Each week, Two Moors Festival artistic director Penny Adie will be here on the blog, letting you all know just what’s been going on down at Festival HQ in Devon.
Going to concerts is one of the vital things I, as artistic director, must do. It may sound luxurious and a wonderful part of the festival’s programming job, but I go to events with a very different frame of mind as I would to, say, the theatre or cinema. As readers can imagine, 90% of the recitals I attend focus on chamber music, but other genres are sometimes as important. If the poor artists knew I was going to criticise, listen to balance, cohesion of programme, communication with the audience, as well as technical brilliance (with the up-and-coming players), they would far rather I wasn’t there! I am always on the lookout for musicians who would fit into the Festival’s mould.
Most of the festival’s concerts take place in churches that aren’t always the easiest of venues in which artists have to work. They have to adapt to the acoustics and be prepared to play a Bösendorfer piano that has a very different touch to a Steinway. They may find that rehearsal time is limited, even though we endeavour to give artists the maximum possible. It is imperative, therefore, that they are flexible in their approach – and have a sense of humour and adventure! This applies to established artists at the top of the tree, as well as younger performers.
So going to concerts is not as pleasurable as it seems!