Thursday 3 November, 2016  7:30 pm

Old Sorting Office Arts Centre, 49 Station Road, Barnes, SW13 0LF


Ghost Variations


President: Steven Isserlis


Barnes Music Society is proud to have as its President the world-famous cellist Steven Isserlis.  Born in Barnes, he comes from a very musical family.  His two sisters are professional string players (Annette a violist and Rachel a violinist), and his grandfather Julian Isserlis was a composer.


 The Society in its current form was created through a merger in 1985 of Castelnau Concerts with the Barnes Music Club, although its roots go back to the 1950s.  Our outgoing President, the late Stephen Dodgson, had been Chairman of Castlenau Concerts, whilst the new President's late father, George Isserlis, had been Chairman of the Barnes Music Club.  Both played a major role in maintaining the Society's high standards.


Barnes Music Society aims to foster appreciation of music, promoting first-class concerts, and encouraging other musical activities especially involving young musicians.  These last are achieved by the Saturday family concerts for children and by the annual concert each May given by young musicians.


Please email all enquiries about the Society and Membership to



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Barnes Music Society gratefully acknowledges financial assistance during the past year from the Barnes Workhouse Fund, the Barnes Community Association, the John S Cohen Foundation, the Holst Foundation and Chestertons






Jessica Duchen    author & narrator


David Le Page    violin


Viv McLean    piano






The strangest detective story in the history of music - inspired by a true incident.


A world spiralling towards war. A composer descending into madness. And a devoted woman struggling to keep her faith in art and love against all the odds.


1933. Dabbling in the fashionable "Glass Game" - a Ouija board - the famous Hungarian violinist Jelly d'Aranyi, one-time muse to composers such as Bartok, Ravel and Elgar, encounters a startling dilemma. A message arrives ostensibly from the spirit of the composer Robert Schumann, begging her to find and perform his long-suppressed violin concerto.  Jessica Duchen's new novel Ghost Variations is based upon these extraordinary events.


The concert traces the story of the great Hungarian violinist Jelly d'Aranyi and her rediscovery of the Schumann Violin Concerto, mingling shortened extracts of the novel with some explanatory links and, of course, the music that she used to play including the Bartok Romanian Dances, extracts from the Mendelssohn and Schumann violin concertos, Ravel's Tzigane, Hubay's Hejre Kati, Schumann's Violin Sonata in A minor and the theme from the Geistervariationen...


Tickets now available for
Ghost Variations




Jessica Duchen writes for The Independent on classical music, opera and ballet, and during the past 25 years has interviewed many of the world's finest musicians. Her first four novels (published by Hodder) have gathered a loyal fan-base and wide acclaim. "Duchen has a rare talent which is increasingly being recognised" (Gavin Esler, The Glasgow Herald).

  Jessica grew up in London, read music at Cambridge, also studying piano, and felt torn at first between the prospects of a musical career and a literary one. Having decided to be "sensible" - perhaps a debatable point - and choose the latter, she held editorial posts on several music magazines before going freelance to concentrate on writing.

 Her interest in cross-genre arts finds music playing a vital role in her novels as well as her journalism, and she frequently narrates concert versions of two of them, Alicia's Gift and Hungarian Dances. She is currently writing an opera libretto for the composer Roxanna Panufnik, a commission from Garsington Opera for 2017.

Her output also includes two plays, biographies of the composers Erich Wolfgang Korngold and Gabriel Faure (both published by Phaidon) and her popular classical music blog, JDCMB (

Jessica lives in London with her violinist husband and their two cats. She enjoys playing the piano, preferably when nobody can hear her, as well as cookery, long walks and plundering second-hand bookshops for out-of-print musical gems.


David Le Page was born in Guernsey and began learning the violin at the age of seven. He gained a place at the Yehudi Menuhin School, aged twelve, where he studied with Margaret Norris. He was a prize winner in both the BBC Young Musician of the Year and the Yehudi Menuhin competition and completed his studies in Bern with Igor Ozim and in London with Sidney Griller. David has worked with a diverse selection of artists and ensembles including the Kreutzer quartet, Adderbury Ensemble, Billy Jenkins, Thomas Ades, Opera North, Matthew Sharp, Nicholas Daniel, James, Chroma, Roger Eno, Keith Tippett, Errolyn Wallen, David Gordon, Partikel, Benet McLean, Abdullah Ibrahim, John Tavener, Michael Tippett, Phillip Sheppard and the Gogmagogs. He is director of The Harborough Collective and has formed his own groups the Le Page Ensemble, Mysterious Barricades and Subway Piranhas.

 In 1999 David was appointed leader of the Orchestra of the Swan, a Stratford-upon-Avon based chamber orchestra, which has received critical acclaim for its imaginative programming, commitment to new music and numerous recordings. David has recorded and released two albums of his own material. 'The Reinvention of Harmony and Imagination' (2013) and 'As The Crow Flies' (2015). In 2016 he recorded 'Between Heaven and Earth' an album of solo violin music featuring works by Bach, Ysaye, Paganini, Tiersen and Biber as well as two of his own compositions. 2016 will also see the release of 'Barcos' an album recorded with renowned bandoeon player Eduardo Garcia and The Harborough Collective. David is artistic director of the successful Harborough Concerts series, based in Market Harborough, which presents around 20 groundbreaking performances a year. He is currently President of the European String Teachers Association.

David plays on a 1874 violin made by Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume.


Winner of the First Prize at the 2002 Maria Canals International Piano Competition in Barcelona, Viv McLean has performed at all the major venues in the UK as well as throughout Europe, Japan, Australia and the US. Viv's concerto work includes appearances with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Halle, English Chamber Orchestra, BBC Concert Orchestra, Sinfonia Viva, Orchestra of the Swan, London Concert Orchestra, Scottish Concert Orchestra and the National Musicians' Symphony Orchestra.

Recent concerto highlights include Mozart K. 467 with the English Chamber Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall, Grieg with the London Philharmonic Orchestra at the Barbican, a tour of the USA with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra performing Gershwin; Rachmaninov's 3rd Concerto with the RPO in Cambridge, Rachmaninov's 2nd Concerto with the London Concert Orchestra at the Barbican; and Beethoven's Emperor Concerto with the Philharmonia at the Royal Festival Hall. Viv McLean enjoys a regular collaboration with the Halle, with which he recently has performed the Ravel Concerto in G at The Sands, Carlisle and Middlesbrough Town Hall; Gershwin, Bernstein and de Falla's Nights in the Gardens of Spain at the Bridgewater Hall, Manchester; and Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue at the Sage Gateshead.

Viv has performed chamber music with leading groups such as the Ysaye String Quartet, the Sacconi String Quartet, the Galliard Wind Ensemble and the Leopold String Trio and has collaborated with musicians such as Natalie Clein, Marianne Thorsen, Daniel Hope, Lawrence Power, Eijin Nimura, Phillip Dukes, Matthew Sharp, Kate Gould, Guy Johnston, Richard Dubugnon, David Le Page, Wayne Marshall, Christopher Warren-Green, Owain Arwell Hughes, David Charles Abell, Carl Davis and Marvin Hamlisch.

Viv McLean has performed at festivals including the Cheltenham International Festival and Harrogate Festival in the UK, the International Beethoven Festival, the Mecklenburg Festival and the Kultur Kreis Festival in Germany, the Melle Festival and Festival de Saintes in France, the Vinterfestspill i Bergstaden in Norway and the Musik vid Kattegatt Festival in Sweden.

Viv studied at the Royal Academy of Music with Hamish Milne where he held the Hodgson Fellowship and was made an Associate of the Royal Academy in 2005. He made his Wigmore Hall recital debut through winning the Friends of the Royal Academy Wigmore Award. Whilst studying at the Academy, he was the piano winner at the Royal Overseas-League Music Competition and was selected as one of three winners of the National Federation of Music Societies' Young Artists Competition, leading to various recitals and concerto appearances throughout Great Britain.