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Welcome to our festival!

The Lewes Chamber Music Festival began its life in the summer of 2012 when 8 musicians were invited by the Festival's founder and violinist, Beatrice Philips to come down to Lewes and perform six concerts of the finest chamber music to local audiences over one weekend. The concerts proved so popular that audiences insisted it happen again the following year. Now in its fifth year, the LCMF has gained itself a reputation for exciting and inspired performances of not just the best-loved pieces in the chamber-music repertoire, but of more obscure works, which have perhaps been unjustly neglected. Two world-premieres have been presented at LCMF, both by young composer Kate Whitely. Programmes over the last couple of years have also featured living composers: Edmund Finnis, Melanie Daiken and Huw Watkins.

The LCMF specifically focuses on bringing a mixture of professional musicians of international repute; those at the start of their career, and several who may still be studying, to perform together - giving performers and audiences a unique musical experience. In a similar way, pieces by lesser-known composers are explored and shared alongside well-loved works, ensuring a sense of discovery for audiences at every concert. The concerts are held in church venues across Lewes and in Firle village, providing a more intimate experience than a formal concert hall. The rare opportunity to hear music performed at such a level outside the big cities of the UK, and in the intimate 'festival' atmosphere makes it an unmissable weekend of concerts for music-lovers! 

Please support LCMF by joining us to celebrate wonderful music over this long weekend in June, in one of England's most historic and picturesque towns!


from the artistic director:

photo: Anna Patarakina

photo: Anna Patarakina

It is amazing to be approaching our FIFTH chamber music festival in Lewes! We certainly would not be in this position if it wasn't for the huge support we have had from local volunteers (and not-so-local volunteers), generous donors and of course the amazing musicians who have performed each year. I must also thank our trustees, and the people of Lewes and beyond and the FRIENDS and PATRONS for being a wonderful and supportive audience.
When programming this year's festival, I went back to what inspired me to begin LCMF in the first place; the desire to present and explore an abundance of music of all types with as many people as possible. Unconstricted by a specific theme, the programmes I have created compliment each other and hopefully provide something new as well as something familiar for everybody. Loosely based around music by Bartok and Schubert, I found that the juxtaposition of romantic French music worked very well, enhancing the rich harmonies and cultural history within these works. Beethoven lies at the centre with a concert of his string trios. Very excitingly, we will be welcoming outstanding violinist Alina Ibragimova, violist James Boyd and cellist Jonathan Cohen to perform these trios on period instruments. Following this, we welcome a number of wind-players to Lewes for the first time, coming together for a late-night performance of Schubert's mighty Octet.
Our main venue, St John sub Castro church, has a newly renovated oak floor, making the already wonderful acoustics better than ever. Further renovations are planned for the audience space in the future, but for now we couldn't have hoped for a better home for our Festival. The late night concerts are to be held once again at All Saints Centre, providing an intimate and atmospheric space for the performance of two extraordinary works - Schubert's Octet, and Schoenberg's Verkläte Nacht.
The unique and intimate feeling one gets at LCMF is thanks to the extraordinary group of musicians, whose desire to share the music so closely with audiences and colleagues makes the concerts extremely special. This year will be no exception, and once again, thanks to the Cavatina Trust, tickets for those under 26 years old are free of charge throughout the weekend. Tell your friends, and help us break our audience record in 2016! 

beatrice philips