Hertfordshire Festival of Music 2023 – The Art of Music & The Music of Art

9-16 June 2023

Principal Artist: Emma Johnson, clarinettist

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Hertfordshire Festival of Music celebrates live classical music in Hertfordshire with an exhilarating programme of magnificent classical music, both traditional and modern – an opportunity to enjoy world class music in the heart of Hertfordshire.

“The friendly, accessible vibe of Hertfordshire Festival of Music was accompanied by the very highest level of music-making and extremely imaginative programmes in beautiful locations.” – Judith Weir CBE, Master of the King’s Music

With a theme that explores the fascinating relationship between music and art, HFoM will unite the local communities of art and music lovers through illuminating talks and imaginatively devised concert programmes. The Festival will also mark the Coronation of King Charles III with two special events.

HFoM is honoured to have Emma Johnson, one of the world’s finest clarinettists, as this year’s Principal Artist, performing a captivating recital with the talented pianist Gregory Drott. There is also a special opportunity to observe her artistic insight in a masterclass for young and aspiring players at the beautiful Queenswood School in Hatfield. Emma Johnson will also be in conversation with Artistic Director James Francis Brown to talk about her musical journey, her passions and her interests, and to share insights and opinions on music, art and life.

Featured artists at this year’s Festival include:

Emma Johnson, Katya Apekisheva, Gregory Drott, Jack Hancher, Hertford Chamber Choir, Manvinder Rattan, Rossetti Ensemble, Daniel Swain, Litsa Tunnah, Daniel Grimwood, William Whitehead, ZRI

Highlights of this year’s Festival include:

Coronation Celebrations in Hertford

HFOM marks the coronation of King Charles III with two special events in Hertford. At Hertford Castle, the HFoM Community Concert Band musicians will perform arrangements of music associated with royalty in a fun, relaxed performance. The Hertford Chamber Choir and Manvinder Rattan take up the theme in a special performance at All Saints’ Church, including exquisite solo works for organ performed by William Whitehead.

The ever-popular ZRI ensemble return to HFoM with their genre-bending and audience thrilling ‘Cellar Sessions’, recreating the atmosphere of the legendary Red Hedgehog bar in Vienna, at the McMullen Brewery courtyard in Hertford.

Pianist Katya Apekisheva makes her Festival debut performing one of the war horses of art-inspired music, Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. Festival newcomer violinist Litsa Tunnah shares her passion for music and colour in a recital, and she will be in conversation with Artistic Director James Frances Brown exploring the rare phenomenon of synaesthesia, where sounds can trigger colours or shapes, and discussing how music can create visual impressions.

Guitarist Jack Hancher returns to Hertford with a solo recital of music inspired by art, and there will also be a special appearance of the highly regarded Rossetti Ensemble in a performance of music by David Matthews and Festival Artistic Director, James Francis Brown.

HFoM plans 15 events/outreach projects in community venues, anticipating engagement with around 1,500 individuals (performers, audiences, participants/beneficiaries).  Eight of the events are free, with discounted ticket prices for concessions where possible.

As part of the Festival, and with the support of community sponsor, Network Homes and collaboration with Sing from the Heart, HFoM’s Music in Mind project offers a series of interactive sessions for people living with dementia, as well as their carers and families, in selected care homes across Hertfordshire. These sessions are led by specially trained musicians who share the gift of music with compassion and sensitivity. Music can have a positive impact on the symptoms of dementia, as well as bringing joy and happiness to those who participate.

In addition, HFoM is delighted to continue its vitally important education projects with exciting plans to get schoolchildren up and singing, in collaboration with Hertfordshire Music Service and Queenswood School, taking place later in the year.

Full details of this year’s Festival at hertsmusicfest.org.uk

Hertfordshire Festival of Music is the vision of the late Tom Hammond and composer James Francis Brown, and is registered as a charity supported by a board of Trustees and a team of volunteers.

Now in its eighth year, HFoM has grown rapidly from a small weekend event to one of the UK’s major summer music festivals, featuring international artists and ensembles alongside innovative outreach and educational projects, all based in and around the attractive historic county town of Hertford. Since its launch, HFoM has presented concerts that have inspired extraordinary audience responses to artists such as Tasmin Little OBE, Dame Emma Kirkby, Stephen Hough CBE, Steven Isserlis CBE, Ben Goldscheider, the Carducci Quartet, the Galliard Ensemble, Chloë Hanslip, ZRI and The Prince Consort.

HFoM is fortunate to receive support from a number of charitable trusts and foundations, county, district and town councils, while a growing Friends Scheme allows individuals to play an important role in supporting the Festival and furthering its scope and potential.

The Festival offers affordable ticket prices, several free events, concessions for those under 24 in full-time education, free tickets for the under 8s and a complementary ticket for a carer accompanying those patrons with access needs.

HFoM exists to celebrate and nurture exceptional music-making, featuring some of the world’s finest performers. The Festival also supports professional and young musicians from Hertfordshire, presents fascinating music by living composers and devises major, innovative projects for education and participation. Hertford is just over twenty miles from central London, easy to get to by rail and road but nestled in the beautiful countryside of the Lea Valley. Most concerts take place within a ten-minute stroll of the town’s centre, which boasts excellent restaurants, many independent shops and accommodation.

Website: www.hertsmusicfest.org.uk

Twitter: @HertMusicFest

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Hertsmusicfest/

Instagram: @hertsfestofmusic

Registered Charity Number 1175716

For further press information, please contact Frances Wilson | frances_wilson66@live.com