Dartington Music Festival announces full programme of live music this summer

06 July 2021
By Ellie Palmer
The popular Festival will take place from 24 July to 20 August

Dartington Music Festival has announced the full programme for its summer festival.

The Festival runs alongside Dartington’s world-famous Music Summer School, where musicians of all ages and abilities come together to learn from some of the world’s most exciting artists. This summer’s programme is the first under new Artistic Director, the BBC broadcaster Sara Mohr-Pietsch.

Highlights of the 2021 concert programme include the long-awaited return to Dartington of the world-famous Brodsky Quartet, debut appearances from violinist Rachel Podger, soprano Mary Bevan and pianist Joseph Middleton, and specially-devised concerts from Dartington favourites Stile Antico and Fretwork.

Several ensembles will be in residence for the first time, including period-instrument group Dunedin Consort, and jazz pioneers Nu Civilisation Orchestra. Café OTO will curate a strand of experimental music, and the Nest Collective brings its magical Campfire Club to Dartington for the first time. Amateur singers will premiere two major commissions: a psalm-setting by leading American composer Nico Muhly, and a large-scale outdoor work, “JOY!”, by John Barber and Hazel Gould.

New for this year is a full programme of family-friendly, free and participatory events, opening up the Summer School to an even wider audience. These include four completely free Festival Fridays, with live music, processions, brass fanfares, folk sessions and much more taking place across the Dartington Hall estate.

The Festival’s new family-friendly programme includes a special series of Relaxed Concerts, allowing for noise and movement, with a Roald Dahl-inspired show, “Revolting Rhymes and Marvellous Music”, and pianist Florian Mitrea playing youthful music by Mozart. There are several family workshops on offer, led by Tara Franks of SoundsCreative, including one-off sessions for babies, children and parents, and a 3-day course: SoundsCreative Lab. Families will also be able to sing in JOY!, our major new commission, either in the Community Choir or as part of a 3-day Children’s Choir course, led by experienced director Isabelle Adams.

Other free events and installations on offer include a unique opportunity to take part in Drum Grid, by leading American composer Raven Chacon, with amateur drummers spread out across the Dartington Hall estate on 29th July. Throughout the summer, the Festival will host a sound installation linked to Dartmoor’s Skylark FM, and from 14th – 21st August, audiences can hear Delia Derbyshire-inspired audio works developed by patients at Langdon Hospital.

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The concert programme follows the structure of the Summer School, with each week focusing on a combination of genres: early and new, baroque and folk, chamber music, jazz and experimental.


Full event listings and tickets can be found here.