nadsa, as it has been affectionately known for almost the whole of its existence, was given the title of 'Newton Abbot and District Society of Arts' by its founding fathers back in 1946. Its Constitution stated:
“The Objects of the Society shall be to promote, maintain, improve and advance the education of the public in the arts and sciences of music, opera, ballet, drama, film, photography, literature, painting, drawing and sculpture by the presentation of performances, exhibitions and other activities.”
In those heady post-war days nadsa did attempt to improve all aspects of the cultural education and experience of the returning heroes and surviving civilians, but very soon it was facing the first of its several financial crises, and cut back on its over ambitious aspirations to concentrate on live chamber music. And this is what it still continues to do today, bringing world-class classical musicians to perform in the Newton Abbot area, those who would simply not be heard here without nadsa concerts’ initiative.
A perusal of the list of illustrious past performers makes astonishing reading.
Every season features at least one piano recital. Paul Lewis, Peter Donohoe, Martin James Bartlett, Margaret Fingerhut, Angela Hewitt, Peter Katin, Freddy Kempf, Piers Lane, Noriko Ogawa, Ronan O’Hora, Martin Roscoe, Howard Shelley, Kathryn Stott, Thomas Vasary and Oleg Marchev have all performed at least once.
Jacqueline Du Pre gave a recital early in her career. Janet Baker has sung for us. Violinist Nicola Loud, oboist Nicholas Daniel, and cellists Richard May and Richard Harwood, are among those who performed as young musicians. Ensembles have included the Haffner and Galliard Wind Quintets, and the Allegri, Danté, Duke and Fitzwilliam String Quartets. Organists have included John Scott, David Briggs and David Goode - singers, Ben Luxon, Patricia Rosario and Evelyn Tubb. Collegium Regale, the Choral Scholars of King’s College, Cambridge, have performed here. Then there have been Craig Ogden and Carlos Bonnell, solo guitarists, and harpist Catrin Finch, during her reign as Royal Harpist to the Prince of Wales.
nadsa concerts looks forward to its next 25 years, continuing this tradition of excellence, whilst constantly developing its Concert Series to promote an ever widening variety.