Public booking for the 2019 Southwell Music Festival opens on the 3 June. Friends enjoy priority booking from 13 May. To become a Friend go here. To read a virtual copy of the 2019 programme, go here.
  • Sat
    17
    Aug
    2019
    1000-1700The Minster School, Southwell

    Work in-depth on Come and Sing repertoire and learn new choral and vocal techniques with course leader Marcus Farnsworth.

  • Wed
    21
    Aug
    2019
    1215-1415The Stage at the Old Theatre Deli

    Photo: Dick Makin Imaging

    Informality, intimacy, wit and good humour are the hallmarks of our concerts in this 18th century theatre. The programme shows off the virtuosity of our visiting players and singers with lighter classical repertoire in the first half and a second half comprising close harmony arrangements of popular repertoire including folk and pop songs and numbers from stage musicals.

    A plated meal, included in the ticket price, is served at the interval and the bar is open throughout. Book early to avoid disappointment.

    Southwell Festival Chamber Soloists Festival Voices Unleashed
    Tickets £30
    18 years and under £15
    Price includes plated main course salad served at your seat

  • 1430-1530Market Square, King Street

    In a first for the Festival, the town’s principal amateur choir presents a selection of choral music in what will be an exciting community event.

    No advance booking or tickets. Where necessary, entry will be subject to availability.

    In aid of Southwell & District Live at Home Scheme, which offers services and support to help older people maintain independence and lead active and fulfilled lives, while offering opportunities for companionship, trusted support, and advice when you need it.

  • 1600-1700The Quire, Southwell Minster

    Photo: Dick Makin Imaging

    In 1921 the famous French organist and composer Marcel Dupré gave a recital on the world’s largest pipe organ – in the Grand Court of Wanamaker’s department store in Philadelphia – and improvised a four movement organ symphony depicting the life of Jesus. That improvisation was the basis for the monumental Symphonie-Passion which is the centre piece of this eclectic programme featuring works by two leading American composers – a transcription of Samuel Barber’s ever-popular Adagio and Charles Ives’ anarchic take on a traditional tune recognised by British audiences as the National Anthem. A perfect virtuoso showcase for the Minster’s Assistant Director of Music.

    Cecilia McDowall Sounding heaven and earth
    Percy Whitlock (trans. Riley) Elegy
    Marcel Dupré Symphonie-Passion, op.23
    Samuel Barber (trans. Strickland) Adagio for Strings
    Charles Ives Variations on America

    Tickets £10 £5
    18 years and under £2.5

  • 1930-2100The Nave, Southwell Minster

    6.45-7.15pm Pre-concert talk in the Nave by Martin Bussey, introducing some of the players in the orchestra

    Photo: Dick Makin Imaging

    Join our brilliant orchestral musicians on two exhilarating journeys in which day-to-day reality and the life of the imagination are enigmatically entwined. Austrian composer Gustav Mahler’s symphony begins with sleigh bells and ends with the music of the angels. We travel from an outdoor world of sunlight and bird calls, folk fiddles and hunting horns to the eternal realm as seen through the innocent eyes of a child. This music is profound yet simple, charming and nostalgic – all expressed through a stream of melody strongly recalling Schubert, whose work Mahler knew well. In a more straightforward fashion, the 20-something Mendelssohn records his discovery of the Italian countryside, the piercing Mediterranean light and “... a warmth, mildness and happiness, a sense of joyous well-being spread over everything that is quite indescribable”. But he did, and how!

    Felix Mendelssohn Symphony No. 4 “Italian”
    Gustav Mahler Symphony No 4
    Southwell Festival Sinfonia
    Marcus Farnsworth conductor
    Alison Rose soprano

    Tickets £30 £20 £10
    18 years and under £15 £10 £5

  • 2200-2300The Quire, Southwell Minster

    What happens when you combine the genius of two highly regarded and highly individual musical talents – in this case the multiple BBC Folk Award-winning fiddle player Aidan O’Rourke and Kit Downes, the BBC Jazz Award-winning, Mercury Music Awardnominated musician? Aidan was inspired to write a daily musical response to 365 Stories, the one-a-day short story collection by Man Booker-nominated Scottish author James Robertson. With Kit on harmonium and piano they began recording the result. Aidan says: “...the tunes are based in Scottish folk music; that’s my backbone, the place I come from, the traditional language I love ... Kit did complex and wonderful things with them [and] took them places I hadn’t imagined.” This concert will be a live performance of Volume 2 – their second selection of pieces whose haunting, meditative beauty will be perfect late night listening in the Quire.

    Aidan O’Rourke fiddle
    Kit Downes piano/harmonium

    Tickets £15 £10
    18 years and under £7.50 £5

  • Thu
    22
    Aug
    2019
    1300-1400The State Chamber

    Photo: Dick Makin Imaging

    An important part of the Festival’s mission is to nurture emerging talent on the British classical music scene. This concert will be a showcase for the youngest members of the 2019 Festival’s professional ensemble of singers and players. The instrumentalists will be some of the most talented players at the UK’s leading conservatoires who are part of the Festival’s Performer Development programme. Similarly the young professional singers are graduates of The Sixteen’s Genesis programme: the opportunity to sing alongside some of the UK’s most experienced consort singers is an extension of that training and the result of a joint initiative by our Patron Harry Christophers and Marcus Farnsworth.

    Programme to include
    Antonín Dvořák String Quartet No. 12 in F major, Op. 96 The American Quartet
    A range of music for vocal quartet
    See website for programme details

  • 1500-1600Southwell Methodist Church

    Photo: Dick Makin Imaging

    Following the inaugural Opera Gala at last year’s Fringe, Festival soloists will return to sing highlights from the operatic repertoire.

    No advance booking or tickets. Where necessary, entry will be subject to availability.

    In aid of Southwell & District Live at Home Scheme, which offers services and support to help older people maintain independence and lead active and fulfilled lives, while offering opportunities for companionship, trusted support, and advice when you need it.

  • 1700-1800The State Chamber

    Photo: Dick Makin Imaging

    Warning: this recital of American music will be fun! The main work, Bernstein’s Arias and Barcarolles, pays tribute to the European art song while simultaneously parodying it. According to conductor and Bernstein collaborator Michael Tilson Thomas, “it says far more eloquently than words what he [Bernstein] was like”. John Musto’s short and simple bluesbased songs are by turns lyrical, haunting, elegiac, cool and humorous. Nico Muhly’s love for drones began as a kid when he enjoyed singing along to the vaccum cleaner.

    John Musto Shadow of the Blues
    Nico Muhly Drones and Violin
    Leonard Bernstein Arias and Barcarolles

    Southwell Festival Chamber Soloists including
    Jamie Campbell violin
    Lucy Schaufer mezzo soprano
    Marcus Farnsworth baritone
    James Baillieu piano
    Libby Burgess piano

    Tickets £20
    18 years and under £10

  • 1900-2100The Stage at the Old Theatre Deli

    Photo: Dick Makin Imaging

    Informality, intimacy, wit and good humour are the hallmarks of our concerts in this 18th century theatre. The programme shows off the virtuosity of our visiting players and singers with lighter classical repertoire in the first half and a second half comprising close harmony arrangements of popular repertoire including folk and pop songs and numbers from stage musicals.

    A plated meal, included in the ticket price, is served at the interval and the bar is open throughout. Book early to avoid disappointment.

    Southwell Festival Chamber Soloists Festival Voices Unleashed
    Tickets £30
    18 years and under £15
    Price includes plated main course salad served at your seat

  • 2000-2115The Quire, Southwell Minster

    Photo: Dick Makin Imaging

    The spiritual heart of the Minster is its Quire; at the heart of the Festival Sinfonia is a string section of sumptuous quality. The glowing acoustic of the former is the perfect setting for performances by the latter. Tchaikovsky’s Mozart-inspired Serenade is one of the greatest works of the string chamber orchestra repertoire – elegant, passionate and full of memorable tunes. In this performance the movements will be interspersed with short works by composers including Rameau, Shostakovich and the African-American George Walker.

    Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Serenade for Strings in C, Op. 48

    Festival Sinfonia Strings
    Ruth Provost soprano
    Amy Harman bassoon
    Jamie Campbell director

    Tickets £25 £15
    18 years and under £12.50 £7.50

  • 2200-2300The Quire, Southwell Minster

    Photo: Dick Makin Imaging

    The powerful and affecting choral music of William Byrd and James MacMillan – the leading Catholic composers of the reigns of Elizabeths I and II – provide the dual focus for this atmospheric late night concert by the Festival’s elite professional choir. The evening’s third creative spirit will be the award-winning composer and organist Kit Downes, whose improvised organ interludes will reflect on and link the choral items. Byrd’s powerful double motet Ne irascaris Domine/Civitas sancti tui is one of his most powerful laments for the fate of the Catholic church in England. MacMillan, who this year celebrates his 60th birthday, will be represented by a Strathclyde motet, The Gallant Weaver, and O Bone Jesu – one of his most important choral works which was inspired by his fruitful association with the Festival’s Patron Harry Christophers and The Sixteen.

    Southwell Festival Voices
    Kit Downes organ
    Marcus Farnsworth conductor

    Tickets £20 £10

  • Fri
    23
    Aug
    2019
    1030-1130Minster Centre, Church Street

    Join composer and conductor Martin Bussey in an exploration of one of the most widely admired pieces in the chamber music repertoire.

    Admission free. No advance booking or tickets

  • 1215-1315The Nave, Southwell Minster

    Photo: Dick Makin Imaging

    The Southwell Festival Sinfonia brings together leading instrumentalists from orchestras and ensembles across the UK and further afield. Our players enjoy the chance to tackle repertoire that they do not regularly perform and to work with musicians whom they admire or have not previously met. This concert is a chance to hear the distinguished wind players in our handpicked orchestra: they are regulars, and in some case principals, with the UK’s leading orchestras including Aurora, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.

    Programme to include Francis Poulenc Wind Sextet FP100

    Part of the Friday Lunchtime in the Cathedral series

    Admission free
    No advance booking or tickets

  • 1500-1600Southwell Methodist Church

    Local horn player and regular member of the Festival Sinfonia, Robert Parker, leads a celebration of French Horn repertoire, with an ensemble of talented young horn players. The programme will also include the WORLD PREMIERE of the Horn Sonata by Lowdham composer David Machell, specially composed for Robert and pianist Antony Clare.

    No advance booking or tickets. Where necessary, entry will be subject to availability.

    Sponsored by Correct Hearing

    In aid of Southwell & District Live at Home Scheme, which offers services and support to help older people maintain independence and lead active and fulfilled lives, while offering opportunities for companionship, trusted support, and advice when you need it.

  • 1700-1800The State Chamber

    Photo: Dick Makin Imaging

    Fanny Mendelssohn and Clara Schumann struggled for recognition as musicians and composers of talent equal to their celebrated male family members. Felix Mendelssohn paid homage to his beloved sister in a string quartet which bears the title “Requiem for Fanny”; these little-known songs reveal her genius. Robert Schumann’s music and above all his songs were inspired by Clara, whose lush and poignant Romances show what might have been.

    Clara Schumann Three Romances for Violin and Piano, Op. 22
    Songs by Fanny Mendelssohn and Robert Schumann
    Felix Mendelssohn Quartet No.6, Op. 80 in F minor

    Southwell Festival Chamber Soloists

    Tickets £20
    18 years and under £10

  • 1900-2100The Stage at the Old Theatre Deli

    Photo: Dick Makin Imaging

    Informality, intimacy, wit and good humour are the hallmarks of our concerts in this 18th century theatre. The programme shows off the virtuosity of our visiting players and singers with lighter classical repertoire in the first half and a second half comprising close harmony arrangements of popular repertoire including folk and pop songs and numbers from stage musicals.

    A plated meal, included in the ticket price, is served at the interval and the bar is open throughout. Book early to avoid disappointment.

    Southwell Festival Chamber Soloists Festival Voices Unleashed
    Tickets £30
    18 years and under £15
    Price includes plated main course salad served at your seat

  • 2000-2115The Quire, Southwell Minster

    Photo: Dick Makin Imaging

    The spiritual heart of the Minster is its Quire; at the heart of the Festival Sinfonia is a string section of sumptuous quality. The glowing acoustic of the former is the perfect setting for performances by the latter. Tchaikovsky’s Mozart-inspired Serenade is one of the greatest works of the string chamber orchestra repertoire – elegant, passionate and full of memorable tunes. In this performance the movements will be interspersed with short works by composers including Rameau, Shostakovich and the African-American George Walker.

    Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Serenade for Strings in C, Op. 48

    Festival Sinfonia Strings
    Ruth Provost soprano
    Amy Harman bassoon
    Jamie Campbell director

    Tickets £25 £15
    18 years and under £12.50 £7.50

  • 2200-2300The Crossing, Southwell MInster

    Photo: Dick Makin Imaging

    This great string quartet – a worthy successor to those of Beethoven – was composed in 1824, the year Schubert realised that he was dying. It takes its name from a Schubert song depicting a dialogue between a young woman and Death; the song’s theme forms the basis for the quartet’s second movement, but bleakness and foreboding pervade the entire piece. A performance of the song will precede the quartet, whose movements will be interspersed with readings.

    Franz Schubert String Quartet No. 14 in D minor “Death and the Maiden”

    Southwell Festival Chamber Soloists
    Victoria Newlyn reader
    Marcus Farnsworth baritone
    Libby Burgess piano

    Tickets £15 10 18 years and under £7.50 £5

  • Sat
    24
    Aug
    2019
    1000-1145Main Hall, The Minster School, Nottingham Road

    Photo: Dick Makin Imaging

    Be part of the Festival’s noisiest event! Join our professional musicians to discover the wonderful world of percussion – whatever you can hit that makes a noise. You’ll have a chance to make your own instrument (or just bring a saucepan and wooden spoon) and take part alongside our professionals as you create and perform a special piece. Perfect for people of all ages who benefit from a more relaxed performance environment, including those of all sensory and communicative abilities. Audience members are free to make noise, move about, and come and go as they please.

    Festival Chamber Soloists
    Ruth Rosales workshop leader
    Keith Price percussion

    Craft workshop 10am
    Musical workshop and performance 11-11.45am

    Tickets Free for people aged 12 and under. Everyone else £8
    All tickets may be booked in advance. Seats booked on free tickets and not claimed by 10.30 on the day of the performance may be released. Unaccompanied adults are welcome

  • 1000-1200The State Chamber

    Photo: Nick Rutter

    A unique opportunity for local young musicians to be tutored by visiting professional musicians of national and international standing. As well as benefiting the performers, the Masterclass provides a fascinating insight into the process of classical music making. If you are a young musician aged 19 or under, are at least Grade 8 standard and would be interested in taking part, please contact info@southwellmusicfestival.com by 27th May with details of your instrument/voice type to express your interest.

    Admission free
    No advance booking or tickets

  • 1300-1400The Nave, Southwell Minster

    We are proud to present two of today’s most admired musicians; their delightful programme will show their outstanding artistry. Renowned for her “dazzling interpretative flair and exemplary technique” (Classic FM), violinist Jennifer Pike performs recitals and concertos in the world’s most prestigious concert halls. Jennifer gained international recognition aged 12 as the youngest winner, at that time, of the BBC Young Musician competition and her subsequent career has included many more awards and consistently enthusiastic reviews. Pianist James Baillieu is “in a class of his own” (Daily Telegraph). He has been garlanded with awards, has accompanied a galaxy of international stars, and appears regularly in the leading concert halls here and aboard. In addition he finds time to take part in programmes internationally to support the development of emerging musicians. We are delighted that James is a regular visitor to Southwell.

    Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Violin Sonata no. 18 in G major K 301/293a
    Ralph Vaughan Williams Violin Sonata in A minor, Movements 1 (Fantasia) and 2 (Scherzo)
    Ralph Vaughan Williams The Lark Ascending
    Edward Elgar Salut d’amour, Op. 12

    Tickets £20 £15 10
    18 years and under £5

  • 1430-1530The Walled Garden, Archbishop's Palace

    We welcome the return of this accomplished and entertaining ensemble who have performed in the garden for us before. Who can forget the spectacular 2017 concert with blazing sunshine, glorious brass ensemble playing, and an audience of 450?

    No advance booking or tickets. Where necessary, entry will be subject to availability.

    In aid of Southwell & District Live at Home Scheme, which offers services and support to help older people maintain independence and lead active and fulfilled lives, while offering opportunities for companionship, trusted support, and advice when you need it.

  • 1600-1700Southwell Library, King Street

    How Handel invented the oratorio and wrote Israel in Egypt in a month. All will be explained by composer, singer and choral conductor Martin Bussey.

    Admission free
    No advance booking or tickets Entry subject to availability

  • 1930-2130The Nave, Southwell Minster

    Photo: Dick Makin Imaging

    If you enjoy Messiah you’ll love Handel’s oratorio Israel in Egypt. As with Messiah Handel sets a biblical text – the dramatic story of the Israelites’ departure from Egypt in the Book of Exodus; also like Messiah, Handel’s choir – a spectacular double chorus, is a leading character in the drama. Add orchestral writing that fizzes with originality and solo numbers of plangent beauty and this masterpiece will have you on the edge of your seat. And when the Israelites finally cross the Red Sea with the pursuing Egyptians drowning behind them there’s a choral celebration to rival the Hallelujah Chorus. As Marcus Farnsworth says: “Handel does joy like no one else; he makes you glad to be alive. If Bach does joy with dancing, Handel does it with fireworks.” Following the brilliant performance of Bach’s Mass in B minor last year, this performance by the Festival Baroque Sinfonia on authentic instruments in partnership with the superb Festival Voices promises to be another revelation.

    Ruth Provost soprano
    Judy Brown mezzosoprano
    Carris Jones mezzosoprano
    Joseph Doody tenor
    William Balkwill tenor
    Greg Skidmore baritone
    William Townend bass

    Festival Baroque Sinfonia
    Southwell Festival Voices
    Marcus Farnsworth conductor

    Tickets £40 £30 £20 £5
    18 years and under £20 £15 £10

  • Sun
    25
    Aug
    2019
    1030-1200Southwell Minster

    Music to include Schubert’s Mass in G

    Southwell Festival Voices
    Southwell Festival Sinfonia
    Simon Hogan
    organ
    Marcus Farnsworth conductor

  • 1215-1415The Stage at the Old Theatre Deli

    Photo: Dick Makin Imaging

    Informality, intimacy, wit and good humour are the hallmarks of our concerts in this 18th century theatre. The programme shows off the virtuosity of our visiting players and singers with lighter classical repertoire in the first half and a second half comprising close harmony arrangements of popular repertoire including folk and pop songs and numbers from stage musicals.

    A plated meal, included in the ticket price, is served at the interval and the bar is open throughout. Book early to avoid disappointment.

    Southwell Festival Chamber Soloists Festival Voices Unleashed
    Tickets £30
    18 years and under £15
    Price includes plated main course salad served at your seat

  • 1530-1630The Quire, Southwell Minster

    Music to include William Byrd's Great Service and James Macmillan's A New Song

    Southwell Festival Voices
    Paul Provost
    organ
    Marcus Farnsworth conductor

  • 1930-2130The Nave, Southwell Minster

    Photo: Dick Makin Imaging

    Welcome to the distinctive and engaging soundscape of American music. This concert presents three highly individual and iconic pieces for chamber ensemble from the beginning, middle and end of the 20th century:
    ★ the eternally enigmatic and thought-provoking six minutes of Ives’ The Unanswered Question
    ★ the wide American landscape and homely comfort of Copland’s evocative ballet score Appalachian Spring
    ★ the fun minimalism of Michael Torke’s Adjustable Wrench (his music has been described by Gramophone magazine as “some of the most optimistic, joyful and thoroughly uplifting music to appear in recent years”).
    In between there are songs including Britten’s sensitive and entertaining settings of Appalachian folk melodies.

    Charles Ives The Unanswered Question
    Michael Torke Adjustable Wrench
    Aaron Copland Appalachian Spring
    Songs by Samuel Barber, Charles Ives and Benjamin Britten

    Festival Chamber Soloists including Marcus Farnsworth baritone

    Tickets £25 £20 £10
    18 years and under £12.50 £10 £5

  • 2200-2230The Quire, Southwell Minster

    The Minster Lay Clerks
    Paul Provost
    conductor

  • Mon
    26
    Aug
    2019
    0900-1500The Nave, Southwell Minster

    Photo: Dick Makin Imaging

    Join the Festival’s mini-Handel celebration including coronation anthems Zadok the Priest and The King Shall Rejoice, the Hallelujah Chorus and much more. That’s lots of choral fun under the expert guidance of Festival Artistic Director Marcus Farnsworth.

    Tickets £15
    18 years and under £5
    Pre-booking essential: no performer tickets on the door.
    Free audience entry to the informal Come and Sing performance: no advance booking or tickets

  • 1100-1200Southwell Methodist Church

    Hannah Cresswell and Aimee Walton (a former Minster School student) are young professional musicians fast making a reputation for themselves through their duet recitals around the Midlands. They will explore the interesting repertoire written for these two instruments.

    No advance booking or tickets. Where necessary, entry will be subject to availability.

    In aid of Southwell & District Live at Home Scheme, which offers services and support to help older people maintain independence and lead active and fulfilled lives, while offering opportunities for companionship, trusted support, and advice when you need it.

  • 1530-1630The Nave, Southwell Minster

    Photo: Dick Makin Imaging

    This attractive programme covers the waterfront of the organ repertoire – from Bach to Vierne by way of Schumann, Stanford and Bairstow. The perfect entertainment for a Bank Holiday afternoon.

    Edward Bairstow
    Allegro giocoso (from Sonata in E flat)
    Johann Ernst (arr. J.S. Bach) Concerto in G, BWV 592
    Louis Vierne Clair de lune and Toccata (from 24 Pièces de Fantasie)
    Robert Schumann Canonic Etude No. 5, from Op. 56
    Johann Sebastian Bach Prelude and Fugue in A, BWV 536
    Charles Villiers Stanford Postlude in D minor

    Part of the Southwell Minster Organ Recitals series

    Admission free
    No advance booking or tickets

  • 1730-1815The Quire, Southwell Minster

    The Minster Choir
    Paul Provost
    organ
    Simon Hogan conductor