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Ian Watson

“leaves you feeling exhilarated,
if a little clumsy by comparison”

The Guardian

"as performed by the ensemble CHROMA
it is thrilling
The Times

""The performance is first-rate. The instrumental ensemble CHROMA plays with force and precision"
Daily Telegraph


Ian Watson rehearses at Kings Place

CHROMA calendar 2016

Archive events:

| 2002 | 2003 | 2004

| 2006 | 2007 | 2008

| 2010 | 2011 | 2012

2013 | 2014 | 2015

10 December 2015 - 2 January 2016
Royal Opera House Linbury
Music David Bruce Libretto Glyn Maxwell

Director John Fulljames Set and costume designer Dick Bird
Lighting designer Guy Hoare Choreography Victoria Newlyn
Puppet direction Indefinite Articles
Conductor Alice Farnham Orchestra CHROMA

This tale of courage, friendship and growing up is a theatrical event for all the family. David Bruce’s magical opera is based on a fairytale by Philip Pullman.




Sunday 10 January 7pm Kings Arms Berkhamsted

CHROMA violinist Daniel Pioro curates an evening of music
devoted to the Danish art of building a sanctuary of cosiness
with loved ones and friends, stirring the senses and appreciating
the simple things in life, played by the acclaimed Liam Byrne on
viola da gamba, & CHROMA’s wonderful Clare O’Connell on cello.

JS Bach - Aria from the Goldberg Variations
Carl Friedrich Abel - Vivace, WKO 190 for Viola da Gamba
Agricola/Verbonnet - Bicinium for two Bass viols
Couperin - Gravement & Siciliene from Sixiéme Concert
Matthew Locke - Pavane, Ayre, Corant & Sarabande for Treble Tenor and Basse
Helgi Ingvarsson - Loftkastali
La Monte Young - Composition 1960 #7
Edmund Finnis - Lines Curved Rivers Mirrored
Couperin - Sarabande from Treizième Concert
John Dowland - Lachrimae Antique
Trad Irish/Jarret/O’Connell - Danny Boy
JS Bach - Aria from the Goldberg Variations


concert tickets: £15/£12 concs
CHROMA Going Steady/Confetti Friends £13/£10
to book: email
or available to purchase from Luminous and Vogue 24 Lower Kings Road (cash or cheques only)

Royal Academy of Music
Post-grad composers project CHROMATTIC

Work with RAM post-grad composers taking Michael Nyman's Chromattic as the stimulus piece, running October 15 - February 16

Concert premiering resulting pieces:
David Josefowitz Recital Hall
7pm Tuesday 16 February
free entry

accordion Ian Watson
saxophone Christian Forshaw
bass Ben Russell
marimba Steve Gibson

Friday 26 February - Oxford New Music

workshops with University of Oxford undergraduate and postgraduate composers working with their pieces written for piano, flute, clarinet, violin and cello
Roderick Chadwick (piano) Stuart King (clarinet) Julian Sperry (flute) Daniel Pioro (violin) Clare O'Connell (cello)
Conductor: John Traill

University of Oxford

Friday 26 February 6.30pm
Mary Ogilvie Lecture Theatre
St Anne’s College Oxford OX2 6HS


Roderick Chadwick - piano
Stuart King - clarinet
Daniel Pioro - violin
Clare O'Connell - cello

Free entrance, followed by complimentary drinks - all welcome

Messiaen Quartet

29 Feb - 2 March SAUDADES PROJECT in Norwich Schools
Eaton Primary School
Cringleford Primary School
George White Junior School
Bignold Primary School
West Earlham Junior School
Bluebell Primary School
Yaxham Primary School

2 March 1.15pm - John Innes Centre
lunchtime concert for the children of all 7 schools

violin Daniel Pioro viola (concert only) Oliver Wilson cello/lead animateur Clare O'Connell bass Elena Hull clarinet Stuart King accordion Rafal Luc


Friday 4 March - Wyggeston & Queen Elizabeth I College
composition workshops with 29 sixth form composers using Messiaen Quartet for the End of Time as stimulus
Roderick Chadwick (piano) Stuart King (clarinet) Daniel Pioro (violin) Clare O'Connell (cello)


Sunday 6 March 7pm Kings Arms Berkhamsted

A heady extravaganza of dance-inspired music from Latin America, featuring composers Astor Piazzolla and Ariel Ramirez from Argentina; Hector Villa Lobos, Alberto Ginastera and Antônio Carlos Jobim from Brazil, plus Saudades - the popular, dramatic tango-inspired CHROMA commission from David Bruce

Daniel Pioro (violin) Oliver Wilson (viola) Clare O’Connell cello)
Elena Hull (bass) Stuart King (clarinet) Rafal Luc (accordion)

concert tickets: £15/£12 concs
CHROMA Going Steady/Confetti Friends £13/£10
to book: email
or available to purchase from Luminous and Vogue
24 Lower Kings Road (cash or cheques only)


Royal Holloway University of London
CHROMA residency - PhD, MMus and Undergraduate composers

Work with RHUL post-grad composers taking Philip Cashian's Creeping Frogs, Flying Bats & Swimming Fish as the stimulus piece, and workshops with undergraduate composers running November 14 - March 15

Concert with Creeping Frogs, Flying Bats & Swimming Fish
and resulting pieces:
Picture Gallery, RHUL
6.30pm Friday 18 March

clarinet Stuart King bassoon Helen Storey horn Richard Bayliss
violin Daniel Pioro violin Charlotte Bonneton viola David Aspin cello Zoe Martlew bass Elena Hull

free entry

Sunday 17 April 3.30pm Revelation St Mary's Ashford

A whirling, toe-tapping celebration of classical, folk and gypsy music for accordion, violin and cello featuring Ian Watson (accordion), Dave Le Page (violin) and Clare O’Connell (cello).

Presented in the programme is an arc of music which begins in the Bohemian forest with evocative performances of Brahms’ First and Second Hungarian Dances, travels to Romania with Dave Le Page’s new interpretation of Romanian Folk Songs, to Hungary with a selection of Bela Bartok’s duos for two violins given new resonance here with violin and cello, Bulgaria with an amazing Horo solo for accordion, Czechoslovakia with more inventive compositions taken from old Czech melodies by Dave le Page, and ending in Russia with the famously exotic song Dark Eyes and an exhilarating performance of Czardas.

The music recalls a vanishing way of life in Romania, Bulgaria and Bohemia - encompassing love, loss and the passion of the peoples there - a truly atmospheric evening, conjuring up another, vividly etched world.

tickets from Revelation St Mary's website

Folk Tales trailer #1 from CHROMA ensemble on Vimeo.

Folk Tales

you can now get hold of your own copy of Folk Tales in CD form here - also the perfect gift for bohemian types with a twinkle in their eye!

Sunday 24 April 7pm, Kings Arms Berkhamsted

Come and celebrate Spring with us as we take you on a journey from an Austrian river bank to the wilds of Finland with music, song and storytelling.

Marcus Barcham-Stevens (violin) Vanessa McNaught (viola)
Clare O’Connell (cello) Simon Davies (tenor)

programme includes songs from Schubert, string trios by Sibelius and  Strauss and a retelling of Tove Jansson’s Spring Tune

concert tickets: £15/£12 concs
CHROMA Going Steady/Confetti Friends £13/£10
to book: email
or available to purchase from Luminous and Vogue
24 Lower Kings Road (cash or cheques only)

24 April

by Tazul Tajuddin
8pm Saturday 14 May
Tabernacle Notting Hill

presented by D'Catz at Work
performed by the Asian Contemporary Music Society
with Ildiko Allen as Puteri Saadong

In 17th-century Kelantan, there lived a warrior princess called Puteri Saadong. Famous for her extraordinary beauty, she married the prince Raja Abdullah and together they ruled the country in peace. However, the King of Siam, Raja Narai, was also besotted with her beauty and captured her after invading and sparking a devastating war. Will Puteri Saadong be able to see her beloved husband, family and homeland ever again?
performed in the Malay language, with English subtitles

Daniel Pioro
(leader, violin) Daniel Llewellyn Roberts (violin) Oliver Wilson (viola) Zoe Martlew (cello) Julian Sperry (flute / picc) Massimo di Trolio (clarinet) Ryan Hume (bass trombone) Claire Webster (contrabassoon) Steve Gibson, Rob Farrer, Oliver Lowe & Matthew Rich (percussion)

tickets £15


Conducting for Composers
21 & 22 May

Led by Jessica Cottis

deadline for application 29 April 2016
for details and how to apply -

Women Conductors Morley

Royal Opera House @ Lyric Hammersmith
23-28 May

Composed by Philip Venables
Based on the play by Sarah Kane

This new opera by the British composer Philip Venables is an important adaptation of a radical and much-discussed 20th-century play by British playwright Sarah Kane, who took her own life in 1999 at the age of 28. Kane felt that 4.48 in the morning was a time of great clarity, when one’s mind could realize its darkest thoughts. This new work is the first time any of Kane’s work has been adapted and partnered with Venables’s strong musical language and visceral sense of theatre, it is certain to generate intense interest.

Contains themes of an adult nature.

Conductor Richard Baker
Directed by Ted Huffman
Designed by Hannah Clark
Lighting Designer D.M Wood
Movement Director Sarah Fahie
Orchestra CHROMA ensemble

Cast: Gweneth-Ann Rand, Clare Presland, Lucy Schaufer, Jennifer Davies*, Emily Edmonds*
*members of the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme, generously supported by the Oak Foundation

CHROMA: Sarah O'Flynn (flute/alto/picc) Sarah James, Sally MacTaggart, Josie Simmons (baritone/soprano sax) Bartosz Glowacki (accordion), Ben Dawson (piano/keyboards), Genevieve Wilkins, Sarah Hatch (percussion), Chihiro Ono (viola/violin), Bridget Carey, Ruth Gibson (viola), Kylie Davies (bass)

A co-commission and co-production with The Royal Opera and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. In association with the Lyric Hammersmith



448 Psychosis




Iford Festival

June | Sat 4 | Tues 7 | Fri 10 | Sat 11 | Tues 14 | Fri 17 | Sat 18

Conductor: Oliver Gooch
Director: Bruno Ravella
Designer: Alyson Cummins
Choreographer: Jo Meredith
Macbeth – Eddie Wade Macduff – Chris Turner
Dama – Sandra Porter Lady Macbeth – Laura Parfitt

orchestra CHROMA - Caroline Balding (leader, violin), Deborah White (violin), Vanessa McNaught (viola), Clare O'Connell (cello), Mark Lipski (bass), Susie Hodder-Williams (flute), Katie Bennington/Lydia Griffiths (oboe), Ausias Garrigos Morant (clarinet), Jo Turner (bassoon), Richard Bayliss, Lindsay Kempley/Jane Hanna (horn), Alex Caldon (trumpet), Steve Gibson (percussion), Ruth Faber (harp)

booking opens March 2016:


Sunday 12 June 7pm, Kings Arms Berkhamsted

Join us for a smorgasbord of music for violin, cello, clarinet and harp from composers as diverse as Bruch, Saint Saens, Ibert, Poulenc and the amazing Israeli composer Gilad Cohen, whose Trio for a Spry Clarinet, Weeping Cello & Ruminating Harp won the American Harp Society prize. 

Stuart King (clarinet) Helen Sharp (harp)
Daniel Pioro (violin) Clare O’Connell (cello)

concert tickets: £15/£12 concs
CHROMA Going Steady/Confetti Friends £13/£10
to book: email
or available to purchase from Luminous and Vogue
24 Lower Kings Road (cash or cheques only)

12 June

Iford Cloister Thursday 16 June

Stuart King
– clarinet
Dave Le Page
– violin
Clare O’Connell
– cello
Marianne Schofield
– bass
Trevor Allan Davies
– narrator

“I say that one must be a seer, make oneself a seer. The poet makes himself a seer by a long, prodigious, and rational disordering of all the senses.” Rimbaud

Virtuosic, quixotic, heartfelt – this is an electrifying exploration of music by a variety of visionary composers including Beethoven, Biber, Palestrina, Couperin, Eric Satie and Jimi Hendrix performed by the unusual and sonorous combination of clarinet, violin, cello and double bass.

These innovative arrangements and reworkings by the immensely talented and imaginative Dave le Page, are drawn together into a narrative arc with words from visionary poets and thinkers Rimbaud, Verlaine and Samuel Taylor Coleridge with some more radical and mystical surprises.

Beethoven - Quartet Op. 131- Adagio ma non troppo molto espressivo
Zoltan Kodaly - Sonata - Allegro maestoso ma appassionato
Palestrina - Lamentation
Biber - Sonata Violono solo Representiva
      Nachtigal (Nightingale)
      CuCu (Cuckoo)
      Frosch (Frog)
      Die Henn & Der Hann (Cock & Hen)
      Die Wachtel (Quail)
      Die Katz (Cat)
      Musqetir Mars (Musketeer's March)
Francois Rabbath - Ma Mere Baidja
Couperin - Les Baricades Misterieuses - Rondeau
Stravinsky three pieces for solo clarinet
      1 Sempre piano e molto tranquillo
      2 Crotchet = 168
      3 Crotchet = 160
Berio - Duo for two violins “Aldo”
JS Bach - Chaconne in B minor
Eric Satie - Gnossienne 1
Jimi Hendrix - Voodoo child



Opera North at Latitude Festival
Thursday 14 July


The One Who Loves and Lets Go takes place in the Faraway Forest alongside an impressive line-up of art, theatre, cabaret, poetry and dance, bringing Opera North's innovative work to new audiences far beyond its home stages.

The performance will transport festival-goers back in time to a glowing summer night, with love, longing and sweet music in the air. A non-stop, four-hour whirl of European music, from ferocious Transylvanian fiddling to Janáček, Kodály and Brahms, is punctuated by haunting Romanian café songs, all in the atmospheric outdoor setting of Latitude’s fringe venue.

Gabriela Iştoc (soprano), CHROMA - Dave Le Page (violin), Clare O'Connell (cello) & Ian Watson (accordion), with Joe Townsend (folk violin) and Chris Bradley (cimbalom)

Latitudephoto Tom Arber

Opera North

19-26 August Fair Isle

In collaboration with the Fair Isle Bird Observatory and the community of Fair Isle - an all-embracing range of creative workshops responding to the island and its birds.
Activities will include soundmaps and field recording, found scores/sculptures, storytelling and installation, culminating in a performance by and for the whole community of Fair Isle at the end of the week, alongside a performance of Messiaen Quartet for the End of Time.

Led by Kerry Andrew (composer/singer) with Stuart King (clarinet), Roderick Chadwick (piano), Daniel Pioro (violin), Clare O'Connell (cello), Zack McLaughlin (sculptor/illustrator) & Claire Shovelton (documentarian)

Half-Island Half-Bird website is here

Supported by:

Ernest Cook      Hope Scott Trust Hugh Fraser Foundation      Golsoncott

Fair Isle

Bampton Opera at St John's Smith Square
Tuesday 13 September 7pm


conductor - Paul Wingfield, director - Jeremy Gray
orchestra CHROMA
Gluck: Philemon - Catherine Backhouse, Baucis - Barbara Cole Walton, Jupiter - Christopher Turner, A shepherdess - Aoife O'Sullivan, Robert Anthony Gardiner & Robert Gildon
Arne: Mercury (Hermes), messenger of the gods - Robert Anthony Gardiner, Paris, a shepherd - Christopher Turner, Juno (Saturnia, wife of Jupiter) - Barbara Cole Walton, Pallas (Athena) - Catherine Backhouse, Venus (Cytherea) - Aoife O'Sullivan



Sunday 2 October 7pm, Kings Arms Berkhamsted

Join us for a heavenly evening of virtuosic performances when David Le Page returns to the Kings Arms to promote his latest solo album. Music will include Ysaÿe’s Ballade, Biber’s Passacaglia and JS Bach’s Chaconne as well as more experimental duos with cellist Clare O’Connell

concert tickets: £15/£12 concs
CHROMA Going Steady/Confetti Friends £13/£10
to book: email
or available to purchase from Luminous and Vogue
24 Lower Kings Road (cash or cheques only)


Sunday 6 November 7pm, Kings Arms Berkhamsted

It is not my purpose, nor my desire, to attempt a 'reconstitution' of Jewish music, or to base my work on melodies more or less authentic.
I am not an archeologist.... It is the Jewish soul that interests me ...
the freshness and naiveté of the Patriarchs; the violence of the Prophetic
books; the Jewish savage love of justice…
”  Ernest Bloch

A celebration of music influenced by the Jewish soul. 
Join us for an evening of music from composers as diverse as Ernest Bloch, Maurice Ravel, Aaron Copland and Steve Reich.
Includes Ravel’s Deux Mélodies Hébraïques, Ernest Bloch’s From Jewish Life and Steve Reich’s incredible New York Counterpoint for amplified clarinet and tape.

Dave Le Page (violin), Stuart King (clarinet), Elena Hull (bass) and Clare O’Connell (cello)

concert tickets: £15/£12 concs
CHROMA Going Steady/Confetti Friends £13/£10
to book: email
or available to purchase from Luminous and Vogue
24 Lower Kings Road (cash or cheques only)


Will Tuckett's NUTCRACKER
The World's first immersive ballet
24 November 2016 - 8 January 2017
Wembley Park

This winter, the worlds of classical ballet and immersive theatre will fuse for the first time, as Will Tuckett’s Nutcracker receives its world premiere at Wembley Park. Starring Adam Cooper (Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake) as Uncle Drosselmeyer, the production invites audience members to explore Tchaikovsky’s Christmas classic in a 360-degree immersive environment.

The production will unite the best of classical ballet choreography with new immersive theatre techniques, with live music played by CHROMA - allowing the audience to interact directly with the story and the characters. Offering an alternative to traditional Christmas entertainment, Will Tuckett’s Nutcracker at Wembley Park gives you the chance to not just watch but live a fairytale adventure.

Will Tuckett's Nutcracker

Royal Academy of Music
Post-grad composers project

Work with RAM post-grad composers writing for trombone, French horn, trumpet, oboe and clarinet - running October 16 - February 17

Concert premiering resulting pieces:
7pm 22 February
free entry

trombone Ryan Hume
French horn Richard Bayliss
trumpet Heidi Bennett
oboe Emma Feilding
clarinet Stuart King


Royal Holloway University of London
CHROMA residency - PhD, MMus and Undergraduate composers

Work with RHUL post-grad composers taking Edmund Finnis's Focus/Pull as the stimulus piece, and workshops with undergraduate composers running October 16- March 17

Concert with Focus/Pull
and resulting pieces:
Picture Gallery, RHUL
7pm 17 March

free entry

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