Our Artistic Directors Anthony Marwood and Richard Lester have invited brilliant musicians to join them for this year’s festival.


We are delighted to announce that the Doric String Quartet will be returning as our guest ensemble and the Britten Sinfonia will join us for the orchestral concert in Rye.


We look forward to sharing more details about the other 2017 guest artists in the coming months.



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Alex Redington violin
Jonathan Stone violin
Hélène Clément viola
John Myerscough cello

The Doric String Quartet has firmly established itself as the leading British string quartet of its generation, receiving enthusiastic responses from audiences and critics across the globe. Selected for representation by YCAT in 2006, the Quartet went on to win several prizes including 1st prize at the 2008 Osaka International Chamber Music Competition in Japan, 2nd prize at the Premio Paolo Borciani International String Quartet Competition in Italy and the Ensemble Prize at the Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern in Germany.

The Quartet performs in leading concert halls throughout Europe including Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Vienna Konzerthaus, Frankfurt Alte Oper, Hamburg Laeiszhalle and De Singel, Antwerp, and is a regular visitor to the Wigmore Hall. In 2010 the Quartet made its highly acclaimed American debut with recitals at the Frick Museum in New York and Library of Congress in Washington, and now returns for annual tours to North America. Alongside main season concerts the Quartet has a busy festival schedule and has performed at the Aldeburgh, Carinthischer Sommer, Delft, Edinbrugh, Grafenegg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Musica Viva Sydney, Risør, Schwetzinger and West Cork Festivals, collaborating with artists including Nicolas Altstaedt, Jonathan Biss, Ian Bostridge, Andreas Haefliger, Chen Halevi, Alina Ibragimova, Aleksandar Madžar, Alexander Melnikov, Daniel Müller-Schott, Mark Padmore, and Cédric Tiberghien.

Another recent highlight has seen the Quartet take on John Adams’ “Absolute Jest” for String Quartet and Orchestra. The Doric have now performed the piece with the Vienna Symphony at the Vienna Konzerthaus with John Adams conducting, with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic at the Concertgebouw and with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra conducted by Markus Stenz.

Highlights of the 2015/16 season include five performances at the Wigmore Hall, as well as return appearances at the Berlin Konzerthaus and Amsterdam Concertgebouw. In April the Quartet returns to North America for its annual tour, this time including performances in Salt Lake City, Philadelphia, Boston and Vancouver. European recital engagements include appearances in Aalborg, Aarhus, Clermont-Ferrand, den Bosch, Ferrara,,Haarlem and Perugia. They will also tour with Elisabeth Leonskaja, including performances at the Musikverein in Vienna and at Wigmore Hall. Festival engagements take the quartet to the Cheltenham, Poznan, Risør and Storioni Chamber Music Festivals, as well as appearances at the Oxford Lieder, Two Moors and North Norfolk Music Festivals.

In 2009 the Doric String Quartet’s first CD was released to critical acclaim on the Wigmore Live label and was chosen as Editor’s Choice in Gramophone. Since 2010 the Quartet has recorded exclusively for Chandos Records. The first CD, the complete Korngold String Quartets, was featured as one of the 2010 Critic’s Choice discs in Gramophone and was followed by a CD of the Walton String Quartets which was nominated for a 2011 Gramophone Award. The Quartet’s release of the Schumann String Quartets was named CD of the Month in both Gramophone and BBC Music Magazine and was shortlisted for a 2012 Gramophone Award. Their most recent releases of Haydn’s Op 20 Quartets and Quartets by Janáček and Martinů have both gathered enthusiastic reviews across the board, with the Haydn disc being named Editor’s Choice by Gramophone and shortlisted for a 2015 Gramophone Award.




Britten Sinfonia is one of the world’s most celebrated and pioneering ensembles. The orchestra is acclaimed for its virtuoso musicianship, an inspired approach to concert programming which makes bold, intelligent connections across 400 years of repertoire, and a versatility that is second to none. Britten Sinfonia breaks the mould by not having a principal conductor or director, instead choosing to collaborate with a range of the finest international guest artists from across the musical spectrum, resulting in performances of rare insight and energy.

Britten Sinfonia is an Associate Ensemble at the Barbican in London, has residencies across the east of England in Norwich, Cambridge (where it is an Ensemble-in-Residence at the University) and Saffron Walden, where the orchestra becomes Resident Orchestra at Saffron Hall in Autumn 2016. The orchestra also performs a chamber music series at Wigmore Hall and appears regularly at major UK festivals including the Aldeburgh Festival and BBC Proms. The orchestra’s growing international profile includes regular touring to North and South America and Europe. The orchestra made its debut in China in May 2016 with a three-concert residency in Shanghai, as well as performances in Beijing and Wuhan.

Founded in 1992, the orchestra is inspired by the ethos of Benjamin Britten through world-class performances, illuminating and distinctive programmes where old meets new, and a deep commitment to bringing outstanding music to both the world’s finest concert halls and the local community. Britten Sinfonia is a BBC Radio 3 broadcast partner and regularly records for Harmonia Mundi and Hyperion.

Central to Britten Sinfonia’s artistic programmes is a wide range of creative learning projects both within schools and the community. Britten Sinfonia Academy is a dynamic chamber orchestra for talented secondary school-aged musicians from the east of England. Mirroring the adventurous programming and musical excellence of Britten Sinfonia, the Academy works without a conductor, playing side-by-side Britten Sinfonia musicians who nurture and challenge our members, developing their musical and leadership skills. We also hold an annual composition competition, OPUS, offering unpublished composers the chance to receive a professional commission.

In 2013 Britten Sinfonia was awarded the Royal Philharmonic Society Music Award for Ensemble having previously won the Chamber Music Award in 2009 and the Ensemble Award in 2007. Britten Sinfonia recordings have been Grammy nominated, received a Gramophone Award and an ECHO/Klassik Recording Award, and most recently were awarded a BBC Music Magazine Award for its recording of James MacMillan’s Oboe Concerto. In 2014 Britten Sinfonia was nominated for an Olivier Award for its collaboration with the Richard Alston Dance Company.