Kol Nidrei: Elegy for Pamela performed at Wigmore Hall

PUBLISHED: 17:36 25 September 2017 | UPDATED: 17:36 25 September 2017

Pamela & Simon Majaro-Cavatina Chamber Music Trust. Picture: Nigel Sutton

Pamela & Simon Majaro-Cavatina Chamber Music Trust. Picture: Nigel Sutton

© Nigel Sutton 17 Redington Rd,London,NW37QX. Phone 020 7794 3008. email pictures@nigelsuttonphotography.com

It’s unusual in having six composers, each of whom contributes a three minute movement that accumulates into “a quasi-requiem”

When Pamela Majaro died last year, her husband Simon wanted to commemorate her passing; and the obvious way to do it was through music. They’d been married 61 years, settling in Hampstead, and for much of that time their relationship had turned around a mutual love of chamber music – as supporters, patrons and, from 1998, as founders of the Cavatina Trust: a scheme that finances free concert tickets for young people under 26 and sends performers into schools to show how chamber music works.

Running across the UK, it has been what Simon calls “the only project in my business career where success is judged by how much we pay out”. And as the project grew, the Majaros found themselves surrounded by professional musicians, with Pamela becoming, in Simon’s words, “a mother-figure to many of them – especially the Wihan Quartet who were like her children whenever they came over from Prague”.

Considering ways to celebrate his wife, Simon’s inevitable choice was to commission something that the Wihan would perform. The consequence – “Kol Nidrei: Elegy for Pamela” - premieres at Wigmore Hall next week. And it’s unusual in having six composers, each of whom contributes a three minute movement that accumulates into what Simon calls “a quasi-requiem”.

The composers range from the well-established Cecilia MacDowall and Roxanna Panufnik to the still-studying Mika Haasler. And the risk, Simon admits, was “that we’d end up with six movements all mourning and sadness. So we talked it through with everyone, suggesting different possibilities of rhythm, tempo, style. Then when the manuscripts arrived, we chose the order they should play in. And I think we now have something that works: six varied movements that, perhaps surprisingly, make a coherent piece.”

Whether Pamela would agree is anybody’s guess. “In all our marriage,” Simon says, “we never had a quarrel, except over music. We would often play together and she said I couldn’t count.

“Well she was right, I can’t. But with this piece I’ve done my best. I think she’d like it.”

Wihan Quartet premiere Elegy for Pamela, Wednesday September 27, 1pm at Wigmore Hall. Booking 020 7935 2141

Latest Hampstead & Highgate Stories

47 minutes ago

The victims of Tuesday night’s stabbings have been named as 17-year-old Abdikarim Hassan, and 20-year-old Sadiq Adan Mohamed.

Archant’s Neil Metcalfe cast an eye over Scott Parker’s Spurs youngsters at Stevenage FC’s Lamex Stadium earlier today

UEFA Youth League last-16: Tottenham Hotspur 1 AS Monaco 1 (Tottenham Hotspur won 3-1 on penalties)


Free football kit and equipment is being made available to primary schools across England and Wales, as the Premier League Primary Stars Kit and Equipment Scheme opens for applications on Monday, February 19.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has been talking ahead of the Europa League home tie with Ostersund at the Emirates on Thursday evening. Read a transcript of his press conference at London Colney.

The Brazilian won a huge amount of trophies during his time at Paris Saint-Germain and he believes he can win more silverware with Tottenham Hotspur


A mother of three with cancer forced to sell the family home to pay for treatment abroad has called for the life-saving therapy to be made available on the NHS.


Dog lovers have been invited to put on their walking shoes for a cancer charity’s first “Woof” fundraising day.

Most read Hampstead & Highgate etcetera

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now