Farm From The Home I Love: City of Sanctuary Concert


A Special Concert by

Margaret Fingerhut


Sunday 17th March, 3pm

The Assembly House

Acclaimed international pianist Margaret Fingerhut performed a very special concert in The Music Room to raise awareness of refugee needs as well as to collect funds for City of Sanctuary refugee groups.

Organiser David Huband reports:

‘The concert went extremely well. Margaret Fingerhut found the audience warm and attentive, the piano excellent, and the venue elegant.  Which indeed it is.
Margaret spoke movingly between the pieces she played of the reason she had chosen them, which was that all of the composers had worked, for one reason or another, away from home. The theme ‘Far from the home I love’ which linked them was therefore particularly appropriate for a concert whose financial purpose was to raise money to help refugees.
Margaret was enthusiastically applauded at the end, and came back to play an encore.
It was altogether a wonderful experience.  Superb playing, in a perfect setting.  The staff at the Assembly House could not have been more helpful.

The event raised over £1800, which is an excellent result, thanks very largely to the Trust enabling the use of the Music Room and piano; we are enormously grateful.

Once again, our sincere thanks for the help we received from the Trust..”

By | March 28th, 2019|Live Music|0 Comments

24 Piano Preludes: From Bach to Gershwin


24 Piano Preludes From Bach to Gershwin

Sunday 24 March 2019

Jonathan Wortley – Piano

Music Room, Assembly House, Norwich 2.30 pm

All proceeds to the Michael Badminton Young Musicians Trust

With grateful thanks for the generous support of The Assembly House Trust for this event.

Programme notes

At least 17 composers have written sets of 24 or 25 preludes, usually in all the different keys. This programme was inspired by a CD issued a couple of years ago by the pianist Dominic John, with 24 preludes in all the keys, each by a different composer (in fact 25 preludes because he started and finished with ones in C major.)
I thought this was a great idea for a recital, and I decided to draw only on music I already had, which in some cases I had never performed or even looked at. I have covered all the keys, but only managed 19 different composers, but there is still a huge variety, and some composers I hope some of you will never have heard of! Anyway there are some who deserve more than one example.

Having chosen the pieces, the next challenge was to decide on the order. Should I follow Bach in his “48” and start at C, major and minor, and go up a semitone each time, or should I use the circle of fifths like Chopin, in which case after C major go to the relative minor (a) and then to G major and so on, or should I just try to try to find some similarity or contrast between successive preludes. An impossible task, so in the end I settled on the order above, a sort of hybrid between the approaches of Bach and Chopin.

Jonathan Wortley was born in West Runton, and attended Gresham’s School, where he met his wife Sally, a ‘cellist, on a music course held there one vacation. He read Natural Sciences then Law at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, where aged 20 he performed Prokofiev’s 1st Piano Concerto in a May Week concert. He attended the College of Law in London, but spent most of his time playing the piano and accompanying students at The Guildhall, where he had lessons with the late Geraldine Peppin. He subsequently had a number of lessons with Hamish Milne.

Jonathan has practised as a solicitor in Norfolk for almost 40 years, but music continues to be an integral part of his life, both as performer, treasurer of the Norwich- based Academy of St Thomas chamber orchestra, and as trustee of a number of musical charities. He performs concerti, solo recitals and chamber music, as well as accompanying. He has worked with a number of professional musicians including the violinists Alan Brind, Jane Faulkner, Hannah Perowne and Andrew Storey, violists Philip Dukes and Gillianne Haddow, ‘cellists Richard May and Martin Storey, clarinettists Lynsey Marsh and Stephen Waters, and singers Mary Nicholls, Evelyn Tubb and Catherine Waters.

The Michael Badminton Young Musicians Trust supports young string players in Norfolk by assisting with the cost of lessons, purchase of instruments and financial help to attend courses and workshops. The Trust also has a number of valuable string instruments for loan. It was established in 1998 by the late Michael Badminton who also bequeathed his piano to the John Innes Centre.

Mike’s legacy for the last 21 years has helped many hundreds of children in Norfolk in various ways, and I think he would be delighted to see the impact it continues to have. The inugural String Day Course in 2000 was conducted
by the internationally renowned Christopher Adey. Subsequent Youth Orchestra, Concerto Days and string workshops were held in association with Norwich School, with former Director of Music, Colin Dowdeswell. Masterclasses have also taken place for violin and cello.

The Trust also promotes the very successful annual Norfolk Young Musician Competition which will be held next year on Sunday 12th January at the John Innes Centre.

If anyone wishes for more information about how to apply to the Trust, to enter the NYM competition or to be added to our email list for notification of all our events, please contact or visit www.academyofstthomas/trust.

I have been Chairman of the Trust since it was formed in 1998, shortly before Mike, a close friend, passed away in 1999.

Jonathan Wortley

Thanks to the Assembly House Staff, and Chrissie Owens for her help marketing the Trust events.

By | March 26th, 2019|Live Music|0 Comments

Flautist Leila Hooton wins the Norfolk Young Musician 2019

Winners 2019

The 26th Norfolk Young Musician Competition took place today at the John Innes Centre, Colney. Promoted by the Michael Badminton Young Musicians Trust, the adjudicator was the internationally renowned British viola player Philip Dukes, Artistic Director of Marlborough College, as well as a soloist and chamber musician in demand throughout the world.

Fourteen competitors took part including a number of string, woodwind and one singer.  Trust chairman Jonathan Wortley commented that the general standard of the musicians was probably higher than ever. Philip Dukes praised all the competitors giving them constructive feedback and encouragement before announcing the winners.

First place and the title of Norfolk Young Musician was awarded to 19 year old flautist Leila Hooton a former pupil of the CNS school now studying at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire of Music. Philip Dukes said “Leila gave a performance of real conviction which bristled with energy”.

Catherine McCardel a 14 year old violinist, a student at Norwich High School won 2nd prize and third prize went to 16 year old Jasmine Smith playing the alto saxophone, a student at Jane Austen College.

The Michael Badminton string prize was awarded to 18 year old Dylan Latham, currently studying at the Royal Northern College of Music, the Norfolk and Norwich Chamber Music prize for the most promising wind player to 16 year old bassoonist Joanna Asher, from the City of Norwich School, and the Jane Roberson prize for voice to 15 year old Charlotte Pollard from Norwich School.

The Michael Badminton Young Musicians Trust is very grateful for the support given by the Assembly House Trust, Norfolk and Norwich Chamber Music and Woodbridge Violins for this event

By | January 16th, 2019|Live Music|0 Comments

Norfolk Young Musician 2019


Norfolk Young Musician 2019


The Assembly House Trust is excited to announce that they are supporting the 2019 Norfolk Young Musician Prize.


The annual Norfolk Young Musician Competition was founded in 1993 and is now run by the Michael Badminton Young Musicians Trust.


Participants are invited up to the age of 21 ( 25 for singers) and must be resident or in full time education in Norfolk.


There are three main cash prizes, now supported by The Assembly House Trust and four other donated prizes for instrumental categories.


The event, adjudicated by a visiting professional musician, takes place on 13th January at the Johns Innes Conference Centre and is open to the public.


The winners are announced at the end of the competition day.


For more information visit:



By | January 11th, 2019|Live Music|0 Comments

Assembly House Classical 2019 Season


Assembly House Classical

2019 Lunchtime Series


Following on from the success of the 2018 series Assembly House Classical presents a new season of Thursday lunchtime concerts in the Music Room, featuring a mixture of new prize-winning young artists together with established and highly respected groups.

Tickets £12 in advance / £15 on the door


For more information email: / 07786940878


Thursday 10 January, 1pm

Moriarty Wind Quintet


Milhaud; La cheminée du roi René, Op. 205

Debussy; Petit Suite

Reicha; Wind Quintet No 2 Op.88


Thursday 21 February, 1pm

Eusebius Quartet


Works by Haydn & Schumann


Thursday 28 March, 1pm

Rob Burton & Christine Zerafa: BBC Young Musician

Saxophone & Piano


Works by Marcello, Muczynski, and Debussy


Piatti Quartet

Thursday 25th April, 1pm

String Quartet


Mendelssohn: Quartet in A minor

Walton: Quartet in A minor


Ben Baker

Thursday 13th June, 1pm



Bach; Partita No 2 in D minor BWV 1004


Pelleas Ensemble

Thursday 25th July, 1pm


Programme TBA


Lisa Cassidy & Somi Kim Piano

Thursday 12th September, 1pm

Soprano & Piano


‘Echoes from the Red House’

Including works by Bernstein & Britten 



Fitzwilliam Quartet

Thursday 3rd October, 1pm


Bach Art of Fugue No 1

Shostakovich String Quartet No 11

Beethoven String Quartet Op 131



Anna Federova

Thursday 31st October, 1pm



Takemitsu: “Uninterrupted rest”

Liszt: 3 Petrarch sonnets

Scriabin: 2nd sonata

Tchaikovsky-Pletnev: Concert Suite; The Nutcracker


Calver: BBC Young Musician

Thursday 14th November, 1pm

Cello & Piano

Programme TBA


Lauren Zhang: BBC Young Musician

Thursday 12th December, 1pm



Schubert: Four Impromptus, D935 Op Posth

Rachmaninov: Sonata No.2 in B flat minor, Op.36 (1913 – original version)


By | January 11th, 2019|Live Music|0 Comments

Into Opera: Unwrapped for Christmas


Into Opera return to the Assembly House Norwich with some of the UK’s finest singers for an evening of music, conversation, canapés and bubbly – the perfect way to enjoy an evening in the run up to Christmas with friends and loved ones.

This intimate concert offers a unique opportunity to enjoy music performed by a number of singers including the internationally acclaimed Mezzo-Soprano, Yvonne Howard and exceptional British Soprano, Katie Bird. It will be an opportunity to find out what got these successful singers into opera and to hear some of their favourite repertoire from composers including Donizetti, Puccini and Bernstein.

This concert is taking place to raise money to support Into Opera’s future education projects in Norfolk and will also feature a special performance from the Into Opera Youth Company.

Date: Sunday 2nd December
Start Time: 6:30pm for canapés and bubbly, concert begins at 7pm.
End Time: 9:45pm
By | November 19th, 2018|Event, Live Music|0 Comments

Assembly House Classical: Joanna MacGregor


Classical Music returned to The Assembly House this month with the first in a new series of lunchtime concerts supported by The Assembly House Trust.


As a young artist, Joanna MacGregor gave a memorable recital at The Assembly House in 1988.

Now one of the UK’s most distinguished pianists, Joanna returned to open the series with a programme, which included one of the most popular of Beethoven’s piano sonatas the Appassionata.


The event was sold out in advance with many turned away at the door. Joanna’s performance was outstanding and audience feedback was extremely positive.

For more information visit

By | January 15th, 2018|Event, Live Music, Uncategorized|0 Comments