Our thanks to everyone who supported or attended this year’s festival.
We look forward to planning Festival 2024 and seeing you all next year!
Bledington Music Festival is an annual event held in the picturesque village of Bledington in the Cotswolds.
The festival offers a unique and diverse program of classical and contemporary music featuring internationally renowned artists over three days.
The festival has been running for over 20 years and is organized by a dedicated team of volunteers who are passionate about offering a high-quality music experience to the local community and visitors.
It takes place in the village’s historic church of St. Leonard and attracts visitors from the UK and beyond with a range of talented musicians. This festival has warm, welcoming atmosphere, perfect for those who want to relax and enjoy good music in a lovely setting. You can read more here.
If you love music and feel passionately about bringing world-class music to the those living outside of the bigger cities, please consider making a donation.
We appreciate all donations to Bledington Music Festival:
Charity no. 1166804
Bledington Music Festival is grateful to the John Ireland Trust for their support.
Or contact the Organiser Rodney Beacham:
Tel: 01608 658 669 or Mob: 07860 587035 or via email to request a booking form.
Their programme for the first concert will include works for violin and piano by Bach, Arvo Pärt and Schumann.
Tamsin, described by The Times as a violinist “who held us rapt in daring and undaunted performances” and by The Guardian as a performer of “fearless intensity”
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Tamsin was described by The Times as a violinist “who held us rapt in daring and undaunted performances” and by The Guardian as a performer of “fearless intensity”. “Bella Tromba … dedicated to exploring and expanding the instrument’s potential” The Guardian
“It takes real imagination to combine mostly standard repertoire in a way that’s both personal and musically insightful” Pianist Magazine wrote of Cordelia Williams
Their programme will include works by Johann Sebastian Bach, Arvo Pärt and Schumann
Polish-Welsh-English pianist Cordelia Williams is recognised for the poetry, conviction and inner strength of her playing and the depth of her interpretations. She has performed all over the world, including concertos with the English Chamber Orchestra (in Mexico City), City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (at Barbican Hall, London), as well as recitals at Wigmore Hall, Royal Festival Hall and Beijing Concert Hall. She broadcasts regularly for BBC Radio 3.
Cordelia has become particularly known for her uncanny understanding of the music of Schubert and Schumann. Her recordings have focused on both these composers, as well as a 2018 album interweaving the music of Bach and Arvo Pärt: “a superb concept… brilliantly realised” (International Piano, 2019). Her 2021 album Nightlight received rave reviews across the board and was awarded Critics’ Choice by International Piano and Recording of the Year by MusicWeb International. “Williams finds astonishing beauty in these pieces that had me shaking my head in wonder. Consummate artistry… touching real greatness.”(MusicWeb International, Recording of the Year 2021). She enjoys presenting and introducing the music she plays, as well as using imaginative programming to shed new light on well-known works and to tell new stories.
“City of Birmingham-based organist Thomas Trotter is rightly regarded as one of the most brilliant concert organists currently on the world stage. ….. Trotter’s performances are invigorating, revealing the inner details of the music. He consistently chooses appropriate tempos and projects strong rhythm. His nuanced playing takes advantage of this instrument’s sensitive and responsive action. A virtuoso’s virtuoso, he harnesses his immaculate technique and musicianship to serve every aspect of the music.”
Thomas Trotter is one of Britain’s most widely admired musicians. He has had a special relationship with the City of Birmingham in England since he was appointed City Organist in 1983 after Sir George Thalben-Ball based at the city’s renovated historic Town Hall where he is also Resident Organist of the magnificent Klais organ in Symphony Hall. He is also Organist at St. Margaret’s Church, Westminster Abbey, in London and Visiting Fellow in Organ Studies at the Royal Northern College of Music. Earlier in his career he was organ scholar at King’s College, Cambridge, and he later continued his studies with Marie-Claire Alain in Paris where he took the Prix de Virtuosité in her class.
Their programme will include works by Brahms, Schumann, John Ireland, Poulenc and Finzi.
BBC Music Magazine
New York Times
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Sarah Williamson has performed and toured extensively with The Academy of St Martins in the Fields, The City of London Sinfonia, the BBC Concert orchestra, the LSO, BBC Concert Orchestra (broadcast live), The European Union Chamber Orchestra, The Brighton Philharmonic, The Royal Philharmonic (Classic FM live broadcast) and the Orchestra of the Swan.
Sarah continued her studies at Le Conservatoire Superieur de Musique et de Dance de Paris, graduating with the Premier Prix and where she was awarded a ‘Laureate’, the Conservatoire’s highest honour in recognition of her reflecting her ability and musicality.
Australian born guitarist Craig Ogden is one of the most exciting artists of his generation. He studied guitar from the age of seven and percussion from the age of thirteen. He is the youngest instrumentalist to have received a Fellowship Award from the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester.
Craig is married to British opera singer Claire Bradshaw with whom he frequently appears in concert. The duo have toured Australia and South Africa and perform regularly in festivals, for music societies and on radio.
Claire Bradshaw was born in Yorkshire and studied at the Royal Northern College of Music and at The National Opera Studio. Whilst at the R.N.C.M. she won all of the College’s main vocal awards and was also a finalist in the prestigious Kathleen Ferrier Awards broadcast on The Southbank Show.
Claire Bradshaw’s operatic roles have included the title role in Carmen at London’s Royal Albert Hall in Raymond Gubbay’s acclaimed production, receiving rave reviews. Other roles include Cherubino The Marriage of Figaro, Maddalena Rigoletto, Dryad Ariadne Auf Naxos, all for Scottish Opera, Lola Cavalleria Rusticana, Mercedes Carmen, 2nd Lady in The Magic Flute, Varvara Katja Kabanova, Emilia in Otello and Suzuki for six revivals of Madama Butterfly all for Welsh National Opera and Lisetta Il Mondo della Luna (Haydn) for Opera Zuid (Netherlands). Claire has also performed in the Spoleto Festival (Italy) in the role of the Innkeeper’s Wife in Janacek’s Cunning Little Vixen with Richard Hickox and performed at the Barbican with Hickox and the London Symphony Orchestra in a rare performance of Vaughan-William’s ‘The Poisoned Kiss’.
Claire is married to Australian Classical Guitarist Craig Ogden with whom she has performed extensively in recital both abroad and in the UK at many of the main Festivals and also on BBC Radio 3.
Claire Bradshaw has performed in concert and oratorio throughout the UK and in Austria, Australia, South Africa, Denmark, Israel, Italy and France. Recent concert performances have included the role of Joan in Ole Schmidt’s ‘The Passion of Joan of Arc’ with the Orchestra of Opera North, Elgar’s Musicmakers at King’s College Cambridge with Stephen Cleobury and the Philharmonia, Mendelssohn’s Elijah at Oxford’s Sheldonian Theatre with Nicholas Cleobury and the Oxford Bach Choir and singing the role of Prince Orlofsky alongside Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and Jose Carreras in a performance of Die Fledermaus at the Royal Albert Hall. Claire also recently performed on a P&O Classical cruise in conjunction with Classic FM and in Dubrovnik for London Festival Opera.
Claire has been a Director of the Dean and Chadlington Summer Music Festival in Oxfordshire for the last 9 years and is a Visiting Singing Teacher at the prestigious Radley College in Abingdon.
His programme features Beethoven’s Sonatas in C minor op. 13 the ‘Pathetique’ and
Sonata in F minor op. 57 the ‘Appassionata’.
John Ireland: Sarnia – an Island Sequence
Liszt/Wagner: ‘Liebestod’ from “Tristan and Isolde”
Liszt/Verdi: “Rigoletto” Paraphrase de Concert
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Mark Bebbington has fast emerged as one of Britain’s most distinctive and innovative pianists. Internationally acclaimed for his performances and recordings, Mark has recently toured Europe with the Czech National Orchestra and Israel with the Israel Camerata. Mark also performs as a soloist in the US and UK with the Buffalo Philharmonic, London Philharmonic and Royal Philharmonic Orchestras.
“Ensemble is watertight and there is a real rhythmic élan to the playing which keeps you listening.” – BBC Music Magazine
Since their formation in 2000, 4 Girls 4 Harps have been heard in numerous venues and festivals in the UK and across Europe, delighting audiences with their dynamic performances and innovative repertoire.
The quartet has featured on BBC Radio 3’s In Tune, BBC Radio 2’s Friday Night is Music Night, BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour, Classic FM, and Welsh television channel, S4C. They have performed at The World Harp Congress in Dublin, The Fairfield Halls, St George’s, Bristol, Champs Hill, and at London’s King’s Place.
4 Girls 4 Harps’ debut album, ‘Fireworks and Fables’, was released in 2009 showcasing their own arrangements of impressionist works by Ravel and Saint-Saëns, as well as new works by the group’s own composers Harriet Adie and Eleanor Turner. Well received by critics, it led to broadcasts on national and international radio.
December 2013 heralded the release of the group’s second album, ‘4 Girls 4 Harps at Christmas’, an ambitious project which included a fourteen date concert tour of venues in London and the South-East. Described by the Sunday Express as ‘putting the harp back into the heart of Christmas’ the album was also favourably reviewed by BBC Music Magazine who wrote ‘Ensemble is watertight and there is a real rhythmic élan to the playing which keeps you listening’.
2015 saw the ensemble celebrate their 15th anniversary as a group. Alongside a full concert diary, they marked this milestone by premiering an exciting new commission, Tetra, composed by four female British composers. The commission was generously funded by the PRS for Music Foundation’s: Women Make Music programme, The Ambache Trust and RV Williams Trust. In addition, they also founded the British Harp Chamber Music Competition (the only competition of its kind in the UK) to encourage other young harpists to perform chamber music and to champion the harp in a chamber music setting.
Not a group to rest on their laurels, the 2017/18 season provided several interesting opportunities for the ensemble. The year started with a bang following a BBC video of their performance of Shostakovich’s famous Waltz No.2 going ‘viral’ counting over 6 million views across the world to date! The quartet was also delighted to have recorded a new CD ‘Dance’ with Dutch label STS Digital, released in early 2018 and featuring an energetic mix of dances by different composers. In March 2018 they celebrated the CD’s release by performing a short set of music from the album in a live performance for Classic FM.
Bledington Music Festival is grateful to the John Ireland Trust for their support.
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