February 2016: Newsletter

Published: February 22, 2016


February 22nd, 2016

Dear Amigos,


In the afterglow of the last two sensational concert evenings at Os Agostos I come to you once more this month with a Newsletter full of news.


Aglaia Tarantino and Paul Silverthorne gave us musical delights of an unusual kind – not only because the pairing of piano with viola is rare, but also because these two musicians had chosen a most varied and spell-binding programme of music which showed their virtuosity and mastery to best effect. The audience’s enthusiasm was palpable and Aglaia and Paul told me afterwards that they were inspired by the hushed appreciation of the full-house crowd. They were astounded at the inti-macy exuded in the unique atmosphere of our auditorium, and I don’t think it will be difficult to invite them both back in the future. (Let me come back to future planning; first things first).


The March concerts are almost upon us – business planning at and by Os Agostos, our wonderful hosts, made it necessary to have the two evenings with Maestro Constantin Sandu early in the month AND on two consecutive evenings.


The programme on Wednesday, March 9th will include a Mozart Fantasia, Beethoven      Pathetique Sonata, Chopin 3 Waltzes and Beethoven Moonlight Sonata, and then on the second evening, on Thursday, March 10th, Gershwin 3 Preludes, Rachmaninov

2 Etudes and 2 Preludes and finally Beethoven Appassionata Sonata.


PLEASE NOTE: Make your reservations as soon as possible, even for concerts later on during the season, if possible. The recent concert evenings have shown that we now always attract full-house audiences and if you, Amigos, wait with your reservation, Cristina cannot wait and may have to tell you that we are booked out. We are loath to send members away, so please send your email to: reservasconcertos@gmail NOW. And, please, don’t forget to cancel should you at the last moment find that you cannot attend. THANK YOU !!


Let me tell you here what to expect and what dates to firmly include in your agendas. Our regular monthly concert evenings are as follows:

March 9 and 10*, 2016                        Constantin Sandu, piano

April 12 and 13*, 2016                        Sa Chen, piano

May 17 and 19, 2016                        Alexander Schimpf, piano

June 21 and 23, 2016                        Daria Tchaikowskaja, piano


* The starred dates denote the two occasions when our concert evenings during the 2015/16 season fall out of the established norm and will be held on 2 consecutive days.

An additional date for you

The Amigos de Musica 25th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION                                 Thursday, April 28, 2016 at Os Agostos

I can give you now more details about this very special occasion planned for April 2016. This will be an AMIGOS ONLY event to commemorate our Silver Jubilee ! The Associação de Amigos de Música de São Lourenço, AAMSL, as our incorporation document says, was founded 25 years ago in the Centro Cultural in São Lourenço, CCSL, which was our cherished concert venue until 2014 when it closed its doors. We then, after a one-year search, were lucky to find Os Agostos as our new venue and are thus able to look forward and into the future.

Maria and Antonio Farajotta, our hosts at Os Agostos, are kind enough to celebrate with us this note-worthy occasion and have offered their help and connections for the sending out of invitations to local dignitaries, including the Mayors of Loule and Faro and other cultural and diplomatic represent-tatives. As it is our intention to give this important Celebration the very special note it deserves, I am particularly happy to report that none less than Paul Crossley will provide the musical highlight of the evening .


Maestro Paul Crossley is coming out of his retirement just for the Amigos and their Jubilee! He will be giving us a concert featuring some of the great pieces with which this eminent pianist gained his world renown.


You will be sent an official invitation, but mark the date: Thursday, April 28th, 2016 in Os Agostos; the formal part commencing at 17:30 with a “champagne” reception; the concert without interval to start at 19:00.



Thanks to our main sponsors, the real estate company of “Quinta Properties”, whose generous contribution again opens programming opportunities and makes the invitation of duos and perhaps trios a future possibility. THANK YOU, LADIES !


The mention of future programming in this note of thanks to our sponsors, makes me come back to the subject hinted at above. Let me thus commiserate with you: inviting a duo or even a trio, other than our usual solo pianists, while being very much appreciated by our audiences in the recent past, always boils down to expenses. In addition to their relatively small stipends, we pay our musicians their air fares and provide accommodation (albeit often offered gratis by Amigos Loes and Henk Voijs, thank you very much) and a rental car, and we all know how costs have spiralled and travel conditions tightened. If I now tell you that Paul Silverthorne’s viola, and Tim Hugh’s and Adele Bitter’s cellos travelled on their own “Ms Viola” and “Mr. Cello” tickets, respectively, you can ima-gine that all of a sudden some of our concert costs are no longer within budget, to the great chagrin of our Treasurer. Why am I telling you this? Well, I am warning and preparing you because you will be hearing more on this subject from me at the beginning of the 2016/17 season !


–   Please also note: All our concerts start at 19:00, doors at Os Agostos open at 18:00, and I’d like to advise you not to come earlier as you may be standing in front of locked gates! Drinks are served at 18:30. And, by the way, there really aren’t any “bad” seats in the auditorium, making the scramble for seats unnecessary.


Best regards to you all and wishes for the eventual arrival of a warm Spring in the Algarve,

Helga Hampton



PS: thanks as always to our hosts, Maria and Antonio Farajotta for their generosity and welcome in their beautiful “Os Agostos”, the very best venue. Today I should like to give them an additional “Thank you!” for heating the concert premises for these two February events so well. The unusually low temperatures would otherwise have made conditions more than uncomfortable. Well done !

Related Content