3 each, or £5 for both, from the chairman Mark Bramwell - 07816 960843.
Founded in 1945, Truro Three Arts has always promoted the highest standards of classical music concerts. Since 1995 Truro Three Arts has worked in partnership with Truro College, who are major sponsors of the Society through the provision of an excellent venue and support services.
Truro Three Arts has a mission to maintain the tradition of professional classical music promotion in Cornwall. It also offers support for the next generation of professional performers by providing performance opportunities for the finest young musicians from Cornwall and occasionally commissioning new works.
Truro Three Arts has a proud past of providing opportunities for Cornwall’s music lovers with a chance of seeing some of the greatest performers in concert. Below are some that have played for the Society - click on their images for a small slideshow and some additional information...
Cyril Smith, piano
Cyril James Smith was born in Middlesbrough, the son of Charles Smith, a foundry bricklayer, and Eva Harrison. From 1926 to 1930 Cyril Smith studied at the Royal College of Music, winning medals and prizes including the Daily Express piano contest in 1928 and made his concert début in Birmingham in 1929. He performed as an off-screen piano accompanist in several of the 30-line Baird system television broadcasts of 1935 and joined the BBC when they took over. In 1934 Smith left the BBC to take up an appointment as professor of pianoforte at the Royal College of Music. During the Second World War Cyril Smith performed concerts for ENSA but in 1941 he and his wife began performing together as a piano duo at the Proms, and made many international concert tours for ENSA and the British Council. In 1945 they toured the Far East, where the hazards to contend with included small animals lodged in pianos and out-of-tune instruments.
Dame Isobel Baillie
Dame Isobel Baillie, DBE (9 March 1895 – 24 September 1983) was a Scottish soprano, popular in opera, oratorio and lieder. She was regarded as one of the 20th century's great oratorio singers. Isobel Baillie was born in Hawick, Scottish Borders, in 1895. She worked in a music shop and as a clerk at Manchester Town Hall, and made her orchestral debut with the Hallé Orchestra in 1921 under the name Bella Baillie, having already appeared in several Manchester chamber concerts series. After studies in Milan, she won immediate success in her opening season in London in 1923. Her favourite work was Handel's Messiah, of which she gave more than 1,000 performances during her career. She was often in demand for choral works; apart from Messiah, she was noted in Haydn's The Creation, Mendelssohn's Elijah, and Brahms's A German Requiem. In 1933 she became the first British performer to sing in the Hollywood Bowl in California. In 1937 Arturo Toscanini chose her to sing Brahms' Requiem. Her performances in Gluck's Orpheus (always in English) and Gounod's Faust were very popular. However, her strength was in British music, including Vaughan Williams' Serenade to Music (of which she was one of the original singers) and Elgar's The Kingdom. With the exception of 1933, she sang at the Three Choirs Festival every year from 1929 to 1955. Miss Baillie sang 'Messiah' for the Halle Orchestra annually for twenty-six consecutive seasons and for the Royal Choral Society at the Royal Albert Hall on thirty-three occasions. In all she sang this work for over fifty years.
Dame Janet Baker
Dame Janet Abbott Baker, CH, DBE, FRSA (born 21 August 1933) is an English mezzo-soprano best known as an opera, concert, and lieder singer. She was particularly closely associated with baroque and early Italian opera and the works of Benjamin Britten. During her career, which spanned the 1950s to the 1980s, she was considered an outstanding singing actress and widely admired for her dramatic intensity, perhaps best represented in her famous portrayal as Dido, the tragic heroine of Berlioz's magnum opus, Les Troyens. As a concert performer, Dame Janet was noted for her interpretations of the music of Gustav Mahler and Edward Elgar. David Gutman, writing in Gramophone, described her performance of Mahler's Kindertotenlieder as "intimate, almost self-communing". Among her most notable achievements are her recordings of the Angel in Elgar's The Dream of Gerontius, made with Sir John Barbirolli in December 1964 and Sir Simon Rattle over twenty years later; her 1965 performances of Elgar's Sea Pictures and Mahler's Rückert Lieder, also recorded with Barbirolli; and, also from 1965, the first commercial recording of Ralph Vaughan Williams's Christmas oratorio Hodie under Sir David Willcocks. In 1963, she sang the contralto part in the first performance at the BBC Promenade Concerts of Mahler's Resurrection Symphony under the direction of Leopold Stokowski, then making his Proms debut appearances. She performed in 1971 for the Peabody Mason Concert series in Boston. In 1976 she premiered the solo cantata Phaedra, written for her by Britten; and Dominick Argento's Pulitzer Prize-winning song cycle From the Diary of Virginia Woolf, also written with her voice in mind. She has also been highly praised for her insightful performances of Brahms's Alto Rhapsody, Wagner's Wesendonck Lieder as well as solo songs from the French, German and English repertoire.
Julian Bream & Peter Pears
Julian Bream, CBE (born 15 July 1933), is an English classical guitarist and lutenist, one of the most distinguished classical guitarists of the 20th century. He has also been successful in renewing popular interest in the lute. Bream's recitals are wide-ranging, including transcriptions from the 17th century, many pieces by Bach arranged for guitar, popular Spanish pieces, and contemporary music, for much of which he was the inspiration. He has stated that he has been influenced by the styles of Andrés Segovia and Francisco Tárrega. Bream's playing can be characterised as virtuosic and highly expressive, with an eye for details, and with strong use of contrasting timbres. Sir Peter Neville Luard Pears CBE (22 June 1910 – 3 April 1986) was an English tenor. His career was closely associated with the composer Benjamin Britten, his personal and professional partner for nearly forty years. Pears's musical career started slowly. He was at first unsure whether to concentrate on playing or singing, and despite the efforts of some of his friends, it was not until he met Britten in 1937 that he threw himself wholeheartedly into singing. Once he and Britten were established as a partnership, the composer wrote many concert and operatic works with Pears's voice in mind, and the singer created roles in more than ten operas by his partner. In the concert hall, Pears and Britten were celebrated recitalists, known in particular for their performances of Lieder by Schubert and Schumann. Together they recorded most of the works written for Pears by Britten, as well as a wide range of music by other composers. Working with other musicians, Pears sang an extensive repertoire of music from four centuries, from the Tudor period to the most modern times. With Britten, Pears was a co-founder of the Aldeburgh Festival in 1947 and the Britten-Pears School in 1972. After Britten died in 1976, Pears remained an active participant in the festival and the school, where he was director of singing. His own voice had a distinctive timbre, not to all tastes, but such was his musical skill that he could use the voice to good effect in many styles of music.
Dame Mitsuko Uchida DBE, born 20 December 1948, is a Japanese naturalised-British classical pianist. She has appeared with most of the world's foremost orchestras, recorded a wide repertory with major labels, won numerous awards and honours (including Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2009), and serves as co-director of the Marlboro Music School and Festival. In recent years, she has also conducted major orchestras. Born in Atami, a seaside town close to Tokyo, Japan, Uchida moved to Vienna, Austria, with her diplomat parents when she was 12 years old, after her father was named the Japanese ambassador to Austria. She enrolled at the Vienna Academy of Music to study with Richard Hauser, and later Wilhelm Kempff and Stefan Askenase, and remained in Vienna to study when her father was transferred back to Japan after five years. She is an acclaimed interpreter of the works of Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin, Debussy and Schoenberg. She has recorded all of Mozart's piano sonatas (a project that won the Gramophone Award), and concerti, the latter with the English Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Jeffrey Tate. Her recording of the Schoenberg Piano Concerto with Pierre Boulez won another Gramophone Award. She is further noted for her recordings of Beethoven's complete piano concerti with Kurt Sanderling conducting, Beethoven's late piano sonatas, and a Schubert piano cycle. She is distinguished as an interpreter of the works of the Second Viennese School. Her 2009 recording of the Mozart Piano Concertos nos. 23 and 24, in which she conducted the Cleveland Orchestra as well as playing the solo part, won the Grammy Award.
Jacqueline du Pré
Jacqueline Mary du Pré, OBE (26 January 1945 – 19 October 1987) was an English cellist. At a young age, she achieved enduring mainstream popularity unusual for a classical performer. Despite her short career, she is regarded as one of the more uniquely talented cellists of the second half of the twentieth century. Du Pré is most famous for her iconic recording of Elgar's Cello Concerto in E Minor, her interpretation of which has been described as "definitive" and "legendary". Her career was cut short by multiple sclerosis, which forced her to stop performing at the age of 28. She battled the illness for many years, which ultimately resulted in an untimely death.
Joanna MacGregor OBE (born 16 July 1959) is a British concert pianist, conductor, composer and festival curator. She is Head of Piano at the Royal Academy of Music and a Professor of London University. MacGregor grew up in North London, and was educated at home, with her brother and sister, by her parents; she won a free place to South Hampstead High School at the age of 11. Her mother is a piano teacher and taught her as a little girl, and her father worked in the printing trade. Joanna began studying with Christopher Elton at the age of seventeen, and read music at New Hall now Murray Edwards College, University of Cambridge (1978–81) where she was taught composition by Hugh Wood. After Cambridge, she pursued postgraduate studies at the Royal Academy of Music. She became Head of Piano at the Royal Academy of Music in 2011. Joanna MacGregor is particularly known for her Bach interpretations and recordings, and was invited by Sir John Eliot Gardiner to perform the Goldberg Variations at the Royal Albert Hall in April 2013. She is also currently performing the complete Mozart concertos and Beethoven sonatas, and performed the complete Chopin Mazurkas to widespread acclaim in 2010. Alongside core piano repertoire, she has premiered many landmark compositions - including piano concertos by Sir Harrison Birtwistle, Django Bates, Hugh Wood, John Adams, Alasdair Nicolson, Jonathan Harvey and James MacMillan - and has commissioned over 100 new works.