Chichester Chamber Concerts run into quarantine problems

Quarantine problems have once again forced a change of artist for the Chichester Chamber Concerts series.

Ariel Lanyi
Ariel Lanyi

Series chairman Anna Hill explains: “Jean Selim Abdelmoula was due to play for us on December 3, but he lives in Berlin and because of latest rules cannot come to the UK without isolating for two weeks on arrival!

“With the valiant help of Sue Hudson, of the Young Classical Artists Trust, which has both pianists on its roster, we now have a replacement in young Israeli pianist Ariel Lanyi.”

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Ariel, who is based in the UK, will play Mozart: Sonata in G, K.283; Brahms: Eight Pieces for piano, Op.76; and Schubert: Sonata in D, D.850.”

For Anna, it is all a question of remaining flexible throughout the pandemic – and hoping that the lockdown will lift in time.

All being well, the concert will go ahead in the series’ usual home, the Assembly Room in North Street, with a socially-distanced live audience – and will also be streamed via YouTube. It’s an approach that has brought the series encouraging success so far.

Their September, October and November concerts played to an audience of 44, the maximum socially-distanced number permitted; September and October were live-streamed, as will December be.

“We managed to get a concert in the hall each time,” Anna said. “And they went very well. We could only have 44 people there but we had that number each time. In some cases one or two people bought a ticket and then felt that they shouldn’t come, but there were always other people willing to step into their shoes. People just seemed to be so delighted to be hearing live music. Nobody there complained about anything or even said that they were worried.”

And so it goes on, adapting to changing circumstances always remaining crucial, as with the December concert: “The Young Classical Artists Trust is an agency as well as a charity, specialising in taking young artists just as they are leaving college and nurturing them. Fortunately, they could find another pianist for us who is resident in the UK.”

Once they are able to get more people into their concerts, Anna suspects that Chichester Chamber Concerts will drop the live-streaming – for the simple reason that the equipment takes up a lot of space and there simply wouldn’t be room for it with a full audience complement. But it serves its purpose for the moment…

Ariel Lanyi was born in 1997 and began piano lessons with Lea Agmon just before his fifth birthday. He made his orchestral debut at the age of seven. Since then, he has given numerous recitals in cities including London, Paris (including Hôtel des Invalides and Radio France), Rome, Prague, Brussels, and regularly in concerts broadcast live on Israeli radio and television. He has appeared as a soloist with a variety of orchestras in the United Kingdom and Israel, including the Israel Symphony Orchestra and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, and has participated in festivals including the Israel Festival, Ausseer Festsommer, Bosa Antica Festival, Miami Piano Festival, the Ravello Festival, and the Young Prague Festival. He has appeared with members of the Prague Philharmonia, the Czech Philharmonic and Berliner Philharmoniker. See