Tag Archives: concerts

Thank you!

Well, what a festival! Yet again, we are so grateful for everyone who was involved in this year’s festival – there are so many volunteers and people behind the scenes that it would just not be possible to carry on without.

Of course, the standard of music this year was as exemplary as ever with so many wonderful comments from audience members.

We must rest for a few days before planning 2018 – keep an eye out for news announcing next year’s programme!

Thank you!
Two Moors Festival Moors Scenes 01.JPG


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!

Two Moors Festival Young Musicians Competition Rnd 1

The first round of the Two Moors Festival’s Young Musicians Platform competition took place this weekend. A total of 47 candidates aged 18 and under entered at a standard of ABRSM Grade 7 and above. This could be any instrument plus voice and they were asked to prepare two contrasting pieces of their choice.

The competition is unique in several ways. The first is that we look for four outstanding players and not just one. The emphasis is on performance and ability to share an innate love of music with an audience. The audition atmosphere is unlike any other in that we chat in a fun way to each candidate from the moment they walk through the door and we also give a mini masterclass if there’s time. Each of the winners receives £250 plus an opportunity to share a recital in the main festival.

Judging from the feedback, all participants feel encouraged, inspired and above all retain their joy at being involved in playing classical music. In one instance, a young singer said he had been singing music theatre until recently. He then heard songs by Richard Strauss (nothing could be more different) as a result of which he was hooked on Lieder!

The way in which our competition operates begs the question – should all competitions be run along similar lines? Or does this imply that Bach’s B Minor Mass is something to be taken lightly? Does this prepare aspiring young musicians to enter the profession with rose-tinted spectacles when they should be aware of the arduous work and fierce competition that lie ahead? Does this give them a false impression that all competitions are going to be staged in a similar manner?

In an age when competitions abound and spring up like mushrooms, I believe the more encouragement one can give school-age youngsters the better. They need to be inspired, their sheer joy of being involved in classical music requires fostering as much as possible and nowadays, where there are so many competitions, to have one that does these in spade loads says a lot.

It’s instantly noticeable if the music comes from within a musician who plays from the soul. Likewise the opposite where the playing is automatic and the delivery forced. Dare I say it, but some of the performers from specialist music schools display this. There is always the expectation that these youngsters are bound to be brilliant but we’re often disappointed.

With all this in mind, this is where the Festival’s own competition comes into its own. The environment that is provided gives each entrant such stimulus that nerves are frequently dispensed with so that they can play with such expression that technical limitations don’t matter. Their overall love of music-making in a performance is all that matters regardless of whether they enter the profession or not and that the inspiration we give them will help them in later life.

Penny Adie

Penny Adie writes…

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.

As many of you UK classical music festival fans will know, we have a new website, which is proving to be a great success. We’ve had lots of positive feedback – people like its slick and up-to-the-minute design, find it efficient and most of all, it achieves its aim, which is to attract attention.

It’s been busy to say the least as Friends Booking opened a week ago. Hannah Newman (more about her later) has been rushed off her feet processing postal bookings, chatting to lots of folk who prefer to buy their tickets over the phone and keeping records of who’s booked what. I find it fascinating to see which concerts sell well and those that don’t appeal to the masses. Very often it’s not what I expect! However, there is always a general trend that kicks off right from the start and on this occasion there are three concerts going neck and neck for a quick sell-out. The remaining are all bunched against the rails and doing well.

I mentioned Hannah. She is a second year medical student at UCL – yet she is running the box office for a high-class music festival. What a fine box office operator she is too! Her musical knowledge is good, she is professional in her approach, has a super telephone manner, is able to pronounce names like Agata Szymczewska and rarely makes an error.

It’s worth saying something about bookings made on the phone. Having sent out a questionnaire three years ago, we found that 99% of our audience preferred this method of obtaining tickets to any other system. Why? Because they like to discuss the position of a seat or check about parking but most importantly, they like to chat about what’s in the programme. Talking to a real person who can provide answers to questions such as ‘what’s the Lieder concert all about?’ is essential. Apart from anything else, it makes supporters feel part of the festival.

So do keep on booking by phone and enjoy your conversation with Hannah!

To find out more about this year’s festival and to order a brochure, visit our website today.

Programme change: Tine Thing Helseth cancellation

This year’s Two Moors Festival classical music programme will be a little different to what has been advertised – very sadly, Tine Thing Helseth has been forced to pull out as a result of ongoing health problems.

We are therefore most fortunate that on October 18th, brilliant young violinist Agata Szymczewska has agreed to play Bruch’s Violin Concerto in G minor Op. 26 with the Orchestra of the Swan in Exeter Cathedral. This will replace Haydn’s trumpet concerto.

And on October 22nd, one of the most renowned pianists of our time Imogen Cooper will be performing in Dunster Church, having most generously agreed to give the following recital programme:

Schumann, Novelette op 21/8
Schumann, Davidsbundlertanze op 6
Schumann, Abegg Variations op 1
Schubert, Sonata in Bb major D960

If you have further queries regarding this change of programme, please call the box office on (01643) 831 006.

And please visit our website to find out more about this year’s event.


Penny Adie writes…

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.

The festival is proud to present its new website and what a site it is too! Up to the minute, slick, user-friendly and enticing, what more could we want!

At a stroke the site reveals not only the superb quality and varied nature of the concerts but the beauty of Dartmoor and Exmoor too. These alone will tempt people to venture further than the homepage and to discover the attraction of combining a holiday in the westcountry with attending some of the highest-calibre chamber music to be heard anywhere in the world.

The display buttons are easy to use and quick to respond. The concerts page has super pictures of the artist, likewise Visitor Info where the photographs make one yearn for an instant break. About the Festival provides background (worth reading, by the way) and the education section gives an insight into some of the peripheral work that goes on throughout the year.

If you haven’t visited the site for some time, why not do so now and please tell others likewise. This is a major step forwards – and it’s what the festival is all about. We are always looking to the future whether it’s artistically, or continuing to raise the cultural profile of the south-west. Next year sees our 15th anniversary, which is quite an achievement since most new festivals die before they reach their fifth birthday!

Onwards and upwards as they say!

The box office is open!

You should all have received your brochures for this year’s Two Moors Festival taking place in October (if you haven’t, you can easily order them from our website) – and the festival box office is now open, ready to take your ticket orders.

There are some fantastic concerts being put on this year, with some of the biggest names in classical music (such as Viktoria Mullova, Jayson Gillham, Kate Royal and Angela Hewitt), so make sure you book your tickets early to avoid any disappointment.

Call the box office on (01643) 831 006 to book.

To find out more about the various concerts taking place in 2014, visit our website today.