Friday, 6 December 2019

2020 here we come: Sara Mohr-Pietsch's first programme for Dartington Music Summer School and Festival

A queue outside Dartington Hall 2 c Aubrey Simpson
A queue outside Dartington Hall 2 c Aubrey Simpson
The new artistic director of Dartington Music Summer School and Festival is Sara Mohr-Pietsch, perhaps best known for being one of the voices of classical music on BBC Radio 3 and BBC TV. Her 2020 programme, her first, includes a new strand of work, Future Sounds, brings writers and radio-makers together to open up a conversation about music, composition teaching is introduced in each of the four weeks of the festival whilst there are two major commissions for the community choir, and there is Dartington's first ever short course for parents and children, as well as a week-long children’s choir, and one-off music workshops for infants. There are more partnerships with external organisations, bringing the wider world in, with Café OTO, Royal Philharmonic Society, The Nest Collective, CoMA and Soundart Radio.

To mark the 400th anniversary of The Mayflower’s voyage, three American composers are at Dartington in 2020. Nico Muhly makes first visit to Dartington as composer-in-residence, Moira Smiley teaches Appalachian song, and Native American composer Raven Chacon leads outdoor performances. The second week features residences from conductor John Butt’s Dunedin Consort, and violinist Rachel Podger’s Brecon Baroque, whilst week three marks, of course, Beethoven's 250th anniversary including all the piano sonatas in 24 hours, and there will also be a a new commission from composer John Barber and writer Hazel Gould for massed voices. Week four will feature Duke Ellington’s Sacred Concerts, led by jazz bandleader Peter Edwards and Nu Civilisation Orchestra, and a new strand of experimental music courses in partnership with London venue Café OTO, plus composers Cassandra Miller and Christopher Fox

Mohr-Pietsch describes her first experience of Dartington, 25 years ago, as 'life-changing', and 2020 seems all set to continue that.

Full details from the Dartington website.

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