Musica Viva - bondi blue dark
We were delighted to offer our 2023-24 music programme of talks, performances and new and exciting collaborations. Once again Musica Viva brought internationally acclaimed performers to Levinsky Hall to inspire, educate, challenge and captivate audiences.

All the Musica Viva artists are excited about this season and we are all looking forward to sharing these wonderful programmes with you – our valued audience!

Robert TaubRobert Taub
Director of Music, The Arts Institute, University of Plymouth

Monday 18 September 2023 7:30pm

In Conversation with Judith Weir  

Musica Viva welcomed composer Judith Weir, Master of the King’s Music, for a public evening of conversation with Robert Taub about her music, inspirations for her creativity and her current projects. Judith’s recent orchestral overture Brighter Visions Shine Afar was performed at the Coronation of King Charles III. She received an Honorary Degree from the University of Plymouth earlier the same day. This special evening included an opportunity for members of the audience to pose questions to Judith Weir.
Tuesday 10 October 2023 7:30pm

Open Rehearsal: The Piano and How It Goes – a preview to "Piano Passions"

The piano keyboard – gleaming in the spotlights – is a row of sharks teeth. How to tame the beast? How do different composers write for the instrument? And how – on a percussion instrument with 88 hammers hitting strings and three pedals for 2 feet – do you create illusions of smooth sound, multiple layers of sound and sustain sound? Pianist Robert Taub shared insights on how to use your hands and feet to coax the widest palette of sound from the piano, and how the music each of the composers on the Piano Passions concert use the piano to its fullest.
Thursday 12 October 2023 7:30pm

Details of the Devil in Words and Music – a preview to "Piano Passions"

Dr Robert Vilain (Oxford University) joined Robert Taub and Dr Anthony Caleshu in a public discussion focused on the poems that inspired Ravel and Liszt for their highly evocative works Gaspard de la Nuit and Mephisto Waltz respectively, and how, in turn, Schönberg’s short and seminal Klavierstück Op.33a inspired the novelist Thomas Mann to write his epic Doktor Faustus.
Saturday 14 October 2023, pre-concert talk 7:00pm, performance 7:30pm

Piano Passions 

Robert Taub returned to Levinsky Hall for a very special solo piano recital that included some of the most challenging and expressive piano music ever composed.
Beethoven – Sonata in E major, Op.109
Ravel – Gaspard de la Nuit
Chopin – Etudes Op.25 no.7 and Op.25 no.12, Nocturne Op.27 no.2, Ballade Op.23
Schönberg – Klavierstück Op.33a
Liszt – Mephisto Waltz
Saturday 11 November 2023, pre-concert talk 7:00pm, performance 7:30pm

Virtuoso Violin

Mathilde Milwidsky, violin and Huw Watkins, piano returned to Plymouth for another fabulous evening of chamber music.
Vaughan Williams – The Lark Ascending, for violin and piano
Webern – Four Pieces for violin and piano, Op.7
Beethoven – Sonata for violin and piano in A minor, Op.23
Ysaÿe – Solo Violin Sonata No. 3
Franck – Sonata in A major for violin and piano
Saturday 27 January 2024, pre-concert talk 7:00pm, performance 7:30pm

London Gershwin Players  

Mark Forkgen, conductor
Robert Taub, piano
Musica Viva welcomed the 27-member London Gershwin Players and conductor Mark Forkgen in an upbeat All-Gershwin Evening
Overture to the Musical Girl Crazy
Porgy and Bess
American in Paris
Rhapsody in Blue (with Robert Taub, pianist)
        original rarely-heard Paul Whiteman Band version on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of its composition in January 1924.
Saturday 2 March 2024, pre-concert talk 7:00pm, performance 7:30pm

Kleio Quartet   

Yume Fujise, violin i; Katherine Yoon, violin ii; Jenny Lewisohn, viola; Eliza Millett, cello
Musica Viva was excited to present the Kleio Quartet, fresh from their First Prize and Commission Prize awards at the 2023 Carl Nielsen International Chamber Music Competition.
Mozart – String Quartet in G major, K.378 
Bartók – String Quartet no.4 
Brahms – Piano Quintet Op.34 (with Robert Taub, pianist)
All events took place in Levinsky Hall, Roland Levinsky Building.