What a year 2020 has turned out to be! Last weekend should have seen New Paths’ first ever venture across the Humber, for our Independence Day concert as part of Barton Arts. Independence Day of course looked rather different this year, and we hope you are steering a safe, happy and healthy course through the twists and turns of lockdown easing.

We suspect it will come as little surprise that we have reluctantly taken the decision to cancel this year’s Beverley Chamber Music Festival. With so many unknowns it is impossible for us to proceed in planning a festival which is socially responsible and economically viable – or indeed to plan, full stop.

Libby Burgess and Martin Roscoe would have been joined by the Carducci Quartet, violinist Liza Ferschtman, baritone Roderick Williams, clarinettist James Campbell, cellist Nathaniel Boyd, and more, in a programme that would have featured daily Beethoven, both Janacek quartets, Finzi’s By Foothpath and Stile, Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet, a co-commission with Presteigne Festival, and Schubert’s Octet. The co-commission, by Emma-Ruth Richards, has been written, and we’re pleased to have contributed to the string quartet repertoire in this way – but we are so sorry not to be welcoming our performers and audience to St Mary’s this year for such a feast of music.

St Mary’s is currently undergoing major restoration, of course, and for those of you who know and love the building, you might be interested to read more about that work here:

And if that makes you feel nostalgic for past festivals, you might like to browse our photo gallery from last year’s festival:

It’s not all about looking backwards, though! We are currently forming plans to share music with you, both in person and through technology. Watch this space!

Clearly this is an extremely challenging time for the arts world at large, in response to which Libby recently wrote this piece championing the importance of culture and creativity:

Whilst perhaps not directly answering this article, we were delighted to hear the government’s pledge to support the arts, announced in recent days!

If you feel able to donate to New Paths, this will of course be very valuable in putting us on a secure footing as we plan how to present future events.

However, we are very aware that every charity and arts organisation under the sun is currently clamouring for donations, and also that many people’s personal finances are under pressure at the moment. Much more important to us is the assurance of your loyalty as we sit quietly and look to the future! When we do finally get to see you all again, it will be such a joy.