Since childhood, and with family members and friends based here, Devon had been a regular holiday destination, and a place with only fabulously happy memories.
So, on deciding a couple of years ago to leave our frenetic lifestyle in Manchester behind us, it was the place that my wife Charlotte and I decided we wanted to start the next stage of our lives. Living in such a wonderful village as Slapton, we’ve certainly learned that you quickly become part of a community, which is something we both embrace.
Hence, I was genuinely delighted in 2018, to be invited to become a member of the Dart Music Festival committee, an invitation I believe based on my enthusiasm both as a musician and my thirty-five year career as a dealer and restorer of fine antique violins.
The world of classical music is my passion and I have had the pleasure of meeting many fine musicians as clients and some becoming lasting friends over that time.
Dart Music Festival has a superb mix of modern, folk and rock music running alongside the classical music genre, the latter of which I have been asked to lead, develop and push forward over successive years. From a classical point of view, our artists and programming provide an eclectic mix of music, instruments and artists.
The free to attend festival, as part of its ethos, openly promotes young musicians, offering them a dedicated platform for their talents. My work “up North” with students at the RNCM, Chethams and many others, gave me a huge understanding that talented young soloists and ensembles simply do not have a springboard to promote themselves, especially after graduating.
It is my intention with the Classical team to develop this further in successive years and develop bonds with specialist music education establishments around the UK, as well as local musicians, offering a welcoming and hugely appreciative environment for them to perform.
In 2019 we have for the first time, Jonathan Storer, who will be playing unaccompanied violin works, An organ recital by Richard Lester who is associate organist at Buckfast Abbey. Ensembles offering early music on period instruments from Woodwose. The very popular Borealis Saxophone quartet are back and the Darting Trout Quintet are performing Schubert’s Trout quintet. Claudia Alvarez Calderon is our fabulous soprano offering variety along with flute and classical guitar recitals.