Artists ‘breaking the mould’ set to showcase their talents at Cambridge Music Festival

Pianist Federico Colli.

Pianist Federico Colli. - Credit: Archant

‘Breaking the mould’ is a theme running through much of this year’s Cambridge Music Festival, which kicks off on Monday.

Percussionist Joby Burgess.

Percussionist Joby Burgess. - Credit: Archant

Highlights for the festival – which runs until November 19 – include the West Road Concert Hall performance by András Schiff and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment at 7.30pm on Monday, and the Organ Gala from the same time on Wednesday which sees the BBC Concert Orchestra perform at Kings College.

But the festival showcases many soloists too, many who consider themselves to have broken the mould.

“I always say that I am the black sheep in my family because my father is a doctor, my mother is a biologist and my little sister is studying chemistry at university,” explains Italian pianist Federico Colli.

“So there was nothing about art. But I started playing piano just for a joke, you know, when I was about three or four.

“The piano was much, much bigger than me, but I loved sitting down in front of the huge keyboard to play.”

Colli performs Bach Italian Concerto, Beethoven Sonata No.30, Op.109, Scriabin Preludes, Op.11 (selection) and Chopin Ballade No.2, waltzes Op 64, No.1 (the ‘Minute Waltz’) in the beautiful chapel of St John’s College on Thursday, November 19.

Most Read

Perhaps the most experimental performer at this year’s festival is percussionist Joby Burgess, with ‘flamboyant stage presence and whip-crack virtuosity’ according to

Burgess grew up playing rock n’ roll drums and jazz with friends, but when he heard Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring at the age of 16 he fell in love with classical percussion. He was hugely inspired by world-famous percussion group Ensemble Bash and joined them after graduating from The Guildhall. He also runs his own projects, including the audio visual collective, Powerplant.

Burgess performs works from three of the world’s greatest composers for percussion: American Morton Feldman, Japanese Toru Takemitsu and Greek Iannis Xenakis at a free concert at Anglia Ruskin University from 1.10pm on Friday, November 13.

For the full programme and to book tickets visit or call Cambridge Live on 01223 357851.