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Trianon music group celebrates 60 glorious years with spectacular concert

PUBLISHED: 19:53 05 September 2019 | UPDATED: 19:53 05 September 2019

Chris Green conducting Trianon.
 at a 2009 concert Photo: Geoff Rogers

Chris Green conducting Trianon. at a 2009 concert Photo: Geoff Rogers

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Leading Ipswich music organisation celebrates its diamond jubilee with founder and artistic director Professor Chris Green at Snape Maltings Concert Hall

Chris Green conducts the Trianon group Picture: GEOFF ROGERSChris Green conducts the Trianon group Picture: GEOFF ROGERS

Trianon, one of the most high profile music organisations in Ipswich, is celebrating it's 60th anniversary in spectacular style.

When Emeritus Professor Chris Green OBE gives the Ipswich Town Lecture on Thursday September 12 it marks the start of four days of events to celebrate not only the Diamond Jubilee of Trianon Music Group of which he has been conductor and artistic director from its formation in 1959, but also 60 years of conducting Trianon and other groups.

The small band of instrumentalists was formed in 1959 by Chris and some of his musical friends and within a short time had grown prodigiously. With many of the players also acting as singers, the Trianon Choir emerged on to the musical scene in 1964 and so Trianon Music Group was formed.

Trianon rehearsals in the 1960s Photo: TrianonTrianon rehearsals in the 1960s Photo: Trianon

The Ipswich Town Lecture is also the occasion when Chris' book, The Trianon Enigma is launched. It traces the history of the music organisation and the way that its development has been influenced by external events including changes in musical taste, along with its fair share of crises including, in the 1970s, the fuel crises and three-day working week.

Complementing the narrative is a wide range of photos as well as reminiscences by former and current members of Trianon, many of whom have gone on to achieve distinguished musical careers.

One of the themes of this new book is that Trianon was, and still is, rather like a family. Many members are second generation performers with their parents having joined in the early decades of the group's existence. "We also are proud to have a large number of members from mainland European countries as well as partner groups in the Netherlands and France" added Chris. And many of these visitors will be coming to Suffolk for the celebrations with the furthest travelling from Canada and the USA.

A Christmas concert at the Ipswich Corn Exchange in 1987 Photo: TrianonA Christmas concert at the Ipswich Corn Exchange in 1987 Photo: Trianon

Important in the development of this group has been its presidents starting with Imogen Holst in the 1960s. She composed music for Trianon and subsequent musical presidents have included Sir Malcolm Arnold and currently John Rutter, who has contributed a foreword to the new book. In fact, these musical links reflect the fact that Trianon's programming has demonstrated 60 years of development in which contemporary music has featured strongly.

Trianon has a proud history of premiering new works, many of which have been commissioned by the group. The tally currently exceeds the 60 diamond years and in 2019, there have been six new pieces written for the choir and orchestra by composers such as Ronald Corp and Debbie Wiseman. Saturday's Diamond Jubilee Concert at Snape Maltings includes two of these - Diamond Overture by Cumbrian-based composer Matthew Curtis and Carl Davis's Jubilee Fanfares - both are premiered at the concert.

Behind the scenes Trianon is helped by an active friends organisation and a sponsorship programme designed to help keep the membership fees low. The committee also works hard to present major concerts which have interesting themes, although Saturday's Snape concert is unashamedly personal for Chris, including tributes from many visitors and soloists all drawn from former members.

Carl Davis, Conductor, Philharmonic Orchestra, who has composed a new work to mark Trianon's Diamond Jubilee  Photo: Ramdzan MasiamCarl Davis, Conductor, Philharmonic Orchestra, who has composed a new work to mark Trianon's Diamond Jubilee Photo: Ramdzan Masiam

There are also at least two works with which he had personal connections; with a former singing teacher being one of the 16 soloists for whom Vaughan Williams composed his Serenade to Music (a work included in the programme).

So, what happens when all the partying is over? Before the end of this year, many members will be travelling to the Coventry area to give three concerts and then there is a Victorian Evening in November in support of Trianon's chosen charity for the year, Music In Our Bones. The Group's 2020 concert brochure is published this week and it looks like another very energetic year for this organisation. And, the question asked by many, "Where does the name come from?"- well that once closely-guarded secret is the Enigma although all is revealed in the book.

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