With 28 musical events in five days and a host of wonderful exhibitions, including the excellent Southwell Artists Open Studios, there is only one place to spend August Bank Holiday – in Southwell enjoying our own top quality classical music festival.
Last year's event sold out, so organisers have squeezed in about 30% more tickets at extra concerts during the five day event running from Thursday 25th to Monday 29th August.
As usual the centre piece of the Festival is a major choral work bringing together the 80 highly talented young professional musicians who visit Southwell to make up the outstandingly fine chorus and orchestra, and who also take part in all the main Festival concerts.
This year they perform Elgar's famous oratorio The Dream of Gerontius with a stellar line up of soloists including Nottinghamshire bass David Soar who, in the 1990s, was Organ Scholar at the Minster.
The conductor is Festival Founder and Artistic Director Marcus Farnsworth who was head chorister at the Minster and is now a distinguished professional musician. He says:
"In planning this third Festival it is very encouraging that the first two were so warmly welcomed: we are indebted to our many sponsors and Festival Friends whose generosity ensures that the Festival continues to flourish.
"We have continued to develop the event and this year include our first Family Concert, so on the Saturday morning we are inviting children (who get in free if aged 12 and under) to bring their elder brothers and sisters, parents and grandparents (who only pay £5) to the Minster School Hall: there they will enjoy a performance of Prokofiev's classic Peter and the Wolf, discover how musical instruments can tell a story, and have a chance to take part in the action by making their own animal mask.
"We hope the Festival has something for everyone – half the events are free, including fringe performances taking place across the town."
Public booking opens on Monday 9th May either online at www.southwellmusicfestival.com/onlinebooking or by ringing 0115 9895555. Tickets are also available at the Cathedral Shop. All programme details are on the Festival website.