An inspirational setting for music-making, for artists and audience alike
A post Festival thank you message from our Artistic Director
What a week we’ve had at the Hatfield House Chamber Music Festival. Thank you to everyone who made it all happen, from all those working tirelessly behind the scenes, all the supporters, our wonderfully generous hosts, all those who came to listen, to the extraordinary musicians performing their hearts out, bringing the composers to life. I think all the ovations from our loyal audience says it all. What a triumph!
Onwards and upwards as we move towards our 13th Festival next year.
Why not see what the critics said:
Review of the Horn Recital
‘There are so many impressive moments: perhaps a word for Tom Poster’s playing, not only throughout but particularly the way he set up the absolutely shimmering atmosphere in the third movement.’
Review of the Horn Recital
‘There was a sense of triumph about the conclusion, along with the players’ palpable joy at playing together.’
Review of Friday’s Festival Family
‘The first movement was tuneful, perky and neo-classical, with the wind instruments to the fore and the piano deftly supporting. This continued in the slow movement, with the three wind lines intertwining over the piano, creating some lovely harmonic textures, whilst the final movement was a perky moto perpetuo with a fabulous climax.’
Review of the Song Recital
‘It was a magical end to a generous and varied programme, which traversed a wide emotional and expressive gamut.’
Review of Saturday’s Festival Family
‘The performance balanced exciting ensemble cohesion with superlative solo playing by all the musicians, the six movements offering high spirits and joy.’
Review of Voices and Viols
‘The result was a refreshing spirit of conviviality and collaboration, the informality of which in no way lessened the ‘seriousness’ of the musicians’ intent or communication.’
Review in the Observer
‘The Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective and Orsino Winds, led by violinist Elena Urioste, gave a sparkling performance of Beethoven’s Septet, a work of unbridled originality. Each member of the ensemble shone, with buoyant displays from clarinet and horn.’
You can still view our 2021 films…
Brahms Piano Quartet in G minor No 1, Op. 25
Performed by Magnus Johnston violin, Brett Dean viola, Guy Johnston cello and Tom Poster piano.
Saturday 27 November 7pm
Poulenc Trio for Oboe, bassoon and piano, FP43
Brett Dean Demons for solo flute
André Caplet Quintet for Piano and Winds, Op.8
Performed by Orsino Ensemble and Tom Poster piano
Sunday 28 November 7pm
Shostakovich String Quartet No 7 in F sharp minor, Op. 108
Stephen Johnson Angel’s Arc for clarinet and string quartet
Dvořák String Quartet in F, Op. 96, American
Performed by the Carducci Quartet
Have you considered supporting the Festival? We would love to hear from you.
All details of the Friends and Patrons Scheme can be found on our supporters page. Your donations make such a difference to the future of this Festival and we appreciate your support hugely.
Join our e-newsletter to be amongst the first to hear. The Festival also plans to record selected performances and release them shortly after the live Festival events.
… and the Festival to date
Inspiration to start a festival came to me almost 10 years ago. I was travelling back from a performance at ‘Music in Great Irish Houses’ when I was reminded of the extraordinary historic houses in my home county of Hertfordshire.
I was introduced to our board member, Nick Moorhouse who was, at the time, working at Hatfield House and, later, to Lord and Lady Salisbury, who were enthusiastic about formally reintroducing music into their home. I couldn’t have imagined a more inspirational setting for making music. Hatfield House, with its Marble Hall, the Old Palace, the Chapel and other various rooms in the House, is truly breathtaking. I am delighted with what we have managed to achieve over the years.
Looking back at the last decade, we are proud to have hosted an extraordinary list of ensembles, artists and speakers including the Sixteen, Kings College Choir, the Aurora Orchestra, Alison Balsom, Melvyn Tan, Lawrence Power, Anthony Marwood, the Navarra and Endellion Quartets, Kristian Bezuidenhout, Angela Hewitt, Tom Poster, Rachel Podger, Sheku Kanneh Mason, Michael Collins, Sir Nicholas Kenyon, Sean Rafferty, Sam West, Brett Dean, Ian Bostridge, plus local artists including Susannah Stranders, Julian Bliss, and the Hertfordshire Chorus.
Our Festival themes have included ‘Remembrance’ to commemorate WW1, ‘Vienna’, ‘Inspired by Bach’, ’Brahms and Friends’ and, more recently, ‘Pour l’Amour de la Musique’.
It has been very exciting to watch our education work evolve and grow. Led by local musician Jill Knight, the programme offers opportunities to hundreds of school children from the surrounding area, while also building collaborations with the Purcell School and Hertfordshire Music Services.
None of this would have been possible without all the incredible efforts of our founding team, festival managers, the board of trustees, funders, Festival Friends and Patrons, and volunteers. It has truly been the greatest privilege working with everyone to realise our dream of bringing memorable musical experiences to Hatfield House.
Sincere thanks to our audience for supporting this special Festival and, of course, to Lord and Lady Salisbury for making us feel so welcome in their home.
Please consider joining our Friends and Patrons to support the Festival. By joining our Friends scheme you will be making a real difference to the Festival’s future and in return you will feel closer to the action and the artists.
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Hatfield House is the home of the 7th Marquess and Marchioness of Salisbury and their family. The Estate has been in the Cecil family for 400 years.
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“The music was transforming, it was as if a spell had been cast. Helped by the surroundings, one felt drawn in to an experience so profound words cannot explain the magic.”
Audience Member, 2019