Haffner Ensemble

Location: St Mary's Church, Church St, Luton LU1 3JF
Haffner Ensemble
Haffner Ensemble

Music has for centuries been at the heart of any society’s cultural identity.  This delightfully varied programme from the Haffner Ensemble is steeped in the traditions of folk melody – Hungarian, Bohemian, Provençal, Swahili and Nordic.

The Nielsen Quintet is a favourite with wind ensembles, not least because it is in part a musical portrait of the players for whom it was originally composed.  Here there may well be a resonance with our season’s theme of Family Relationships.  Performers in any chamber music group may not be family members as such, but of course there are extraordinary connections between them, something that Nielsen wittily celebrates in this engaging work. In a similar way Valerie Coleman’s arrangement of her choral piece Umoja was made to celebrate the ethnic diversity of the individual players of the quintet for whom she wrote it. ‘Umoja’ is the Swahili word for ‘Unity’ – so perhaps this piece really does chime with our theme, the search for a unifying bond of nationhood being not so dissimilar to the idea of personal connection writ large…

Richard Sisson

Technically brilliant… so much humour… delightful.’ —Eastern Daily Press


  • Ferenc Farkas – 5 Antique Hungarian Dances 
  • Carl Philipp Stamitz – E flat Quartet Op 8 No.2
  • Darius Milhaud – La cheminée du roi René
  • Valerie Coleman – Umoja
  • Carl Nielsen – Quintet Op 43


  • Emer McDonough – flute
  • Nicholas Daniel – oboe
  • Joy Farrall – clarinet 
  • Sarah Burnett – bassoon
  • Martin Owen – French horn