One of the lesser-known jewels of the London concert calendar, the regular series of house concerts organised by philanthropist Bob Boas at his Robert Adam home in Mansfield Street offers a wide range of solo and chamber events of the highest international standard. Artists give their services for free, supporting the building of funds to sponsor musical opportunities of various kinds, including kickstarting the careers of young instrumentalists and singers. Frequently the Boas concerts offer opportunities to try out programmes that are being performed in high-profile venues, or due for recording. Altogether a very worthy feature of London cultural life.
I attended two of the Boas concerts recently, the first by violinist Bojan Cicic and harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani, delivering a spectacular evening of virtuosity and introducing well-known baroque staples along with some rarities, the second a fortepiano lecture-recital of Haydn sonatas by John Irving. The intimacy of these occasions lends itself well to the chamber music repertoire, especially when performed on the more delicate historical instruments.