Little Missenden Festival

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Country and Region United KingdomEngland
Type of Festival Music
Location of Festival Little Missenden, Buckinghamshire, England UK
Festival Contact Information

The Little Missenden Festival
Ashlyn, Greenlands Lane,
Prestwood, Bucks, HP16 9QX
England UK

Festival Description

The Little Missenden Festival has an unbroken tradition of high-quality music-making in a unique Buckinghamshire village setting. It has a very intimate and special feeling. Composer David Matthews called it “England’s best-kept secret festival”.

Most events take place in the church of St John the Baptist, a small Saxon-cum-Norman building enriched with 12th-17th century wall paintings, dominated by a famous St Christopher. A concert here is a unique experience. This lovely building has a fine immediate acoustic, and music heard at this intimate range has real impact and presence. The small and unspoiled village is in beautiful Chiltern countryside – yet not far from London, just beyond Betjeman’s Metroland.

The Festival features promising young talents as well as nationally and internationally famous artists and composers. The programme ranges from classic masterworks through less familiar (but not less intriguing) territory. It includes something for all – early, baroque, classical and contemporary music rub shoulders with jazz, folk music, art lectures, poetry and children’s events.

Festival Dates Ocfober 8 - 17, 2010
Festival Links

Festival Events:

Programming 2010:
  • Consumed by a Kiss
    • A delicious pasticcio of excerpts from 17th century Italian operas (Monteverdi, Cavalli, Rossi, Caccini, etc), served up by Mark Tucker and Julia Gooding with an all-star instrumental group led by Pavlo Beznosiuk.
  • The Orlando Consort
    • The group sings a splendid array of music from a magnificent 16th century royal encounter in Toledo, when Philip the Fair of Burgundy met his Spanish in-laws, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella.
  • Quartetto Prometeo
    • The brilliant Italian string quartet, Quartetto Prometeo, play Schubert’s best-loved quartet (Death and the Maiden), with Schumann’ 2nd Quartet and Salvatore Sciarrino’s fascinating 7th Quartet, written for the Prometeo.
  • Libor Novacek
    • Libor leads us from Haydn’s elegant classicism into the heart of red-blooded Romantic pianism – Chopin, Liszt and Janáček.
  • Susan Bickley and Iain Burnside
    • The duo performs Wagner’s beautiful Wesendonck songs, and many others by Haydn, Wolf, Ivor Gurney and William Bolcom, with excerpts from the iconic NMC Song Book. William Bolcom – with excerpts from the iconic NMC Song Book.
  • Curios
    • The electrifying young jazz pianist Tom Cawley brings his acclaimed trio, Curios to the festival.
  • Joglaresa
    • The group performs an exuberant programme of mediaeval songs and dances from Moorish Spain, the Sephardic tradition and the Middle East.
  • Laura Tivendale
    • An exciting young harpsichord player, Laura Tivendale, plays brilliant harpsichord pieces by Scarlatti, Soler and contemporaries, joyously alive with vigorous rhythms and unexpected harmonies.
  • Mark Bebbington
    • Mark performs a programme of English piano music, including Frank Bridge’s fine sonata and John Ireland’s Rhapsody – and a piece by one of the Festival founders, the late Richard Drakeford.
  • Gemma Rosefield and Tamsin Waley-Cohen
    • The rising young stars play solos and duets for violin and cello by Ravel, Kodály, David Matthews and Richard Causton.
  • Art lecture on Canaletto
    • An illustrated art lecture on Canaletto given by Desmond Shawe-Taylor (Surveyor of the Queen’s Pictures), anticipating the National Gallery’s autumn exhibition, Venice: Canaletto and his Rivals, which will start a few days later.
  • Tobias Hill
    • The poet reads from and talks about his work and its influences.
  • Children’s music
    • Music by and for children from three local primary schools, led by Janet Davey, Richard Benjafield and Chika Robertson.


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Practical Info:

Photo slideshow credits:
  • In order of appearance
    • Joglaresa
    • Little Missenden church- credit Eric Hardy
    • Quartetto Prometeo
    • Susan Bickley. photo by Samantha Ovens
    • Gemma Rosefield
    • Mark Tucker, photo by Yasmin Hargreaves


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