Lawrence Power, Festival Artistic Director


It's such a pleasure to welcome you back to the West Wycombe Chamber Music Festival. It's always a privilege to have the opportunity to share my musical passions with you and the many friends and colleagues who visit each year.

This year I thought the idea of New Paths could be an interesting starting point for the festival programme. In 1853 Schumann wrote an article entitled 'Neue Bahnen' (New Paths) in which he proclaimed the young Brahms as the next great composer. This meeting of old and new in Music is endlessly fascinating to me and western classical music is punctuated by these important intersections. The most innovative and influential composers have either bridged this gap between old and new or indeed started new paths as a reaction to the past.

Brahms was one of our greatest musical historians, his obsession with the past a constant throughout his life. This year we will focus on his magical world with some of his most cherished works. But also as we commemorate 100 years since the end of WW1, it will be interesting to juxtapose Brahms with composers who reacted against the constraints of late romanticism to create their own new musical paths.

Once again I'm thrilled to welcome back musicians that are now familiar names at the festival such as Simon Crawford Phillips, Adrian Brendel and Annabelle Meare. We will also be welcoming for the first time this year such acclaimed artists as the Norwegian violinist Vilde Frang, the Russian pianist Pavel Kolesnikov and the exciting new chamber orchestra 'Collegium'.

I do hope you are able to join us for what I think will be a very special few days of music making.

Lawrence Power, Artistic Director

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