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West Meon Music Festival

9th to 12th September 2021

As with so many events this year, the West Meon Music Festival has been beset by doubts as to whether it would be possible to stage a full event or – as last year – would covid-19 regulations mean that plans would again need to be scaled back.

With restrictions now easing, festival organisers, the Primrose Piano Quartet, are confident that it will be business as usual – or almost. “Last year was the festival’s 10th anniversary,” says Susanne Stanzeleit, the quartet’s violinist, “but many of our planned events had to be cancelled due to the limitation on audience numbers, so we are delighted to be able to hold many of those concerts this year. There will be a few differences though with no paper tickets and some socially-distanced seating for those who prefer it.”

Postponed events now taking place this year include a recital by exciting young guitarist Laura Snowden, sponsored by the Southampton Classical Guitar Society, which will now be held on the morning of Saturday 11th September at All Saints Church, East Meon, while 2018 BBC Young Musician of the Year finalist, cellist Maxim Calver, will be giving his delayed recital at the Church of Our Lady in Warnford that afternoon.

The festival opens on Thursday 9th September with the Primrose performing two of the most popular piano quartets in the repertoire – by Mozart and Fauré – at St John’s Church in West Meon where the festival is based.

In all there will be 11 events spread through the four-day festival including master classes, a family concert, and three evening concerts which will include a performance of Brahms’ Horn Trio with leading UK horn player Stephen Stirling and a recital by international prize-winning pianist Roman Kosyakov. The festival ends on the afternoon of Sunday 12th September with a concert that includes Schumann’s exuberant Piano Quintet – regarded as one of his finest compositions – when members of the Primrose will be joined by more musical guests.

This year the festival also incorporates “Music for All” a series of free concerts thanks to a generous grant from the Lottery’s Community Fund, which is helping to support the recovery of live music missed by so many people during the lockdowns. “Music for All” includes Maxim Calver’s recital, a late night performance by the Primrose, the family concert and local band, Rehab Blues, performing at West Meon’s Thomas Lord pub.

“We know that some people may still be nervous about attending public events,” adds Stanzeleit, “so although we can have normal seating again throughout our venues, we shall have a section in each which is socially-distanced, for any who would feel happier with a little more separation.”

Full details of all the festival programmes can be found on the festival website, www.westmeonmusic.co.uk, where tickets are on sale from 1st August.