Petersfield Musical Festival set to launch on 19 March

After the frustrations of 2020 and 2021, the Petersfield Musical Festival is back from 19th to 26th March 2022, with an exciting programme of concerts, and a wide range of performers and music – including choral, orchestral, opera, solo instrumental and chamber music.

Petersfield Musical Festival officially kicks off on Saturday 19th March, featuring choral works by two of the great masters of the eighteenth century, Antonio Vivaldi and Joseph Haydn, and one of the great concertos by a third – JS Bach.

Paul Spicer is one of today’s most distinguished choral conductors and is in great demand for his inspirational choral workshops. He conducts the Birmingham Bach Choir, is founder-director of the acclaimed Finzi Singers, and is Professor of Choral Conducting at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. He has been Resident Conductor at Petersfield Musical Festival since 2005.

The Festival invites youngsters to join in and have some musical fun at a Family concert on Sunday 20th March. Children aged from four to eleven may bring along a small drum or other percussion instrument to the Festival Hall for a 3pm start to accompany a varied programme of music including selections from ‘Lion King’, Fanfare for the common man (by Aaron Copland) and Rippling Watercolours. The concert will be performed by Meridian Winds, a local band of wind players with close connections to local schools and colleges, encouraging young musicians to enjoy and broaden their music-making.

St Peter’s is the venue for the 2022 Festival’s lunchtime recitals on Tuesday 22nd March and Wednesday 23rd March (both at 1pm).  Tuesday’s concert will be devoted to young recipients of the Michael Hurd for Young Musicians who are thrilled to perform to a live audience. Flautist Shoshana Yugin Power, recent winner of one of the prizes at PMF’s Young Composer  Competition, will play a programme including CPE Bach. Shoshhana is a music scholar at Bedales. Kenji Luc will be accompanied by his sister on cello for a selection of music including the beautiful Debussy piano Sonata.

The following day, two popular musicians familiar to local audiences take the stage. Emilie Capulet and Mark Dancer will perform a programme of Viennese piano duets including Mozart, Schubert and Beethoven (a piano arrangement of the famous 5th Symphony).  Emilie is an award-winning international pianist, writer and musicologist in demand for both her lectures and performances. Mike Dancer is Director of Music and organist at St Peter’s Church.

The final concert in the Festival, In Praise of Singing (26th March) features Felix Mendelssohn’s Hymn of Praise’ an exhilarating cantata originally composed to commemorate the publication of the Gutenberg Bible. The music sets a sequence of Biblical texts, mainly from the Psalms, and charts a journey from darkness to light. It will be a fitting celebration for the four young soloists and Festival Chorus of a return to live performance and encapsulates for many the sheer joy of choral singing. Other highlights of the programme are Britten’s Soirées Musicales (based on Rossini) and Smetana’s rousing and popular Vltava.

For full details of this year’s Festival programme, visit petersfieldmusicalfestival.org.uk.

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