Tuesday, 28 September 2010

A rather moorish Festival

It is hard to imagine that the 2010 Two Moors Festival is about to get under way. The year has flown by with remarkable rapidity, with the excitement building since the brochure came out four months ago. We have an absolute feast to look forward to beginning with our opening Choral Concert in Exeter Cathedral this Thursday (30th September). For Beethoven fans (I count myself one) this concert is going to satisfy your taste buds as the programme is his Choral Fantasy and Ninth Symphony. What a way to kick start the Festival's tenth year anniversary celebrations!
Other Festival highlights include: the New London Chamber ensemble in Dulverton on 3rd October, the sensational Aronowitz Ensemble performing Brahms and Dvorak in Ashburton on the 5th October, an interesting introduction into the world of the Alphorn (6th October/Widecombe-in-the-Moor), not to mention Agata Szymczewska - an incredible up and coming violinist - who is coming to Milverton on the 9th October to knock our socks off with Wieniawski and Brahms.
There are 29 events over the ten days and I really don't know how I'm going to resist any of them!

Here's to a successful 2010 Two Moors Festival!

Exhausted Festival Car

It is always on a day when one is driving to catch a train that the bottom of a car will decide to fall off. Last week Heather Uren and I dashed off to direct a school workshop in Chagford for the Peter and the Wolf Family Concert in Wellington on 1st October. It was on our return to drop me off at Tiverton Parkway for the 16.16 train to London Paddington, that the exhaust fell off Heather's car. Inevitably it did so in the middle of a country lane (somewhere outside Killerton) with no one nearby to help two stranded damsels in distress. Not through any stereotypical lack of knowledge of cars, Heather and I were unable to reattach the exhaust and had to phone for help! (It is a rare feat indeed that we had signal - this part of the country is notoriously remote.) We were happily towed to Cullompton, where a spare part was fortunately found and two hours later we were free to drive away - unfortuately missing the train by a large margin.
The car appears safe and sound which is certainly a relief considering the vast area that it will be forced to drive with the Festival looming.

Friday, 10 September 2010

Two Moors Festival August Residency

Last week the Two Moors Quartet descended upon Barkham, Devon for a Two Moors Festival Residency. The group, comprising musicians from the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and busy free lancers, made the journey into the heart of Exmoor for five days of rehearsals culminating in a magnificent concert.

The Two Moors Festival Residencies offer an unique opportunity of working undisturbed for those musicians who find organising time and rehearsal space difficult. Residents are given room and board, use of the stunning acoustics in the Gallery at Barkham, freedom to work with a magnificent Bosendorfer piano and strikingly inspirational scenery to explore. In exchange, the musicians who attend a residency are only expected to offer a concert in return.

Two Moors Quartet rehearsing

(Further to their residency, the Two Moors Quartet is also performing in this year's Festival. On the 7th October, they are taking part in a Church Crawl, playing in North Molton and Luccombe Churches with a programme of Delius, Schumann, Bridge and Britten.)