• Hatfield House

    An inspirational setting for music-making, for artists and audience alike

Artistic Director, Guy Johnston, talks about the 2020 Festival…

We were thrilled to be able to go ahead with filming some performances for the 2020 Festival in the House at the end of July and we turned it into a family affair with the Salisbury family as a small private audience. We are giving our wider audiences the opportunity to go behind the scenes with Lord Salisbury, who will introduce Hatfield House’s historic features with art historian Dr Emily Burns.

We were joined by many of the musicians who have become firm favourites at the Festival – the Navarra Quartet, clarinettist Julian Bliss and pianists Melvyn Tan and Kathryn Stott – who performed under these unusual circumstances along side some newcomers to Hatfield audiences – counter tenor Iestyn Davies, lutenist Elizabeth Kenny, soprano Katherine Broderick and organist Richard Gowers.

Rather than abandoning this year’s Festival, we felt it was so important to keep musicians seen and heard, and above all employed.

The films will be released as follows and can be viewed then and afterwards for free, though a donation towards the costs of making these films would be very welcome. Details of how to make these donations will be at the end of each film or can be made via the donate button above. Or if you would like to donate to support our 2020 films, please text: 2020HHCMF[+ the amount you would like to donate ie 2020HHCMF10 for £10] to 70085

Friday 11 September 2020, 7:00pm
Marble Hall, Hatfield House
Beethoven Trio in B-flat major, Op. 11 for Clarinet, Cello, and Piano, slow movement
Schubert Impromptu, Op. 90 No 2
Mendelssohn Cello Sonata No 2 in D Major

Guy Johnston  cello
Melvyn Tan  piano
Julian Bliss  clarinet

Friday 18 September 2020, 7:00pm
Long Gallery & Armoury, Hatfield House
Dowland Say Love if Ever Thou Didst Find
Dowland King of Denmark’s Galliard
Dowland Can She Excuse my Wrongs
Dowland Flow My Tears
Dowland Come Again
Dowland In Darkness Let Me Dwell

Iestyn Davies  countertenor
Elizabeth Kenny  lute

Handel Voluntary ‘A Flight of Angels’
Handel Six Fugues, Fugue II in G
Tomkins Voluntary in D
Byrd My Lady Nevells Booke of Virginal Music, A Galliards Gygge
Tallis La doune cella

Richard Gowers  organ

Texts for this concert are available here.

Friday 25 September 2020, 7:00pm
Marble Hall, Hatfield House
Schubert An die Musik
Schubert An die Entfernte D765
Schubert Gretchen am Spinnrade
Fauré Nocturne No 11
Fauré Les Berceaux
Fauré Les Présents
Fauré Après un Rêve
Berlioz La Captive
Quilter Now sleeps the crimson petal
Quilter Fair house of Joy

Katherine Broderick  soprano
Kathryn Stott  piano
Guy Johnston  cello

Texts and translations: Broderick and Stott online programme

Friday 2 October 2020, 7:00pm
Chapel & Marble Hall, Hatfield House
Glière Berceuse Op. 39 No 3
Puccini I Crisantemi
Bach Cello Suite No 2 in D minor
Mozart Clarinet Quintet, K. 581

Guy Johnston cello
Navarra Quartet
Julian Bliss clarinet

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… 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 Herts 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. We look forward to bringing you our broadcast concerts in the autumn, and seeing you all again in person in 2021 for our 10th anniversary celebrations.

“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

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