The time has arrived to announce our 2017 festival programme – and we are so excited about it! With a total of 28 outstanding concerts for everyone to enjoy, this year’s festival takes place from Friday 13th October to Sunday 21st October 2017 across a total of 13 beautiful venues in Dartmoor and Exmoor.
The festival grows in calibre every year and now truly ranks in the top class of classical music events in the UK. And this year is no exception! Have a read here of some of the highlights of 2017:
- The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra makes its first appearance in the South West at The Two Moors Festival performing alongside gifted pianist, Pavel Kalesnikov, to play Grieg’s much loved piano concerto
- One of the most exciting British chamber ensembles, the Heath Quartet, will be performing Haydn, Tippett and Mendelssohn
- Acclaimed pianist Barry Douglas will be performing twice, once with the Endellion Quartet which will be broadcast live in concert on BBC Radio 3
- Schubert’s three famous song cycles are to be performed in one day with pianist, Jâms Coleman(tackling no less than 58 songs in the process!)
- Esteemed international violinist Tasmin Little will travel to All Saint’s Church, Okehampton to for a recital to include Prokofiev’s D Major Sonata and Brahms Sonatensatz in C minor. Accompanied by Australian Pianist Andrey Gugnin
- This year the festival also branches into Jazz with Alec Dankworth’s eclectic Spanish programme oozing flamenco rhythms and traditional Spanish and Cuban folksongs
- Final concert brings the North Devon Sinfonia, winners of BBC Four’s ‘All Together Now – The Great Orchestra Challenge’, who will be performing Haydn’s Creation. The singers for the Festival chorus are local choral singers, largely made up of members of 2MF and the Devon Wildlife Trust, our community partner for this event.
While running a classical music festival might not be good for your blood pressure (it can be stressful, that’s for sure!), apparently listening to classical music itself is actually really good for you and can in fact lower your blood pressure.
This is according to new research from Oxford University, which suggests that different musical tempos can impact both pulse and blood pressure. While classical music can have a positive effect, rap and pop can send blood pressure sky-rocketing.
Works by Verdi, Indian sitar music and parts of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony were found to be especially good at lowering blood pressure, although Vivaldi’s Four Seasons failed to have the same effect.
“Our research has provided improved understanding as to how music, particularly certain rhythms, can affect your heart and blood vessels. But further robust studies are needed, which could reduce scepticism of the real therapeutic role of music,” lead author of the study professor Peter Sleight said.
What are the other benefits of listening to classical music in terms of your health, we wonder? Apparently, it can also help to relieve pain after surgery and be used to supplement more conventional pain relief. What’s more, it can be of use if you’re something of an insomniac. A team from Hungary recently found that listening to 45 minutes of classical music before going to bed helped students who were having a hard time nodding off.
Do you find listening to classical music helps you in any way? We’d love to hear how you benefit from it. Let us know what your favourite pieces are and how they help you relax.
As followers of UK classical music festivals will know, the Two Moors Festival has over the last few weeks been putting on concerts in the waiting room at Tiverton Parkway Station, with a capacity audience attending the final performance last week (October 10th). A stranger venue would be hard to find but the ticket cffice at the station has proved to be one of the finest concert halls in the area. And why? Because it has fabulous acoustics. Word has spread and the fact that dedicated music lovers are prepared to travel from Widecombe and Ottery St Mary says it all.
To round off the series of six events, professional harpist Elizabeth Scorah delighted her listeners with a specially designed programme that included a Bach suite, fitting exactly into the allotted time of 29 minutes between two morning trains. Two high-speeders rattled through in the middle of a minuet, passengers trundled their suitcases on to the platform, business at the coffee shop was brisk and the station continued to operate throughout as if nothing unusual was taking place. Dogs were lulled into a happy doze, toddlers were more than content having a cuddle with mum and the floor was so clean that it was quite normal for people (including the artistic director Penny Adie) to sit cross-legged on the tiles while enjoying the music.
A further bonus of the series has been the voluntary collection in aid of the Festival’s primary schools workshop programme whereby professional musicians entertain and introduce children to the joys of classical music. Like everything, the project costs money and the total amount of over £300 raised will go a long way to ensure the scheme can continue.
First Great Western and its staff are thrilled with the way in which the concerts have been received, have been so welcoming and word has it that they would like more. Is Christmas on the cards? A hearty sing of carols might beckon so keep a look out!
Would you like to come along to hear a Festival production at the station come Christmas? Let us know in the comments below!
And you can find out more about the Two Moors Festival over on our website.