New Chamber Music Festival at Hatfield House

 New Chamber Music Festival at Hatfield House

Guy Johnston, one of Britain’s leading cellists, is about to launch a new chamber music festival in the beautiful location of Hatfield House in Hertfordshire. From the 20th – 23rd September, 2012 international soloists and chamber musicians will perform a rich and varied programme of music by composers ranging from Bach to Dohnányi, and the programme will include educational and family events.

“Having experienced festivals all over the world, some of which are run by close friends and colleagues, I felt the urge to create something myself,” explains Guy. “I have wanted to be involved with a festival in my home county of Hertfordshire for some time, and was delighted when a chance conversation with Mary Anstey – who wanted to create new concert opportunities in Hertfordshire – led to the creation of this inaugural festival in the beautiful grounds of Hatfield House.”

The festival’s programme sees artists, such as The Sixteen, the Aronowitz Ensemble, Jack Liebeck, Sophie Daneman, The Navarra Quartet and former ‘BBC Young Musician of the Year’ Mark Simpson, performing some of the most sublime chamber music ever written.

Highlights include the opening concert of Haydn’s String Quartet Op. 76, Chausson’s Concert Piece Op. 21 and Schubert’s String Quintet in C D. 956 in The Old Palace, as well as an evening including Beethoven’s Archduke Trio in the Marble Hall; and “An Immortal Legacy”, the closing concert of the festival, performed by The Sixteen.

In addition, a special interactive children’s concert “Bows and Arias”, developed in association with Wigmore Hall, will be led by Dominic Harlan and include new works by the emerging composer John Barber. Furthermore a family lecture about Einstein, discussing his passion for the violin and how it links to many of the concepts of modern physics, will offer families an opportunity to discover a new perspective on classical music.

The historic settings around Hatfield House are a further highlight of the festival: The Old Palace, The Marble Hall and St Etheldreda’s Church provide stunning locations for the chamber music and a wonderful opportunity to explore the house and gardens, including an exhibition by the sculptor Xavier Veilhan.

Guy Johnston’s career developed rapidly after he won the BBC Young Musician in 2000. He became a professor of cello at the Royal Academy of Music in 2011, and this season sees him guest-leading the Australian Chamber Orchestra and releasing 3 CDs with the BBC Concert Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra and the Ulster Orchestra. Besides his international touring schedule as a soloist and chamber musician, Guy frequently supports young musicians working closely with charities like Music First, Future Talent and Wigmore Hall’s education concerts.

For tickets and further information please contact or 01707 357117.