Rodewald Concert Society

The Rodewald Concert Society is a promoter of chamber music in the Liverpool and Merseyside area of England. The Society was established in 1911, in memory of Alfred E Rodewald (1861–1903), a well-respected amateur conductor in Liverpool, and close friend of Edward Elgar who dedicated the first of his Pomp and Circumstance Marches to Rodewald.

For many years the Society has brought some of the finest chamber music ensembles to Liverpool, including string quartets such as the Amadeus Quartet, the Smetana Quartet, the Janáček Quartet and the Melos Quartet, and other chamber groups such as the Beaux Arts Trio. More recently, the Skampa Quartet, the Belcea Quartet and the Florestan Trio have visited the Society. Recent seasons have offered audiences quality series of quartet concerts, lieder and piano recitals by Stephen Hough, Paul Lewis, Nikolai Demidenko and Llr Williams. Joglaresa have also performed, a concert highly appreciated by followers of early music.

The Society has also a record of commissioning new works, including works by Hugh Wood, to celebrate Liverpool as European Capital of Culture in 2008, and John McCabe, its President. A commission in 2012 was for a clarinet quintet by Emily Howard, performed by Nicholas Cox and the Danel String Quartet. Wirral composer Emily Howard has been one of the real discoveries of recent seasons and this new work was received with great acclaim.

The Rodewald Concert Society went through some financial difficulties during the 1990s, but the present chairman, committee and members of the public re-established it, allowing it to resume its activities. The Society relaunched its programme with the Beethoven Series Quartets Concerts and the Endellion Quartet in 2000.

While it is an independent charity, the Society enjoyed a close working relationship with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Society, with whom it played a major role in completing the provision of a full range of classical musical performances for audiences in the Merseyside area. In 2012, in its Centenary year, the decision was made by the Society to become fully independent and to assume a new role of commissioning new works and sponsorship of the Chamber Concert Series, which are now fully promoted by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic. It is now entirely reliant on the support of its members and patrons for its activities.

In its new role, the Society promoted, in association with the University of Liverpool and Hope University a concert by the Smith Quartet as part of Liverpool Hope University’s Cornerstone Arts Festival 2012. The Smith Quartet is recognised as being at the leading edge of the new music world. At this concert, the Society commissioned two new compositions, one by Liverpool Hope University composer Ian Percy and the second by University of Liverpool composer Matthew Fairclough. Both new works combined string quartet with live electronics.

Concerts were for many years held in the Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool, but since 2007 the Society held most of its concerts in the newly refurbished Small Concert Hall at St. George's Hall, Liverpool.

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