In 1990, Richard Hosford, leader of the Gaudier Ensemble, had a vision of a music festival different from the standard commercial model.

He was looking for a location that gave the musicians an attractive venue in which to perform but, equally importantly, somewhere they could all be together for a week to play the music they wanted.

Cerne Abbas was his chosen location, partly because of the excellent acoustics of the church but also because of the village and its community. A group of Cerne Abbas volunteers still organises the festival on the Gaudier’s and village’s behalf.

This year’s festival opens with a concert of 18th century gems. Wonderful concerti grossi by Handel and Corelli frame other lesser-known masterpieces.

Thursday 11 July 7.30pm Handel, Bach, Corelli,
Friday 12 July 7pm Mendelssohn, Beethoven; 10pm Hungarian music from Bartók, Kodály
Sat 13 July 11.30am coffee concert, entertaining works including Ted Bor: “Bach at the Double” for Two Violins and Double Bass and Oliver Tuan: “The Chase” for Flute and Clarinet
Saturday 13 July 7.30pm Brahms, Dvorak
Sunday 14 July, noon, Schubert, Devienne
Sunday 14 July 6pm Bax, Weber, Dvorak

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