International concert pianist Martin Cousin plays Beverley Nichols’ Shadow Prelude at our concert at Glatton. The ‘Shadow Prelude’ comes from music that Nichols composed for his play ‘Shadow of the Vine’, based on his personal struggles in coming to terms with his father’s alcoholism. Written in 1949, it was first produced as a TV drama in March 1953. Such was its popularity, it was then produced at London’s Wyndham Theatre in February 1954; later productions included a TV broadcast in Australia in 1962.

Fenlandia Presents: Martin Cousin plays Beverley Nichols

Church of St Nicholas, Glatton, Saturday May 25th 2024

One of Glatton’s most famous residents was the English writer Beverley Nichols. Born in the late 1890s, he was one of the ‘bright young things’ in the 1920s and many London Society celebrities visited his Glatton home. As well as a writer he was also passionate about music, and a keen pianist. This piano recital, given by famous British pianist Martin Cousin, is based on the music Beverley Nichols chose for a BBC Desert Island Discs programme in 1955. As well as famous works by Rachmaninov, Elgar and Chopin, the concert also features two of his own works for piano, in rare first performances of these works in modern times.


Church of St Giles, Holme, Saturday June  15th 2024

The string quartet Brother Tree Sound (Anna de Bruin, Thea Spiers, Peter Mallinson and Julia Graham) is joined by the celebrated horn player Ben Goldscheider in a concert of nineteenth-century classics and a world premiere. The family of British composer Peter Fribbins has had a long association with the villages around Peterborough and especially Holme. His grandfather was born in the village in 1911, his great-grandmother formed part of the choir on the ‘floating church’ in the 1890s, and his three times great-grandfather was publican of the Admiral Wells in the 1860s. Fribbins’s new quintet ‘The Fens’ draws upon this history, in movements that reflect on the medieval splendour of Peterborough Cathedral, the Great Northern Railway carving its way through the fenland landscape, and the rich legacy of St Withburga’s, the floating church. Famous string quartets by Beethoven and Mendelssohn frame the new work, as well as a beautiful quintet for horn and strings by Alexander Glazunov.