Ashburton Chamber Music Festival 2022

David Yang, Bertrand Raynaud, Judith Hall, Sara Trickey, Amarins Weirdsma, Tom Vignieri, Andy Williamson

Thursday 14 July – Sunday 24 July 2022

Latest update, Sunday 24 July 11.30am

Our final concert is this afternoon, Sunday 24 July at 5pm at Ashburton Arts Centre. It’s the BEST OF… this year’s festival. Here’s the programme:
Mozart quartet last mvt.
Arvo Pärt (as written, and with extras)
Dvorak slow mvt.
Jacob four fancies with flute
Vignieri – Bernstein
Kurtag (the Star Trek movement)
Shostakovich 1, 2, 4
Vignieri – Walk with me
There are plenty of tickets at or just turn up. 5pm start.

Welcome to a very special type of festival!

This is Ashburton Arts Centre’s third international Chamber Music Festival, where we welcome four fabulous string players from the USA, France, Holland and London to our corner of South Devon for ten days, playing formal concerts as well as ‘Hausmusiks’ in lovely homes and gardens. They join a pair of local wind players, plus an American composer, now resident here. He’ll give a lecture about the festival programme and we’ll meet all of the musicians in a panel discussion. There’s also free open rehearsals in unusual places – look out for them!
One of our guest musicians, violist David Yang from Philadelphia, started this unusual type of festival in Newburyport, near Boston in 2002 where it continues to thrive. Fate, a chain of musical connections (and AirMiles!) brought him to Ashburton where its UK counterpart began in 2019. And here we are again for our third year of glorious chamber music!

– See below for more about the music, the musicians and venues.

Tickets available now:

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The Programme:

14 July, Thursday, 7pm – HAUSMUSIK #1
£12 or £9 or £6 (see pricing options below)
The Hausmusik events are informal gatherings where leader, David Yang brings a wide range of music, from Haydn and Mozart to Britten, Debussy and Bartok, chats with the audience and a consensus emerges about what the musicians will play – and then they do, sight-reading the pieces together without any rehearsal! It’s fun – but they do take the music seriously, and it’s extraordinary to witness.
Venue: Bigadon Cottage (IMPORTANT! See directions below in ‘Venues’ section)

16 July, Saturday, 7.30pm – CONCERT #1
£16 or £12 or £8 (see pricing options below)
Webern: Langsamersatz for string quartet
Prokofiev: Sonata for solo violin in D Major, Op. 115
Vasconcellos-Corrêa: Divertimento a Dois for flute and cello
Pärt: Psalom for string quartet Op. 13
Mozart: Flute Quartet in A Major, K.298
Venue: Arts Centre

17 July, Sunday, 4pm – 5.30pm – Panel Discussion
Free/Donations event
Guest Host: Richard Gonski (Musical Director of the Torbay Symphony Orchestra and
This will be a lively, fun, informal chance to meet all of the festival musicians, hear about them and their musical journeys and hear them play extracts from the festival music.
Venue: Arts Centre

19 July, Tuesday, 10am – 1pm – Open Rehearsal
You’re welcome to come an observe as the musicians work on the repertoire for the festival.
Venue: Ashburton Arts Centre (NB this was previously advertised as happening at the Green Table in Dartington, though this was never confirmed.)

19 July, Tuesday, 6pm – FAMILY CONCERT
Free/Donations event
Everyone is welcome to this FREE, relaxed, concert of highlights of the festival especially chosen for being family-friendly. You can book FREE tickets in advance as below, or turn up on the day.
Venue: Ashburton Arts Centre

20 July, Wednesday, 10am – 1pm – Open Rehearsal
Free event
With composer-in-residence, Tom Vignieri.
Venue: Ashburton Arts Centre

20 July, Wednesday, 6pm – Lecture: Tom Vignieri
Free/Donations event
Tom will give us a composer’s perspective about the special music being featured in this summer’s festival and why it’s a rare treat to hear these pieces performed live. From Mozart to Shostakovich; Johannes Brahms to Arvo Pärt.
Venue: Ashburton Ashburton Arts Centre

20 July, Wednesday, 8pm – HAUSMUSIK #2
£12 or £9 or £6
The Hausmusik events are informal gatherings where leader, David Yang brings a wide range of music, from Haydn and Mozart to Britten, Debussy and Bartok, chats with the audience and a consensus emerges about what the musicians will play – and then they do, sight-reading the pieces together without any rehearsal! It’s fun – but they do take the music seriously, and it’s extraordinary to witness.
Venue: 25 East St, Ashburton (opposite the butchers)

21 July, Thursday, around 11.15am – With the Ashburton Community Folk Orchestra
Free event
The Festival String Quartet meets up and plays with the Ashburton Community Folk Orchestra in this lovely atmospheric (and cool!) venue in the centre of town.
Venue: St Andrews Church

21 July, Thursday, 7.30pm – CONCERT #2
£16 or £12 or £8
Dutilleux: Sonata for solo cello ‘Trois Strophes sur le nom de Sacher’
Jacob: Four Fancies for flute and string trio
György Kurtág: 12 Microludes for string quartet, Op. 13
Andrzej Panufnik: ‘Homage a Chopin’ for flute and string quartet
Shostakovich: String Quartet No. 2 in A Major, Op. 68
Venue: Broadhempston Church

22 July, Friday, 7.30pm – CONCERT #3
£16 or £12 or £8
Webern: Langsamersatz for string quartet
Shostakovich: String Quartet No. 2 in A Major, Op. 68
György Kurtág: 12 Microludes for string quartet, Op. 13
Mozart: String Quartet in C Major, K 465 ‘Dissonance’
Venue: Bremridge

23 July, Saturday, 7.30pm – CONCERT #4
£16 or £12 or £8
Mozart: String Quartet in C Major, K 465 ‘Dissonance’
Vignieri: American Suite for saxophone and string quartet
Brahms: String Quartet in A Minor, Op.51, No.2
Venue: St Andrew’s Church, Ashburton

24 July, Sunday, 5pm (ending between 6.30-7pm)CONCERT #5
£16 or £12 or £8
For this concert we’ll choose the hits of the festival that stood out from the first four concerts as deserving another performance.
Venue: Ashburton Arts Centre

See below for more about the music, the musicians and venues

Tickets available now:

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The Music:

There’s a great mix of music to be played at the five concerts this year – some deep and emotional, some that simply sounds beautiful; all chosen very carefully. Several pieces appear in more than one programme – and any might make it into our final afternoon highlights concert.
Plus there’s the première of a new movement in Tom Vignieri’s American Suite, to go with the two he wrote for our first two festivals in 2019 and 2021 (more details below).

Johannes Brahms (1833 – 1897): String Quartet in A Minor, Op.51, No.2
Expansive and lyrical, premiered by his good friend Joseph Joachim whose motto was “Frei aber einsam” (Free but lonely); Brahms countered “Frei aber froh (Free but happy), using the related pitches F-A-E and F-A-F throughout.

Henri Dutilleux (1916 – 2013): Sonata for solo cello: ‘Trois strophes sur le nom de Sacher
Like the Brahms, dramatic and evocative – and like the Brahms, a musical cryptogram: the dedicatee’s name, Paul Sacher, is spelled out musically with each letter represented by a musical pitch.

Gordon Jacob (1895 – 1984): Four Fancies for flute and string trio
Imagine gazing across Devon’s lush green fields, hills and woods, perhaps across the Dart valley. This is the perfect musical accompaniment.

György Kurtág (b. 1926): 12 Microludes for string quartet, Op. 13
From 1977 this is 12 short pieces, some just 90 seconds long, both dense and brief. It’s perhaps a musical version of a tasting menu of the finest cuisine!

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756 – 1791): Flute Quartet in A Major, K.298
Written for the salon, rather than the concert hall – and Mozart shows his humorous side…

Mozart: String Quartet in C Major, K 465 ‘Dissonance
Performers in the 1780s were so perplexed by the ‘wrong’ notes that they returned the scores to be corrected. Even Haydn was shocked but finally defended the music saying, “If Mozart wrote it, he must have meant it”. And he did.

Andrzej Panufnik (1914 – 1921): ‘Homage a Chopin’ for flute and string quartet
Panufnik led an extraordinary life, from birth in Warsaw in 1914, to his death in London in 1991 after defecting from Poland in 1954. Written in 1949 there’s an ethereal dreamlike quality about much of this piece.

Arvo Pärt (b. 1935): Psalom for string quartet
This hauntingly beautiful piece was written in the early 1990s when Pärt was in his late 50s and in the throes of a lifelong exploration of Medieval music.

Sergei Prokofiev (1891 – 1953): Sonata for solo violin in D Major, Op. 115
In three movements, this was written in 1947 and is a delightful solo show piece with playful melodies and charming, dance-like turns.

Dmitri Shostakovich (1906 – 1975): String Quartet No. 2 in A Major, Op. 68
Written in just 19 days in September 1944, this was Shostakovich’s first string quartet since Hitler invaded the USSR in 1941. Victory seemingly assured he produced a work of symphonic breadth, full of inflections of Russian Jewish folk music.

Sérgio de Vasconcellos-Corrêa (b. 1934): Divertimento a Dois for flute and cello
Romance and rhythm here, as in so much Brazilian music. In 2021 Sergio (now in his 80s) was delighted to find Judith Hall on YouTube playing his Desafio, and emailed her to tell her so!

Tom Vignieri (b. 1961): American Suite for sax & string quartet (FESTIVAL COMMISSION)
Tom has taken a different American theme each year to feature the soulful and improvisatory beauty of the sax alongside the string quartet’s lushness. 2019: a powerful spiritual lament, the gospel song Walk With Me; 2021: the Beach Boys’ musically-rich God Only Knows. Now in 2022: exploring Bernstein’s West Side Story.

Anton Webern (1883 – 1945): Langsamersatz for string quartet
This early work by the Second Viennese School master was written in 1905 when he was 21 and in love. Its luscious changing moods vary from serene happiness to passionate ecstasy.

Note: See a special page for more information and background here: ACMF 2022 – The Music

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The Musicians:

David has been called “a conduit for music” and his playing described as “lithe and expressive” (The Strad). His string trio, Ensemble Epomeo’s debut recording was a “Critics’ Choice” in Gramophone Magazine and of its second CD, The Strad wrote, “… remarkable intensity and elegant assurance throughout”. David is the founding force and Artistic Director of the Ashburton Chamber Music Festival. He has an infectious enthusiasm for life, for music and for bringing down the barriers around ‘classical’ music, and making it fun and enjoyable for anyone.
After study in Paris and Moscow, and his success at international competitions (prize-winner at Scheveningen 1995, Makneukirchen 1992, Yamaha Paris Foundation 1993, semi-finalist of the Tchaikovsky competition in 1994) Bertrand has toured Europe and Japan as a soloist. Outside the classical sphere, he improvises with Kudsi Erguner, master of the Turkish Ney flute. He’s also a playwright and a composer, especially for dance.
Amarins is first violinist of the Barbican Quartet in London and with the Ebène Quartet in Munich. She regularly guest-leads orchestras e.g. Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Camerata Salzburg. Her instrument is a Guadagnini violin made in 1764 on loan from the Dutch National Instrument Foundation. She was Dutch Young Musician of the Year 2007.
Sarah is noted for her “fiery and passionate” performances (The Strad) and with her “… natural finesse and sensitivity, accomplished technique and a beautifully refined tone… there was never for one second any doubt of her intellectual and emotional understanding of the music” (Musical Opinion). It’s been a joy to have her here for the last two festivals, and great to welcome her back.
Originally from Australia, Judith began her career as Principal Flute with the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, and has since developed an international solo career. She’s been guest principal or soloist with several of the UK’s top orchestras, including the LSO and the RPO. Her recordings have become best-selling Classical CDs in Britain, as well as being chosen by the BBC for Radio 3’s ‘Building a Library’. She now lives in Devon, and has been part of this festival from its birth.
Tom was director of the Boston University Tanglewood Institute and artistic administrator of the Handel and Haydn Society, a baroque chorus and orchestra, with music directors Christopher Hogwood and Grant Llewellyn. He spent 12 years as music director of ‘From the Top’ on National Public Radio showcasing America’s best young classical musicians. He received an Emmy Award as a producer of the PBS series ‘From the Top’ at Carnegie Hall. As a composer he’s written choral, orchestral and chamber works for ensembles throughout the US and in the UK, with performances in Europe and Japan. Tom’s now in Devon, England and proudly returns for his third season as composer-in-residence with the Ashburton Chamber Music Festival.
ANDY WILLIAMSON has been blowing a tenor sax since he was 15: in big bands and orchestras; with the Honkin’ Hep Cats at the Edinburgh Fringe and on Radio 2 and with his Big Buzzard Boogie Band which played at Buckingham Palace for the Queen’s Golden Jubilee. In 2015 he started the campaign to turn Ashburton’s old Methodist Church into an Arts Centre, and is now the Arts Director: “I love performing myself, and creating the scene for others to do the same, and for audiences to have a great time – that’s what this place is all about!”

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The Venues:

Ashburton Arts Centre – 15 West Street, Ashburton, TQ13 7DT
After 6pm, there’s free parking in the main car park behind the Town Hall, or in the Greymatter compound on Chuley Road,via St Lawrence Lane. The Arts Centre is along West St on the left heading towards Plymouth, set back from the road, four large pillars at the front.

Broadhempston Church – TQ9 6BS
In the centre of Broadhempston, about 20 minutes by car from Ashburton. The main entrance is next to the Monk’s Retreat pub (serving supper from 6pm – 9pm, 01803 812203). Parking is available in the Village Hall car park.

Bremridge – TQ13 7JX
As you go up from the A38 towards Denbury, this is on the right before you get to The Rising Sun pub. Look out for signs. Very easy access by car, with disabled parking spaces close to the hall. Coming from Ashburton, you can take Pitley Road from Dolbeare, turn right at Combe Cross and you’re there.

St. Andrew’s Church, Ashburton – TQ13 7DT
Park in one of the main car parks, proceed into Kingsbridge Lane, then turn right into West Street, look out for the Arts Centre on your left (a converted Methodist Church), go past this and St. Andrew’s Church is further up the street on the left.

Bigadon Cottage, nr Buckfastleigh – TQ11 0FJ
Satnav tends to take people the wrong way if using the postcode, so enter ‘Pennywell Farm’ instead. From Ashburton, head west along the A38, and take the exit signed ‘Pennywell Farm’. Follow signs to the farm, and Bigadon Lane is 3/4 mile past Dean Court Farm Shop. Enter the signed lane on the left before you get to Pennywell Farm. 
From the Rattery direction, pass Pennywell Farm and, half a mile further on, the signed lane is on the right.
Bigadon Cottage is at the end of the lane, keeping right.
Parking will be available. There is minimal disabled parking so please book that in advance.

25 East St, Ashburton – TQ13 7AQ
A couple of minutes walk (up East St) from the centre of Ashburton. (Opposite the butchers).

South Dartmoor Community College – Balland Lane, Ashburton, TQ13 7EW

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How to book your tickets

Book online:
Email: to reserve and pay on the door
Phone: 01364 652781 (leave a message).

3-Tier Pricing
Ashburton Arts Centre offers three prices for everything – please pay what you can. Pay less, come to more! We need all the financial support we can get, but we also want to make this music as available as possible without price being a barrier.
CONCERTS: £16 or £12 or £8
HAUSMUSIK: £12 or £9 or £6
Family Concert, Discussion and Lecture: FREE or a donation – you really ARE welcome to come without paying. If you can make a donation, then it all helps to oil the wheels.
Open Rehearsals: FREE!
FESTIVAL PASS: £75 or £50 or £40
Come to Everything! Email: or call to arrange this.

Bar available at all venues: great local beers, wines, low alcohol options and exotic sparkling cordials. All venues have good access.
Wheelchair users, please email in advance and we’ll save you a space.

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Tickets available now: