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Southwell Music Festival organisers release video of socially-distanced performance after event was cancelled

Organisers of Southwell Music Festival, which has had to be cancelled this year, have released a video to give fans a taster of what they are missing.

They have shared what they describe as the ultimate socially-distanced performance, recorded in Southwell Minster, with no audience.

Marcus Farnsworth (41427551)
Marcus Farnsworth (41427551)

It features the festival's associate artistic director, Jamie Campbell, with the Largo from Sonata for Solo Violin no. 3 in C Major by J.S.Bach.

In another message, the festival's artistic director has promised that fans will not have to wait until next year’s festival to hear live classical music in the town.

The annual festival, which should have taken place from August 26 to 31, was cancelled in March because of uncertainty about the impact of the the emerging covid-19.

At the time, festival chairman Geoffrey Bond said the decision had been taken with the greatest regret.

“Establishing a festival of national significance in only six years has been an immense achievement and this pause provides a chance to consolidate that with fresh thinking and planning," he said.

“We are confident that the festival will return with the same loyal support from the community and its audiences.”

You can watch the video below.

The festival’s artistic director and founder, Marcus Farnsworth, has released a video message expressing his sorrow that the festival had not gone ahead — but promising supporters something to look forward to.

“I am very sorry that we cannot all be together in that beautiful town, hearing fantastic music performed by brilliant musicians and sharing

it with you, our enthusiastic audience,” he said.

“We hope in the coming months we will be able to launch some small- scale chamber concerts in Southwell.

“We do not know exactly when or how we are going to be able to do it safely and make sure all the relevant precautions are in place, in

terms of social distancing and all of that, but we will be bringing live music to you at some point when it is safe to do so. You won’t have to wait until next August.

“In the meantime, I hope that you all stay safe and well and I look forward to seeing you as soon as I can.”

Southwell Music Festival aims to celebrate classical music, to raise the profile of the town and its minster, and to inspire local musicians, especially young people.

It was the idea of former minster head chorister, now award-winning international baritone, Marcus Farnsworth, who was brought up in the area and continues to have strong links with the town.

Star performers over the years have twice included cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason, who hit the headlines in 2018 when he played at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

Marcus Farnsworth urged supporters: “Let people know, if they do not already know, what a wonderful festival we have so that we might be able to convince them to come and join us in 2021.

Income for the festival comes primarily from ticket sales, a Festival Friends scheme, sponsorship and private support, as well as a grant from Arts Council England.

To support the festival visit southwellmusicfestival.com/Fund2020

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