Lunchtime Music Recitals

First Thursday of every month (except August) 13:00 – 13:30

We have a wonderful variety of musicians and singers performing recitals during 2018. We hope you will call in and enjoy the performances each month.

January 4th Cristinel Bacanu Concert Violinist
February 1st Yu-Mien & The String Quartet Birmingham Conservatoire
March 1st Marie Curie Hospice Daffodil Choir Conducted by Stephen Perrins
April 5th Alexander Woodrow
Head of Choral music at Solihull School
May 3rd Inventus Wind Quintet Birmingham Conservatoire
June 7th Solihull School Student Ensemble
July 5th Lumos Wind Quintet Birmingham Conservatoire
August Summer Break
September 6th Linda Bates Songs from the shows
October 4th Stephen Perrins,
Former Director of music at Solihull School
November 1st Stephen Perrins,
Former Director of music at Solihull School
December 6th Two’s Harmony,
Graham Lowe & Jean Hamilton
Piano duets, Christmas music


Cristinel Bacanu

January 4th

Cristinel was born in Bucharest, Romania and began playing the violin at the George Enescu School of Music where he gained his diploma. He continued his studies at the National University of Music in Bucharest and Ohio University having lessons with Dr Corina Bura and Marjorie Bagley. In 2007 he gained a full scholarship to Arizona State University to undertake a Masters in Performance with Dr Katherine McLin.

During his studies, Cristinel won several Concerto competitions and has performed many of the great violin concertos including the Brahms, Mendelssohn, Tchaikovsky and Sibelius. He was leader of several orchestras at the Bucharest Conservatoire and Arizona State University. Cristinel has participated in masterclasses with the Tokyo String Quartet, the Brentano String Quartet, the Julliard String Quartet, and in 2000 was selected to represent Romania as both a soloist and chamber musician at the Hanover Expo. Currently, Cristinel is based in Birmingham, and is developing a portfolio career as a freelance violinist and music educator. He has regularly been engaged as a guest leader and soloist with various orchestras in the Midlands and he is the leader of Bacanu Quartet, a group promoting live performances of recitals across the UK. Cristinel will perform the Dvorak violin concerto with the Solihull Symphony Orchestra on The 1st of July 2017.

Yu-Mien & The String Quartet, Birmingham Conservatoire

February 1st

Yu-Mien, Taiwanese violinist, enjoys a versatile career as a freelance musician. She began playing the violin at the age of 6 and has recently graduated from Birmingham Conservatoire with a First-Class (Hons) Degree. Her career has taken her to prestigious venues, such as the Barbican Hall, Royal Festival Hall, Royal Albert Hall, Symphony Hall and a number of BBC TV Broadcasts.

She was twice winner of the Sylvia Cleaver Chamber Music Prize, most recently in June 2017 as a member of Fletcher Quartet with pianist Domonkos Csabay.

Fletcher Quartet was formed in 2017 at Birmingham Conservatoire. Since then, the quartet has steadily built their reputation both locally and internationally. This season will see Fletcher Quartet performing in all parts of the UK and South Africa.

Daffodil Community Choir, Marie Curie Hospice

March 1st

The hospice Daffodil Community choir was formed in May 2013. In line with the Hospice’s aims of reaching out to the local community, the Choir really is a community affair, offering a weekly time for people to come together and sing. The choir is open to anyone and combines a mix of people who are bereaved, patients, family members, hospice volunteers and staff together with people from the local community.

The idea of creating a choir was the brainchild of Jane Murray, Adult Bereavement Support Co-ordinator. The choir is conducted by Stephen Perrins who for 23 years was Director of Music at Solihull School before his retirement in 2015. With approaching retirement from school life, Stephen was recruited by Jane following a conversation with Stephen’s wife Sarah, who herself volunteers as a member of the Bereavement Support Team. With a choir training diploma, vast musical experience and boundless enthusiasm, Stephen aims to bring music alive, even to those who would claim that they cannot sing!

In the early days there were 8-12 singers each week, as the word spread that singing is fun, friends and relatives of those dozen founding singers came along and now the choir regularly sees 60 members singing together on a Tuesday evening!

The choir performs regularly in the hospice for patients, families and the community and has since been invited to sing at several events in the Solihull Borough. In August 2017 the choir recorded a CD as part of a nationwide project for ‘Choirs With Purpose’ which it is hoped will make the top 20 chart in time for Christmas!

Alexander Woodrow

April 5th

Born in York in 1986, Alexander Woodrow is the Head of Choral Music at Solihull School, where he is responsible for the thriving chapel choirs. He combines this position with a freelance career as recitalist, choral director and accompanist.

For almost five years, he was Organist and Director of Music at Bradford Cathedral, serving as the youngest Cathedral Organist in the country. During his tenure at Bradford, the treble lines of the Cathedral Choir were divided into separate boys’ and girls’ ensembles, a programme of chorister tuition and development was introduced, a choral scholarship scheme initiated, and an organ restoration project was launched. After decades of abeyance, the Choir began to broadcast again on national BBC radio and television, and to tour regularly. Alexander was also responsible for the choral ensembles at Bradford Grammar School between 2012 – 2016.

Alexander read music as Organ Scholar at Magdalene College, Cambridge, studying with Anne Page. Before his Bradford Cathedral appointment, there followed positions at Guildford and St Albans Cathedrals as well as Hexham Abbey. He became a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists at the age of 19, winning first prizes in all categories, including the Limpus Prize. He is also a Fellow of Trinity College London and a recipient of the Silver Medal of the Worshipful Company of Musicians. Solo organ recitals have taken Alexander to many of the major churches and Cathedrals of the UK, including York Minster, King’s College, Cambridge, and Westminster Abbey.

Inventus Wind Quintet

May 3rd

The Inventus Quintet are a lively and friendly ensemble consisting of third year students from the Birmingham Conservatoire. Their repertoire ranges from the earliest quintet music of the classical era all the way to present day compositions. Alongside their studies at the conservatoire, the Inventus Quintet have a busy concert diary, with recent performances all around the country. They also regularly enter competitions and most recently were finalists in the Sylvia Cleaver Chamber prize.

One of the key aims of the quintet is to allow as many people as possible to experience the world of chamber music. They offer outreach to schools and give workshops to all ages.

It is through the use of this close ensemble that the Inventus Quintet have built a strong relationship and continue to expand their knowledge of chamber music as a whole.

Music Scholars of Solihull School

June 7th

Musical activity at Solihull School is thriving and wide-ranging, both in and out of the classroom. The School’s staff of full time academic musicians is supported by a large team of specialist vocal and instrumental tutors. Choirs, orchestras and ensembles abound, with an extraordinarily large number of pupils involved in music making of one kind or another. We have a strong tradition of leavers going on to study music at university or the principal music colleges in England, with many former pupils engaged in musical careers as teachers or performers. Today’s performance offers some of our Music Scholars a lovely opportunity to perform out of school and to showcase their hard work in preparing for today’s lunchtime recital.

Lumos Wind Quintet

July 5th

The Lumos Wind Quintet formed late 2014 in a university halls kitchen as five keen instrumentalists who couldn’t wait for their course to start. Frequently performing in workshops at the Birmingham Conservatoire, Lumos tries to gain experience wherever possible. In 2014, they entertained guests at the opening of the practice rooms at My Student Village Birmingham; fittingly, the halls where they were initally formed. Today, the quintet plays a variety of genres that allows each of its player to shine as practiced soloists. In 2016 the Quintet were finalists in the Sylvia Cleaver Chamber Competition.

The Quintet Consists of Georgina Silverton (Flute), Harriet Brown (Oboe), Benjamin Garalnick (French Horn), Hugh Woolley (Bassoon), and Jacob Perry (Clarinet). All members of the Quintet are students at the Birmingham Conservatoire, taught by world renowned teachers, such as the Atea Wind Quintet, and antendees of many masterclasses of their respective instruments. They have also had opportunities in orchestras such as playing Respighi’s Pines of Rome as part of a pre-concert for the CBSO in Symphony Hall, performances at The Royal Albert Hall, and concert halls abroad (around Europe and America). As a quintet, they are also interested in outreach work such as in hospitals and in schools. Lumos are looking forward to performing in various Birmingham Conservatoire Showcases and Chamber Ensemble concerts.

Linda Bates; Songs from the Shows

September 6th

lb-photoLinda’s love for singing developed while performing with SMASH as a child and teenager. After two years training in musical theatre and drama at Arts Educational School in Tring, Linda focused on choral music at university, singing with Trinity Hall chapel choir and King’s Voices, the mixed voice choir of King’s College Chapel.

Now, once again a member of SMASH and a contributor to church music, Linda shares her love of singing with others, running weekly sing and sign sessions at Solihull Children’s Special Needs Association playgroup, and leading SoLO choir for teenagers and adults with learning disabilities.

Stephen Perrins

October 4th & November 1st

stephen-perrinsStephen began his musical education as a chorister at Coventry Cathedral. He studied piano and organ while at school then went on to read music at Cambridge University as organ scholar of Peterhouse. Here he continued his organ studies with the renowned organist Dame Gillian Weir. While at university Stephen obtained both his ARCO and FRCO organ diplomas. After graduating, Stephen joined the music staff of The Howard School, Rainham, Kent and was also organist and accompanist for a number of churches and choral societies, including the Royal Dockyard Choral Society in Chatham.

Awarded the Royal College of Organists’ Choirmaster’s Diploma, Stephen returned to Coventry as Director of Music at King Henry VIII School and at the same time was also an assistant organist at the Cathedral, assistant director and organist to the Cathedral Chapter House Choir as well as working with the Cathedral’s choral society, the Saint Michael’s Singers. Stephen was also Musical Director of the Warwick and Kenilworth Choral Society during this period.

Following a move to Sussex as Director of Music at Ardingly College and Director of the Ardingly Choral Society Stephen returned to the Midlands as Director of Music at Solihull School, a post he held until his retirement this summer, now holding the grand title of Emeritus Director of Music!

Stephen has worked as accompanist to both the Solihull Chandos Choir and the Elmdon Choral Society. He is a freelance organist and accompanist and is a frequent organist at several local churches including Saint Mary’s, Lapworth and Saint Alphege, Solihull. Stephen has also been Musical Director for a number of music theatre societies including Knowle, Solihull Theatre Company and Saint Alphege Musical Production Society.

Two’s Harmony

December 6th

graham-and-jeanGraham Lowe and Jean Hamilton have been performing together as Two’s Harmony for over twenty years. They met at Shirley Methodist Church where they continue to present regular organ and piano concerts, as well as giving piano duet recitals whenever and wherever invited.

In addition to being organist and choirmaster at Shirley Methodist Church, Graham runs a thriving teaching practice. Jean is now retired, and has become an accompanist for the Solihull Contact Choir.

Piano duet playing – the art of two people sharing the same instrument – is unique, fascinating and intricate. Graham and Jean have developed this over the years and their repertoire now includes a wide range of musical styles and arrangements.