2019 Programme

The 2019 festival will run between Saturday 22nd June and Saturday 29th June 2019.

Records show that the very first Bradfield Festival of Music was held in the late 1800’s. It was revived in the modern era 22 years ago, with the aid of Yorkshire Arts Foundation funding, and is enjoying a renaissance going from strength to strength due to the combination of its unique qualities. Last year’s festival was considered by many to be one of our best ever, and we hope to maintain or even better our standard this year!

Musicians marvel at the extraordinary acoustics when they come to play at the festival. An instrumentalist from the Berlin Philharmonic Ensemble described them as both wet (like the rich sound of singing in the shower!) and dry (clear, pure and perfect). This, coupled with the intimacy of the setting where the audience sit close to the performers, enhances the musician’s performance creating an unforgettable experience. On a glorious midsummer evening with light in the sky until 11pm nothing can beat the exquisite view from the church in High Bradfield where the concerts are held, spanning 180 degrees and stretching out over the valleys and hills of the glorious peak district.

The Bradfield Festival of Music has an enviable tradition of attracting the very finest musicians, and has developed a quite extraordinary international reputation. This year international, national and local musicians of the highest calibre will perform in the perfect acoustics of the festival setting. We are thrilled to welcome back the ensemble from the world famous Amsterdam Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra! The ensemble so enjoyed their experience of playing at the Bradfield Festival that they asked to return, and we are sure they will give a glorious opening concert on Saturday June 22nd.

Jacqui Dankworth and Charlie Wood received a rapturous reception at the festival in 2017, and we are delighted that they accepted our invitation to come back in 2019. Please book you tickets early for this concert because it sold out fast two years ago! The festival week continues with international artists – Laura Van Der Heijden who played so superbly in 2016, Rebeca Omordia with a fascinating African element in her programme, the Wihan Quartet from Prague and the Pelleas Ensemble with the captivating combination of flute, harp and viola. Our final concert this year will be a fabulous affair with a stunning programme by the awesome Austonley Brass, and our Bradfield Festival Award Young Musicians 2019 performing. Sheffield Music Hub have told us that the Bradfield Festival Award has become a high honour for their music students to aspire to, and forms an important component of their CV when applying for music conservatoires and academies.

Saturday 22nd June 2019 @ 7:30pm – Camerata RCO (from Amsterdam)

Chamber Octet – clarinet, bassoon, horn, two violins, viola, cello, double bass.

Schubert Octet in F major
J. BrahmsOp. 116, no. 3 in arrangement for ensemble by Thomas Beijer.
R. Schumann/ J. HeifetzDer Vogel als Prophet in arrangement for ensemble by Rob Dirksen
A. Dvorak Adagio from Czech Suite in arrangement for ensemble by Guido Schaefer
F. Schubert/ J. HeifetzAve Maria in arrangement for ensemble by Thomas Beijer.
A. Dvorak/ J. HeifetzHumoreske in arrangement for ensemble by Rob Dirksen

Camerata RCO performed at Bradfield for the first time in 2018.  The Bradfield Festival of Music trustees were keen that they return, and Camerata RCO were likewise enthiusiastic to play again in our wonderful venue for our warm and appreciative audience.  They write: “Camerata RCO is a unique ensemble. We are all members of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam and we enjoy playing in the orchestra tremendously. However, we like to expand this joy by playing together in a small ensemble as well.  Not only is the repertoire of a small ensemble  different, we also feel that chamber music is more personal and intimate. It is refreshing to get to know our colleagues in the orchestra better while working together in Camerata RCO. We are completely free to choose the repertoire we play, where we play it and with whom. With Camerata RCO we like to be in close contact with our audience. The energy that results from these concerts is what inspires us most.”


Sunday 23rd June 2019 @ 6:30pm – Book of Common Prayer Choral Evensong

With the Choir of St Nicholas’ Church, Bradfield.  Guest preacher: the Archdeacon of Sheffield and Rotherham, the Venerable Malcolm Chamberlain.


Monday 24th June 2019 @ 7:30pm – Jacqui Dankworth & Charlie Wood


Renowned UK vocalist Jacqui Dankworth and Memphis-born singer/keyboardist Charlie Wood present a husband & wife concert programme tracing the musical diaspora of the Blues, from traditional blues singers like Bessie Smith and Robert Johnson, through the jazz of Billie Holiday, the soul of Ray Charles, the electric blues of Albert King, and into the roots-infused popular music of artists like Van Morrison, Bonnie Raitt, Keb’ Mo’, Liz Wright & others.

Jacqui Dankworth & Charlie Wood performed at Bradfield in 2017, and we are thrilled at their return in 2019. Jacqui is one of the most highly regarded vocalists in the UK. Her concert appearances and her stylistically diverse recordings showcase her virtuosic, seemingly effortless mastery of a wide spectrum of genres.  Known primarily as a jazz singer, Jacqui’s unique musical palette also draws on folk, soul, classical, blues, and numerous other influences.  Jacqui’s most recent CD, “Live To Love”, has garnered rave reviews and features many of her own original compositions.

Charlie Wood is a singer/songwriter and keyboardist whose eclectic musical style incorporates elements of jazz, blues, traditional r&b and popular music. Born and raised in Memphis, TN, Wood’s early musical development was steeped in the blues and R&B music of his hometown. At seventeen, he headed down to New Orleans, spending several years soaking up the exotic piano traditions and lush lifestyle of the Big Easy.  Charlie Wood’s seventh studio album “Tomorrow Night” was recently released on Perdido Records. Featuring 12 tracks – some self-penned, others made famous by BB King, Otis Redding, Bobby “Blue” Bland, Al Green – the album is a true return to form from this acclaimed singer/keyboardist, blending a sound steeped in traditional R&B and Blues, leavened with some Jazz influences.

You can read more about Jacqui Dankworth and Charlie Wood in an interview conducted by Patricia Hunt from the Bradfield Music Festival by clicking here.


Tuesday 25th June 2019 @ 7:30pm – Laura van der Heijden (cello) & pianist Jâms Coleman

Schnittke, Alfred: Suite im alten Stil
Beethoven, Ludwig van: Sonata for Cello & Piano in G minor, Op. 5, No. 2
Kodaly, Zoltan: Cello Sonatina
Franck, Cesar: Sonata for Violin & Piano in A major

Laura van der Heijden has already made a name for herself as a very special emerging talent, captivating audiences and critics alike with her ‘compelling, intelligent, natural, imaginative, sensitive, heartfelt’ interpretations.  Having turned 21 in 2018, Laura can already look back on a number of exceptional achievements, among them becoming the winner – at the age of just 15 – of the BBC Young Musician 2012 competition, and performing with such distinguished musicians as Sir Andrew Davis, Fazil Say, Kirill Karabits, Huw Watkins, Krzysztof Chorzelski, and the Endellion String Quartet. In 2016 Laura was chosen by the Orpheum Stiftung in Switzerland, a foundation encouraging and assisting exceptionally talented young instrumental soloists. Under this umbrella she appeared in recital with Fazil Say at Zürich Tonhalle.  In 2018 Laura performed with the Argovia Philharmonic in Switzerland and at Wigmore Hall in a BBC lunchtime recital; also performances with the Hallé Orchestra under Karl-Heinz Steffens (Dvorak), in Japan with the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra and at the Musashino Cultural Foundation, as well as in Italy at the Stradivari Festival of Cremona.


Wednesday 26th June 2019 @ 7:30pm – Rebeca Omordia (piano)

Beethoven – Sonata op. 109 in E major
Robert Schumann – Carnaval op. 9
Clara Wieck-Schumann – “Toccatina” from Soiree Musicales
Chopin: Polonaise-Fantaisie op. 61
Chopin – Scherzo no. 4 op. 54
Ravel – Gaspard de la nuit
Fred Onovwerosuoke – Studies in African Rhythms

An opportunity to hear Nigerian-Romanian pianist Rebeca Omordia, described by the Guardian Nigeria as “the virtuoso pianist who cast spell on Lagos”. Rebeca  has made a name for herself as a vibrant and exciting virtuoso who is in demand throughout the UK and abroad. She has collaborated with an excellent array of musicians including a three-year duo partnership with cellist Julian Lloyd Webber. Rebeca is an advocate of Nigerian classical music and her CD ‘EKELE’ released in 2018 on Heritage Records was described as an “Appealing album” (BBC Music Magazine),  “Fascinating programme “(Gramophone Magazine) and “Beautifully delivered recital” (The Sunday Times)”.


Thursday 27th June 2019 @ 7:30pm – Wihan Quartet from Prague

Mozart: String Quartet No. 19 in C Major, K. 465 “Dissonance”
Smetana: String Quartet No 2 in D Minor


Josef Suk: Meditation on an Old Czech Chorale, ‘St. Wenceslas’, Op.35
DVORAK: String Quartet No. 10 in E♭ major, Op. 51 (B. 92)

The Wihan Quartet has been described by International Record Review as: ‘one of the best quartets in the world today.’ In 2015 the Quartet celebrated 30 years since its formation, and over the years it has developed an outstanding reputation for the interpretation of its native Czech heritage, and of the many classical, romantic and modern masterpieces of the string quartet repertoire.

The Quartet’s recording of Dvorak Op.34/Op.105 was chosen as a ‘Recording of the Year’ by MusicWeb International and BBC Music Magazine said of their Dvorak Op.61 recording: ‘This is the finest recorded performance I have encountered to date’ The Wihan’s release of Schubert G Major received an ‘Outstanding’ from International Record Review and The Sunday Times said of the recording: ‘This is playing of the highest quality…..Their tempo allows you to savor to the full the harmonic richness of this extraordinary music.’

Jiří Zigmund, retired from the Wihan Quartet in 2014. The Quartet was very fortunate to find an excellent viola player in Jakub Čepický, son of Leoš, and his first recording with the Quartet of Suk, Dvorak and Janacek was released on Nimbus Alliance in 2016: ‘the Wihan Quartet give a very special performance of Dvorak’s last and greatest quartet…..one of the most experienced and admired of chamber ensemble, The Wihan Quartet gives a deeply considered ensemble performance. The sweetness of tone achieved in the Adagio is remarkable and the first movement has irresistible impetus…..this CD shows the Wihan to be in fine form…..’ BBC Music Magazine, May 2016.

In 2017, after 32 years as a member of the Wihan Quartet, cellist Ales Kasprik retired from the Quartet. The Quartet have been very fortunate to find a wonderful cellist to perform with them: the excellent Michal Kanka, cellist with one of the best Czech string quartets, the Prazak Quartet.


Friday 28th June  2019 @ 7:30pm – Pelléas Ensemble (harp, viola & flute)

Ibert – Deux Interludes
Rameau – Pièce en Concert
Jolivet – Petite Suite
Sally Beamish – Between Earth and Sea
J.S. Bach Flute Sonata, Eb Major BWV 1031
Ravel – Tombeau de Couperin (4 movements)

The Pelléas Ensemble was formed at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in 2011. Playing with “verve and polish” (The Times),  they recently won the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Henderson Chamber Ensemble Award, and the 2017 Elias Fawcett Award for Outstanding Chamber Ensemble at the Royal Overseas League competition. In 2016 they won both the Grand Prize and the Audience Prize in the St Martin-in-the-Fields Chamber Music Competition, and won a place on the prestigious Tillett Trust Young Artists’ Programme. In 2015 they won First Prize at the British Harp Chamber Music Competition. They are Tunnell Trust Young Artists.  Their Wigmore Hall debut was praised for its “captivating vitality” and “effortlessness and delicacy” (Seen and Heard International), and they have appeared live on BBC Radio 3’s ‘In Tune’. They have been praised for creating an immediate and intimate connection with their audiences.


Saturday 29th June 2019 @ 7:30pm – Austonley Brass

Festmusik der Stadt Wien – Richard Strauss
Brandenburg Concerto No.3 – Johann Sebastian Bach
Trombone Concerto – Johann Georg Albrechtsberger (Trombone soloist: Chris Gomersal)
Brass Symphony – Jan Koetsier
Sheffield Music Service young musician of the year 2019


Fox Fanfare – Alfred Newman
For the Love of a Princess – James Horner
March of the Resistance – John Williams
Jurassic Park – John Williams
Feels so good – Chuck Mangione (Flugel Horn soloist: Andy Holmes)
Lil Darlin – Neil Hefti
Memories of You – Andy Razaf & Eubie Blake (Trumpet duet – soloists: Mark Harrison & Jim Bulger)
Sing, Sing, Sing – Benny Goodman

Austonley Brass boasts some of the most sought after brass musicians and educators in the North of England. Every single performer with Austonley Brass is a soloist in their own right and is at home on the concert platform or recording studio.

Having performed live or recorded albums and radio & TV broadcasts with some of the UK’s world class musical ensembles and performers including: the Hallé Orchestra, the Orchestra of Opera North, the BBC Philharmonic, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Hallé Brass, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the Royal Variety Performance Orchestra, Andrea Bocelli, Bryn Terfell, Bon Jovi, Manchester Camerata, the Grimethorpe Colliery Band, the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, the Syd Lawrence Orchestra, McFly, the Royal, Northern Sinfonia, Corrine Bailey-Rae, the Goldberg Chamber Orchestra, the Wombats, Elbow, the Black Dyke Mills Band and Dame Shirley Bassey, to name a hand full.

Week in week out the musicians of Austonley Brass perform as freelance musicians and award winning musical educators all over the UK, Europe and even further afield including tours of Argentina, Malaysia, China, Japan, Ireland, Greece, Germany, France, Switzerland, Spain, the USA, Australia and Malta.