Welcome to the first of our 2016 newsletters, and a brief note on the shape of this year’s WIMF.
I would also like to thank everyone who responded to our questionnaire – particularly the 97% of you who rated artists and performance excellent or good.
I would like to thank our out-going Chairman Mark Bide for his considerable help over the past two years, and welcome Alex Brougham as the new Chairman. I also welcome Polly Smith, who has recently joining us as Festival Administrator.
Following the success of last year, with 12 near sell-out events in 16 days, described as “magnificent” by John Gilhooly, Director of Wigmore Hall, and “an essential venue for top international artists” by the Evening Standard, this year’s festival has something to live up to!
A few of the stars for 2016: Angela Hewitt, Michael Collins, the Tetzlaff Quartet, Stile Antico, the Škampa Quartet, Raphael Wallfisch, Evelyn Glennie, Christoph Prégardien, Sitkovetsky Piano Trio…
The major theme will be ‘Inspired by Folk’ and will feature great music and artists from around the world.
The Festival opens with the stirring and powerful ‘African Sanctus’, by David Fanshawe, after his years of now legendary journeys through the continent recording the traditional music of Africa.
The celebrated Hungarian group bring the music collected by, and which inspired, Bartok and Kodaly.
Many of the greatest classical composers were inspired by music from around the globe. Jazz also has a star Australian singer bringing ‘Jazz meets Folk’, and Klezmer is back again combining with Bulgarian Voices.
The Music of Bach
The secondary theme will be The Music of Bach, performed by three of the finest string soloists in the world today. Our patron Raphael Wallfisch returns with the Six Cello Suites – violinist Christian Tetzlaff also plays unaccompanied Bach – and perhaps the most celebrated of viola players, Tabea Zimmermann, includes Bach in her viola recital.
Andrew Edwards Conductor
Perhaps the concluding Bach of the Festival is the most richly glorious - the Christmas Oratorio, with a quartet of outstanding solo voices. And after 35 years, and 6 Festival performances, we shall be saying farewell and thank you to Andrew Edwards as he steps down from conducting the Academy of St Mary’s.
The Academy’s first concert of the season is coming soon, on Saturday 20 February
Anthony Wilkinson, Festival Director
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