On 7th October 2013 more than 170 people met in the Minster for the launch of the Southwell Music Festival.
That evening the organising team shared its vision for the scope and quality of the proposed Festival in both words and music and requested help to take the project forwards. The response was overwhelmingly positive.
We asked for help in a number of areas – including hosting around 50 visiting performers and considerable financial support: this support, and much besides, was readily forthcoming.
I also stated our ambition to deliver “an event of the highest quality – not only on stage but in the way it is presented and run”.
Since the inaugural Festival in August we have received many comments expressing surprise that what took place then was the first Festival and not the latest edition of an event that had been running for years.
These comments provide a good measure of the standard of organisation and presentation that we achieved. We wanted to create an event in keeping with the quality of our town and to involve the community in the endeavour: I hope this feedback is something in which everyone involved will take pride.
The other part of our ambition was to create an event with high artistic standards and the wonderful performances that took place show how we achieved that goal. Here, in celebration of the first anniversary of our Festival launch this time last year is the recording of the finale of the Mendelssohn Octet – that miraculous work which began our concert in the State Chamber on the Festival’s opening day (22 August). Later that evening the same players closed the simultaneous concert at The Stage at the Old Theatre Deli – a rare achievement.
In less than four minutes this movement captures the delight in music making and the sense of euphoria that was the hallmark of that memorable Festival weekend – a sense of exhilaration that I strongly suspect exceeded the expectations of any of us present that night last October.
We hope to create similar excitement when the Festival returns from 27-31 August 2015.
Founder and Artistic Director