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Chloë Hanslip to give solo violin recital at Lowther Castle

Chloë Hanslip

One of the most admired violinists of her generation is coming to Lowther Castle on 5th July to perform a solo recital. She is playing at the invitation of Bryan Gray, chairman of Lowther Castle & Gardens Trust and a family friend, helping to raise funds for the refurbishment of Hunsonby Village Hall.

Chloë Hanslip is and has always been a textbook prodigy. She took up the violin at the age of two and gave her first public concert – in the Purcell Room on London’s South Bank – at just four years old. Aged eight, she moved to Germany – with her mother – so that she could study with the legendary classical violin professor Zakhar Bron. (Kazakhstan-born Bron has taught a number of international violin superstars, including Vadim Repin and Maxim Vengerov.) Warner Classics signed Hanslip up when she was thirteen, making her their youngest ever recording artist. At fifteen, she made her BBC Proms debut and today, the list of conductors and orchestras Chloë has now worked with spans the globe.

For her performance at Lowther, Chloë has chosen three pieces which she says are “wonderful violin pieces, lovely to play, each of them taking the audience on a special musical journey.”

The full programme is the Passacaglia by Biber – Biber, a 17th century Bohemian-Austrian composer and the piece, one of the earliest known compositions for solo violin; next she performs Prokofiev’s little-known Solo Violin Sonata, a work of great musical lyricism; and finally, Bach’s Partita no 2 which includes the Chaconne – one of the landmark passages in the classical violin repertoire.

For the past ten years, Chloë has been playing a 1737 Guarneri del Gesu violin. Alongside Stradivarius, Guarneri is considered to have been one of the greatest instrument makers. There are approximately 250 violins by Guarneri still in existence, every one of them highly prized.

The full programme for the evening is as follows:

6.15pm Light Supper in the Café
7.00pm Bar available in the Parterre Tapestry Garden
7.30pm Recital in the Sculpture Gallery, followed by a Q&A
8.30pm Drinks in the Parterre Tapestry Garden

Unallocated seats.

£25 for the concert and welcome drink.
£45 for concert, drink and 2-course supper.
Funds raised will go towards the refurbishment of Hunsonby Village Hall.

Tickets can be bought online from

More information on the Sculpture Gallery at Lowther Castle

When Robert Smirke, the architect, received the commission to design Lowther Castle in 1806 (from the first Earl of Lonsdale), he built a castle in the grand style. Indeed there were so many rooms that even the knives had one to themselves.

Nevertheless when the 2nd Earl of Lonsdale, William Lowther (1787-1872) came along, he found that there was not enough room for his art collection – a large part of which was made up of ancient statues – and so the East and West Sculpture Galleries were built.

William’s sculpture collection included some remarkable and remarkably old works. The Cnidian Venus, for example, is said in a Lowther inventory of 1865 to be the original work of Praxiteles, a famous Athenian sculptor who flourished in around 364BC. The entire collection of statues and other marble artefacts, of which there were approximately 130, was sold at the great sale of Lowther Castle’s contents in 1947. The most expensive statue – a fragment of a seated lady – went for £1018 but most fetched less than £20 apiece, and many are now in great museums around the world.

The East Sculpture Gallery was restored at the same time as the stable courtyard buildings in the early 2000s. More recently, it has been given a magnificent makeover by the interior designer Rupert Bevan, curated by Vanessa Lowther. From late June, it will be open for all kinds of events including Afternoon Tea and recitals, such as the one being given by Chloe Hanslip. The West Sculpture Gallery, on the other side of the Parterre, remains roofless.

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