Say a big cello to Claire

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CLARE O’Connell, the talented cellist and Berkhamsted-based founder and curator of acclaimed ensemble Chroma’s interactive children’s concerts is all set for another stunning performance at the Greene Room in the Kings Arms on Valentine’s Day.

Her first concert at the revamped Berkhamsted venue in December – an atmospheric feast of all things wintery, aptly titled A Winter Celebration – was a sellout.

February’s show promises an equally impressive, romantic programme of music, poetry and storytelling.

Performing with Clare on the night are fellow string musicians Dave Le Page, Cathy Leech and Rose Redgrave.

Dave Le Page began learning the violin aged seven, gaining a place at the Yehudi Menuhin School at 11, and winning prizes in both the BBC Young Musician of the Year and the Yehudi Menuhin competitions.

Bucks-born violinist Cathy Leech graduated from the Royal College of Music in 1997 with distinction and went on to further study at Birmingham Conservatoire where she was awarded the Worshipful Company of Musicians’ silver medal.

Rose Redgrave is the daughter of a violinist and an artist and grew up in a very creative household in Norfolk before studying at the Royal Northern College of Music as well as the Royal Academy.

All are looking forward to playing the incredibly romantic programme of Tchaikovsky and Borodin.

Clare says: “The Borodin is a really old favourite and I’m sure many of our audience will know and love it.

“The Tchaikovsky is a particularly passionate quartet which will, we hope, be enhanced by the interweaving of Turgenev’s bittersweet story First Love.

“We will also be playing a few romances from Russia’s rich tradition of romance writing, inspired by the love poetry of Pushkin and Alexei Tolstoy.”

And of course the fabulous, intimate setting of Berkhamsted’s newest arts venue is another plus.

Clare goes on: “It will be wonderful to be playing in the Kings Arms’ Greene Room again after the sell-out performance of Winter Celebration last December.

“It has a very warm atmosphere, made even more so by the proximity of the bar!”

And if you fancy a special meal before the concert the Kings Arms are offering an exclusive two course £20 per head Valentine’s menu available with your concert ticket.

Call the Kings Arms on 01442 866595 for further details.

From Russia with Love will be in the Greene Room, at the Kings Arms, 148 High Street, Berkhamsted on Tuesday, February 14 at 8pm.

Tickets are available from Clare O’Connell on 01442 862953 or by emailing chroma.concerts@me.com.