Lewes Chamber Music Festival

Sean Shibe, who will perform at Glynde Place

Sean Shibe, who will perform at Glynde Place - Credit: Archant

Lewes, the county town of East Sussex, has plenty to recommend it to tourists and day-trippers alike. This summer there’s also a panoply of musical entertainment

Over the weekend of 27 – 29 June, Lewes will play host to its third Lewes Chamber Music Festival, led by Artistic Director Beatrice Philips in collaboration with Local Sauce chef Sheba Anvari. More than 20 artists will perform, including pianists Alasdair Beatson and Tom Poster, singer Jonathan McGovern, and the Celan Quartet, alongside newcomers including cellist Robin Michael and the Barbican Piano Trio. Composer Kate Whitley will unveil her new work, Piece for Piano, Clarinet and String Trio.

To accompany performances of classics including those by Beethoven, Mozart and Brahms, alongside more contemporary pieces by Stravinsky and others, musician-turned-chef Sheba Anvari is offering audience members an exclusive two-course meal as part of the opening night celebrations.

Artistic Director and violinist Beatrice Philips, who grew up in Lewes and founded the festival in 2012, comments:

“The festival is about bringing an abundance of extraordinary music performed by a collection of today’s finest chamber musicians to intimate settings in and around Lewes, and sharing it with as many people as possible. Over the past couple of years I have been thrilled by our audiences’ enthusiasm and appetite for chamber music of all kinds – from great composers to newly-commissioned works. My aim this year has been to create programmes that will continue to excite and enthral those who wish to make more new discoveries.”

The Lewes Chamber Music Festival will also be offering local schoolchildren the chance to engage with classical music through a collaboration with Multi-Story - an innovative music education project run by Chris Stark and Kate Whitley in London. In the run-up to the Festival, Beatrice Philips and Kate Whitley will be leading musical workshops at a number of Lewes primary schools.


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Concerts at Glynde Place

June will see two concerts featuring BBC Young Generation Artists take place at Glynde Place, the beautiful Elizabethan country house near Lewes in East Sussex – home to the VII Viscount and Viscountess Hampden and their children.

On 14 June young classical guitarist Sean Shibe will give a solo recital of music by Dowland, J.S. Bach, Villa-Lobos, Ponce, Roussel and Maxwell-Davies. On 12 July mezzo-soprano and winner of the 2011 Kathleen Ferrier Award Kitty Whately sings a programme of English songs including works by Vaughan Williams, Howells, Ireland, Barber, Head and Warlock. Kitty will be accompanied by pianist Joseph Middleton and actress Madelaine Newton will read poems including works by Auden, Masefield, Browning, Rosetti and others.

Tickets for both concerts (£20 for Sean Shibe and £25 for Kitty Whately) are available on the Glynde Place website, www.glyndeplace.co.uk and by post from Glynde Place Concerts, Glynde Place, Glynde, Lewes, East Sussex BN8 6SX. Please make cheques payable to Glynde Estates and enclose a stamped, self-addressed envelope. Seating is limited, so early booking is advised.


The Villages Music Festival

Organisers Dr Joan Hester-Royle and Pat Appleby have brought together volunteers from across three villages to manage this biennial event, the first of which took place in 2012. The villages of Ripe, Chalvington and Laughton are coming together for a celebration of music and the arts, with all funds raised being ploughed back into the community. Joan had the idea for a festival after attending music festivals in other parts of the country, particularly in Aldeburgh, Suffolk. The beautiful setting was key, she says – “going for lovely walks in the day and then listening to wonderul music in the evening”. Performances by professional musicians and local people will include a black-tie opera evening at a local farm featuring local singer Thomasin Trezise. A pop-up orchestra provides lapsed musicians with the opportunity to pick up their instruments again at Laughton Barns. French Horn player (and son of the previous vicar) Jon Farey will play a homecoming concert. There’s also an art trail and a concert commemorating the outset of Word War I at Ripe Church on 28 June, the date when the assassination of Franz Ferdinand set into motion the wheels of war.


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