Ensemble Reza offer A Classical Journey Through Sussex In Words & Music

Ensemble Reza was born as a group of musicians and friends who wanted to play together in the Mid Sussex area. This November they will be celebrating their tenth anniversary with a special series of concerts. But before that they will be playing, as they usually do, this year’s Festival of Chichester.

Ensemble RezaEnsemble Reza
Ensemble Reza

Leading them is Pavlos Carvalho who brings the Ensemble to Chichester on Sunday, June 25 at 3pm for a concert St Paul’s Church, Chichester entitled A Classical Journey Through Sussex with Music & Stories. They are promising an afternoon of beautiful music as they take you on a journey with tales and music written by composers, both new and old, from our local Sussex. Tickets: £10, students/children £3. As Pavlos says: “Reza has become my musical home with my wife and for our friends and our manager Hannah. The lines between work and play are very blurred. It is an amazing thing. You always feel that you’re rushing to get to your next deadline because everyone is always so busy but when we’re together it’s really just like a social gathering. We are all friends who are at similar stages and have gone through the same things, through family, through loss, through whatever, and the whole thing just feels like the very warm embrace of being with good friends which we are! Of course you can play perfectly well with professionals even if you don’t know them because professionals are professionals and that’s what they do but this takes the whole thing beyond just being a professional. We just sense that the music is music that we just all care so deeply about in the same way that we care about each other as a group of friends. It just becomes like a way of life and I do think that changes the vibe between us. We just want to make brilliant music for each other and for ourselves and for our audiences.

“We first did this concert at East Grinstead last year and the idea was to find music which was connected to the area. It was just so much fun to do. We dug up so much about East Grinstead and the fun was that it’s not often that you get to do a full English programme like this. Now this time we want to explore things in Chichester. There is also the Holst connection but also there is the surrounding area and we’ve got things like Bridge and Elgar and Vaughan Williams but also some contemporary Sussex composers.”

Included among them are Reza’s very own Anna Cooper and also their dear friend and colleague, Andrew Thurgood who sadly passed away in the early summer of 2022. Andrew was one of the founders of Ensemble Reza, and as Pavlos says, one of the great joys was seeing the contrasting ways Anna and Andrew worked as composers: “Anna was like water through a tap. It would come pouring out and then she would move on but Andrew was very much more painstaking. It was fascinating. And we will be playing one of Andrew’s pieces which is absolutely sublime and it’s one of those pieces where the more you look at it, the more you see the incredible dedication that he showed in sculpting every single chord and every single melody.”

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