We invited you to celebrate with us, during the 2019 Leamington Music Festival, the thirtieth festival organised by Richard Phillips held over the first of the May Bank Holiday weekends.
In its early years, these were mostly based in Warwick but, since 2000, the Royal Pump Rooms in Leamington have provided an outstanding setting for a nationally acclaimed festival of chamber music, attracting visitors from all over the country to join our knowledgeable and appreciative audience. The refurbishment of the Assembly Hall in February and a new catering company was a bonus to the friendly welcome we extend to everybody throughout the Festival and the Winter Season too.
A favourite violinist, Tasmin Little, and a brilliant young Russian pianist, Andrey Gugnin, launched the Festival on 3 May in a programme that included works fitting in the three musical strands that bound the whole event together – Delius, a composer whom Tasmin champions; Schubert, who appeared in seven of the Festival concerts; and Russian music, which also featured in Gugnin’s lunchtime concert on 6 May.
Besides Andrey Gugnin, the organist Jonathan Cunliffe, the young musicians giving the lunchtime concert on 7 May, and the Aronowitz Ensemble all appeared in the Festival for the first time. We welcomed back old friends – the Leonore Piano Trio, Fitzwilliam and Martinů String Quartets, Raphael Wallfisch & John York, Ensemble 360 and local and national treasure Roderick Williams, both as composer and superb singer, gave us the opportunity to hear the two commissioned works from Leamington-based composer Howard Skempton – Man and Bat and The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.
The usual five day weekend festival paused for a day, before we celebrated with two evenings from the Takács String Quartet. A superb launching pad for the
next thirty years!