Ghost Variations

"Unmissable... deserves full houses across the land!" - Peter Thomas, Artistic Director at Kensington & Chelsea Music Society

"A thrilling read" - John Suchet, The Daily Mail

"Gripping, moving and uplifting" - BBC Music Magazine

The strangest detective story in the history of music comes to life in a dazzling narrated concert based on Jessica Duchen's acclaimed novel Ghost Variations. Set in 1930s London, it explores bizarre real events surrounding the discovery of Robert Schumann's long-suppressed Violin Concerto, unfolding against a background of madness, genius and a world on the brink of war.

The great Hungarian violinist Jelly d'Arányi in 1933 received a Ouija board message purporting to be from Schumann himself, asking her to seek out the concerto. But her quest soon escalated into a race for the premiere against the Nazis, who had a purpose of their own for it...

Jessica Duchen, David Le Page and Viv McLean alternate words and music, building the narrative together. Every piece is associated with d'Arányi, including works by Brahms, Mendelssohn, Bartók, Ravel and, of course, Schumann.

Violinist Le Page was a prizewinner in the BBC Young Musician of the Year and the Yehudi Menuhin Violin Competition. He has recorded three albums of his own music and frequently undertakes genre-busting projects involving theatre, world music and art. Award-winning British pianist McLean has been praised for "extraordinary originality, superb simplicity and fingers of steel hidden behind muscles of velvet" (Le Monde). Duchen specialises in words for, with and about music: novels, plays, biographies, librettos and journalism. She has written for The Independent, The Guardian and The Sunday Times.

Should you wish to enjoy dinner or a light bite to eat before or after your show, Brasserie Zédel is located just across the foyer from Crazy Coqs. To book a table, please call 020 7734 4888 or visit us online at


Before and during the shows, cocktails, wines, champagnes and snacks are available. We would also encourage you to enjoy a meal in the Brasserie before or after a performance.


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