Cambridge Music Festival has marked its 30th year with a special series of events, throughout 2021.

The year of celebration began in March with the premiere of two filmed performances featuring Dunedin Consort playing Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 & No. 6, we continued with six live events (with audience) in June focussing on young artists. Sheku Kanneh-Mason – as soloist in Dvorak’s Cello Concerto with the London Mozart Players and alongside Isata Kanneh-Mason in a recital of Rachmaninov, Bridge and Britten – bookended performances by Chineke! Chamber Ensemble (playing Schubert’s Trout Quintet and works by Florence Price), and the 12 Ensemble in Shostakovich, Dowland, Caroline Shaw and Thomas Ades.

In the autumn, the wonderful pianist Stephen Hough played Chopin and Schumann, making his CMF debut. The Academy of St Martin in the Fields performed Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto; the Choir of King’s College gave their first post-lockdown concert alongside The Academy of Ancient Music; the 12 Ensemble played music for strings by Max Richter; the Takács Quartet performed Beethoven, Haydn & Janacek and Mahan Esfahani gave a recital of works by Bach. The NEXT Musicians of Birmingham Contemporary Music Group treated us to a special performance of Grisey’s cult Vortex Temporum and we also co-commissioned A Percussionist’s Songbook: nine new ‘songs without words’ for pitched percussion and electronics, performed by Joby Burgess filmed for release on YouTube from 15 October to 14 November.

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Cambridge Music Festival: you can call it ‘classical’ – it’s just great music. No experience necessary.




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