Note Worthy

Earlier this year the virtuosic Japanese - American violinist Shunske Sato, who has performed with major orvhestras across the US and Europe, made his London debut. Ordinarily you might expect an artist of his calibre to perform at, say, the Barbican of Festival Hall. Indeed, when Sato next plays here, it will be at Cadogan Hall, which has a capacity of nearly 1.000. Last April's concert, however, took place in the elegant and expansive drawing room of Sir Vernon Ellis's London Home before an invited audience of 100 or so friends, philanthropists and figures from the music world. 

For those privileged enough to be there, it was a rare chance to hear chamber music in the sort of intimate setting for which it was intended. For the soloist, it was an opportunity to try out a fiendishly exacting programme, culminating in Paganini's showstopper Moto Perpetuo, which he had never previously attempted before an audience . (How we applauded Sato's panache and bravura speeds.) And for the academy of Ancient Music, the orchestra in whose music director, Richard Egarr, also performed, it was a platform from which to launch its 2011/12 season of concert and appeal to raise 75,000 towards underwriting it. 

Best known for his longstanding role  as international chairman of Accenture, Sir Vernon Ellis is one of the UK's leading supporter of the arts, with gifts totaling more than 7m in recent years, and was knighted "for service to music" in this year's New Year's Honours. He was inspired to start hosting concert at home, he says, principally by the idea of being able to give performers a platform early in their careers - an opportunity to play before a responsive audience . But it was also a way to enable arts organisations to fundraise. 

Similarly,  Bob Boas, The Former MD of the investment bank SG Warburg, who, with his wife, Elisabeth, has been hosting private concert at their London home for the past decade.Their two storey apartment can comfortably seat up to 75, and has a near perfect acoustic .  In some  months they host as many as 10 concerts , often in aid of organisations that support young musicians. The calibre of the artists, from soloist to chamber orchestras such as Manchester Camerata and the Gabrieli Consort, is invariably outstanding, and the breadth of repertoire eclectic. 

For the musicians , these concert offer an opportunity to get closer to their audience. Ask any musicians about such an experience and they will use the world "rapport" for live music is to a great extend about communication. And if opening one's home in this way can be leveraged to raise many too, than so much the better.

House Music :
- Academy of Ancient Music, 01223-301-509;
- Classical Opera Company, Britania House, 11 Glenthorne Road, London W6 (020-8846 9744;
- Florian Leonhard, 3 Frognal Lane, London NW3 (020-7813 3307;
- London Music Masters, 3 London Wall Buildings, London EC2 (020-7216 4737; Nicholas Boas Charitable Trust,
- Vernon Ellis Foundation,


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