Virtual Lunchbreak Concerts


Virtual Cowdray Hall


14/05/2020 - 28/05/2020
Thursdays at 12.45pm (approx. 30 minutes)

Music by some of our regular Cowdray Hall performers to liven up your lockdown lunchtimes.

We know it's not quite the same as experiencing the power of live music in the Cowdray Hall, but for the next three Thursdays we'll be bringing you pre-recorded Lunchbreak Concerts in Lockdown.

No ticket required - it's absolutely free (and you won't have to worry about the crowds!)

Click on the button below to listen to our Virtual Lunchbreak Concerts


cowdray hall


Although there can be no live concerts at present, there will be three Lunchbreak concerts on May 14, 21 and 28. This will be a pilot series which we will assess. The performances will be pre-recorded, and available at the usual time of 12.45. These programmes will be slightly shorter than usual and will run for around 30 minutes. They will be purely audio.

The first on May 14, will welcome back one of our favourite artists - Joseph Long - with a piano recital of music by Chopin, Liszt and Debussy. He will give a short introduction to the pieces. Joseph is well known to regular members of the Lunchbreak Concerts. Hailing from Aberdeen, he trained first of all in the City, and after graduating with a double first from Cambridge, returned here to forge his successful solo career from Aberdeen. As well as being a highly gifted pianist he is also a wonderful communicator and this is, therefore, a concert not to be missed!

The second on May 21, will be a recorder and harpsichord recital by Ruaraidh Wishart and Roger Williams. This will comprise music for solo recorder by Telemann, music by Chambonnieres for harpsichord and a Handel Sonata for both players. Ruaraidh was until very recently resident in Aberdeen and is a student of Ian Wilson at the North East of Scotland Music School. He and Roger have previously collaborated at a concert of music by Janes Oswald for the Haddo Arts Festival in 2018. At the moment, we are each working at the Handel remotely, which for an ensemble composition creates certain problems to which we are seeking solutions. Tune in to hear how successful our remote collaboration has been!

The third concert will be given by Madam Tsunami on 28 May who will be making their Lunchbreak debut. They will be performing a programme of mixed repertoire with their own hybrid of jazz, folk and original compositions with a hint of classical influence. Husband and wife team Coralie and Adam Usmani both hail from New Zealand and recently made Aberdeen their home, where they are involved with The Big Noise at Torry. Adam is primarily a songwriter but is known locally as The King of Keys, for his jazz-blues and boogie-woogie, especially at the Aberdeen Jazz Festival. Coralie is a graduate of Auckland University and is a professional violinist, experienced in both orchestral and chamber music. Their programme will include some jazz standards and some traditional tunes. They will introduce their pieces.

Please join us for this pilot of three concerts which reflect the breadth of repertoire for which the Lunchbreaks are rightly celebrated. And then tell us what you think so that we can assess and build for the future.

Meantime keep well and safe and we shall look forward to your presence on Thursdays in May.


Thursday 14 May, 12.45pm
Joseph Long (Piano)

The individual pieces featured in the programme are:

1. Chopin - Mazurka Op. 17 No. 1 in B flat
2. Chopin - Berceuse Op. 57 in D flat
3. Liszt - Les jeux d'eau a la Villa d'Este (from Années de pèlerinage, Troisième année)
4. Debussy - La fille aux cheveux de lin (from Préludes, Book 1)
5. Debussy - Bruyères (from Préludes, Book 2)
6. Debussy - Jardins sous la pluie (from Estampes)

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Thursday 21 May, 12.45pm
Ruaraidh Wishart (Recorder) and Roger Williams (Harpsichord)

Music for solo recorder by Telemann, music by Chambonnieres for harpsichord and a Handel Sonata for both players.

Transcript: Ruaraidh Wishart and Roger Williams

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Thursday 28 May, 12.45pm
Madam Tsunami

Performing a programme of mixed repertoire with their own hybrid of jazz, folk and original compositions with a hint of classical influence.

Mana - original
The iconic scotch-snap strathspey rhythm features in this original tune.

Blackfriars - original / The Ox - Bruce McGregor
Written about Blackfriars pub at Aberdeens castlegate. The song is about finding warmth in a music session on a cold winter's night.

Long Way From Home - original
Nostalgia for home, in this case New Zealand.

The Bacon Allocation - Anna Massie / The Lads Like Beer - James Hill
Two fiddle tunes. Adam plays piano for this and the remaining half of the programme.

Boogie Woogie Lockdown - anon/original
When all else fails, you can always count on a little boogie woogie to get you through!

All of Me - Seymour Simons, Gerald Marks
A popular jazz standard, with famous renditions by Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald.

Living Memory - original
A hint of bagpipes in the fiddle melody. The lyrics, on losing a loved one: "It's the hardest thing that I've had to do. The hardest thing, saying goodbye to you. The words don't come, because they've all been used, but my heart does flood with the living memory of you"

Pent up Hoose - original
Based around the chords of the Sonny Rollins classic 'Pent Up House'. This is the Scottish lockdown equivalent - Pent up Hoose.

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