London's Wigmore Hall launched its 2012/13 season with particular aplomb last week, with a dazzling appearance by international star Dmitri Hvorostovsky in an awe-inspiring programme of Rachmaninov and Shostakovich, accompanied by Ivari Ilja. Hot on the heels of this wonderful opening, young accompanist Gary Matthewman made his debut, presenting a programme of 'travelling' songs with the baritone Roderick Williams. Dorothea Röschmann then thrilled audiences with a programme of Schumann and Wolf, confirming her position as one of today's leading Lieder exponents and Graham Johnson paid hommage to Kathleen Ferrier in a concert celebrating her legacy.
This wonderfully diverse music-making will continue next week with Iain Burnside and Robert Murray shining a light on the work of Frank Bridge before Harry Bicket and The English Concert appear in a programme of Bach and Handel and Jennifer Johnston, partnered by Joseph Middleton, presents a lunchtime recital featuring works by Wolf, Mahler and Britten.
The feather in the cap of this wonderful season, must be the Residency presented by Iestyn Davies, the first ever for a countertenor. The Residency will be made up of three concerts, the first on 27th November 2012 with Ensemble Matheus and Jean-Christophe Spinosi presenting Handel's altos - Music for countertenor and castrato.
This season also sees the continuation of the Wigmore Hall's long tradition of Schubert performances with An die Musik, a celebration which will feature many Askonas Holt singers and also the pianists Imogen Cooper and Cédric Tiberghien. 2012 could also not be passed by without a focus on Britten: his birthday centenary celebrations will include performances by Christine Rice, Iestyn Davies, Ann Murray DBE, John Mark Ainsley and Malcolm Martineau.
Here's to a wonderful 2012/13 season!