Lunchtime Concert Series returns for Spring

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The University of Liverpool’s Lunchtime Concert Series returns online for Spring.

The free shows are streamed online and feature performances by the Department of Music and the Liverpool Philharmonic.

This year’s series will also feature performer mini-documentaries and audience Q&As.

Artistic co-ordinator Helen Thomas said: “Since the Capital of Culture, the University of Liverpool have formalised a lunchtime concert series and I came to the university about five years ago and started running a professional concert series at the Leggate Theatre with students on placement.

“So using that as a training ground and it just became very successful. We tend to programme really good performers doing quite unusual repertoire so it is not a commercial series in that sense.

“I think most of the audience come along to hear stuff that they wouldn’t otherwise get the chance to hear played.”

The performances had to be adapted to online during the pandemic and have stayed that way since, due to restrictions. Ms Thomas said: “I would like to think that artistically it has carried on being successful. We have kept to those principles, really good performances and little known repertoire, so I think that’s maintained.

“Bizarrely, in terms of the sort of reach, it has been something that we couldn’t envisage but we are actually reaching far more people now.

“In terms of numbers, the success you could say has been a bigger success by going online. I think the quality of the experience is obviously very different if you are watching on a device to actually being in a room.

“I think everybody would say the quality of the communication between the performers and the audience is greatly reduced. I think that is undeniable.”

The Spring series will showcase how composers Oli Carman and Mark Pilkington collaborate remotely to create new multi-media works.  Audiences can also learn about the guzheng, a type of Chinese zither, with performer and PhD candidate, Xiaoxiao Hou, explore the sonic interface between the flute and electronics with flautist, Richard Craig and composers who have written works for him on. There will also be a celebration of music written and performed by women with Equilibrium Ensemble for the final show of the season.

Ms Thomas added: “I’ve got loyal followers who message me every week saying how much they have enjoyed it, but not having that togetherness is weird and I cant wait to get back to that.

“The regular members of the public that are in touch are saying ‘really enjoyed this, cant wait to get back’. So we’ve had success in some areas and I hope we can build very much on the digital promotion side of it going forward so more people can listen in and also so that we can use them as learning and teaching resources as well.”

All concerts start at 1.15pm on Wednesday afternoons and last appropriately 35 minutes, plus Q&A.

Details are available here



About Mia O'Hare, JMU Journalism