Bringing live classical music to the heart of Purley
During the 2013 Purley Festival Andrew Scott, a local classical guitarist, gave a lunch time recital which was very well received by the audience. This was the inspiration to form Purley Classics and Andy teamed up with Chris Harman and since October 2013 they put on lunch time recitals every second Wednesday of the month in the Lounge at Purley United Reformed Church until March 2020 when they had to be suspended because of the Covid-19 restrictions.
The aims of Purley Classics are to make classical music accessible to the local community while giving mainly young aspiring musicians the opportunity to enhance their performance experience. The musicians are either soloists or small groups such as duos and trios. So far there has been a wide range of instruments including piano, classical guitar, violin, cello, flute, clarinet and saxophone and there have even been soprano, tenor and baritone singers. To make the recitals as accessible as possible there is no fixed ticket price but the audience is asked to make donations which, after administration costs, all go to the musicians. People can give as much as they wish but as a guide we suggest £6. For that the audience gets a 45 minute recital.
A common feature of the recitals is that most of the musicians introduce the pieces they play and there is the opportunity to chat to them afterwards. Some of the musicians are more established but most are recent music college graduates, maybe studying for their masters, and they welcome the opportunity to perform to an engaging audience as part of developing their careers.
Once a year in the summer we put on a full evening concert.
Purley Classics has gained a faithful audience but they welcome anybody, young or old, whether or not regular concert goers. The recitals are ideal for shoppers or office workers as well as local residents, being fairly short and at lunch time. They are also a good introduction to live classical music as the performers usually explain what they’re playing. There is none of the formality of a large concert hall.
In planning to re-start recitals as Covid-19 restrictions lifted we reviewed our previous venue and because of growing audiences the Lounge at Purley URC may no longer be big enough so in January 2022 we moved to St Mark's Church. Although this is a little way from the centre of Purley it is still convenient and we hope to attract a new audience.
If you are an accomplished musician, whether or not still training, and you'd like to perform at one of our recitals please write to us via the contact page to find out more.