Category Archives: Devon Life

An exciting pre-festival event!

We have been very lucky that Laurence Beckford has agreed to talk to us about his fascinating job as a wood and stone carver. He is at present working on John Adie’s grave stone and it seems appropriate that we will be able to hear his talk.


Master Carver Laurence Beckford lives and works in Dulverton, and is one of only handful of master carvers and apprentices in the country. Laurence’s work is in high demand, and he has worked on many prestigious projects, including the restoration of the fire damaged Grinling Gibbons carvings at Hampton Court Palace and the replacement of the carved enrichments in the State and Octagon Dining Rooms at Windsor Castle (where Laurence was the ‘signature’ carver). Laurence’s talk will give us a fascinating insight into the rigorously detailed work involved in the restoration of fire, weather and vandal-damaged carvings. He will also talk about his passion for traditional ‘hand cut’ lettering in slate and stone. If you would like to see more of Laurence prior to his talk you can visit his website

6:30 pm
Fri, 29 Sep 2017
Filleigh Village Hall, EX32 0RS

Tickets: £10 (includes wine and canapés)

It will be a very interesting evening, as a fund raiser for the Festival. There will be plenty to eat and drink so do join us if you can. Tickets from The Two Moors Festival website, or from the Box Office 01392 665885.



In conversation with…

To get to know some of our wonderful artists a little better ahead of this year’s Two Moors Festival, we have invited some of them to share the answers to a few short questions so we can learn

Now up we have Julian Perkins from Sounds Baroque….




Have you ever visited the Two Moors area before? 
Yes. I’ve been lucky enough to perform for two previous festivals in a number of enchanting churches, and I fondly recall attending ritualistic May Day celebrations on Dartmoor when visiting my aunt and uncle near Tavistock.

What did you want to be when growing up?
I liked the idea of being an architect as it is one of the few disciplines that combines science and art, and I also flirted with the notion of being a carpenter as I enjoy creating things and adore the smell of freshly-sawn wood. In reality, though, music has always been my burning passion.

Who’s your inspiration?
I am blessed in having a wonderful array of friends and colleagues who continue to stimulate – and provoke – me. There is, however, one stand-out experience that continues to inspire me: singing as a treble in Mahler’s ‘Symphony of a Thousand’ under Klaus Tennstedt.
Although I was a dreamy child, Tennstedt captivated me for reasons I have never fully understood. He was a grumpy old man, riddled with cancer, who was flailing about in a seemingly haphazard manner on the podium. But I have never, ever heard an orchestra or
choir sound like they did with him – and this has nothing to do with his relative fame. I can only put it down to his complete identification with the music and his utter determination to transmit it to his fellow musicians. Humbling.

Ambition or talent: which matters more to success for you?
Ambition. Talent is useless if you are lazy – and I never believe those irritating people who perform brilliantly yet claim that they never practise.

What is the greatest achievement of your life so far?
On a personal level, it is becoming a father to our two indefatigable twins, Oscar and Freddie. On a musical level, setting up Cambridge Handel Opera is proving to be quite a feat.

Bonus: What advice would you give to young musicians?
Always start the day with a good breakfast.

What are you looking forward to most when performing at this year’s festival?
Bringing the irrepressible Giacomo Casanova to life with a wonderful team of performers…..and a hearty pub meal!


Catch Julian and Sounds Baroque on the first day of the festival this year:

Sounds Baroque – ‘Casanova’s Conquest’

Performance: Fri, 13 Oct 2017, 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm


Tickets now on general sale!

The time has come that all tickets are now on general sale for this year’s Two Moors Festival! You can buy tickets both online, over the phone and in person.

CBSO Classical Music Festival
City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra

We already have some performances nearly sold out so please do book soon in order to not miss out.


Two Moors Festival team



Getting ready for 2017

It’s been a busy for months and we may have been keeping quiet with our news in the recent months, but we are now back in full swing! We aim to keep you up to date with the latest festival news and behind-the-scenes snippets through our blog and we can already share with you that 2017 is shaping up to be another fantastic festival!

Keep your eyes peeled here as we soon to reveal the 2017 Two Moors Festival programme …and we are super excited about it. Also, did you know we are now on Instagram as well as Facebook and Twitter? Follow us on the platforms so you see what we like to discuss within our area of the country as well as interesting topics surround the industry of classical music.

For now, here’s a preview of the festival programme….watch this space!

Young Musician Winners Announced!

We are so pleased to announce our four winners for this year’s Two Moors Festival Young Musicians’ Platform:

Matilda Wale, aged 16, Voice, from New College, Swindon

Ellen O’Brien, aged 17, French Horn, from The Castle School, Thornbury

Poppy Freya McGhee, aged 12, Violin, Hugh Sexey Middle School, Wedmore

Joseph Pritchard, aged 17, Cello, from Yehudi Menuhin School, Surrey

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The standard this year was exceptionally high so huge congratulations to everyone who took part. We look forward to seeing these wonderful performers at this year’s festival and for all the upcoming young artists, keep an eye out for the opening of the 2018 competition later this year!

Exmoor’s World Championship Crabbing Competition

So this may not strictly be a Devon event, but it takes place so close to the Two Moors Festival headquarters (and it’s still on Exmoor) that we just had to blog about it, not least because it sounds so much fun.

The Exmoor World Championship Crabbing Competition is taking place this month on May 30th at Porlock Weir in Somerset, so if you happen to be on holiday in the region and are looking for something different to do, this would be an excellent choice.

Festival organisers John and Penny Adie, and their three children, used to spend many a happy hour crabbing on the pontoon in Dittisham, a delightful little village in South Devon that you must visit if you’re ever in the area – and they’re all sorely tempted to make their way to Porlock Weir to take part in this particular event, if just to reminisce about the good old days!

Everyone is eligible to compete and you could walk away with a beautiful trophy handmade by Bristol Blue Glass… all you have to do is bring your own line, bucket and bait.

If you’ve never done it before, here are a couple of crabbing tips to help ensure success at the competition.

1. Don’t forget the weight

If your bait is heavy enough, you might not need it, but a weight will help drag your line down and keep the bait at the bottom where all the best crabs are hiding.

2. Consider your bait

Don’t just use any old thing lying around the kitchen as bait. Crabs can be quite fussy! Bacon, chicken or bits of fish will work well, but crabs are particularly partial to sand eels so see if you can find any of those.

3. Bring a net

The hardest part about crabbing is getting your catch off the line and into the bucket, but a net will help ensure that they don’t escape back into the water. Bring a large bucket as well – you might catch so many that you run out of room!

We’ve Got Chickens!

We’ve taken a bit of a break from writing about UK chamber music festivals on the blog this week to let you know that we here at the Two Moors Festival have had a very exciting addition to the family.

Not only do we have festival dog Flora and festival cat Pip, but we’re now very happy to say that we’ve got four fat and plucky festival chickens, who have come home to roost.

If you’ve been following the festival since it started in 2001, you might well be aware that we also used to be home to some rather fantastic peacocks, which did make rather a racket while all the classical music concerts were going on. There was Poppy, Peter and Percy and, although they’ve long since gone, it’s delightful to have some more feathered friends clucking about all over the place.

Artistic director of the festival Penny Adie gave the four chickens to husband John as a Christmas present, along with a rather large coop and they’ve proved to be very successful hen-layers thus far. We’ve named them Mim, Mable, Doris and Rebecca Johnston, and we couldn’t be happier with our new additions to the family.

So the next time you come down to festival HQ for one of the lovely chamber music concerts that we put on in our gallery – or indeed for the festival itself in October – make sure you make some time to come and say hi to our little chickens. We know they’re going to be huge fans of classical music – how could they be anything but?

Two Moors Festival chickens