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Another concert at Sherborne Abbey

Very excited to be planning another concert at Sherborne Abbey this year with a beautiful and inspiring program of music. It will be on similar lines to the last very successful concert ..
fabulous international soloists with a wonderful orchestra and a mix of the very best classics in the repertoire and premieres of my latest pieces.

TALK
Jim Mc Neil and I are also planning another pre concert talk teaming up with at least one other speaker. Our aim is to share our passion of our natural world and to hopefully inspire others to raise the awareness of the need to respect and protect our beautiful planet. More on this soon! Below is a little background on how we first came to meet:

I met Jim randomly in the Warren Inn pub on Dartmoor about three years ago. I’d been for a swim in the sea in late November and suddenly had a big inspiration to change our plans (I was with my husband Richard) and persuaded him to stay the night in Devon.
I asked Jim and a couple of friends if we could join them on their table as it was the only one by the fire. When I told him I was still a bit cold from the sea he told me they were looking for rivers to swim in the next day! My ears pricked up as it wasn’t the usual ‘pub talk’! and I said I was surprised to meet another ‘nutter’ like me! I asked him why they were doing it and he said it was for training as he was taking them off to the North pole the following month!

We then had an absolutely brilliant talk and discovered that we both had a huge passion for our natural world and both cared deeply about trying to do whatever we could to raise the awareness of its importance and of inspiring others to do the same.
We kept in touch and discovered that we both felt we’d met for a reason but weren’t sure what it was.
The idea of doing the talk came to me suddenly.. I woke up one morning early last year and had an inspiration that our coming together in this way could be even more powerful than working separately .. that the more people of similar intention who come together from different parts of society the more powerful it would be. And what could be more different than a composer and a polar explorer?

We had wonderful feed back from our first pre concert talk in Sherborne (Sep 8th last year) and I was absolutely delighted when Jim recently officially appointed me as Composer in Residence to his incredible Ice Warrior programme..with an invite to fly to the North Pole next year!! Very exciting and I’m already working on some pieces (next album) with a winter theme which reflects the feeling of raw nature.. the planet in its purest form.

Watch this space!

Happy New Year

Happy New Year!!

Amazing concert in Sherborne Abbey on Sept 8th!

Amazing concert in Sherborne Abbey on Sept 8th!

Mix of beautiful Bach and my own pieces including 2 new orchestral works! ..Inspirational talk with polar explorer Jim Mc Neill on Nature and Music. Reflecting on my concert a week later!

Last Thursday was a truly wonderful experience, a highlight of my life as both a musician and a human being. I was overcome by the tremendous support I received from so many people and in so many different ways. I am so grateful to the wonderful people who put this concert on and organised it to perfection. It was in aid of the Calvert trust, a visionary charity which helps children and people of all ages with disability to have holidays in beautiful surroundings such as Exmoor and take part in outdoor pursuits! Their motto is ‘It’s what you can do that counts!’ and provides them with appropriate challenges to open up their horizons and give them new perspective on who they are! We all need challenges in our lives and being in nature is a wonderful environment to achieve them!

The concert followed a talk which I gave with inspirational polar explorer, Jim McNeill (who certainly knows about challenges in nature!) We explored the deep and unquestionable connection between nature and music and the need to treasure and nurture our natural environment if we are to survive on this beautiful planet! Nature inspires artists in all art forms to reflect its beauty.Try to imagine a world without birdsong and beautiful music! It is unthinkable! I’ll talk more on this later…

The original concept of the concert was to have a mix of my music and Bach. We had a fantastic line up of international soloists including two colleagues and long standing friends from the RCM, wonderful pianist John Lenehan and the legendary oboist, John Anderson… is always a great pleasure to play music together and I am indebted to them to give up their precious time to come down and support me.
Having them play my own compositions is an immensely special experience, nothing short of magical. With me on clarinet we were joined by wonderful violinist and ex pupil of Sherborne girls school, Ruth Rodgers; the beautiful, warm sound of Caroline Dearnly on ‘cello, (principal ‘cellist in the Britten ensemble) and the sonorous tones of local flautist, John Wilkes.

The orchestra was made up of some of the very best local professional musicians and conductor, Paul Ellis, was an absolute pleasure to work with both musically and personally.

Alongside the beautiful Bach, Albinoni oboe concerto in D minor with its blissful Adagio and pieces from my albums ‘Found in the Rain’ and ‘Found in the Sunlight,’ there were first performances of my first ever orchestral pieces, Anna Akhmatova and Day of Judgement! They were all beautifully performed in the delightful setting of the Abbey.

Yet again John Lenehan was an enormous help tweaking bits here and there, guiding me on instrumental capability and a suggestion of perhaps applying thematic development in a section of D of J which was very effective. Always very sensitive about suggesting any change he is wonderful to work with both in arrangement and performance. Thank you John!

More on these pieces and the talk in part 2 following shortly….

Sherborne Abbey Concert and Pre-Concert talk with Polar Explorer Jim McNeill on Thursday September 8th

Don’t miss Helen’s concert this Thursday September 8th in Sherborne Abbey at 7.30pm. Tickets available from Sherborne Tourist Information Office. Phone 01935 845341. There is also a preconcert talk at 5.15pm in the Digby Memorial Hall at which the celebrated polar explorer Jim McNeill joins Helen to explore the importance and deep connection of nature and music in our world. More details at http://sherborneabbey.com/music/forthcoming-concerts/

News Flash

Very excited that I have now written the script of the first Act of my musical! I dreamt the idea about 12 years ago and have been ‘working’ on it on and off ever since. Some times I have completely abandoned it which happened while I was making my first two albums. But, like a smouldering volcano, it was never gong to go away!

Strangely, I was writing music as the story was developing but hadn’t realised immediately that the two things were linked!
When I compose I almost invariably find myself writing a title on the top of the page. These are totally inspired just as the music, and seem to come out of the ether!
The telling title was ‘Storm with Rainbow,’ a dialogue between my hero, Tom, and a gentle voice which assures him that his fears are unfounded! This was my eureka moment and then all the other titles fell into place. I knew this was a story with music!

Act 2 here we come! Watch this space!

The Love of Christmas

‘Happy Christmas’ to all followers old and new! Today can be a very lonely day for friends on their own. Its easy to forget this in the hub of a lovely family and friends where there is warmth and love.
A few years ago I called an elderly lady (pianist) who has no family on this special day. She is a lovely person who has helped and inspired many people through her teaching and organiser of concerts.
She was almost in tears that I had thought of her and told me later that it had made her day as she had spoken to no one else! I was quite shocked and that such a small act on my part had uplifted another soul to such a degree.
More and more as I journey through life I try to act on an idea of helping others rather than just thinking that it might be a nice thing to do…and for me the main point of Christmas is to share the love!

First Performance of two new songs

Two first performances of Helen’s new songs! ……

A CHRISTMAS CONCERT
Saturday 20th December 2014

St Gregory’s Church, Weare, near Wedmore
(In aid of Weston Hospice care)

HELEN HABERSHON ( whose recent CD was Classic FM’S CD of the week) will be collaborating
with established soprano Alexandra Kennedy who will be giving first performances of two
of Helen’s new songs. The duo have compiled an exciting programme of beautiful Christmas
music and will be joined by Helen’s twin sister international flautist Cathrine Saunders
and wonderful pianist/organist Rupert Compston.

TICKETS: £15 and can be purchased via this website or through Michael and Juliet Freedman:
01934 732787 / mlfreedman@hotmail.com (to include bubbly and mince pies)

Evening of Music on 3rd October at Millfield

Evening of Music at Johnson Hall, Millfield, 3rd October. Helen with Alexander Baillie and John Lenehan.

An Evening of Music

Friday 3rd October 2014 at 7.30pm

Johnson Hall, Millfield

Butleigh Road, Street, Somerset, BA16 0YD

Tickets £20 available from http://www.etickets.to/buy/?e=11873 or contact by email habershon@btinternet.com or Tel. 01963 240321

 Helen Habershon (clarinet)

Helen Habershon

‘Helen immediately established a rapport with the audience….    stylish and technically assured’      Daily Telegraph

‘Helen played the work’s solo lines with immense unity of purpose’    New York Times

Alexander Baillie, (‘cello)

Alexander Baillie

 

Internationally recognised as ‘one of the finest ‘cellists of his generation’, he has performed concertos with the major orchestras around the world and has worked with Simon Rattle, Sir John Eliot Gardiner…

John Lenehan (piano)

John Lenehan

Internationally recognised as one of the leading accompanists and chamber musicians of today, praised by the New York Times for his ‘great flair and virtuosity’

 

Programme to include pieces from Helen’s new album ‘Found in the Sunlight’ as heard on ClassicFM’s featured album of the week, & works by Bach, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Chopin, Horowitz

A beautiful day by the sea in July

As I write this I am sitting by the magnificent ocean hearing the reassuring music of its ever rolling waves, their constant dance of infinite glistening movements reflecting the magical sunlight shining down from a cloudless sky. The sun is still very high on this glorious late afternoon in summer. There is a feeling of total peace and goodwill in the air.
As the beach begins to empty I see the hundreds of thousands of footprints in the sand, the memory of the days events, and I know that by tomorrow the tide will have been in and erased them all, never to reappear. The ocean waves will continue to pound the beach in their song of eternity and wash away all proof of our existence leaving a blank canvas; three miles of sand waiting for the next chapter to be written and make its mark.
I am suddenly acutely aware of how transitional our lives are as visitors to this wonderful planet! In the grand scheme of things we come here for such a tiny fraction of time and then we are gone and become just a memory to those who knew us!
For me that is a wonderful example and lesson of the unimportance of the ego – that what we do here is merely our contribution to the whole; ultimately anonymous!”

Later, as I was driving away from the beach after a beautiful swim in the sea, I heard one of my all time favourite pieces of music, Brahms Symphony No 2 on Classic FM…an unexpected and delightful end to the day.
Having not heard it for some time I was transported to a magnificent land of honest and deep emotion – of total commitment of passionate expression which is so wonderfully refreshing, so reassuring, comforting and consoling. It is as though all our angst, all our searchings, all our many fears and anxieties are being held up for scrutiny by a fearless truth and explored outside the usual confines of secrecy for all to embrace and join with, like sharing a problem with a friend who then really helps you with their insights and vision.
It was a truly liberating experience and the performance was exquisite.
It took me back to the first time I had ever played Brahms, at Dartington College of Arts age seventeen, and coming in on the clarinet solo in the slow movement of the 3rd symphony… I thought I had gone to heaven! It was such a privilege to be a part of such beauty!
At the end I found myself in a wonderful reverie of hope and excitement for the future of our planet. Such feelings are always alive, always tangible in purest nature and the sea is an undeniable and committed, unconditional force of nature. Swimming in and being a part of this wonderful source of ancient times and purity is a massive gift.
I smiled as I heard Myleene Klass say that Brahms had been inspired to write this symphony after swimming in a lake at dawn every day on holiday! It made perfect sense!

Classic FM Featured Album

Just sitting here by the river in the beautiful evening sunshine and reflecting on the exciting news- that my music is back on Classic FM!  I feel very blessed today. To be played by a radio station of such excellence and on a playlist alongside such giants as Bach and Mozart is truly inspiring, somewhat humbling..even a bit surreal!

I had a real obsession about Mozart when I was about ten and took up the clarinet after hearing his magical quintet with its gorgeous slow movement! I loved his naughty sense of humour which he shared with his sister Nanerle and thought they seemed like very fun people! We had a lot of fun with music at home and hearing my mother play the piano is one of my earliest memories. My twin sister Cathrine and I both played recorder and we used to play along with my mother by ear trying to pick up the tune!  I’ve always loved the language of music and I remember it as something that would sometimes deeply affect me. It was almost as though the music was speaking to me in some way but without words.

My father was a writer, a deep thinking man and he would often play classical musIc; Bach, Brahms, Sibelius and Vaughn Williams being some of his favourites. I remember hearing Rachmaninov’s 2nd piano concerto resounding around the house after me and my siblings had gone to bed. I remember feeling the power of this music, finding it both exciting and yet very sad at the same time. It was almost too much of a roller coaster of emotion for a young child but ultimately looking back, I see it it was a positive experience and a memory that I now cherish.  I feel very fortunate that music has always been so much a part of my life but I often meet  people who were unfortunately denied the opportunities of being involved in this wonderful and nurturing aspect of life as children.

This is why I appreciate the ethos of Classic FM with their contagious enthusiasm and mission to make classical music available to everyone. It’s amazing to see how the programme has developed and grown into such a well loved institution.I’ve always felt passionate that music should be for everyone, not just a small minority and Classic FM have achieved just that. I remember the very first day they came on air and  how I immediately loved the relaxed and informal style of the presenters. I felt it was a much needed massive breath of fresh air!

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="472"]Classic FM Classic FM[/caption]

 

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