Music Festival could be held within days of the easing of lockdown

Whittington International Chamber Music Festival will be one of the first events to take advantage of the announcement that, if coronavirus cases and hospital admissions continue to fall, concert halls and theatres can reopen their doors from 17 May.

Sophia Rahman
Sophia Rahman

The three concerts planned for May 20-22 will see the revival of the Festival just days after restrictions ease.

Festival organisers who have spent the last few months planning a series of socially distanced concerts this year being held at Holy Trinity church, Oswestry.

A spokesman said, “It is most exciting – and no little relief – to find that the days we had chosen come just after the planned easing of lockdown restrictions. This means that with the reopening of concert venues, Whittington International Chamber Music Festival will be one of the very first live music events with a live audience present.

“Our Artistic director Sophia Rahman has brought together a talented group of musicians all of whom have performed extensively at home and abroad. They have endured more than a year with few opportunities to perform and we are delighted that after so long our Festival can offer players and audience real live chamber music.

"Each concert has its own theme: firstly rustic song and dance, then transformation, and finally baroque and its inspiration of dance, which marks the 300th Anniversary of Bach’s Brandenburg concertos.

“This year circumstances mean it is not practicable to use Whittington Church as we have for earlier Festivals, so our concerts will be held in Holy Trinity Church, Oswestry, which has been a regular venue for classical music over the years.

"When sales open priority will be given to subscribing Friends of Whittington Festival with tickets offered to the public between from April 28. As we assume that social distancing will still be required, the concerts will run without an interval and ticket numbers will be limited.”

Artistic Director Sophia Rahman said, “I and my fellow musicians are absolutely thrilled at the prospect of coming together to play live music again after a year of cancellations, interruptions and sadness. We sense that music lovers are as hungry as we are for the unique experience of a live performance. There really is nothing like it”

The organisers add that they are aware that Glastonbury Festival has announced a global livestream event for May 22, but they do not think the clash of dates will affect either Festival.

Further details of the Festival can be seen on whittingtonmusicfestival.org.uk.

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