Classical festival of music set to return to Herts this summer

ZRI will perform at the 'Brewhouse Sessions’ at McMullens Brewery, Hertford, as part of the Hertfordshire Festival of Music.

ZRI will perform at the 'Brewhouse Sessions’ at McMullens Brewery, Hertford, as part of the Hertfordshire Festival of Music 2021 in June. - Credit: Supplied by Hertfordshire Festival of Music.

Live classical music will return to Hertfordshire this summer at a festival in the heart of the county.

The Hertfordshire Festival of Music 2021 is set to take place this year from Friday, June 4 to Thursday, June 10, organisers have announced.

Conductor Tom Hammond is co-artistic director of the Hertfordshire Festival of Music.

Conductor Tom Hammond is co-artistic director of the Hertfordshire Festival of Music. - Credit: Supplied by Hertfordshire Festival of Music.

Now in its fifth edition, the festival was founded by conductor Tom Hammond and composer James Francis Brown.

Hertfordshire Festival of Music (HFoM) has grown rapidly from a small weekend event to a major summer celebration of classical music, based in and around the attractive historic county town of Hertford.

Postponed last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, HFoM 2021 is particularly special as for many people it will be the first time they have enjoyed live music in over a year.

Composer James Francis Brown.

Composer James Francis Brown is co-artistic director of the Hertfordshire Festival of Music - Credit: Supplied by Hertfordshire Festival of Music.

This year's festival showcases a diverse range of artists and music.

HFoM is delighted to present prodigiously talented violinist Chloë Hanslip as this year’s Principal Artist.

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Praised for her “warmth and clarity” and “simply spellbinding” playing, Chloë has already established herself as an artist of distinction on the international stage.

She made her BBC Proms debut at 14 and her US concerto debut at 15, and has performed at major venues across the UK, Europe, the US and the Far East.

Violinist Chloë Hanslip is this year's Principal Artist at the Hertfordshire Festival of Music.

Violinist Chloë Hanslip is this year's Principal Artist at the Hertfordshire Festival of Music. - Credit: Kaupo Kikkas. Supplied by Hertfordshire Festival of Music.

During this year’s festival, Chloë will perform as a soloist with the Hertfordshire Festival Orchestra in music by Pärt and Sibelius.

She will also give two recitals with pianist Danny Driver and masterclasses at Queenswood School in partnership with Future Talent.

Judith Weir CBE is this year’s Featured Living Composer. Appointed Master of the Queen’s Music in 2014, Weir’s richly communicative music is “consistently imaginative” and “genuinely ravishing”.

Judith Weir CBE

Judith Weir CBE is this year's Featured Living Composer at the Hertfordshire Festival of Music. - Credit: Supplied by Hertfordshire Festival of Music.

Festival audiences will be able to enjoy performances of Judith’s music as well as gain insights into her creative life in an “in conversation” event with HFoM artistic directors Tom Hammond and James Francis Brown.

Organisers will be releasing detailed COVID security guidelines when the festival online box office opens in mid-April.

​To give as many people as possible the opportunity to enjoy one of the performances, several events will be repeated.

This is to enable social distancing and to allow for adequate venue cleaning between events. 


Hertfordshire Festival of Music 2021 concerts and events:

  • Hertfordshire Festival Orchestra, with violinist Chloë Hanslip, conducted by Tom Hammond.
  • Recitals by Chloë Hanslip with pianist Danny Driver.
  • Concerts by Albion Quartet with music by Judith Weir and Haydn.
  • Judith Weir in conversation and performances of Judith’s music.
  • Masterclasses with Chloë Hanslip in partnership with Future Talent and Queenswood School.
  • ‘Brewhouse Sessions’ at McMullens Brewery, Hertford, with ZRI, a band featuring Max Baillie (violin), Matthew Sharp (cello), Ben Harlan (clarinet), Jon Banks (accordion), and Iris Pissaride (dulcimer), playing a gypsy-klezmer foot-tapping twist on tunes from J S Bach to Taylor Swift, and named after Zum Roten Igel or ‘To the Red Hedgehog’, the tavern in Vienna frequented by Schubert and Brahms.
  • ‘Relaxed rehearsal’ – open to everyone, an opportunity to experience live music and watch musicians at work, specifically designed to welcome people who may prefer a more informal performance environment than an evening concert.
  • Solo recitals by pianist Florian Mitrea.
  • A celebration of the 350th anniversary of the building of Hertford’s Friends Meeting House, the oldest in the world still being used for its original purpose, with music by Fontanella Recorder Consort.
  • Fairytale Stories with Matthew Sharp, a one-man musical story-telling show for children aged three plus and their families.
  • Dementia Projects run in collaboration with Music Cares, bringing music to care homes in Hertfordshire.


For a full list of concert performances and event dates, visit www.hertsmusicfest.org.uk



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