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Southwell Music Festival : Line-up revealed at concert

By Advertiser Reporter

Festival sponsors Geoffrey Bond, left, and Sir John Peace, centre, with festival founder Marcus Farnsworth. Photograph: Nick Rutter
Festival sponsors Geoffrey Bond, left, and Sir John Peace, centre, with festival founder Marcus Farnsworth. Photograph: Nick Rutter

​The line-up for this year’s Southwell Music Festival was revealed in a free concert at the minster.

The festival, now in its fifth year, will take place from August 22-27. The minster is the festival centrepiece, but concerts will take place at venues around the town.

Founder and artistic director Marcus Farnsworth told the audience: “Southwell Music Festival is now firmly on the cultural map.

“We are delighted that The Sunday Times included the festival in its Hot Tickets for 2018, detailing the festival as one of its top choice classical music events for the year.”

The audience was welcomed by the Dean of Southwell Minster, the Very Rev Nicola Sullivan.

At the event was Sir John Peace, the Lord Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire, who is backing the festival.

He said: “Something very special is happening here in Southwell and we have to get behind it.”

The festival has been extended for an extra day and will feature 22 events — more than half free to attend — over the six days.

One of the highlights is a concert of Elgar’s iconic Cello Concert by Nottingham’s classical music sensation Sheku Kanneh-Mason in the minster on the Saturday.

It will be the third appearance at the festival by the musician who won BBC Young Musician of the Year and became the youngest-ever cellist to reach to number one in the classical charts and the top 20 of the official music charts.

Another member of the musical Kanneh-Mason family will also perform — 17-year-old pianist Konya.

Themes of hope and reconciliation are woven through the festival to mark the centenary of the Armistice.

The second half of the Saturday evening concert will be a performance of Sir Michael Tippett’s oratorio A Child Of Our Time, inspired by the events of Kristallnacht.

Marcus will conduct the Festival Voices and Festival Sinfonia with soloists soprano Susanna Hurrell, mezzo soprano Madeleine Shaw, tenor Andrew Tortise and baritone Roland Wood

There is also a Concert For The Fallen: An Armistice Commemoration on the Sunday, which will include Stuart MacCrae’s setting of Wilfred Owen’s famous reworking of the Bible story of Abraham and Isaac as well as a narrated performance of Stravinsky’s The Soldier’s Tale.

For Voices Of Remembrance, in the quire on the Thursday, actor Clive Mantle will give the reading, while the Festival Voices will perform Tavener’s Song For Athene and James Macmillan’s A Child’s Prayer, composed in response to the Dunblane massacre.

Another concert will be a performance of Olivier Messiaen’s Quartet For The End Of Time, which he wrote while in a German prison camp in 1940.

The festival will open with Marcus singing in a chamber performance of Bach’s Mass In B Minor with the Festival Voices and the Festival Sinfonia on period instruments.

Chamber Classics will have a Czech theme featuring the String Sextet and Gypsy Songs by Dvorák and Janáek’s The Diary Of One Who Disappeared with soprano Alison Rose, mezzo-soprano Madeleine Shaw and tenor Andrew Tortise

Jazz will appear in the main programme for the first time with Manchester-based trumpeter Graham South premiering new compositions. He will be joined by regular collaborators from the Manchester jazz scene in a group drawn together for the festival.

This year’s Family Concert will be based on Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons in an interactive and informal event aimed at families with primary age children, providing an introduction to classical music.

The ever-popular Come And Sing will be a performance of John Rutter’s Feel The Spirit.

Tickets will go on general sale on Monday, June 4.


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