Weekend of art and music

Marcus Farnsworth, Southwell Music Festival founder and artistic director.
Marcus Farnsworth, Southwell Music Festival founder and artistic director.

Southwell is preparing to host the first ever Southwell Music Festival this weekend, with a host of leading classical musicians set to perform.

More than 60 musicians are due to perform over the Bank Holiday weekend event, with more than half of the performances free of charge.

These will be taking place at the town’s famous Minster, the state chamber of the newly-refurbished Archbishop’s Palace and at venues around the town, including outside the Old Theatre Deli and in the Methodist Church,

Marcus Farnsworth, festival founder and artistic director, said that the event is going ahead thanks to the support of many different people.

“We are very grateful to the many brilliant musical friends and colleagues who have generously agreed to take part.

“This ensemble of outstanding singers and instrumentalists combined with the enthusiastic support of the local community will ensure that our festival is a special occasion,” he said.

The centrepiece event of the festival is the performance of Haydn’s The Creation at Southwell Minster on Saturday evening by soprano Sophie Bevan, tenor Andrew Staples and bass Andrew Foster-Williams.

Creation is the appropriate theme for a new festival, along with Commemoration, which says Marcus is embodied in a chamber concert performance marking the outbreak of the First World War.

This takes place in the Great Hall at Archbishop’s Palace - to be known as the State Chamber - on Sunday evening.

Also on Sunday, visiting singers and instrumentalists will provide a special contribution to the Minster’s regular church services at 10.30am and 3.30pm.

Ticket sales have gone extremely well, with only returns available for some performances. Full details of the programme and ticket availability are at www.southwellmusicfestival.com.