In a world of increasingly standardised experiences, the concert series Music At Unique Venues is a different way to enjoy music and art in some spectacular settings, often not open to the general public. Outstanding Polish pianist Tomasz Lis has two great passions: art and music. In these concerts, he presents music not as an isolated art form, but alongside works of art, placing it in its wider cultural, political and historical context.
Each concert has a theme reflected in the carefully chosen music and paintings. Art and music often reflect each other, and can have thought-provoking links. After Tomasz’ talk on the art, each painting is projected for the audience’s enjoyment and contemplation while listening to Tomasz play.
The first concert of the season is at 7.30pm on Tuesday 10 November at Leighton House. This splendid and exotically decorated, former residence of painter and sculptor, Lord Frederic Leighton is the perfect setting to bring 19th century music and art together. Tomasz performs a selection of Chopin’s Preludes, Op. 28 and Tchaikovsky’s The Seasons, accompanied by a talk on 19th century landscape painting.
Wine will be served during the interval, and the audience will have exclusive access to the entire Leighton House. Leighton House is one of the most remarkable buildings of the 19th century, with a fascinating collection of paintings and sculpture by Leighton and his contemporaries.
Leighton House Museum is the former home of the distinguised Victorian artist Frederic, Lord Leighton (1830-1896). His reputation as an artist was worldwide and he was one of the most successful and renowned British artists of the 19th century.
Leighton House was build by Lord Leighton to his specific requirements as a “studio house”, and to this day, it remains the only studio-house open to the public in the United Kingdom. It is one of the most remarkable buildings of its time, and contains a fascinating collection of paintings and sculpture both by Leighton and his contemporaries. The house was extended and embellished over the 30 years that he lived in it until his death.
From modest beginnings it grew into a ‘private palace of art’ featuring the extraordinary Arab Hall with its golden dome, intricate mosaics and walls lined with beautiful Islamic tiles. Upstairs, Leighton’s vast painting studio was one of the sights of London, filled with paintings in different stages of completion, the walls hung with examples of his work and lit by a great north window. Many of the most prominent figures of the Victorian age were entertained in this room; including Queen Victoria herself who called on Leighton in 1859. It was indeed Queeen Victoria bought his first major painting, and Leighton was well acquainted with several members of the Royal Family.
But Leighton lived alone in his palace, occupying the house’s only bedroom on the first floor.
The whole house will be open on the evening of 10 November for private viewing for audience members.