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Our 2024-25 Musica Viva season celebrates works of the deeply expressive composer Béla Bartók. He was a leading pioneer of exploring music of the people of his native area (now Hungary, Romania and Slovakia) and forging a unique, often intense compositional voice and style that integrated folk elements – particularly dynamic melodic and rhythmic features – into his vibrant and evocative compositions. 
As part of our commemoration of Bartók this season – the 80th anniversary of his death in 1945 – each of our Musica Viva concerts features a pivotal work. His Piano Sonata, String Quartet No. 3, String Quartet no. 6, and Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta will all be performed by leading artists.

We invite you to join us for this exciting and unique celebration of a master of the 20th century whose works withstand all tests of time and highlight the importance of “home” as a defining stylistic concept.

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

Bartok / “music from home”
Image credit: Josh Beadon
Bela Bartok using a gramaphone to record folk songs sung by Slovak peasants.
Béla Bartók using a phonograph to record Slovak folk songs
Monday 7 October 2024 7.30pm

An Evening with Seth Lakeman 

Singer, songwriter and instrumentalist Seth Lakeman joins Robert Taub in an informal conversation about Seth’s songs that embody elements of folk music from Dartmoor, Plymouth and Cornwall. Seth will perform several of his songs, and he and Robert will discuss and illustrate folk elements that Bartók incorporated into his own music.
Saturday 12 October 2024, pre-concert talk 7pm, performance 7.30pm

Robert Taub and Four B’s

In this solo recital pianist Robert Taub features iconoclastic works of Bach, Beethoven, Bartók, and Brahms. The repertoire is highly evocative and powerfully communicative; each work defines its time and place in unique ways, yet each is timeless and sounds as startlingly fresh today as when the ink was barely dry on the page. 
Bach
Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue, BWV 903 
Beethoven
Sonata in A-flat major, Op.110 
Bartók
Sonata (1926) 
Brahms
Variations on a Theme of Paganini (Books I & II) 
Saturday 9 November 2024, pre-concert talk 7pm, performance 7.30pm

Kleio Quartet

Yume Fujise, violin; Katherine Yoon, violin; Jenny Lewisohn, viola; Eliza Millett, cello.
The Kleio Quartet returns for another wonderful and uplifting evening of extraordinary chamber music, performing two tours de force: Bartók String Quartet no.6 – his final quartet – as well as the sensuous and beguiling Ravel Quartet. 
Purcell
Three Fantasias 
Bartók
String Quartet no.6 
Ravel
String Quartet in F major 
Saturday 1 February 2025, pre-concert talk 7pm, performance 7.30pm

Musica Viva Sinfonia

Mark Forkgen, conductor
Robert Taub, piano 
Mark Forkgen conducts a unique programme of Purcell/ Britten Chacony, Bach Concerto in D minor and the ground-breaking Bartók Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta. This concert features the new Musica Viva Sinfonia comprised of leading London musicians, many of whom have performed previously on Musica Viva concerts. 
Purcell / Britten
Chacony 
Bach
Concerto in D minor, BWV 1052 
Bartók 
Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta 
Saturday 15 March 2025, pre-concert talk 7pm, performance 7.30pm

Takács Quartet

Edward Dusinberre, violin; Harumi Rhodes, violin; Richard O’Neill, viola; András Fejér, cello.
The world-renowned Takács Quartet starts their Spring 2025 European tour with us. This is their first concert appearance in Plymouth and their programme for us is particularly engaging. We are thrilled to welcome them for this performance. 
Beethoven 
String Quartet in F major, Op.18 no.1 
Bartók
String Quartet no.3 
Dvorák
Quartet in E-flat major, Op.51
All events will take place in Levinsky Hall, Roland Levinsky Building. Tickets will be available soon.

Headlines and highlights from our 2023-24 season

We were delighted to offer our 2023-24 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.
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