By Alan Davies
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
HATFIELD House will host its first chamber music festival this weekend.
The inaugural Hatfield House Chamber Music Festival opens tomorrow (Thursday) and runs until Sunday.
With the enthusiastic support of the Marquess of Salisbury, and under the artistic direction of cellist Guy Johnston, the festival will bring together internationally renowned musicians, performing a rich and varied programme of music in the glorious and inspiring location of Hatfield House and nearby St Etheldreda’s Church.
An enthusiastic chamber musician, Johnston said: “I have wanted to be involved with a festival in my home county of Hertfordshire for some time and was delighted when the opportunity to be artistic director of this festival presented itself.
“I have had great fun in planning the programmes and bringing together so many outstanding musicians to such a perfect location.”
Artists appearing over the four days include The Sixteen, the Aronowitz Ensemble, the Navarra Quartet, who performed at the Hawthorne Theatre in WGC earlier this year, and former BBC Young Musician of the Year and clarinetist Mark Simpson.
Also appearing will be violinist Esther Hoppe, winner of the Salzburg Mozart Competition, pianists Tom Poster and Alastair Beaston, Jack Liebeck on violin, Tim Boulton on viola and soprano Sophie Daneman.
The programme will feature some of the most sublime chamber music ever written, including Schubert’s Quintet in C, Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet, Dvorak and Schumann Piano Quintets and Beethoven’s Archduke.
There will also be a special interactive concert for school children led by Dominic Harlan, and a lecture recital for families linking Einstein’s love of the violin with many of the concepts of modern physics.
The historic and beautiful settings of The Old Palace, The Marble Hall at Hatfield House and St Etheldreda’s Church, in Old Hatfield, provide the ideal setting for chamber music.
It is also a wonderful opportunity to see the historic house and gardens, including an exhibition by the sculptor Xavier Veilhan, and to enjoy a pre-concert meal at the newly designed and refurbished Coach House Restaurant.
For more details, visit www.hatfieldhousemusicfestival.org.uk