If you fancy some cosy chamber music concerts to brighten the cold, dark evenings, the Winter Recitals Wallingford series, which runs from January to March, should tick all the boxes.

Launched last year by pianist Anita D’Attellis, the series takes place at St Mary’s Church, Wallingford, with proceeds going to the Church Tower Fund.

“The first series went really well, and we got good audiences,” says Anita. “Financially it worked too, because I raised £3,000 for the Tower Fund. My idea was not to make a profit for me but to do something for charity. I paid the musicians, and then the proceeds after other expenses went to the church.

“For me it’s been amazing because I’ve done a lot of work in the past as an accompanist, where the soloist is choosing the programme. This has been completely the opposite – it’s given me the freedom to choose what I want to play and also to choose the people I want to work with. So that aspect was very enjoyable for me.”

A graduate of the University of Birmingham and the Royal Academy of Music, Anita worked as a music teacher before deciding to pursue a freelance career as soloist, accompanist and chamber musician.

Now resident in Henley, she originally hoped to launch a chamber music festival in her home town, but, as she says, “nothing slotted into place”. Then she realized that Wallingford had the perfect venue.

“Every week I play for a choir at this lovely church in the middle of Wallingford,” she says. “They acquired a new piano a few years back, and I had done a few concerts there and they were always well attended. What’s great about the church is the flexibility of the space. There aren’t any pews, so you can arrange the chairs how you want. So I put the piano in the middle and performed in the round, which makes it slightly different to a formal concert set-up.

“Another advantage is that it’s newly renovated, so it’s warm, unlike some churches, which makes it nice for the audience. There’s a kitchenette there, so we can offer drinks, and it’s just a lovely place to be.”

The new series kicks off on January 19 with Beethoven Meets Brahms, which includes Beethoven’s Horn Sonata in F major and Rondo a capriccio, and Brahms’ Violin Sonata No.2 in A major and Horn Trio in E flat major. Joining Anita are Marian Givens (violin) and Andrew Sutton (French horn).

This is followed by Bring on the Youth! on February 9, which features young instrumentalists and the All Saints’ Marlow Choristers, conducted by Martin Seymour.

On February23 Anita and prize-winning saxophonist Huw Wiggin perform Classical Journey – From Bach to Gershwin, a mix of favourite pieces from the classical music repertoire.

For the final concert, on 9th March, Anita is joined by violinist Giles Wade and cellist Jacqueline Johnson for Vive la France!, which includes Saint-Saëns’ Cello Sonata No.1 in C minor, Chausson’s Poème Op.25, Ravel’s Sonata for violin and cello, Debussy’s Piano Préludes and Fauré Trio in D minor Op.120.

“I’m quite excited,” Anita says. “It’s all very different to last year. I’m really looking forward to it.”

  • Winter Recitals Wallingford, St Mary’s Church, Wallingford
  • January 19-March 9, 7.30pm. Tickets from anitapiano.com