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Kosmos Ensemble


Sunday, 3 March 2024

2:45 pm


Parry - Lady Radnor’s Suite

Walton - Touch her soft lips (Henry V)

Igor Shamo - Accordion Concerto

Grace Williams - Sea Sketches

Errolyn Wallen - Triple Concerto

Astor Piazolla - Libertango

The mesmerising Kosmos Ensemble have redefined the relationship between classical and world music. They share a passion for improvisation that thrives in Errolyn Wallen’s dazzling Triple Concerto, composed especially for this unique trio - violinist Harriet Mackenzie, violist Meg-Rosaleen Hamilton and accordion player Miloš Milivojević.


Miloš also stars as soloist in the Accordion Concerto by Ukrainian composer Igor Shamo, who was born in Kiev in 1925 and served as a medical orderly in WWII. A member of the Union of Soviet Composers from 1948 until his death in 1982, he is best remembered for his popular song, the unofficial anthem of Kiev.


Grace Williams’s Sea Sketches reflect the coast around her birthplace, Barry Island in South Wales. Born in 1906, she won a scholarship to study at Cardiff University and was then accepted to study at the Royal College of Music in London. Sea Sketches dates from 1944 and was composed in Hampstead. It clearly reflects the composer’s desire to return to her seaside birthplace – which she did in 1946 – and is dedicated to her parents "who had the good sense to set up home on the coast of Glamorgan”.


Parry is most famous for composing Jerusalem. He became director of the Royal College of Music, significantly raising teaching standards. In the autumn of 1918 he contracted Spanish Flu and died at Knightscroft, Rustington on 7th October 1918. His Lady Radnor Suite was composed for the pioneering conductor, Lady Radnor and her string orchestra.


“Imagine everything that is great about music, the rigour of the classical repertoire, the tunefulness of folk music, the willingness to seek the new in modern, and above all, the source of music itself, the passions of the human spirit, that is what Kosmos is about....Our only disappointment was that it did not last forever. Kosmos involves you like no other music I know.…. All three – Meg Hamilton on the viola, Harriet Mackenzie on the violin, the Serbian Milos Milivojevic on the accordion – are classically trained, and the virtuoso pieces are phenomenal. But what they have done, quite literally, is to travel the world (‘Kosmos’ means ‘world’, ‘order’, ‘beauty’ in Greek), seeking out its oldest and most enduring music, and create something quite new and magical, something you have to hear to believe.”

Olivia Fane,

Chichester Observer

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