Levinsky Hall – a new classical music venue bringing world-class musicians to the South-West announces its inaugural season

Levinsky Hall, as part of the University of Plymouth, is pleased to announce its inaugural season in a new classical music venue for the South West of England. Levinsky Hall, a showcase venue in the ground floor atrium of the Roland Levinsky Building, will present the Musica Viva Concert Series which brings internationally acclaimed performers to the Plymouth community to inspire, educate, challenge, and unite audiences by presenting leading musicians in public concert performances, open rehearsals, and informal talks.

With a wonderful Steinway Model C grand piano now in Levinsky Hall along with new on-stage acoustic panels, the two Autumn concerts – Romantic Piano and Virtuoso Violin kick off an exciting season that highlights both compositional and instrumental virtuosity in works ranging from the Romantic era to the present day that are fresh and daring in their expressive qualities.

Dr Robert Taub, Director of Music, The Arts Institute said: “I’m very excited about our upcoming concerts in the beautiful Levinsky Hall. It’s a very comfortable place to enjoy concerts, and its ample stage area allows us to bring in internationally acclaimed ensembles as well as soloists and chamber music. The concert hall itself is a wonderful addition to the art gallery and cinema already in place in the atrium of the Roland Levinsky Building.”

“One of the perspectives of our Musica Viva concerts is to play old music as if it is new, and new music as if it is old. In other words, play old music with the same excitement and freshness as new music with ink barely dry on the pages, and new music with the same deep convictions that we bring to music that has already withstood the tests of time.”

 “Colleagues suggested that I play the opening concert in Levinsky Hall in October, and I’m particularly pleased and honoured to do so with a programme of exciting works that use the piano to its utmost. And for the November concert, we’re all thrilled to be bringing in the brilliant young London-born virtuoso violinist Mathilde Milwidsky.”

Concert Listings:

Saturday 15 October 2022 – Pre-concert talk: 7:00pm,    Performance: 7:30pm ,   
Levinsky Hall, Roland Levinsky Building
Robert Taub, piano
Beethoven: Sonata in C minor, Op.13 Pathétique
Schumann: Davidsbündlertänze, Op.6
Chopin: Sonata in B minor, Op.58 

Romantic Piano

The grand piano stands alone – lid open, the keyboard a gleaming row of shark’s teeth. Slowly, deliberately, the pianist approaches, sits down and focuses concentration. Then with fingers flying, sonorous strings are brought to life, sounds swirling through the air…,   we enter the vivid, imaginative, even visionary, sometimes haunted realm of passionate piano music.

Romantic Piano brings together expressive, intimate, passionate and exciting music. In this special programme of works by three composer/pianists, Robert Taub will start with the stormy Pathétique Sonata of Beethoven, a proto-Romantic work that was an immediate hit: it sold out of its first printing almost immediately. Next is a set of highly personalized musical characterisations of an imaginary society by Schumann, his Davidsbündlertänze, with vivid musical symbolism of his yearning for his beloved Clara. The concert concludes with the thundering sonorities of Chopin’s mighty Sonata in B minor, the final of his three sonatas, composed five years before he died at age 39.  Each work on this programme is deeply involving and expressive; the programme as a whole is a journey into the gripping soul of Romanticism.

Saturday 12 November 2022 – Pre-concert talk: 7:00pm,    Performance: 7:30pm,   
Levinsky Hall, Roland Levinsky Building
Mathilde Milwidsky, violin
Huw Watkins, piano
Bartok – Rhapsody for violin and piano No.2
Huw Watkins – Arietta for violin and piano
Romance for violin and piano
Paganini – Caprice No. 24 for solo violin
Huw Watkins – Partita for solo violin
Interval –
Walton – Sonata for violin and piano
Ravel – Tzigane for violin and piano

 Virtuoso Violin

The violin – carefully and artistically sculpted from thin wood and with only four slender strings, held aloft and gleaming in the spotlights – is a modest, unassuming instrument. But then the brilliant young London-born violinist Mathilde Milwidsky draws her bow across the strings and brings them to life, creating dynamic, vibrant waves of sound. Hear the magic!

Fresh from a summer of concert performances throughout the UK and abroad, Mathilde Milwidsky continues our inaugural Musica Viva season in Levinsky Hall with an imaginative programme of exciting violin works – both solo and collaborative.

Mathilde is performing with pianist and composer Huw Watkins in expressive, stirring and demanding works of Ravel, Bartok, Walton, and Watkins himself. And ever an adventurous virtuoso, Mathilde is also playing two solo violin works:  Paganini’s 24th Caprice, a violin showstopper (so extraordinary was Paganini’s own playing that he was reputed to be in league with the Devil!) and Huw Watkins’ dramatic 2006 composition Partita for solo violin, commissioned by the BBC.

Photographer Dom Moore

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