Patron Her Royal Highness The Countess of Wessex.
The Two Moors Festival 2008
It is a long time since 2001 when the Two Moors Festival was set up to help regenerate Dartmoor, Exmoor and the area between the Moors after the ghastly devastation caused by Foot and Mouth disease. That first ever festival comprised ten days of intense music-making in very rural places. Since then however, the Festival has developed enormously so that it now ranks equal amongst other national and international festivals in Britain.
Artists such as Dame Felicity Lott, Dame Emma Kirkby, the Aronowitz Ensemble, Julian Lloyd Webber, Paul Lewis, Natalie Clein, Tasmin Little and Leon McCawley have given concerts. A Two Moors Festival Youth Choir was set up in 2004; it has sung in the Cadogan Hall, London, at weddings and at the NFU Harvest Festival Service. A Two Moors Festival Young Musicians Platform competition attracts entrants from as far afield as Gloucester, Bournemouth and Truro (its standard similar to BBC Young Musician of the Year competition). The Festival has its own adult chorus. There is a workshop scheme taking young musicians into primary schools where there is little or no music.
In 2006 Her Royal Highness the Countess of Wessex became patron. That same year, the Festival commissioned the opera, Tarka the Otter. It won Best Stage Work in the BBC British Composers Awards in 2007.
The Festival is now the privileged owner of one of the best pianos in the world – a Bosendorfer Imperial Grand. No one needs reminding of the tragedy which prompted the incredible generosity of Boesendorfer, Vienna.
2008 sees many things happening. It is the Year of the Piano and the 9 –19 October programme reflects this. The festival opens with a performance in Barnstaple by Sunwook Kim who won the the Leeds Piano Competition in 2006. We have all nine Beethoven symphonies being performed as piano duets under the heading 'Beethoven and Biscuits' which has seen eighteen pianists competing for their favourite symphony and we have introduced the first musical Church Crawl which will combine music and a close look at some the fantastic architectural and historical features of various hidden away churches.
The next major event is the Gala Concert at the Cadogan Hall on 17 September. This first occurred in 2006 and was a wonderful evening. This year's event promises to be just as much fun as well as raising money for work that we do in rural schools and in the poorly served regions of Exmoor and Dartmoor.
We look forward to seeing you at one of the many events planned for 2008 so do have a look at the 'Events this Year' section.