“I remember particularly vividly a beautiful evening at Highclere Castle with the Aronowitz Ensemble.”
Welcome to the new website, where we will continue to upload details of the 2020 programme until the publication of the Festival Guide on 15 January, when you will be able to see details of the entire Festival. Meanwhile I am delighted to let you know about some of the highlights of what promises to be a vintage year.
To celebrate Beethoven’s 250th Anniversary, we open with an all-Beethoven programme from BBC Symphony Orchestra under their chief conductor Sakari Oramo, with Paul Lewis one of Britain’s finest pianists. The next day we have more world-class Beethoven with John Lill in an afternoon performance of some of the most popular piano sonatas, and a week later, this year’s Sheepdrove Piano Competition features Beethoven as its main composer. On 21 May we will welcome members of Vienna Kammersimphonie in a programme of arrangements of Beethoven’s orchestral music for string quintet, and there will be Beethoven quartets from Consone Quartet, in their Young Artists lunchtime recital and Behn Quartet in A Taste of Germany at The Vineyard.
Highlights of the Corn Exchange programme include popular vocal group The Sons of Pitches, Clare Teal and her trio, Dominic Alldis with his tribute to Jacques Loussier, IDMC Gospel Choir, leading steel band, Solid Steel Ambassadors, Bollywood Brass Band’s tribute to RD Burman, Derek Paravicini with his new quartet, satirical duo Bounder & Cad, Lux Musicae revealing the hidden origins of Flamenco, and the annual visits of Ballet Central and Chichester University Musical Theatre Company in new shows. We are also privileged to welcome Ukranian baritone Andrei Kymach, winner of the recent BBC Cardiff Singer of the World for an evening of Tchaikovsky Rachmaninov and Ukranian songs.
Other vocal and choral highlights include British soprano Lucy Crowe, returning to Hungerford for an all-Strauss recital, contralto Hilary Summers in her hilarious cabaret “What’s so great about Opera?”, The Carice Singers at East Woodhay with a musical celebration of Spring, the welcome return of amazing Solomon’s Knot to Ramsbury for an evening of Bach cantatas, Harry Christophers and The Sixteen in their 40th anniversary tour, back to Douai Abbey, and our own Festival Chorus teaming up with London Mozart Players in their 70th anniversary season for a performance of Mozart’s Vespers and Coronation Mass conducted by Stephen Barlow.
Our last night at St Nicolas Church promises to be a very special occasion: the debut visit of St Petersburg Symphony Orchestra under Nikolai Alexeev, and the final performance by much loved violinist Tasmin Little before her early retirement from the concert platform, in a performance of a work which she and I have longed to bring to Newbury, the ravishing Korngold Violin Concerto.
Mark Eynon, Festival Director
“It was one of my first professional concerts after the BBC Young Musician of the Year in 2000. I’ve since returned a few times and know what a special atmosphere it is there.”
“Thank you so much for organising this wonderful event. It was a great pleasure for me to be a part of it. And thank you for such hospitality, it was amazing!”