About this Event

This year sees the Centenary of the death of the composer Sir Charles Villiers Stanford who had a long-standing connection with Marchmont as a great friend of Robert Finnie McEwen. A regular visitor to the House, he advised on the acoustics of the Music Room, and the specification of the organ.

To pay tribute, we are hosting a weekend of musical performance, presentations and discussion to explore his profound effect on the development and history of English music as a performer, conductor, composer, teacher and writer.

There are two ticketed concerts featuring Stanford's work amongst that of Mozart, Brahms and Helen Leach, Marchmont's Composer-in-Residence.


Friday 7th June at 7pm - The Victoria String Quartet with clarinettist John Bradbury

  • Helen Leach - 'Diary of the Bee' for Clarinet and String Quartet
  • Charles Villiers Stanford - String Quartet No. 6 in A Minor, Op. 122
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Clarinet Quintet , K.581

Saturday 8th June at 7pm -  The Victoria String Quartet with clarinettist John Bradbury

  • Helen Leach - 'Tenera Caritate' for Clarinet and String Quartet (World Premiere)
  • Charles Villiers Stanford -  Caoine from Sonata for Clarinet and Piano, Op. 129
  • Charles Villiers Stanford - Fantasy for Clarinet and String Quartet No. 1
  • Johannes Brahms - Clarinet Quintet in B minor, Op. 115

Pre-concert drinks are included on both nights. What better way to kick off a summer evening of music than a delicious glass of Champagne Deutz - our new House Champagne partner for this season.

Please note there is no interval.

The Victoria String Quartet with John Bradbury

(L-R) Benedict Holland, David Greed, John Bradbury, Jennifer Langdridge and Catherine Yates

All-day seminar

Additionally, on Saturday 8th June from 10am until 5pm there is an all-day seminar led by Jeremy Dibble Professor of Musicology at Durham University and President of The Stanford Society. This is interspersed with performances from the Victoria String Quartet with John Bradbury and our Musical Director Simon Leach. We are also delighted to have contributions from Helen Leach, Marchmont's Composer in Residence.

Tickets include a buffet lunch, tea and seats for the evening concert.

Return transport from Berwick-upon-Tweed is available

A subsidised transfer ticket is available and can be booked with your ticket for the Saturday all-day event only. It will depart Berwick-Upon-Tweed railway station at 9:30am (meeting the train that departs York at 7:31am and Newcastle at 8:49am). The return service departs after the evening concert, and connects with trains leaving 8:53pm Newcastle.

Please note, this service is available to anyone looking to come from Berwick-Upon-Tweed, and not just those travelling by train.

Weekend Ticket with accommodation

We have a special Weekend Event ticket available (for single or double occupancy). This option includes: early arrival on Friday for tea; seats for Friday night's concert; tickets for the all-day event on Saturday including the concert; two nights' dinner, bed and breakfast staying in the House (all bedrooms are ensuite with king-size beds); and a House tour with checkout at noon on Sunday. Why not make it a special occasion and take up the option to stay at Marchmont to enjoy dinner with Jeremy and the musicians.

This event is supported by Champagne Deutz

A replica oil of William Orpen's portrait of Charles Villiers Stanford hangs in the Music Room

Weekend Event Programme

Friday 7th June - Evening

  • 3.00pm Weekend Event ticket holders arrive at Marchmont for tea and shown to their rooms
  • 6.00pm Drinks for Weekend Event ticket holders and welcome from Helen Leach
  • 6.30pm Doors open for concert ticket holders with drinks served in Saloon
  • 7.00pm Friday Concert - Victoria String Quartet with John Bradbury
  • 8.15pm Concert ends
  • 8:30pm Dinner for Weekend Event guests in Old Kitchen Gallery

Saturday 8th June  - Day

  • 8.30am Breakfast for Weekend Event ticket holders
  • 9.15am Doors open for all-day ticket holders - Tea and coffee and shortbread served in Music Room
  • 10:00am Welcome and Introduction - Simon Leach
  • 10.15am Presentation by Professor Jeremy Dibble on Stanford’s life, with a particular emphasis on his friendship with the McEwen family at Marchmont
  • 11.15am Comfort break
  • 11:25am  Helen Leach – Marchmont's Composer-in-Residence
  • 12:00pm Victoria String Quartet with John Bradbury and Simon Leach perform Stanford’s 2nd Fantasy for clarinet and string quartet and Butterfly Garden by Helen Leach.
  • 12:40pm (to suit) Drinks on terrace (weather permitting)
  • 1.00pm Buffet lunch in Old Kitchen Gallery
  • 2.00pm John Bradbury and Simon Leach perform Stanford’s Three Intermezzi and the Clarinet Sonata and discuss Stanford.
  • 2:45pm Comfort break
  • 2.50pm  Jeremy Dibble talks about Stanford and his friendship with Brahms and other composers
  • 3.35pm Tea and cakes served in the Music Room and an opportunity to study one of Stanford's original score for 3rd Symphony and Jeremy will sign copies of his new book Stanford: Man and Music (35% discount for attendees)
  • 4.00pm Victoria String Quartet with John Bradbury - an 'Open rehearsal' of Brahms Clarinet Quintet with Q&A.
  • 4:45pm Guided house tour opportunity followed by drinks and canapés on the terrace before the evening concert.

Saturday 8th June - Evening

  • 6.30pm  Doors open for concert ticket holders with drinks served in Saloon
  • 7.00pm Concert: Victoria String Quartet with John Bradbury
  • 8.15pm Concert and all-day event ends
  • 8:30pm Dinner for Weekend Event ticket holders in Lorimer Dining Room

Sunday 9th June - Day

  • 9.30am Breakfast for Weekend Event ticket holders
  • 10.15am House Tour and/or walk around grounds
  • 12.00 noon Checkout

The Lorimer Dining Room and Bedroom 1


Professor Jeremy Dibble

Emeritus Professor of Music at Durham University and a specialist on British and Irish music of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Jeremy Dibble is the author of monographs on Parry (1992), Stanford (2002), Stainer (2007), Esposito (2010), Hamilton Harty (2013), the musical editor of the Canterbury Dictionary of Hymnology (2013) and the joint editor (with Julian Horton) ofBritish Musical Criticism and Intellectual Thought 1850-1950 (2018). He has also contributed work on Elgar, Charles Wood and Vaughan Williams. In 2021, he published his latest book, The Music of Frederick Delius: Style, Form and Ethos. Besides publishing a revised version of his book on Stanford in 2024 to mark the centenary of the composer’s death, he is now working more on British music of the twentieth century which includes a studies of music by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Thomas Pitfield and William Alwyn.

Victoria String Quartet

Benedict Holland, Violin

Benedict studied violin and piano at the Royal Academy of Music, later moving to the Royal Northern College of Music to study in Yossi Zivoni’s violin class. As a chamber musician, he was a founder member of the Matisse Piano Quartet and the Music Group of Manchester. He is currently a member of virtuoso chamber ensemble I Musicanti, and together with friends David Greed, Heather Wallington and Jen Langridge, of the Victoria Quartet, as well as pursuing a busy recital programme with both piano and organ.

As an experienced orchestral leader, he has guest-led many of the UK’s major orchestras, including the Hallé, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Northern Sinfonia, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Scottish Ensemble, Orchestra of Opera North and BBC Philharmonic and until 2023, he was the violinist and occasional violist with the contemporary ensemble Psappha.

Ben has always put teaching at the heart of his work, at the RNCM where he was awarded a professorship in 2016. He also teaches a class of talented young violinists at the Junior RNCM and gives consultative classes in orchestral and contemporary techniques at Trinity Laban Conservatoire where he is a visiting artist.

Ben’s violin is a rare Rogeri, c. 1710.

David Greed, Violin

David has been leader of the Orchestra of Opera North since 1978 – at that time the youngest leader in the country.
His solo and concerto repertoire are extensive and he has appeared with most of the regions orchestras as concerto soloist.

He has also been engaged as guest leader with orchestras throughout the country – including the Philharmonia, Royal Opera, Halle, Royal Liverpool, CBSO, BBC Scottish and BBC Philharmonic orchestras. He has been violin tutor for the National Youth Orchestra of GB, Chetham’s School and European Union Youth Orchestra. He has recorded VW’s ‘The Lark Ascending’ on the Naxos label with the Orchestra of Opera North and also the Elgar Concerto with Hertfordshire Youth Orchestra. He is Music Director of the Sinfonia of Leeds and the Cleveland Philharmonic Orchestra. He is a string advisor for Yorkshire Young Musicians.

David plays on a violin by J B Guadagnini (1757) owned by the Yorkshire Guadagnini Syndicate.

Catherine Yates, Viola

Catherine is a violinist and viola player who is a keen chamber musician, orchestral player and educationalist. She spent twenty years as 2nd Violin of the Sorrel Quartet, performing and broadcasting at home and abroad and holding Artists-in-Residence positions at six of the UK's major universities. The Quartet recorded extensively for Chandos, including acclaimed discs of Elgar, Britten and the complete Quartets of Shostakovich.

From 2008 she enjoyed six years as Principal 2nd Violin of The Hallé Orchestra before leaving to devote more of her time to education. She is currently Deputy Head of Strings at the Royal Northern College of Music where she was herself a student, whilst continuing to perform as much as she can. Catherine is a regular guest viola player with the Victoria Quartet.

Jennifer Langridge, Cello

Jen studied at the Royal Northern College of Music with Eduardo Vassallo and went on to become a Junior Fellow at the RNCM as part of the Nossek String Quartet, which had a successful recital career for 10 years until 1999.

Jen was a member of Psappha Ensemble for 23 years, touring across Europe, North and South America, Australia, and most recently to Jerusalem. The group performs regularly on BBC Radio 3 and has made eight CD recordings. Jen has often performed as a soloist with Psappha, most notably at the Royal Albert Hall for the BBC Proms in 2004, playing Maxwell Davies, ‘Linguae Ignis’ for solo cello and ensemble.

Alongside her work with the Victoria Quartet and Psappha, Jen is a cello tutor at the Royal Northern College of Music, The University of Manchester and Chetham’s School of Music.

She plays on a Peter Walmsley cello 1729.

John Bradbury

John studied Natural Sciences at St John’s College, Cambridge. He was awarded a Travel Scholarship to study with Larry Combs of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, then went on to the Royal Academy of Music where he won the Hawkes Clarinet Prize and the Principal’s Prize.

John held the sub-principal chairs in the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and the London Symphony Orchestra, and in 1997 was invited to become Principal Clarinet with the BBC Philharmonic, performing throughout the North of England, at the BBC Proms and many international tours, not to mention enjoying unrivalled exposure on radio, TV, CD and online. He has played Guest Principal with all the major UK orchestras as well as with John Wilson’s hand-picked orchestra at the Proms.

John has given many solo performances with the BBC Philharmonic, with highlights including the Mozart, Nielsen and Stanford Concertos. His recordings include the Busoni Concertino and the Arnold “Scherzetto” for Chandos, which was Editor’s Choice in “The Gramophone”. His celebrated Naxos disc “The English Clarinet” remains a best-seller ten years after its release.

John was awarded Fellowship of the Royal Academy of Music in 2018.

Helen Leach

Born in Hawick, in the beautiful Scottish Borders, Helen enjoyed a rich and diverse musical upbringing, becoming Principal Clarinet with the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland. Former Head Girl of Hawick High School, she studied at the Royal Northern College of Music; a Virtuosi Society Bursary enabled additional Clarinet study with Gervase de Peyer in Washington DC.

After graduating, Helen worked for a number of years as a Director of Worship in Manchester and has directed the music for live BBC broadcasts, including her own compositions and arrangements on Radio 4. Her Prelude for a Royal Swan was featured on Radio 3 Breakfast on the anniversary of the Accession to the Throne of the late Queen, and she has recently conducted and arranged music for BBC Songs of Praise in Canongate Kirk, Edinburgh.

Helen is delighted to have returned to her homeland with her husband, Simon Leach and their family, and is loving her new lifestyle in this scenic part of the world, teaching and devoting more time to composition.  Her music is published by United Music Publishing and has been performed recently in major venues such as St Patrick’s Cathedral, New York; Leeds Catholic Cathedral; St Gile’s Cathedral, Canongate Kirk and Greyfriars Kirk, Edinburgh; Laidlaw Music Centre, St Andrew’s; Caird Hall, Dundee; and RNCM, Manchester.

She greatly enjoys being Composer-in-Residence at Marchmont House and is delighted that, funded by the former Marchmont Makers Foundation, Divine Art will shortly release her first disc.  Entitled Diary of the Bee, the album, to be available on CD, Spotify and Apple Music, is an exciting collection of new chamber works, all recorded with the kind permission of Mr Oliver Burge and Mr Henry Lakin in the Music Room of Marchmont House last October.

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Cancellation and Refund Policy

Our cancellation period is 14 days in advance.

We will happily offer a refund or a credit for a later date before then, please do get in touch.

Should we cancel the event for any reason you will receive a complete refund.

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