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High Barnet chamber music festival awarded Arts Council grant

A new chamber music festival has been launched in High Barnet to celebrate the start of summer and the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions.

Hero for High Barnet chamber music festival awarded Arts Council grant
Photo by Julio Rionaldo on Unsplash
By Bella Saltiel 06 May 2021

A new chamber music festival has been launched in High Barnet to celebrate the start of summer and the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions. The festival has been awarded a £2000 grant by Arts Council England and funding from the Cavatina Trust.

The festival aims to entertain new audiences and provide a platform for the most talented early-career professional musicians. Located at St John the Baptist Church, the festival is promoting three concerts:

· Saturday 17th July 7.30 pm, violinist Charlie Lovell-Jones performs music by Schubert, Saint-Saëns, Price, and Grant Still.

· Thursday 22nd July 7.30 pm, Mad Song & Anita Monserrat perform music by Mahler, Müller-Hermann, and Schoenberg.

· Saturday 24th July 7.30 pm, The Mithras Trio perform music by Schumann, Boulanger, and Schubert.

Leo Popplewell, who is the cellist in the Mithras Trio said:

“We are extremely excited to be making a return to live performance after this strange year of digital concerts. I look forward to bringing our music to the heart of the local community in Barnet. 

“The live concert experience is a tremendously powerful thing for people of all ages and backgrounds, and we’re delighted that tickets will be free for 8-25-year-olds, thanks to generous support from the Cavatina Trust. 

“The programme we’ve chosen is full of colour, variety and humanity. It culminates in Schubert’s monumental Piano Trio no.2 in Eb and features a short Trio by Lili Boulanger, the first female winner of the ‘Prix de Rome‘ composition prize, who died tragically young leaving behind only a few works.

"As a child, I was inspired to pursue music by listening to concerts given in my local community. I hope that we might offer similar inspiration to the next generation!”

Artistic Director Joshua Ballance said:

“It’s an honour to welcome such fantastic musicians to our local community. After the cultural deprivation of the last year, it is clear how important live music is to our mental, spiritual, and social wellbeing. We hope that the festival will become a significant part of Barnet’s cultural landscape and that going forward we will be able to develop its educational mission, providing important cultural experiences for local students.”

Ballance is a composer and conductor, currently studying for a DPhil at Christ Church, Oxford.

He added: “This is a fantastic opportunity to enjoy the playing of such talented performers, and finally get out and socialise again. We have great plans for the future of the festival with lots of events for children and adults, including masterclasses and a Student Ambassador scheme.”

Of the £2000 grant awarded by Arts Council England (ACE) Ballance said:

“Backing grassroots local cultural activity is some of the most important work that ACE does. This is a real validation of the importance of the festival. Crucially, this will help us to keep our tickets reasonably priced and to pay our musicians fairly, allowing us to achieve our twin goals of bringing music-making to Barnet, and providing a platform for the most exciting early-career musicians of today."

Tickets are £10 for the first concert and £15 for the second and third. Thanks to generous support from the Cavatina Trust, 8–25-year-olds receive free tickets for the first and third concerts and a 50% discount for the second.

Further details:

·      Concerts will last 60–90 minutes, followed by drinks on the church green. Everything will be Covid-secure and the audience will be socially distanced.

·      For more information, including programmes and biographies of the performers, please visit www.hbcmf.co.uk. Any enquiries can be addressed to the festival at [email protected]

·      Tickets are now available from www.hbcmf.co.uk

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