What happened in our 2022-23 season:

The Classical Piano Trio

Friday, 12th May 2023, 7.30pm
St Mary's Church, Shrewsbury
A montage of the three performers, together with a portrait of Dr Charles Burney, along with the concert title and composers
The Musical World of Dr Charles Burney

With Steven Devine – fortepiano, Caroline Balding – violin and Andrew Skidmore – cello

This programme, specially devised for the Shropshire Music Trust, examines some of the composers the great Shrewsbury-born musician and historian Charles Burney (1726 - 1814) came into contact with and admired.


C P E Bach: Sonata in E minor Wq.89/5
C F Abel: Sonata No. 1 in A major for violin, cello & Basso Continuo op.9
J C Bach: Keyboard Sonata in C Minor Op 17/2
Haydn: Trio G minor Hob XV:19
Burney: Keyboard Sonata No. 2 in D Major
Beethoven: Bagatelle WoO 61a
Mozart: Piano Trio in B flat major, K502

Led by Steven Devine, artistic director of Bridgnorth's "English Haydn Festival"

Led by Steven Devine, Artistic Director of the English Haydn Festival, the programme will explore through music and readings from the world of the Shrewsbury-born musical director, historian and composer Dr Charles Burney.

Charles Burney was born and raised in Shrewsbury, educated at Shrewsbury School and the Free School in Chester, before being taken to London under the tutelage of Dr Thomas Arne, composer of Rule Britannia and much more, where he wrote music for theatre, played in Handel’s orchestra and became one of the most significant musical diarists and historians of his age.

His widely read volumes concerning his travels in France, Germany and Italy, his celebrated History of Music in the English language, his discourse upon the comets and biography of Herschel, the astronomer and friend, as well as his own diaries, all make Burney one of the most important musical figures of his age.

Burney’s brother was in fact organist at St Mary’s church, Shrewsbury, where this wonderful concert will take place, and Steven Devine, who is artistic director of the English Haydn Festival in Bridgnorth, and one of the UK’s most eminent harpsichord and fortepiano exponents, will bring the world of Burney to life through music of the period, including by Burney himself and with readings from Burney’s diaries and letters.

The programme features a wonderful piano trio by Burney’s great friend Haydn, as well as by Mozart, whom Burney met on his travels in Bologna, with music too by C P E Bach, J C Bach (The London Bach) and Abel. It promises to be a fascinating, thrilling and superb evening of words and music, bringing this great Salopian figure to life in a building he knew, and performed on instruments of the period by some of the UK’s leading exponents of 18th century music.

Steven is Artistic Director of the English Haydn Festival as well as being one of the UK's most sought-after continuo players and conductors with a growing international reputation as well. Both Caroline and Andrew are experienced performers on period instruments and the programme will include trios from composers such as Haydn, Mozart and their contemporaries, interspersed with readings from Charles Burney's diaries. Burney, who hailed from Shrewsbury, is generally regarded as the greatest source of contemporary information about music in the eighteenth century. His brother was the organist at St Mary's and it was there that Charles began his musical training, leading him to becoming a member of Handel's Theatre Orchestra, and composing and writing all his life.



Children and students: £9.50

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