You may have heard of The Busch Ensemble. This very talented group – pianist Omri Epstein, violinist Mathieu van Bellen and cellist Jonathan Bloxham – were the winners of the Royal Overseas League competition in 2012 and the Recording Prize at the Salieri-Zinetti International Chamber Music Competition in Italy.
It’s been a very busy and successful year for the chamber music group, which only got together in November 2010 and have since performed all over the world, in the UK, Germany, the Netherlands and France, and in concert halls as prestigious as the Wigmore, The Sage Gateshead and The Queen Elizabeth Hall.
So you can imagine how ecstatic we were here at the Two Moors Festival to welcome this enigmatic ensemble to our headquarters in Devon for a week-long residency, culminating in a smashing classical music concert in our gallery, with a programme of Beethoven, Brahms and Ravel on Friday night (September 14th).
The three musicians had a great time throughout the week and really made the most of the opportunity to relax and play wonderful music in a rather idyllic setting – more so than others we’ve had to stay at Barkham. On Thursday, they rehearsed for a whopping ten hours, popping back over from the gallery whenever they needed to refuel. “They even went back to the gallery at 22:30, as they found it so perfect an environment to play in,” festival artistic director Penny Adie said.
As much of an impression as The Busch Ensemble made on the audience – their performance really was mind-blowing and the congregation were left open-mouthed – our little corner of the world seemed to have impressed them just as much.
Omri fell in love with our piano, they are all keen to record in the gallery if possible and they just loved the total relaxation, the readily-available food and the fact that they didn’t have to travel anywhere to give a concert. From our point of view, they were amazing – they even did the washing up! We were particularly impressed with the care they took over their concert dress. They all wore the same high-class shirts, had very polished shoes and wore superbly pressed trousers, something that can slip through the cracks at our residency concerts because the musicians are just so relaxed!
“It makes such a difference and makes the audience feels there’s something special going to happen,” Penny added.
It really was a wonderful evening and week – The Busch Ensemble are welcome back any time!
Have you ever been lucky enough to see The Busch Ensemble in concert?