Sounding the trumpet for Stour Music

Stour Music, founded as a festival of early music by Alfred Deller in 1962, has announced that his son Mark, who has been running the festival for the past 44 years, will be standing down as Festival Director in 2019. He will be succeeded as Artistic Director by Robert Hollingworth, director of I Fagiolini.

Mark Deller, who began his career organising the first-ever Salisbury Festival of the Arts in 1967, took over the reins at Stour from his father in 1974, and subsequently was Director of the Canterbury Festival for 18 years, when it was re-established in 1984. In 1995 he was awarded an Hon. D.Mus by the University of Kent, for his services to the Arts in the region, and in 2014 was given an Exceptional Service Award by the British Arts Festivals Association.

Robert Hollingworth set up the vocal group I Fagiolini in 1986, inspired by The Deller Consort, among others. Innovative productions over 30 years include The Full Monteverdi and Tallis in Wonderland (on film and live including Lincoln Center, New York), How Like An Angel with Australian acrobats C!rca for the 2012 Cultural Olympiad and CDs including the Gramophone Award-winning Striggio ‘Mass for 40 voices’. “I first came to Stour Music in 1992 and it has since become a regular pilgrimage. I love the unique combination of a rural Kent church, Alfred Deller’s grave nearby and the legendary puddings – all of which seem to get musicians to give of their best. I’m flattered to be asked to step into Mark’s shoes and as the third countertenor/director of a vocal group to run the festival, will sound the trumpet for Stour.”

Robert continues as Anniversary Reader in Music at University of York where he teaches his MA in Music for Solo-Voice Ensemble Singing.