The English Music Festival is delighted to announce that it is playing its part in restarting music-making in the UK, and that our Autumn Festival will be going ahead this year. We have been very aware of the plight of musicians in this country, so many of whom have lost so much work and, therefore, income since concerts stopped in March, and we have been deeply concerned about the future of concerts and live music in the wake of the lockdown. We are therefore doing what we can to rectify matters by arranging events, starting with an Autumn Festival at St Mary's Church in Horsham, Sussex, which has been designated a COVID-secure venue.
Our Festival opens with a recital given by violinist Rupert Marshall-Luck and pianist Duncan Honeybourne. Both musicians have been acclaimed world-wide for their concert performances and recordings, Marshall-Luck's performances having been praised as 'perfect in intonation, phrasing, rich and luscious violin tone - in fact, everything'; while Honeybourne's playing has been commended for its 'suave confidence' and its 'terrific intensity and touches of panache'. Their recital for the Autumn EMF includes Elgar's Violin Sonata, composed in 1919 just a few miles from the concert venue.
Duncan Honeybourne enjoys a colourful and diverse career as a pianist and in music education. Reviews have commended his 'glittering performances' and 'suave confidence', 'terrific intensity and touches of panache', and 'intellectual and physical stamina'. His recital for the Autumn EMF explores works and composers with strong connections to Sussex and thus forms a perfect complement to the setting of St Mary's Church.
Emma Halnan has performed at major venues worldwide. She has performed live on BBC Radio 3's In Tune on multiple occasions, as well as being broadcast on BBC Radio 2's Friday Night is Music Night as soloist with the BBC Concert Orchestra. She works regularly with harpist Heather Wrighton and together they have appeared at venues including Wigmore Hall and St James Piccadilly as well as at the Norfolk & Norwich Festival. Their recital for the Autumn EMF includes Vaughan Williams' well-loved Fantasia on Greensleeves alongside a number of scintillatingly colourful works by contemporary composers.
The early music ensemble Ensemble Hesperi has been acclaimed nationally for its performances, with reviewers stating 'The rapport between these players was obvious, as was their infectious enjoyment in the music', and praising their 'virtuosic and delightful playing'. Their concert for the Autumn EMF is a fascinating exploration of London's musical life in the seventeenth century, with intriguing figures such as Godfrey Finger and Johann Christoph Pepusch appearing alongside such well-known composers as George Frideric Handel and Francesco Geminiani.
Posted 21 September 2020 by Em Marshall-Luck