The second episode of Carlo Aonzo's mini-documentary series features the history of the mandolin in the city of Turin. An album of photos and documents used in the making of Episode 2 can be found on Facebook, via this link:
International artist and mandolin virtuoso Carlo Aonzo has created a new mini-documentary series on the history of the mandolin. The series has been well researched, and the episodes contain anecdotes, music, period photos, interviews and video footage, and while the commentary is in Italian, the series will very much appeal to anyone with an interest in the mandolin. We will feature each episode here on our blog, and also on the LME Facebook page. Enjoy Episode 1!
We’re delighted to welcome mandolinist Anna Lombardi. Anna comes from a small village in northern Italy, and has been playing the mandolin since she was six years old.
She studied mandolin with Dorina Frati, and played for over 15 years in the ‘Orchestra a plettro Claudio e Mauro Terroni’ under her direction. She’s attended courses and masterclasses and has collaborated with ‘La Verdi’ orchestra in Milan and the ‘Fondazione Orchestra Giovanile L. Cherubini’ in Piacenza, under the direction of Riccardo Muti.
She holds a PhD in experimental physics and a Masters in Science Communication and is currently working as a data journalist at The Times of London.
Eileen was born ‘Eileen Isolde Faber’, the daughter of civil engineer Oscar Faber OBE and civil servant Helen Mainwaring. The family were keen amateur artists and musicians; Eileen became a proficient pianist and trained as a teacher. In 1938 she spent time as a teacher/missionary in Uganda and in 1947 as a land agent in Zanzibar.
Also in 1947 she married the diplomat and civil servant, Richard Hercules Wingfield Pakenham CBE. Eileen’s parents had moved to Harpenden and she and her husband moved to live with them in 1957 at 25 Rothampsted Avenue. In the mid 1970s, after both parents had died, they moved to a smaller property at 9 Kirkwick Avenue.
Eileen had two sons, Richard and John, and when the boys started playing guitar she bought a mandolin from the Luton Music Shop, run by Philip J. Bone. She became friendly with the owner’s daughter, Irene, who also played the mandolin and in 1978 they both joined the London Mandolin Ensemble for which Eileen composed several mandolin orchestral works.
As a composer she always remained an amateur, never formally copyrighting her work, but she received much acclaim both locally and internationally as a composer for the mandolin.
Her works have been used for examination pieces in Music Schools and performed by groups around the globe from Japan to the USA. She was even mentioned by Alfred Einstein in his book ‘Greatness in Music’.
Eileen’s music is quite distinctive in style - typically English of the 1930s, sometimes coloured by the broad, landscape sweep of Vaughan Williams, the humour of Walton’s Facade, or conjuring up a mental image of Miss Joan Hunter-Dunn, but always with a flavour that is distinctly Eileen Pakenham.
Taken from an article by Andy Boden.
LME had a very successful concert at Crown Court Church of Scotland, Covent Garden, on 5th August, featuring classical mandolin virtuoso Carlo Aonzo, guest ensemble leader Frances Taylor and conducted by music director James Young.
The programme was mainly baroque - Bach, Handel, Conforto, Boyce and Vivaldi - but also included some more contemporary works. The highlight of the evening was 'La Primavera' from Vivaldi's Four Seasons, with Carlo Aonzo as soloist.
Carlo also gave a pre-concert workshop for plucked string players, which was very well attended.
Photography by Annika Jöhnemark.
Musicians of the Academy of Santa Cecilia gave an inaugural concert on 24th May 1889 in the Palazzo Doria Pamphili Palestrina room, Piazza Navona, Rome. The concert was promoted by the Company Musicale Romana, and the programme consisted of Italian music from 17th to 19th century.
The ensemble performed on period instruments, six of which were later acquired for the collection of the Academy of Santa Cecilia, where they still appear today. All the musicians wore a jewelled daisy in tribute to the Queen of Italy, Margherita di Savoia, who was present at the concert.
The ensemble's director, Alessandro Orsini, stands far left, and Giuseppe Branzoli, seated in the foreground, holds a mandolone. The other instruments in the collection are, from left to right: a harp guitar that one of the musicians in the background rests on the harpsichord; a rebec held by the young musician behind Branzoli; a violin made by Carolus Helmer in Prague in 1814; the cello labelled Francesco Framonti, 1688, and a viola da braccio built in Venice by Johannes Marcus Grapello, which can just be seen in the hands of the musician behind the cellist.
With the exception of the Helmer violin, these instruments were either donated or purchased in 1895, the year of the Museum's foundation.
We're delighted to have a full house and a reserve list for our upcoming concert on 7th March at Westminster Music Library. Our programme includes two Baroque concertos and some terrific arrangements by our friends Robert Margo, Fernando Duarte and Clark Brown...
LME had a sparkling rehearsal earlier this month, when Mauro Squillante, professor of mandolin at Bari Conservatoire and Baroque music specialist, visited us in Covent Garden. He was in London for The Lute Society's Historical Mandolins meeting which took place on 4th & 5th February.
LME had a wonderful visit to the V&A Archives for a private view of mandolins in the V&A Collection. Here are some of the rare instruments that were on display.
The LME blog
Players, music and plucked strings.