The inaugural meeting of Norwich Chamber Music (formerly Norfolk and Norwich Chamber Music) took place on 28 April 1951 and the first concert was held in the Music Room of The Assembly House, Norwich on 26 May 1951. Benjamin Britten agreed to become President and remained in that position until shortly before his death in 1976.
Most of the concerts were held in The Assembly House until a major fire in that building meant that the concerts of the 1995/96 & 1996/97 Season were divided between Blackfriars Hall and Princes Street Methodist Church. We moved our main series of concerts permanently to the JIC Conference Centre in 1998.
Like all organisations trying to programme arts events, 2020–2021 was a terrific challenge for Norwich Chamber Music.
In the early days of the pandemic some of us, optimistically, believed that from September 2020 we would be able to run a full NCM programme. How wrong we were.
But we are very proud that we did manage to put on six socially distanced concerts with world-class performers. Each of these concerts lasted in the region of one hour and was played twice, at 3.00pm and – after sanitising the concert hall – at 6.00pm.
We know from the vast number of comments, made both by our artists and our audience, just how emotional, inspiring and heartening these events were.
It was a season like no other. Below, we have recorded details of the concerts for you and future generations to recall. And now we look forward, with hope, to a fuller season in 2021–2022.
Sunday 4 October 2020 Nash Ensemble
Saturday 29 May 2021 Elias String Quartet
Saturday 19 June 2021 Steven Isserlis and Sam Haywood
Saturday 26 June 2021 Paul Lewis
Saturday 3 July 2021 Lawrence Power and Huw Watkins
Saturday 17 July 2021 Pavel Kolesnikov
We were very fortunate to be joined for some concerts by the critic David Vass.
Links to his reviews can be found below: