The 2016 season was a triumph! That seems to be the verdict from the enthusiastic and hugely appreciative audience members, numbering a thousand, who attended the Insight Evening and the May concerts this year.
The Festival opened at Denbies Wine Estate with Clare Teal and her fabulous trio. Clare captured the hearts of all those hearing her sing some gorgeous jazz standards as well as her own original material and she made many new fans, engaging the capacity crowd with her delightful northern wit and brilliant musicianship.
The next night in the Baroque splendour of Holy Trinity Church, Dmitry Sitkovetsky played his transcendent arrangement of Bach’s Goldberg Variations with eminent international stars, cellist Kati Raitinen and violist, Alexander Zemtsov. This was a memorable evening of the most perfect music and outstanding musicianship. The 5-star review in the local press said “The Trio ….. had the audience spellbound. This was ensemble playing of the highest order”. The full review is available here.
The glory of Mozart’s Violin Concerto delivered on the Saturday by the wonderful London Mozart Players and superstar Nicola Benedetti was a musical feast on its own but the surprise in the second half was the rousing success of a contemporary composition, Suite in Old Style, led by the dynamic guest conductor and volist Maxim Rysanov, who invited the young Bulgarian composer, Dobrinka Tabakova, to the stage to be greeted with thunderous applause. A week later, Dobrinka chaired the judging panel for the final of the BBC Young Musician of the Year competition.