The Gala Concert in the South of France

Church castelreng

“He nods, as if to acknowledge that endings are almost always a little sad, even when there is something to look forward to on the other side.” ― Emily Giffin

Now that the dust has settled and the musicians have flown off to their next concerts and performances around the world, I have some time to catch up on my blogs about the Festival du Musique de la Vallee du Cougain. Today’s posting is about the final Gala Concert in the church in the tiny village of Castelreng, France. After a solid week of five performances in six days, I expected the musicians to be running on empty and somewhat irritable (at least that’s how I tend to react), but I found just the opposite.  They were upbeat and excited about the challenge of playing some very heavy-weight classical pieces: Luigi Boccherini String Quintet in C, Op. 42 No.2,  and Johannes Brahms Quintet for piano and four strings in F minor Op. 34. In addition, there was a solo violin piece of Camille Saint-Saëns Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso in A minor. All significant works. DSC_0092And the crowd was excited as well.  The little village of Castelreng has just around 180 inhabitants, yet the church was filled to overflowing with 250 people, some from even as far away as Paris and the US. And it was very hot that day so the little church, even at 9pm, was still very warm. As my mentor, Thomas D. Willhite used to say;

“Nothing exciting ever happens in a refrigerator; you have to turn up the heat”.

And the evening was hot and exciting.

Here are a few snippets from the concert:

Boccherini, the first 2 minutes of the first movement:

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A short snippet from the Saint-Saëns Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso in A minor:
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And finally, the closing piece, Johannes Brahms Quintet for piano and four strings in F minor Op. 34; just a 2 1/2 minute taster!
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Support the Young Virtuosi Festival

If you have enjoyed these posts and would like to give us a hand, we are still over £1,800 short of our £4,000 fund-raising goal to pay for the professional photographers who filmed the entire festival.  You can go to the Young Virtuosi website to make a donation through Just Giving, send a check to Young Virtuosi (any major currency gladly accepted), or click on our special crowd-funding site: Bloom VC.  We will send you thank you gifts of a CD and a special 2013 T-shirt for your support. And of course, plan your summer holidays in France in 2014 around our next festival, July 7-19 (more accurate concert dates coming shortly). Here are a few pics from one of the outdoor markets to whet your appetite for a visit next year: DSC_0381 DSC_0363 DSC_0354 DSC_0355 DSC_0490 DSC_0392 Thank you from all the musicians and staff of the 2013 Young Virtuosi Music Festival: DSC_0024 Tight Lines . . . John R Childress

About johnrchildress

John Childress is a pioneer in the field of strategy execution, culture change, executive leadership and organization effectiveness, author of several books and numerous articles on leadership, an effective public speaker and workshop facilitator for Boards and senior executive teams. In 1978 John co-founded The Senn-Delaney Leadership Consulting Group, the first international consulting firm to focus exclusively on culture change, leadership development and senior team alignment. Between 1978 and 2000 he served as its President and CEO and guided the international expansion of the company. His work with senior leadership teams has included companies in crisis (GPU Nuclear – owner of the Three Mile Island Nuclear Plants following the accident), deregulated industries (natural gas pipelines, telecommunications and the breakup of The Bell Telephone Companies), mergers and acquisitions and classic business turnaround scenarios with global organizations from the Fortune 500 and FTSE 250 ranks. He has designed and conducted consulting engagements in the US, UK, Europe, Middle East, Africa, China and Asia. Currently John is an independent advisor to CEO’s, Boards, management teams and organisations on strategy execution, corporate culture, leadership team effectiveness, business performance and executive development. John was born in the Cascade Mountains of Oregon and eventually moved to Carmel Highlands, California during most of his business career. John is a Phi Beta Kappa scholar with a BA degree (Magna cum Laude) from the University of California, a Masters Degree from Harvard University and was a PhD candidate at the University of Hawaii before deciding on a career as a business entrepreneur in the mid-70s. In 1968-69 he attended the American University of Beirut and it was there that his interest in cultures, leadership and group dynamics began to take shape. John Childress resides in London and the south of France with his family and is an avid flyfisherman, with recent trips to Alaska, the Amazon River, Tierra del Fuego, and Kamchatka in the far east of Russia. He is a trustee for Young Virtuosi, a foundation to support talented young musicians. You can reach John at or
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4 Responses to The Gala Concert in the South of France

  1. Marilyn Tempesta says:

    John and Christiane,
    What a breathtaking event! Our congratulations to all involved! You must have worked your tails off! Stephanie has progressed so beautifully! She’s also becoming a lovely young WOMAN!
    All my love,


    • Mal: Thanks for the note on my blog. The festival this year was better than ever. Stephanie is off to her two weeks of National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, ending with a concert at the Royal Albert Hall Summer Proms. Exciting stuff. Then she leads the orchestra for the National Youth Music Theatre production of West Side Story. We will be along for all of August.


  2. Frank Tempesta says:

    This is such a rich post, full of beautiful music by very talented young musicians. I can just imagine how the music sounded in a small, crowded medieval church. Bravo!


  3. Dominique says:

    Wonderful post. Thank you for sharing with those of us who cannot be there.


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