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Bringing exceptional classical music to the beautiful Wirral coast.
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In 1925 radio broadcasting was at an early stage of development and the sound quality was poor. Gramophone records were limited to just a few minutes of scratchy playing time. It was in this environment that a group of local music-lovers decided to form a society to engage professional musicians to play public classical music concerts in Wirral, and so Hoylake Chamber Concert Society was born. In the winter of 1926-7 the society promoted its first season of concerts and between then and the Second World War gave increasingly successful concerts and recitals over 14 seasons, attracting such prestigious ensembles as the Griller Quartet, and a succession of famous pianists such as Myra Hess, Benno Moiseiwitsch and Egon Petri.
After the war, concerts resumed again with prestigious names: Denis Matthews, Colin Horsley, the Griller and Zorian Quartets, and the Blech Quartet whose leader, Harry Blech was to found the London Mozart Players and conduct them for their first 50 years. On a number of occasion in the 1940s and 50s our concerts were broadcast by the BBC on the Third Programme, the predecessor of BBC Radio 3.
The increased ease of travel saw the appearance of foreign artists: the Prague Quartet, the Belgian Piano Quartet, and, in the spirit of giving a chance to young artists which is still a major part of the Society's purpose, newly formed quartets began to make their appearance: the Aeolian Quartet in 1948 and the Amadeus Quartet, in the first of many visits, in 1949.
In the sixty years since those days of austerity, when a season's ticket for four concerts cost £1, and a prestigious quartet's fee would be of the order of 30 guineas (£31.50), the Society has continued to present each season a blend of artists already of international renown, including the Gabrieli and Coull Quartets, Alan Hacker, Amaryllis Fleming, Yfrah Neaman and John Ogdon (who, the minutes record, was pleased with the condition of the piano provided) together with the up and coming