Tag Archives: devon

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.

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.

Two Moors Festival Autumn Concert Series

For the past couple of years, we’ve been working to take classical music even further from the traditional concert halls of old and into some rather interesting venues, like the waiting room at Tiverton Parkway railway station down in Devon.

And this year is certainly no exception, as we’re returning to the train station once again to put on a series of concerts during September and October, taking place between the 11.38 and 12.09 trains.

On September 12th, cellist Rebecca McNaught – one of the Two Moors Festival Young Musicians Platform Competition winners of 2014 – will be playing Bach and Minsky.

On September 19th, cellist Willard Carter – another of our competition winners – will be playing Bach, while on September 26th violinist Tansy Bennett will be playing Paganini.

On October 3rd, cornet player Andy Wingham – also a Two Moors Festival competition winner – will be playing Morrison and on October 10th harpist Elizabeth Scorer will be back with even more Bach.

Entry is free and no ticket is required – just make sure you’re in the waiting room at the right time on the right day to hear some beautiful music-making.

To find out more about the Two Moors Festival, visit our website today.

Get a feel for Dartmoor with Dartcam

For classical music organisation The Two Moors Festival and other lucky people who live across Dartmoor and Exmoor, stunning views across the great British countryside are the norm but not everyone is fortunate enough to live in such a beautiful part of the world.

Now, however, you can get a feel for this rural idyll wherever you are in the UK thanks to the wonder that is the internet and Dartcom, a manufacturer of weather satellite and remote sensing ground stations. The company has set up Dartcam, a live webcam set up to take a photo of the gorgeous Dartmoor landscape every five minutes so that you can see just how beautiful the countryside is.

We can’t imagine what life would be like without the spectacular views we’re so used to – so we think it’s a great idea for Dartcom to do all it can to share this with others. Hopefully it’ll inspire you to come on down to Devon to see us… and maybe join us for a concert or two in October, when our main two-week event takes place (15th-25th).

For further information about the festival and to order a 2014 brochure, visit our website today.

The history of the Exmoor pony: a talk at the Two Moors Festival 2014

At this year’s Two Moors Festival main-two week event, taking place between October 15th-25th, we will be putting on a series of interesting talks as well as classical music, all relating to Devon – where the festival takes place every year.

This time around, we’re holding a talk on the history of the Exmoor pony at Dulverton’s Exmoor Pony Centre on October 19th with an outdoor tour of the centre (weather permitting, of course!). In case you’re unfamiliar with these beautiful creatures, they are one of the last native breeds of pony to be found roaming wild in Britain and, year after year, prove to be a big draw for people coming to the area. Everyone wants to see them on a holiday to Devon!

Make sure you keep your eyes well peeled for these majestic beasts as you travel from church to church in October, going to and from the different Two Moors Festival concerts, but if you’re in Exmoor before then you could also make sure you attend the Exmoor Pony Festival 2014.

Taking place between August 9th and 17th, the event includes herd open days, safaris, lovely long walks in the Devon countryside, shows and rides – so it’s the perfect opportunity to acquaint yourself with the Exmoor pony before coming along to our talk in October.

The Two Moors event is free (although you will need to reserve a ticket) and there will be a collection, with all donations going towards the festival’s education programme. We’d love to see you there, so do include the date in your diary.

If you’d like to find out more about this year’s Two Moors Festival programme and to order a brochure, please visit our website today.

Design the official Exmoor flag!

BqKwBNJIUAA5MWrDo you have a creative streak? Do you want to see one of your designs out there for all to see? Then you absolutely must enter the Exmoor Flag Competition, which is calling on everyone the UK over to come up with a design for the first official flag for Exmoor and show just how much they love this little corner of the world.

Free to enter, the competition has been devised as a way of honouring the 60th anniversary of the designation of the Exmoor National Park this year, with entry forms and hints and tips for your design to be found on the Exmoor Flag Project website.

What a great opportunity to really show your appreciation for Exmoor, which we here at the Two Moors Festival think is one of the most special places in the world to live, work and visit. Let us know if you plan to enter – and let us know just why you love Exmoor so much!

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.

June is one of the busiest months for the festival as it’s when the brochure bursts into the public scene – at which point you notice all the typos.

There is no theme to the concerts this year and I know for many, as well as for the Artistic Director, this is welcome. Why can’t you have music for music’s sake without having to do all the tick-boxing? Of course there are splendid and poignant anniversaries that so rightly should be commemorated but because the festival falls so late in the season, it’s best to leave these for others to enjoy.

The concerts this year are eclectic and spanning a time zone from the ninth century to the present day. Artists from the tender age of ten to those of global recognition are involved and what is particularly exciting is that these super stars wish to be part of the festival.

No longer do we have to explain what the Two Moors Festival is. People KNOW. Just to dangle the carrots – Angela Hewitt, Kate Royal and Viktoria Mullova will be visiting Dartmoor and Exmoor in October as part of this year’s Two Moors event (taking place between the 15th and the 25th).

If you’d like to find out more about the festival and to order a brochure, please visit our website.

First ibises born in the UK at Exmoor Zoo!

If you’re planning on coming down to the gorgeous Devon countryside in October for the Two Moors Festival’s main two-week event (taking place between the 15th and the 25th), you should think about making more of a holiday of your trip down here and find some other Devon attractions to discover.

A trip to Exmoor Zoo would certainly be an excellent choice at the moment, because the very first ibises to be born in the UK – typically found in the highlands of southern Africa – now call the animal park home. These birds are particularly vulnerable, with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature especially concerned about their survival in the wild, with fewer than 2,000 breeding pairs in their natural habitat.

The zoo is open in the autumn from September 16th until November 2nd between 10:00 and 17:00, so you have plenty of time to go and have a look at the new arrivals while down in Devon for the Two Moors Festival.

Do let us know if you go and have a look at the birds, as well as all the other animals. There are over 600 for you to go and have a look at, so for a brilliant day out in between enjoying some amazing classical music, think about making a trip to the zoo.

To find out more about the Two Moors Festival and to order a brochure for the 2014 event, visit our website today.

Which image should we use on our brochure cover this year?

We’re currently working very hard on our 2014 brochure here at the Two Moors Festival but can’t quite decide on which picture we should use for the front cover.

It’s such a big decision, as we need something striking that will encourage people to pick it up straight away but also something that really speaks to what the Festival does, and is immediately recognisable as a Two Moors Festival publication.

So we thought we’d put our choices out there for you have a look at and let us know what you think. So pop us a comment below and give us your thoughts on our front cover options.

Don’t forget to have a look at our website to find out more about the Two Moors Festival and how we support classical music in the south-west.

An interview with: violinist Hannah Brooks-Hughes, Two Moors Festival competition winner

Earlier this month, we held the final round of the Two Moors Festival Young Musicians Platform competition, a very prestigious contest open to singers and instrumentalists either living or going to school in the south-west at grade seven or above.

It was hard work picking four winners (who each claim a £250 prize and the chance to play alongside professional musicians in our main two-week event in October), but we eventually came to a decision, with violinist Hannah Brooks-Hughes, cellist Willard Carter, cornet player Andrew Wingham and cellist Rebecca McNaught all taking the top spots.

In the coming weeks, we will be featuring interviews with each of our four winners so you can find out a bit more about them, their playing and their love for classical music, and we’re starting off with violinist Hannah Brooks-Hughes, our youngest-ever winner at the age of 10.

Q&AHBH2MF: What did you do first when you found out you were one of our winners?

HBH: I was at school and my dad had texted the head of music when the letter arrived at home, so it was Mr McVittie who came and found me in my history lesson. Of course inside myself I was thrilled, but as I was at school I had to remain calm! I couldn’t stop smiling for the rest of the day though!
2MF: Did you ever expect to win?

HBH: As it was my first attempt, and as I was so young compared to most of the other entrants, I didn’t expect to win. I had set myself the target of making it through to the second round though. On the way down for the final audition my dad got lost, so we arrived late, and it was all very rushed, but I felt I played well, and I really enjoyed the performance with Alison Farr playing piano for me – she’s an amazing pianist!
2MF: How does it feel to be our youngest-ever winner?

HBH: I’m very proud, and I’m even more excited because I am younger than the other competitors. I’m used to playing in competitions where I’m competing against older musicians, but to win such a prestigious competition, and to be the youngest, feels quite special I have to admit.
2MF: How will you be preparing for the concert in October?

HBH: I’m going to give the repertoire I choose a lot of thought because I want the performance to be special. Then it will be lots of practise and I would hope to be able to perform the pieces I choose at other ‘practice’ concerts beforehand. And of course I will need to go shopping to buy a new dress!
2MF: Has winning given your confidence as a violinist a boost?

HBH: Most definitely – yes! Competing against much older competitors, and winning, has given me confidence, and since this competition in fact I have won an ‘Under 18 Recital’ class at the Cheltenham Festival of Performing Arts.
2MF: What are your future ambitions as a violinist?

HBH: I’d like to enter more regional and national competitions, and hopefully in a few years time the BBC Young Musician Competition. For the far off future I want to travel around the world performing.
2MF: Which violinist do you most look up to?

HBH: There are so many great violinists that I love listening to, but there are two that are special to me right now. Nicola Benedetti makes such a beautiful sound, and I admire the fact that she works so hard and always seems so happy. And my teacher, Matthew Denton of the Carducci Quartet, is a fantastic violinist who also works so hard for me.
2MF: What piece of music do you most love playing?

HBH: At the moment it is The Lark Ascending by Vaughan Williams. It is such a beautiful work and yet it also has such sadness about it. I love trying to create those emotions.

Want more? Check out our video of Hannah playing Brahms’ Hungarian Dance No 5.