Bernardi Music Group start Shipley Arts Festival with world première

Andrew Bernardi and his 1696 Stradivarius
Andrew Bernardi and his 1696 Stradivarius

This year’s Shipley Arts Festival gets underway at Goodwood House, Chichester, on Sunday, April 10 at 7pm.

The Bernardi Music Group will perform a popular classical programme to celebrate Speed and Flight, featuring baritone and composer Roderick Williams.

The programme will include the world première of his Goodwood Variations. Maria Marchant will perform Mozart Piano Concert No 12, and flautist Bruce Martin a Vivaldi Concerto to complement the Canalettos.

It promises to be a fitting start to the festival, which runs until July across a range of venues under artistic director Andrew Bernardi.

Andrew said: “We are so fortunate to come together for a 16th year through music and the arts. We continue to enjoy the playing of so many of our performers from our first year of festivities in 2000. Composers abound, and we will be inspired by world premieres written by Paul Lewis and Roderick Williams.

“We are grateful to The Duke of Richmond for welcoming us to Goodwood House for our opening festival concert in aid of The Friends of Sussex Hospices. We welcome other new venues including the home of the world’s finest sparkling wine at Nyetimber.

“We continue to create pathways for young people through our String Academy who perform three times in the Edinburgh Festival at St Giles Cathedral.

“Partnerships are flourishing with Steyning Floral Fringe and the inaugural Horsham Festival. Durrance Manor is where it all began in the inaugural Shipley Arts Festival meeting in 2000 so our first concert there will be special.

“An international flavour with grass roots permeates the whole festival and is also highlighted with the return of the Williamson Voices from Pennsylvania who perform with William Penn School at Christs’ Hospital and conducted by multi-Grammy award nominated composer James Whitbourn. We continue to celebrate our special relationship with the Quaker community and USA.”

Festival events

Sunday, May 1, for 6.30pm: Shipley Church. An Audience with Hilaire Belloc in Words, Song and Music.

The programme will include Shipley 2016 commission Goodwood by the Sea, past Shipley Arts commission Cecilia McDowall’s Great Hills, J S Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No 4, Stephanie Cant’s Wedding Songs performed by the composer and Belloc’s poems and readings recited by actor David Stephens in a theatrical interpretation directed by Ann Feloy.

Friday, May 20, for 7.30pm: The Blue Idol, Coolham. Music and words with instruments from the time of William Penn.

Sunday, May 22, for 3pm: Sullington Tithe Barn, Storrington. Opera Holloway for a third year with their 2016 production of Don Pasquale by Donizetti.

Sunday, May 22, for 7pm: Itchingfield’s St Nicolas Church.

The Floral Concert: Ned Bigham’s The Rowan Tree, movements from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker, Handel’s Cuckoo and Nightingale Concerto for organ with soloist Andrew Cleary; and Ralph Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending played by Andrew Bernardi on a 1696 Stradivarius violin.

Sunday, May 29, for 7pm: St Andrew’s Church, Steyning.

Mass in B Minor by J S Bach to celebrate the Feast of Corpus Christi: Steyning and Shipley Arts Festivals combine for one of the finest classical works. Bernardi Music Group and The Choir of Our Most Holy Redeemer St Thomas More will be conducted by David Bevan.

Friday, June 3, for 7.30pm: Nyetimber Vineyard, Gay Street, Pulborough. A British evening, celebrating world-class classical music and sparkling wine in Nyetimber’s 15th-century medieval barn.

Sunday, June 5, for 6pm: Warnham Park. The Stradivarius Piano Trio performs popular music including Mendelssohn’s D Minor piano trio.

Sunday, June 12, for 6pm: Pallant Gallery, 9 North Pallant, Chichester. A concert to celebrate the John Piper exhibition and the tenth anniversary of the opening of the new wing. The Bernardi Music Group will perform piano quintets including Sir Edward Elgar’s quintet written nearby in Fittleworth.

Sunday, June 19, for 6pm: Knepp Castle, West Grinstead. Knepp Castle Wilding Concert to include Schubert’s Trout piano quintet.

Sunday, June 26, for 6pm: St John’s Church, Coolhurst, Horsham. The Festival Friends Concert, to include Schubert’s C major string quintet.

Friday, July 1, for 7.30pm: The Blue Idol, Coolham. The Special Relationship Concert: a popular programme of music from the USA and UK.

Saturday, July 9, for 7.30pm: Durrance Manor, Smithers Hill, Shipley: A Concert of Friends.

Sunday. July 10, for 5.30pm: Christ’s Hospital Chapel. Williamson Voices conducted by James Jordan and James Whitbourn, Bernardi Music Group, Andrew Cleary, William Penn School and Greenway Academy perform popular music and conducted by multi-Grammy award nominees James Jordan and James Whitbourn.

Sunday, July 24, for 6.30pm: St Andrew’s, Nuthurst. Bernardi Music Group plays Mozart Horn Concerto, Bach Brandenburg Concerto no.6, Vivaldi Concerto for Flute and violin, and solos on the Stradivarius violin by and in the presence of composer Paul Lewis.

Click here to download a brochure.

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