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St Thomas's Church to host 9th Solent Music Festival

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THE Solent Music Festival returns to St Thomas’s Church in Lymington next week for its ninth year.

The popular showcase, running from Monday to Sunday, has become a local highlight with performances this time from the King’s Singers, Ilona Domnich, the Galliard Ensemble, Kathryn Tickell and the Darkening.

Inspired by the ambition to bring high calibre performers to the New Forest for affordable concerts, the festival is directed by Sophia Pagoni and Sam Haywood.

Kathryn Tickell
Kathryn Tickell

Sam said: “The Solent Music Festival was founded in 2013 with the aim of attracting the highest possible calibre of classical music performances to the beautiful sailing town of Lymington.”

This year audience numbers have been reduced and attendees will be asked to wear masks whenever possible to reduce the risk of Covid-19.

On Tuesday 21st September a concert entitled Chopin the Poet celebrates an almost autobiographical collection of songs to accompany poems which reflected the composer’s personal life.

Sam, who will play piano for the concert, said: “It seems that Chopin wrote his songs casually – on the margin, as it were, of his piano works. He wrote them whenever he came across a poem describing his own mood or feelings at any given moment.”

Ilona Domnich
Ilona Domnich

A selection of these songs will be presented by acclaimed soprano Ilona Domnich, alongside some of Chopin’s better known works.

On Friday 24th September clarinettist Katherine Spencer will return to the festival to perform Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet.

The concert will also feature two premiers: a violin sonata by one of the UK’s foremost composers Huw Watkins, performed by Huw and Tamsin Waley-Cohen; and Qebui (Egyptian god of the north wind), a piano trio which won the Solent Music Festival’s 2020 Lawson-May Award for Composition.

This year’s festival also features piper Kathryn Tickell with her band of lyre, mandolin, accordion, fiddle players and even a clog dancer.

Huw Watkins
Huw Watkins

The King’s Singers will open the festival on Monday with a programme with something for everyone including Byrd, Tallis, The Beatles, Schubert, Ravel and Paul Drayton’s Masterpiece – a fabulously entertaining whistle stop tour of the great composers.

Sam Haywood will be joined by friends for an evening of Brahms and Beethoven, and 12 principals of major orchestras come together to perform Dvorak’s Serenade for Wind Instruments next Saturday evening.

The Solent Music Festival is also collaborating with St Barbe Museum and Art Gallery as part of its Inspire Weekend with a concert from the Galliard Ensemble.

Concert tickets are £20 with a discounted rate for students.

Visit www.solentmusicfestival.com

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