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Festival: Two Moors Festival

Biography

Two Moors Festival 2019

Welcome to this year's Two Moors Festival. Founded in 2001, it has become one of the leading annual classical music festivals in the UK. For 10 days each October it offers 30 concerts and other musical events, and it attracts 6,000 concert-goers to 16 different venues on and around the vast wild open spaces of Dartmoor and Exmoor National Parks, in the South West.

What makes the Festival a unique experience is that, instead of being tied to one place, such as a city, its world class musical programme is taken to mainly rural venues across 1200 square miles of one of the UK’s most beautiful regions. Or as Michael White of The Daily Telegraph put it, going to the Two Moors Festival is "...like going to the Wigmore Hall, with better views. And cows"

What type of programmes are scheduled?

The Festival largely focuses on classical chamber music in its many forms, from string quartets, chamber opera, choral works, song recitals, to solo instruments such as piano or violin. As well as formal concerts, it offers master classes, open rehearsals, talks, music workshops, and informal supper concerts.

The Festival has a mission to support budding young musical talent, and each year showcases past and present winners of the annual Two Moors Festival Young Musicians Competition, in Festival concerts.

This year, among many musical superstars, Roderick Williams is offering a lieder recital with soprano Elizabeth Watts, Dame Sarah Connolly sings Baroque music with The English Concert, and Ashley Riches will perform songs on the theme of migration. Other international soloists include pianist Imogen Cooper, and rising young star, Sophie Rosa, violin. The Pleyel Ensemble and Elias String Quartet will be performing a wide range of chamber music, from Haydn to James Macmillan.

What are the venues like?

The concert venues range from charming old churches in lovely rural towns, such as Chagford on Dartmoor and Dunster on Exmoor, to the magnificent medieval Cathedral in the historic city of Exeter and the romantic Gothic setting of Powderham Castle, nestling on the banks of the Exe estuary.

What can tourists visit nearby?

While enjoying the finest music, festivalgoers can also explore everything the moors and coasts have to offer, from walking, sight-seeing, relaxing in secluded country hotels, and enjoying fine food and drink in lovely pubs, restaurants and cafes. If you click on the link to our website, you will find detailed suggestions of places to stay and to eat, and of things to do in each area.

Dress code

As the Festival is held in the Autumn, please note that although all venues will be heated, you might wish to dress warmly and comfortably for some of the more secluded venues. 

Getting there and around

Because the event venues are often in rural towns, and spread over a large area, the best way of getting around will be by car. Some venues such as Barnstaple or Exeter are however served by the national rail network. For visitors from further afield, the closest airports are Exeter or Bristol, where taxis or car hire will be available.

We look forward to meeting you in October.

For more information about the Two Moors Festival visit the official website.

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ExeterAshley Riches, baritone and Joseph Middleton, piano: Songs about Migration

© Debbie Scanlon
Schubert, Saint-Saëns, Ravel, Fauré, Barber, Ives
Ashley Riches; Joseph Middleton

Dulverton, SomersetLorna Doone: a concert of words and music for the 150th anniversary of R.D. Blackmore's famous novel

© British Library
Dr Oliver Leaman; TBC; Wells Cathedral School String Ensemble; Unknown

TauntonRoderick Williams, baritone & Elizabeth Watts, soprano: songs by Schubert, Rachmaninov and Richard Strauss

Roderick Williams, baritone & Elizabeth Watts, soprano: songs by Schubert, Rachmaninov and Richard Strauss
Schubert, Strauss R., Rachmaninov, Britten, Traditional Scottish, Traditional
Roderick Williams; Elizabeth Watts; Roger Vignoles

AshburtonPleyel Ensemble: works for piano,violin & horn: Arnold Cooke, Lennox Berkeley, Mozart, Brahms

© Tony Howard
Cooke, Berkeley, Mozart, Brahms
Pleyel Ensemble; Harvey Davies; Sarah Ewins; Laurence Davies