chamber music festivals

Penny Adie On Writing Two Moors Festival Brochures

It’s true, running chamber music festivals can be fun, but this week I am sighing with relief having completed umpteen pages of text to accompany the concerts that will appear in this year’s brochure

Doing half a dozen would be fine but when there are 30 events to cope with, it’s a different story. The aim of the brochure is two-fold: one to sell tickets; the other to explain about each event without sounding well, to put it bluntly, crass!

Description of artists can be very funny and one often reads words such as:


stellar (the ‘in’ word)



great young


ever brilliant


internationally acclaimed

globally renowned

ever talented

most sought-after


gloriously romantic



The list goes on and on.

But what does one do? I try desperately hard to come up with words that are more original and yet sell the artist in a way that attracts ardent music lovers in addition to bringing in newcomers. It’s quite a challenge, time consuming but can be great fun, believe or not! The other pitfall is repetition of a word in the same sentence or paragraph. I generally have a copy of Roget’s Thesaurus by the computer to see what the options might be!

Then there comes the business of text appropriate to the programme of music about to be played. This can be really hard since one has to describe, say, a song recital containing myriad songs as well as the composers who wrote them. Maybe the answer is not to try!

Would you go to a concert if I were to write:

Celebrity recital

Joe Bloggs, piano

Beethoven Sonata in C sharp minor, No. 2 Op 27

The stellar young and brilliant pianist, Joe Bloggs, was awarded the ABC Scholarship to study under the acclaimed teacher, Mary Snooks. Having won many international awards including the xxx, yyy, zzz, rrr, and mmm, he continued his studies under the tutelage of Alexander Romanov in Moscow. He was fortunate enough to take part in several masterclasses while there. On returning to the UK, Joe began a glittering career that has taken him to all the major concert halls at home and abroad. His discography is impressive including CDs for the Alphabet Label as well as for Imperial Records. Future engagements focus on concerto appearances in the Arctic.

Beethoven’s magnificent sonata, commonly known at the ‘Moonlight’, was written in 1801. Its first movement in slow triplets is recognised world over and frequently played on all the international major radio stations. The second movement consists of a scherzo having various key changes that are of interest. The presto agitato is one requiring technical prowess with fortissimo passages occurring at regular intervals.

Would you go to a concert on reading this? Maybe or maybe not.

The trouble is, I am as guilty as the next…

Penny Adie, Two Moors Festival artistic director


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