Stour Music 2015
16 – 28 June 2015
Although Stour Music is principally a festival of early music, from its inception it has always endeavoured to promote new music alongside the old. Recently, with help from its Contemporary Composers Fund, Stour Music has commissioned new works from Giles Swayne, Geoffrey Burgon, Dusan Bogdanovic and Roland Dyens. Last year, Kent-based composer Matthew King was invited to write a new community opera for Stour Music, based on the story of The Pied Piper, and this will have its first performances at the start of this year’s festival.
Two award-winning vocal ensembles will be making their first appearance at the festival this year. Tenebrae will be performing a programme of Russian music, with treasures inspired by some rare manuscripts collected by director Nigel Short during his travels around Russia. Vox Luminis, founded in 2004 in Namur, Belgium, made its London debut in 2013/14 and will be performing Carissimi’s Jephte and music by Charpentier.
Two orchestras will be making a welcome return to the festival – La Serenissima with a programme of music by Vivaldi which includes his immensely popular ‘Four Seasons’, and The Academy of Ancient Music with a programme entitled ‘Angels & Saints’, directed by the virtuoso Croatian solo violinist Bojan Čičić.
One of the more unusual concerts in this year’s festival programme is the one to be given by The Society of Strange & Ancient Instruments, on the first Sunday afternoon. ‘Nine Daies Wonder’ recalls an unusual event from 1599, when the Shakespearean actor/dancer Will Kempe morris-danced his way from London to Norwich, a journey that took him nine days. The name of Kempe has strong roots in this part of Kent, and there is a strong possibility that Will was related to the Kempe family at Olantigh, near Wye. An added attraction to this event will be provided by the Wantsum Morris Men, who will be dancing in the field alongside the festival marquee before the concert, and will lead the audience into the church for the start of the concert.