​Notts music festival to return in August for its tenth anniversary year

​One of the leading music festivals across the East Midlands will again be running from its Notts base this summer, celebrating its 10th anniversary.
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Southwell Music Festival returns to the town from Friday, August 23, to Monday, August 26, for a bank holiday weekend crammed full of music treats.

Established by Marcus Farnsworth and music-loving members of the Southwell community in 2014, the festival is celebrating 10 years of welcoming professional musicians and performers from across the UK, as well as shining a spotlight on the best of Nottinghamshire’s home-grown talent.

To mark this special year, the festival is commissioning a brand-new 15-minute piece for choir and orchestra, written by award-winning British composer, Cheryl Frances-Hoad, with text by poet Kate Wakeling.

Festival artistic director Marcus Farnsworth is pictured in a conducting action.Festival artistic director Marcus Farnsworth is pictured in a conducting action.
Festival artistic director Marcus Farnsworth is pictured in a conducting action.

The as-yet-untitled new work will be premiered as part of the festival’s Sunday night performance of Mozart's Requiem and will be a contemporary companion piece to Mozart’s captivating choral masterpiece.

Festival artistic director Marcus Farnsworth said: “Southwell Music Festival has always been grounded in the community, from the volunteers who help make the festival a reality, to the young people and local groups who perform, and the audiences who have supported and championed the Festival over the past 10 years. Commissioning this special new work in our 10th-anniversary year is a uniquely creative and fitting way to celebrate the rich and vibrant musical life of our town.

"We hope that Southwell Minster will be packed out for this very special world premiere”.

The new commission will also premiere in Scotland later this year and then in Northern Ireland and Wales in 2025, with the piece being made available for choirs worldwide via publisher Chester Music.

Mark Padmore will be one of the star performers at the 2024 Southwell Music Festival (Photo credit: Marco Borggreve)Mark Padmore will be one of the star performers at the 2024 Southwell Music Festival (Photo credit: Marco Borggreve)
Mark Padmore will be one of the star performers at the 2024 Southwell Music Festival (Photo credit: Marco Borggreve)

Continuing the Mozart theme, the ever-popular Bank Holiday Monday Come and Sing will be a performance of Mozart’s Coronation Mass.

This year, the festival welcomes celebrated British tenor Mark Padmore as its headliner and artist-in-residence.

Returning for its second year, Saturday afternoon’s Musical Picnic is a free family event in the Minster Gardens. Plans are afoot for an afternoon of live performances by local ensembles, musical workshops, crafts and activities for all ages.

The full four-day festival line-up will be revealed at a free Launch concert on Saturday, May 11, at Southwell Minster. Reserve your free tickets online at southwellmusicfestival.com.

Tickets for the festival will go on sale from Monday, June 17.

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