The final furlong: festival a fortnight away

7th September 2019

The 2019 Beverley Chamber Music Festival (25th-28th Sept) is now just over a fortnight away and the going is good for four days of exceptional concerts, talks and more.

Racing tip

The season closer at Beverley Racecourse takes place on Tuesday 24th September with an afternoon of 7 races.  Get your festival experience off to a racing start with a trip to one of the town’s top attractions, set in the glorious surroundings of the Westwood.


First past the post in this gallop through the festival is Godiva, Kitty Whately’s lunchtime recital with Libby Burgess on Friday 27th September – which will be a highlight of the festival for many.  At the heart of Kitty’s programme are three beautiful songs by Clara Schumann whose 200th anniversary is next Friday!  The music of Clara and her circle has been at the heart of New Paths since the very beginning and so it will be poignant to hear these songs so close to her anniversary.  This concert also features a horse: in the world premiere of Godiva, a monodrama by Juliana Hall on a libretto by Caitlin Vincent, we hear the tale of Lady Godiva and her naked horse ride through the streets of Coventry!


Another one of Beverley’s foremost charms is its famous Saturday Market.  The buzz of Beverley on market day is something to be savoured.  Step inside lovely St Mary’s at lunchtime on Saturday 28th September to escape the hubbub for a while, and bask in the sonority of elite brass ensemble, Onyx Brass, whose colourful programme, Firebox, is sure to delight.

Eternal rest

For the first time, the festival features a late-night performance – Captured Moonlight, on Friday 27th September at 10pm, in which Martin Roscoe is joined by outstanding violist Sarah-Jane Bradley.  This nocturnal concert combines Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata and Shostakovich’s last work, his profoundly spiritual Viola Sonata.  Tickets start at £5!  Martin is dedicating his performance of the Moonlight Sonata to the memory of composer Dr Anthony Hedges, a major figure in the local musical community who died recently.  Tony was a cherished supporter of the festival and this is a very special chance for us to say thank you and farewell to him.


It is pleasing to conclude this newsletter on a horsey note!  Just down the road from St Mary’s is Beverley’s legendary gas-lit pub, The White Horse (known by locals as “Nellie’s”).   We hope that many festivalgoers will get the chance to enjoy a pint or two there during the festival.  Where better to round off a day at the festival than beside the fire in this classic boozer?


As the leaves begin to fall in the East Riding, we cannot wait to welcome you to the festival in a couple of weeks.

On the air

Festival artists were all over BBC radio this week.  Kitty appeared on Monday’s edition of In Tune on Radio Three, and Libby appeared on Sally Fairfax’s show on Radio Humberside on Thursday:

  • Listen here (from 7:25) to Kitty – our favourite quote from the show is “love is love”.
  • Listen here (from 2:13:35) to Libby – our favourite quote from the show is “music is music”.


One further equine connection.  If you fancy a scenic drive between concerts during the festival then you could head in the direction of Kiplingcotes in the Yorkshire Wolds.  The hamlet is home to the Kiplingcotes Derby, widely accepted to be the oldest annual horse race in the English sporting calendar. It reputedly began in 1519 and takes place on the third Thursday in March, often in exceptionally adverse weather conditions. The 500th race took place on 21 March 2019.  Nearby pubs well worth a visit are the Goodmanham Arms and the Pipe & Glass!