March 2016 Newsletter

Published: March 16, 2016



From Helga Hampton

16 March, 2016

Dear Amigos,


Where to begin ? So much happening in the Amigos !


So, let the Silver Jubilee of our Circle of Friends of Music be the first motivating reasons for this Newsletter.


  1. 25th Anniversary of the Amigos de Musica

The Invitations have gone out to all active members and reservations have started to come in.

Please use as usual, advising Cristina should you like to bring family members. We might be able to invite them, too, as soon as we have an overview of attendance.


This very special celebration will be the expression of the pride with which we have been able to pursue our set goal: to create and hold a unique place in Algarve cultural life, by inviting world-class artists for regular concerts of erudite music. We have been doing this since the 1990s, initially for many splendid years at the wonderful Centro Cultural de Sao Lourenco and for the last 2 years at Os Agostos. (On the Amigos website you can find the link to “History of AAMSL” with many details and names of amazing artists, many of whom have since become friends. Visit, it is YOUR website !)


One of these artists, a particularly special amigo of the Amigos, Paul Crossley, will be part of our celebration! This eminent pianist has come to us a number of times since 2001. Recognised world-wide for his brilliant technique and artistic command of an enormous repertoire as a performer of the great solo and concerto classics from the 18th century on, he is particularly responsible for having introduced new music from all over the world during his long international career.


After his concert at Os Agostos in April 2015 Maestro Crossley announced his retirement. Many a tear glistened in the eyes of the stunned assembly of Amigos that evening, and so I am particularly happy AND proud to tell you that he will not only be coming to our celebration on April 28th, but he will also come out of his retirement for the Amigos !!! He has prepared, admittedly after some passionate arm-twisting, a lovely programme to give our festivities the best possible accent. Look forward to:




Schumann                   Kinderszenen, op 15

Brahms                                    Drei Intermezzi, op 117, Nos. 1&2

Granados                  The Maiden and the Nightingale (from “Goyescas”)


Schumann                  Eintritt (from “Waldszenen” op 82)

3 Albumblaetter (from „Bunte Blaetter“ op 99)

Vogel als Prophet (from „Waldszenen“)

Chopin (from „Carnaval“ op 9)

Andantino (from Sonata No. 2 op 22)

Abschied (from “Waldszenen”)



Os Agostos, after having taken over from the now defunct CCSL, is clearly establishing itself as a new Temple of Music in the Algarve and an essential platform for international musicians within its acoustic and intimate atmosphere. So, in recognition of this development, we have invited to our celebration a number of personages from public, political and diplomatic life as honorary guests.

Let’s all together raise a glass to 25 years of great music-making. You, as an Amigo member, have played a key role in helping us maintain quality in presenting diverse programming of concerts as well as fostering the educational careers of talented young Portuguese musicians. We shall not forget to toast Marie Huber, and thank her for laying the foundation of AAMSL together with her husband way back in the 1990s, and for establishing with her inimitable style, taste and cultural instinct what The Amigos represent today. Thank you, Marie, thank you all!


  1. The March concerts with Constantin Sandu were the latest proof of the excellence of music-making at Os Agostos. We knew from his previous visits that we were in for another series of masterly piano playing. But no one could have predicted that he would so totally absorb and enrapture the full house with his quite superb interpretations of Beethoven.

The 3 sonatas he chose, all part of the core of the genre, call for prodigious skill, dexterity and exquisite sensitivity. It takes a real master to bring out the passion and the pathos, conveying to the audience through his fingers that he is comfortable with what he is doing and in complete control. Constantin achieved all this simply and without fuss or show. The Sandu “Appassionata” will remain for me unforgettable. (How could we insist on an encore after having climbed this pinnacle with him?)

  1. The April concerts with Sa Chen will undoubtedly be another huge mile stone in the progression of piano interpretation at Os Agostos. Her programme includes the following: Debussy Preludes, Chopin Mazurkas, Liszt Sonata, etc.

Please note: These 2 concert evenings will again be on 2 consecutive days – Tuesday, April 12th and Wednesday, April 13th at the usual time of 19:00. Make your reservations swiftly, our evenings are all now characterised by getting booked out. By the way: there really are now no bad seats in the auditorium – we have bought 10 more good chairs.

  1. Future programming: Let me tell you here what to expect and what dates to firmly include in your agendas. Our regular monthly concert evenings during the remainder of the 2015/16 membership season are as follows:


April 12 and 13*, 2016                        Sa Chen, piano

May 17 and 19, 2016                        Alexander Schimpf, piano

June 21 and 23, 2016                        Daria Tchaikowskaja, piano

Don’t forget:     April 28, 2016                               25th Anniversary Celebration

5.    Printed programmes: We have had many compliments about our regular concert programmes. Cristina has done a marvellous job over all these years, designing a pleasing and informative flyer, so the suggestion has been brought to our attention to charge a nominal fee for these collectible items: after all, wherever you go to a concert or theatre performance, you have to buy a programme.    So we shall thus put a box next to the programmes on the Reception Desk where Euro 1.00 can be dropped in. This will help us with the not insubstantial printing costs. Thank you !

 I look forward to seeing many of you in April, first for the Sa Chen piano evenings and then

for the Silver Jubilee Celebration.

 Enjoy the arrival of Spring. Don’t forget to change your clocks on Saturday, March 26th.

And have a very Happy Easter !!

 Best wishes,

 Helga Hampton

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