It gives me great pleasure to present the programme for our 18th festival, featuring some of the world’s pre-eminent musicians. This year sees the first festival appearance of the following artists – the BBC singers with the acclaimed young conductor Gergely Madaras; the newly formed Orsino Ensemble, comprising some of the UK’s top wind players; the magnificent mezzo Sarah Connolly, who sings Berlioz’s Nuits d’été with the Academy orchestra; legendary American pianist Garrick Ohlsson, appearing alongside festival regulars, the Takacs quartet; and also from America another giant of the keyboard, Robert Levin, in concert with world renowned cellist Steven Isserlis; and after a long absence the London Mozart Players return directed by their co-leader (and much loved member of the festival ‘family’) Ruth Rogers. Add to this festival regulars – the Academy of Ancient Music, Lawrence Power, Imogen Cooper, Adrian Brendel, Steven Osborne, Roderick Williams, our president Paul Lewis, and the Academy orchestra under the baton of Thomas Hull, and I think you’ll agree we have one of our finest ever line ups.
The inclusion of a large choral work has become a feature over the last few years and it was a challenge to top 2017’s Monteverdi Vespers, and Bach’s B minor Mass of 2018, but I hope you will agree that Handel’s Israel in Egypt with the BBC Singers and the AAM will make a wonderful opening concert. An exciting development this year is the commissioning of eminent English composer David Matthews to write a concerto for orchestra for our own Academy orchestra. We were able to do this due to the huge generosity of local resident Roger Grenville Jones, and the work will receive its world premiere on the last night. 2019 sees the final concert of our three-year project to present the great song cycles of Franz Schubert, and the conclusion of Paul Lewis’s four concert series focusing on the sonatas of Hadyn, late works of Brahms, and Beethoven bagatelles. Another certain highlight will be Steven Isserlis & Robert Levin’s exploration of Beethoven’s entire cello & piano repertoire. For these two concerts we will be bringing in a Fortepiano which will add another dimension to the festival. Finally, we have a significant involvement with the Leeds International Piano Competition. As many of you will know, Paul Lewis is co-artistic director of the competition and was chairman of the 2018 jury. The first prizewinner, Eric Lu, will perform a concerto with the Academy orchestra on the final night; the second prize winner Mario Häring will give a recital on the morning of the middle Saturday, and on the Tuesday morning of week two, Paul Lewis will give a masterclass involving three very advanced young players.
The Festival Academy Orchestra, now widely regarded as one of the UK’s leading training orchestras, can only be in residence because of the generosity of the wonderful hosts who welcome the musicians into their homes each year. If there are any people, particularly within Chipping Campden, who feel able to offer accommodation from Sunday 19th – Saturday 25th do please contact Ailsa Scott – email@example.com Student tickets. We have made a change to the criteria for these tickets. Our original intention when offering such a massive discount for student tickets was to encourage young people to attend concerts. By and large this has worked well but we have had the occasional person, well beyond the normal age of most students, who has booked £1 tickets on the basis that they were undertaking a course of study. Whilst technically they were ‘students’ this did not accord with the spirit of the scheme, particularly as the discount was far beyond the kind normally offered by promoters. So from now on the student ticket discounts will apply to all full time students aged 25 or under. If you are beyond that age but feel you have a strong case for applying, (e.g. retraining as a music teacher) please contact charlie@campdenmusicfestival. co.uk Prices remain as previous years – FOC for the lunchtimes and a nominal £1 for all evening concerts. We believe there is nowhere else in the UK where students can hear such superb musicians for so small a sum.
Every year more and more people sign up for one of the priority booking schemes and, increasingly, it is the only sure way of obtaining reserved seating for the most popular concerts. To ensure that all members of these schemes benefit from joining we put a maximum on the number of tickets that can be purchased for the orchestral & choral concerts, which this year will be on the 13th, 16th, 21st, 23rd, & 25th Full details are on the Patrons, Friends, & Sponsors page at the rear of this brochure. As always, we operate the traditional postal system for the Patrons’, Friends’ & Season priority booking periods, and for those who like to send their General booking forms in early. As soon as the priority and early ‘General’ bookings have been processed we will then activate, in early February, the online & telephone booking system. NB – please see the note on the booking form about payments by cheque. I look forward to welcoming many of you next May.
Charlie Bennett October 2018