Welcome note

Dear Friends,

Our sixth Hellensmusic Festival is our most ambitious yet.  More concerts, new venues, and world-class musicians return again for the love of it, despite busy international schedules. 

This year’s fascinating opening concert revisits tango’s star instrument with Omar Massa, renowned player of the bandoneon from Argentina. Our musical feast continues on Thursday with Christian Blackshaw’s recital in the wonderful acoustics of St Bartholomew’s Church; and then Tchaikovsky and Brahms with our resident artists and the distinguished clarinettist Matthew Hunt, who joins us for the first time, at Hellens’ Great Barn on Friday.  On Saturday evening we have a wonderful programme with energetic Lindberg, Mozart’s astonishing Kegelstatt Trio, Mahler’s tragic Piano Quartet in A minor, magical Schumann, Bruch (like dusk in spring!) and Prokofiev’s Overture on Hebrew Themes, which capture the soul of a wandering Klezmer musician… and this to prepare you for our pub concert later that night at The Walwyn Arms with our fabulous gypsy fiddler Béla Farkas joining up with Dorian Ford on the piano, Máté Szücs, Matthew Hunt and Omar Massa once again. 

Education remains at the heart of all we do, and we’re proud to have again eleven talented students from the best colleges in Great Britain as part of our masterclass programme.  They will be working with the pros, and playing with them at the festival’s closing concerts on Sunday to underline the importance of a shared, non-hierarchical approach to music making at all levels.  

Last but not least, come and listen to our work with the primary and secondary schools, creating their own music with the precious support of ABF Music and the BBC Ten Pieces Project. Look out for their listening and learning – you will be impressed, I promise, so welcome one and all!  

Adam Munthe

Festival Chairman