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Celebrating Jewish Connections at Ightham Mote

1993 Echo_AK_2 Anish Kapoor
Echo - Anish Kapoor | © Andrew Penketh

Join us this Autumn as we delve into Ightham Mote’s surprising and hidden Jewish history.

A program of displays and events will uncover Ightham Mote’s Jewish connections this Autumn.

Ightham’s Jewish story dates back to the late nineteenth century, with links to the Anglo Jewish Cousinhood and ground-breaking research on Anglo-Jewish families and their genealogies.

There’s a new exhibition with unseen objects from the collection, a chance to see musical artwork created by internationally acclaimed artist Anish Kapoor and composer Brian Elias, and a series of talks and concerts. Objects from Ightham’s own collection, including new acquisitions, letters and a piano, will also bring this Jewish story to life.

'Country Houses, Jewish Homes'

Monday 18 September – Tuesday 31 October
11am - 5pm (last entry 4.30pm)
Free with admisson

Join us for an exhibition exploring the role of Jewish country houses in Britain, the prejudice Jewish people encountered and how they fought for the right to acquire land and play a full role in British society.

'Country Houses, Jewish Homes' is a touring exhibition that has been curated by Jewish Country Houses – Objects, Networks, People, a 4-year research project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council commencing in October 2019.

Spanning four centuries, displays tell the complex story of “Jewish” country houses; of prejudice and integration, difference and belonging. Of how Jews arrived in Britain, how they fought for the right to acquire land and the political rights and social status that came with it.

By posing important questions about Jewish experiences of country life in Britain through history, this exhibition illuminates what it means to be British, and the changing place of both Jews and the country house in British life.

Echo - Anish Kapoor and Brian Elias

Monday 18 September – Tuesday 31 October
11am - 5pm (last entry 4.30pm)
Free with admission

We are also thrilled to display sculptures by internationally acclaimed artist Anish Kapoor this autumn

The musical artwork, entitled Echo, is a collaboration between Anish and composer Brian Elias. Anish and Brian are cousins, born to Iraqi Jewish families.

Echo consists of five intricate music boxes, each with a piece of specially-composed music and sounds.

The music boxes are made from a variety of materials including patinated bronze, acrylic and gouache, ceramic and wood. Measuring up to 20cm tall, the work is intricately designed, with contrasting styles and colours.

Each element of Echo has an aperture or opening, an iconic motif of void space in Kapoor’s work, from which the music within them reverberates.

The music for each sculpture can be played separately or in any combination. This means the collective sound is always changing, making for a unique 'performance' every time.

We’re absolutely delighted to bring ‘Kapoor to Kent’. This is a rare chance to experience the work of a major international contemporary artist juxtaposed with the historic setting of Ightham Mote’s medieval Great Hall. 

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View of the Drawing Room at Ightham Mote with a large fireplace, patterned wallpaper, a piano and many gold chairs.
The Drawing Room at Ightham Mote | © National Trust Images/Nadia Mackenzie

Music@Malling Festival

Sunday 24 & Wednesday 27 September
Booking Essential

Brian Elias is featured composer at this year’s highly acclaimed Music@Malling Festival, which runs from 24 to 30 September, Ightham Mote will host a series of events for the festival, including a talk with Brian Elias himself on 24 September, where he will perform Echo.

Admission to Ightham Mote is free to Music@Malling ticket holders on the day of the event.

Ligeti 100 – Poème Symphonique for 100 metronomes

Sunday 24 September
12:00 - 12:30

There will also be a rare performance of György Ligeti’s Poème Symphonique for 100 metronomes in the Main Court. One of the most innovative composers of the 20th Century, unlike many of his immediate family, Ligeti miraculously survived the Holocaust.

Brian Elias in conversation with Thomas Kemp

Sunday 24 September
13:30 - 14:00

Composer Brian Elias in conversation with Music@Malling’s artistic director, Thomas Kemp. Talk includes a performance of Echo – featuring five music boxes designed by Sir Anish Kapoor with music by Elias.

Fretwork - William Byrd 400

Sunday 24 September
16:15 - 18:00

Join Music@Malling for a concert of world renowned viol consort Fretwork perform masterworks by William Byrd to commemorate the 400th anniversary of his death in 1623. The concert includes In Nomine after Purcell by contemporary composer Gavin Bryars performed in the iconic setting of Ightham Mote.

Die Winterreise

Wednesday 27 September
18:15 - 12:00

Other events include Schubert’s setting of Wilhelm Müller’s Die Winterise with world-renowned tenor Mark Padmore CBE and Sholto Kynoch performing on a Stodart piano. Müller’s descendant, Beatrice Müller, lived at Ightham Mote in the nineteenth century.

Please note, booking for all the above events is ESSENTIAL via the Music@Malling Website

Thomas Kemp, artistic Director of Music@Malling says “It is brilliant to get contemporary music into historical venues: it makes people think about their surroundings and history in different and vivid ways. Ightham is a brilliant place to juxtapose old with the new and to explore forgotten cultural history through music.”