Welcome to the 8th Maldon Festival
One of the joys of the Maldon Festival is the opportunity to showcase what this beautiful town and district has to offer to visitors. We have a wealth of lovely churches in stunning locations, and we have used those fully since the festival started in 2008. This year, we are delighted that we are further expanding the list of venues to include Stow Maries Aerodrome and the sailing barge, Dawn.
Stow Maries is the only First World War airfield still in existence and the largest First World War archaeological site in the world. As the commemorations of the centenary of this dreadful conflict continue, the airfield is the perfect setting for an evening of First World War Music Hall Sailing Barge Dawn was built by Walter Cook for James Keeble and was launched in June 1897 from the same spot where she is berthed today. Dawn is the last example of a tiller steered Thames stack barge left in the world and we are delighted to be using her as a concert venue for the first time.
Once again, we have a full and varied programme, with musicians coming from all over the world. We are delighted that Spanish Baroque group, Scarmuccia, are able to join us again this year. This time around they will be performing the music of Vivaldi and we are confident that the programme includes a first ever UK performance of a recently discovered sonata by him.
The cathedral choir of Molfetta (Cappella Corradiana) visits the UK for the first time, with a programme of polyphony from Southern Italy and we have another opportunity to hear the wonderful Senegalese musician Kadialy Kouyate perform on his Kora.
All the Kings Men open the festival with some truly joyous a cappella arrangements of Wham and Ed Sheeran and the festival closes with a fully-staged opera double bill of Ravel’s L’Enfant et les Sortilèges and Vaughan William’s Riders to the Sea. Between these two there is much, much more music on offer and I hope you enjoy reading the full programme. It just remains for me to thank all our sponsors, volunteers and supporters and to wish you a Happy Festival.