Chamber Babies 2019

Live Classical Music for Little Listeners

“What a lovely way to share a Saturday morning with my Grandson Finn”

“Super – loved it. Looking forward to future similar events.”

Chamber Babies is a new venture initiated by BMS in 2014, designed to offer the best live classical music to the youngest listeners (and their mums and dads). We are delighted to be working in partnership with The Crescent arts centre on this venture, and concerts take place in the relaxed setting of the CAC’s Cube venue.

The concerts are very informal, and the short programmes are designed for babies and adults alike. You can walk, sway, crawl, roll, dance or just chill out to a careful selection of short classical pieces designed both to engage and enchant (or soothe to sleep!). Concerts are aimed at babies from 0-18 months old.

All Chamber Babies concerts are performed by professional classical musicians from Northern Ireland. We welcome all listeners, no matter how young (including mums with bumps!). Take time to enjoy coffee and cake at The Crescent’s café before or after the concert.

Belfast Music Society has brought out a CD of classical music forlittle listeners. You can listen to extracts and purchase the CD here


UPCOMING CONCERTS

Scála Strings

Sunday 1 December 2019 10.30 am
The Crescent, Belfast

Tickets: £7.50 per adult
(children are free)
NB At least one adult per child

Online tickets sales processed by We Got Tickets. Concerts often sell out in advance. If we are sold out, you may be able to get tickets from our partners, The Crescent.

Walk, sway, crawl, roll, dance, or just chill out to a careful selection of short classical pieces designed to engage and enchant the youngest listeners (and their mums and dads).

Designed specifically for babies up to 18 months old.*

 

Scála Strings is a young and vibrant string quartet based in Northern Ireland. Its members are experienced musicians, having performed in some of the best venues in the country and further afield.

Past performances include BBC Radio Ulster ‘Sounds Classical’, the official naming of the ‘William J Clinton Leadership Institute’ for former US President Bill Clinton, performing for the Game of Thrones cast and crew, various BBC and UTV appearances, and special events throughout Northern Ireland such as the opening of the S.S. Nomadic, Stendhal Arts Festival and the Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival.

*We reserve the right not to permit entry for older babies/children. If you are bringing more than one baby, please make sure there is more than one adult in your party!


 

Scála Strings

Sunday 1 December 2019 11.30 am
The Crescent, Belfast

Tickets: £7.50 per adult
(children are free)
NB At least one adult per child

Online tickets sales processed by We Got Tickets. Concerts often sell out in advance. If we are sold out, you may be able to get tickets from our partners, The Crescent.

Walk, sway, crawl, roll, dance, or just chill out to a careful selection of short classical pieces designed to engage and enchant the youngest listeners (and their mums and dads).

Designed specifically for babies up to 18 months old.*

Scála Strings is a young and vibrant string quartet based in Northern Ireland. Its members are experienced musicians, having performed in some of the best venues in the country and further afield.

Past performances include BBC Radio Ulster ‘Sounds Classical’, the official naming of the ‘William J Clinton Leadership Institute’ for former US President Bill Clinton, performing for the Game of Thrones cast and crew, various BBC and UTV appearances, and special events throughout Northern Ireland such as the opening of the S.S. Nomadic, Stendhal Arts Festival and the Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival.

*We reserve the right not to permit entry for older babies/children. If you are bringing more than one baby, please make sure there is more than one adult in your party!


 

PAST EVENTS

Laura McFall (voice) and Kristine Donnan (piano)

Friday 20 September* 2019 10.30 am
The Crescent, Belfast

Tickets: £7.50 per adult
(children are free)
NB At least one adult per child

Online tickets sales processed by We Got Tickets. Concerts often sell out in advance. If we are sold out, you may be able to get tickets from our partners, The Crescent.

We are delighted to be offering our first ‘Chamber Cherubs’ event! Based on the well-loved Chamber Babies format, these concerts will offer a fun, relaxed, and slightly more interactive live classical experience for your not-so-little listeners.

The concerts are designed for pre-school children (ideal age 1–3); babies are welcome too!


*This concert replaces the previously advertised concert with Anne Harper on 28 September. Anyone who bought tickets for that concert via WeGotTickets will be able either to transfer their tickets to the replacement event, or to claim a full refund.
If you do not hear from WeGotTickets directly, please contact info@belfastmusicsociety.org

We apologise for any inconvenience caused.


 

Laura McFall (voice) and Kristine Donnan (piano)

Friday 20 September* 2019 11.30 am
The Crescent, Belfast

Tickets: £7.50 per adult
(children are free)
NB At least one adult per child

Online tickets sales processed by We Got Tickets. Concerts often sell out in advance. If we are sold out, you may be able to get tickets from our partners, The Crescent.

We are delighted to be offering our first ‘Chamber Cherubs’ event! Based on the well-loved Chamber Babies format, these concerts will offer a fun, relaxed, and slightly more interactive live classical experience for your not-so-little listeners.

The concerts are designed for pre-school children (up to age 4); babies are welcome too!


*This concert replaces the previously advertised concert with Anne Harper on 28 September. Anyone who bought tickets for that concert via WeGotTickets will be able either to transfer their tickets to the replacement event, or to claim a full refund.
If you do not hear from WeGotTickets directly, please contact info@belfastmusicsociety.org

We apologise for any inconvenience caused.


 

Laura McFall and Kristine Donnan (voice/piano)

Sunday 7 July 2019 10.30 am
The Crescent, Belfast

Tickets: £7.50 per adult
(babies are free)
NB At least one adult per baby

Online tickets sales processed by WeGotTickets. Concerts often sell out in advance. If we are sold out, you may be able to get tickets from our partners, The Crescent.

Walk, sway, crawl, roll, dance, or just chill out to a careful selection of short classical pieces designed to engage and enchant the youngest listeners (and their mums and dads).

Designed specifically for babies up to 18 months old.*

 

Mezzo soprano Laura McFall and pianist Kristine Donnan make up the uniquely refreshing classical duo, Voice and Verse. Voice and Verse were artists in residence for Creative Centenaries in 2016, and also perform regularly as guest soloists throughout Ireland and the U.K, most recently performing at the Ballymoney Male Gospel Choir concert in Dalriada school and the Dungannon Choral Society concert in the Burnavon Theatre, Cookstown, in April 2017. Voice and Verse also work with Live Music Now.  Live Music Now nurtures young musicians at the beginning of their professional careers by providing them with regular performance and training opportunities, and gives live performances to people that are isolated from live music, such as people living with dementia and children with special educational needs. The girls have taken specialist training in music and well-being in London and Dublin with professionals such as John Webb, Joseph Middleton, Jenny Cooper and Ros Hawley.

These young musicians both enjoy varied and busy careers as individuals. In 2015/16, Laura was a NI Opera Young Artist, where she attended masterclasses from the opera industry’s finest coaches and performed regular recitals throughout Ireland. Kristine holds the position of chief organist and choirmaster at St. Bartholomew’s, Stranmillis, and is in regular demand as an accompanist, répétiteur and organ recitalist.

Laura and Kristine are currently studying on the prestigious vocal studies and piano accompaniment masters courses at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

*We reserve the right not to permit entry for older babies/children. If you are bringing more than one baby, please make sure there is more than one adult in your party!


Laura McFall and Kristine Donnan (voice/piano)

Sunday 7 July 2019 11.30 am
The Crescent, Belfast

Tickets: £7.50 per adult
(babies are free)
NB At least one adult per baby

Online tickets sales processed by WeGotTickets. Concerts often sell out in advance. If we are sold out, you may be able to get tickets from our partners, The Crescent.

Walk, sway, crawl, roll, dance, or just chill out to a careful selection of short classical pieces designed to engage and enchant the youngest listeners (and their mums and dads).

Designed specifically for babies up to 18 months old.*

 

Mezzo soprano Laura McFall and pianist Kristine Donnan make up the uniquely refreshing classical duo, Voice and Verse. Voice and Verse were artists in residence for Creative Centenaries in 2016, and also perform regularly as guest soloists throughout Ireland and the U.K, most recently performing at the Ballymoney Male Gospel Choir concert in Dalriada school and the Dungannon Choral Society concert in the Burnavon Theatre, Cookstown, in April 2017. Voice and Verse also work with Live Music Now.  Live Music Now nurtures young musicians at the beginning of their professional careers by providing them with regular performance and training opportunities, and gives live performances to people that are isolated from live music, such as people living with dementia and children with special educational needs. The girls have taken specialist training in music and well-being in London and Dublin with professionals such as John Webb, Joseph Middleton, Jenny Cooper and Ros Hawley.

These young musicians both enjoy varied and busy careers as individuals. In 2015/16, Laura was a NI Opera Young Artist, where she attended masterclasses from the opera industry’s finest coaches and performed regular recitals throughout Ireland. Kristine holds the position of chief organist and choirmaster at St. Bartholomew’s, Stranmillis, and is in regular demand as an accompanist, répétiteur and organ recitalist.

Laura and Kristine are studying on the prestigious vocal studies and piano accompaniment masters courses at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

*We reserve the right not to permit entry for older babies/children. If you are bringing more than one baby, please make sure there is more than one adult in your party!


Witold Wrobel and Conor Smyth-Small (oboe/piano)

Sunday 19 May 2019 10.30 am
The Crescent, Belfast

Tickets: £7.50 per adult
(babies are free)
NB At least one adult per baby

Online tickets sales processed by WeGotTickets. Concerts often sell out in advance. If we are sold out, you may be able to get tickets from our partners, The Crescent.

Walk, sway, crawl, roll, dance, or just chill out to a careful selection of short classical pieces designed to engage and enchant the youngest listeners (and their mums and dads).

Designed specifically for babies up to 18 months old.*

Conor Smyth-Small achieved his Bachelor of Music from King’s College London with First Class Honours in 2018. Upon completion of his studies, he attended Brevard International Music Festival in North Carolina, where he worked closely with pianists Michael Chertock and Norman Krieger, focusing on solo and chamber repertoire from the Baroque, Classical and Romantic eras. While in Brevard, Conor also worked with professor Jihye Chang as he selected to premiere a contemporary etude written by South Korean composer, SiHyun Uhm.

An experienced performer and enthusiastic teacher, Conor has taught piano to children in a summer camp in the USA and also in schools across Northeast India while partaking in a volunteer programme. In his teenage years, Conor was successful in several national competitions and was selected as a finalist for Northern Ireland’s Young Musician of the Year and for the National Catherine Judge Memorial Award. More recently, Conor advanced to the semi-finals of the Jan and Beattie Wood Concerto competition at Brevard International Music Festival.

Witold Wrobel was born in Poland. He studied oboe and cor anglais with Jerzy Kotyczka and contemporary music with composer Zaid Jabri at the Academy of Music in Krakow. After graduating, he emigrated to Northern Ireland to pursue music performance and teaching.

Witold has won awards in many international competitions, and in 2013 he received a scholarship from the Ministry of Culture in Poland for outstanding achievements in music. The same year, he performed Capriccio for Oboe and 11 Strings at the Academy of Music and University of Technology in Krakow for their main guest – Krzysztof Penderecki. An experienced orchestral musician, Witold has played in venues across Europe and in countries including Poland, Germany, Slovenia, Sweden, Luxembourg, Belgium, The Netherlands, Ukraine, Denmark, the UK and Italy. In 2014, he recorded Bruckner’s Symphony No. 9 as section leader with the International Youth Orchestra in Bayreuth during the Osterfestival. In 2016, Witold had the pleasure of performing a radical remake of the opera King Arthurduring the Spitalfields Festival in London.

Conor and Witold recently took first place in Lagan Festival as they achieved highest honours with the Marie O’Sullivan Memorial Award. Conor also received the Music Galleria Cup for achieving first place in piano performance.

 

*We reserve the right not to permit entry for older babies/children. If you are bringing more than one baby, please make sure there is more than one adult in your party!


Witold Wrobel and Conor Smyth-Small (oboe/piano)

Sunday 19 May 2019 11.30 am
The Crescent, Belfast

Tickets: £7.50 per adult
(babies are free)
NB At least one adult per baby

Online tickets sales processed by WeGotTickets. Concerts often sell out in advance. If we are sold out, you may be able to get tickets from our partners, The Crescent.

Walk, sway, crawl, roll, dance, or just chill out to a careful selection of short classical pieces designed to engage and enchant the youngest listeners (and their mums and dads).

Designed specifically for babies up to 18 months old.*

 

Conor Smyth-Small achieved his Bachelor of Music from King’s College London with First Class Honours in 2018. Upon completion of his studies, he attended Brevard International Music Festival in North Carolina, where he worked closely with pianists Michael Chertock and Norman Krieger, focusing on solo and chamber repertoire from the Baroque, Classical and Romantic eras. While in Brevard, Conor also worked with professor Jihye Chang as he selected to premiere a contemporary etude written by South Korean composer, SiHyun Uhm.

An experienced performer and enthusiastic teacher, Conor has taught piano to children in a summer camp in the USA and also in schools across Northeast India while partaking in a volunteer programme. In his teenage years, Conor was successful in several national competitions and was selected as a finalist for Northern Ireland’s Young Musician of the Year and for the National Catherine Judge Memorial Award. More recently, Conor advanced to the semi-finals of the Jan and Beattie Wood Concerto competition at Brevard International Music Festival.

Witold Wrobel was born in Poland. He studied oboe and cor anglais with Jerzy Kotyczka and contemporary music with composer Zaid Jabri at the Academy of Music in Krakow. After graduating, he emigrated to Northern Ireland to pursue music performance and teaching.

Witold has won awards in many international competitions, and in 2013 he received a scholarship from the Ministry of Culture in Poland for outstanding achievements in music. The same year, he performed Capriccio for Oboe and 11 Strings at the Academy of Music and University of Technology in Krakow for their main guest – Krzysztof Penderecki. An experienced orchestral musician, Witold has played in venues across Europe and in countries including Poland, Germany, Slovenia, Sweden, Luxembourg, Belgium, The Netherlands, Ukraine, Denmark, the UK and Italy. In 2014, he recorded Bruckner’s Symphony No. 9 as section leader with the International Youth Orchestra in Bayreuth during the Osterfestival. In 2016, Witold had the pleasure of performing a radical remake of the opera King Arthurduring the Spitalfields Festival in London.

Conor and Witold recently took first place in Lagan Festival as they achieved highest honours with the Marie O’Sullivan Memorial Award. Conor also received the Music Galleria Cup for achieving first place in piano performance.

 

*We reserve the right not to permit entry for older babies/children. If you are bringing more than one baby, please make sure there is more than one adult in your party!


Kristan Swain (flute)

Saturday 2 March 2019 11.30 am
Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast

Tickets: £6.00 per adult
(babies are free)
NB At least one adult per baby

Online tickets sales processed by We Got Tickets. Concerts often sell out in advance. If we are sold out, you may be able to get tickets from our partners, The Crescent.

Born in Northern Ireland in 1994, Kristan Swain began playing the flute at the age of eight under the tuition of his father. Winning the inaugural All-Ireland Young Flute Player of the Year Competition in 2004, he progressed his studies with Colin Fleming (Principal Flute, Ulster Orchestra), before moving to London to study with Samuel Coles (Principal Flute, Philharmonia Orchestra) at the Royal Academy of Music.

Since graduating in July 2016, Kristan has played with the Philharmonia Orchestra (as Guest Principal Flute), the Nash Ensemble and the London Sinfonietta. He has recorded professionally, including working with Oliver Knussen and the Royal Academy of Music’s Manson Ensemble, on a recording for Linn Records.

He has played for such dignitaries as President Mary McAleese and HM Queen Elizabeth II. In 2012, Kristan was joint first prize-winner of the Catherine Judge Memorial Award, and in 2015 was a finalist in the IV Saverino Gazzelloni International Flute Competition.

Kristan is grateful for the generous support of Dr & Mrs West and the Viola Westminster Bursary Trust.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there changing facilities?
Yes, the Crescent Arts Centre has baby changing facilities in the ladies toilets, situated on the ground floor of the building near to the Cube.

Can I feed my baby during the concert?
Of course. There is a mixture of seating, from chairs to bean bags to play mats on the floor, so you can choose the most comfortable spot for you and your baby.

What if my baby cries or makes a noise during the concert?
That’s fine. Don’t feel embarrassed if your baby joins in with a few squeals. We only ask that adults don’t talk to each other during the performance, just as you wouldn’t during a ‘normal’ concert – you can save the chat for the cafe!

What is Chamber Music?
Chamber music is classical music written for small groups of instruments (usually fewer than 12). Typical examples are string quartets, duos such as violin & piano or voice & piano, and trios (usually piano, violin and cello). We also include solo instruments such as piano, concert harp or guitar, and many other small combinations of instruments including wind (e.g. flute, clarinet) and brass instruments (e.g. trumpet).

Is my baby the right age for classical music?
We have designed these concerts for a mainly pre-walking audience. You are never to young to enjoy classical music, and we know babies can hear music in the womb. Most of the music is gentle, though there are livelier pieces too. If you would like to know what will be in the programme, drop us an email at info@belfastmusicsociety.org

Is there somewhere to leave my buggy?
Buggies can be left safely in a separate room adjacent to the Cube.

How long is the concert?
The concert lasts 40 minutes. Our first two concerts have been designed with a 20 minute gap between them, so there is time to enjoy a coffee before or afterwards.

Where is the Crescent Arts Centre?
The Crescent Arts Centre is situated at 2-4 University Road, next to the Crescent Church, just before the junction with the Lisburn Road.

General enquiries: info@belfastmusicsociety.org