Tuesday 16 May 2017

Public booking opens for the fourth Southwell Music Festival

Southwell Music Festival 2017
Public booking opened yesterday (15 May) for the 2017 Southwell Music Festival. Running from 24 to 28 August 2017 in and around Southwell Minster in Nottinghamshire, the festival's artistic director and founder is the baritone Marcus Farnsworth. This year's festival, the fourth, features a blend of familiar and lesser known classical music performed by some of the most talented musicians in UK today including James Baillieu, Sophie Bevan, Libby Burgess, Jamie Campbell, Lena Eckels, Marcus Farnsworth, Amy Harman, Sheku Kanneh-Mason, Rachel Kelly and Alison Rose.

The centrepiece of the festival is an all-Mozart concert conducted by Marcus Farnsworth with James Baillieu as the soloist in Piano Concerto No. 21, and the Mass in C minor with soloists Sophie Bevan and Rachel Kelly. Other performances include Southwell Festival Voices in Buxtehude's Membra Jesu Nostri and in Poulenc's Figure Humaine, a recital by BBC Young Musician of the Year Sheku Kanneh-Mason accompanied by James Baillieu, and French chamber music with Marcus Farnsworth, Libby Burgess, James Baillieu, James Cheung, Katherine Byran, Joseph Shiner, Celine Saout, Jamie Campbell. The festival's final event is a come-and-sing Mozart Vespers.

Southwell Minster nave (photo Southwell Minster)
Southwell Minster nave (photo Southwell Minster)
The Norman nave of the cathedral dates from the early 1100s, whilst the chancel and chapter house were re-built in the 1200s. The church survived the Reformation and the Civil War, and from the 16th century was a collegiate church, only becoming a cathedral in the 19th century. The building is still very much a hidden gem, and certainly not as well known as it deserves to be.

Whilst the cathedral (both the nave and the quire) is the focus for most of the festival events, these also take place in a variety of other historic venues such as the state chamber in the former Archibishop's Palace, and the former Georgian theatre (where George Bernard Shaw once performed), and there is a family performance of Poulenc's Babar in Southwell Minster School.

Full details from the Southwell Festival website.

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