English Music Festival: a two-day 2020 Autumn Festival with live audience

English Music Festival: 2020 Autumn Festival – Friday 9 October-Saturday 10 October 2020

Nothing daunted by the COVID-dictated cancellation of this May’s English Music Festival (EMF) at Dorchester-on-Thames the festival management have settled on a two-day Autumn Festival of four concerts in Horsham, Sussex. EMF events at this time of year are nothing new to the EMF – they have held several in North Yorkshire over the years. This however is a triumphantly resilient step in the face of people’s experience over the last six months.

The venue for all four concerts will be St Mary’s Church, Causeway, Horsham RH12 1HE. The complete chamber programme, with details of concert times, works, artists, and prices can be found if you click here.

The inaugural concert is on Friday 9 October at 7pm. It is an event featuring Violin Sonatas by Vaughan Williams, Delius (2) and Elgar and other pieces by Holst. This is given by Rupert Marshall-Luck and Duncan Honeybourne, each inspired and inspiring regulars in the Festival’s live and recorded history. The next morning at 11am Honeybourne plays a programme of pieces, many with Sussex connections by Elgar, Holst¸ Bridge, Bax, Ireland (Amberley Wild Brooks) and Parry (Shulbrede Tunes). In the afternoon at 3 there is a concert by Emma Halnan (flute) and Heather Wrighton (harp): music by Paul Lewis, William Alwyn, Malcolm Arnold, Vaughan Williams, Paul Patterson, and Andy Scott; some for solo instruments others for duo. In the evening at 7pm comes the final concert of the Autumn Festival. It is by Ensemble Hesperi: music by Godfrey Finger, Handel, Jane Savage, William Babell, John Banister, John Stanley, Geminiani, Pepusch, and James Paisible.

Festival Booking is open. Tickets can be purchased through the EMF online box office or email the Festival Director, Em Marshall-Luck if a postal booking form is preferred.

The EMF assure us that: ‘We will be following all government and World Health Organisation recommendations and policies at the Autumn Festival to keep our audiences safe (including face coverings for all audience members except those who are exempt, physical distancing throughout the church, hand sanitising stations and one-way systems around the venue), so, for those of you who might be nervous about venturing out, please rest assured that the Festival will be taking place in a safe environment.’

Rob Barnett

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