The first ever Kew Music Festival took place during a blazing hot week in June where
local children, keen amateurs and world-famous musicians played to packed audiences
in Kew’s most historic venues.
The Festival kicked off with a recital by internationally-renowned violinist Nicola
Benedetti who played to an intimate audience in Royal Cottage, Kew Green. Later in
the week another private house hosted the String of Pearls quartet who rounded off
their performance by playing Happy Birthday to the house’s owner Linda Pethick.
Centrepiece of the Festival was the event at Kew Palace on Midsummer Night. In the
enchanting and bijoux surroundings of the Palace, childhood home of George III, audience
members were treated to a portrayal of the King’s life there, including champagne
reception, talk by local historian Dr David Blomfield MBE, tour of the Palace by
curators Susanne Groom and Lee Prosser, and performance of Peter Maxwell-Davies’
cult masterpiece “Eight Songs for a Mad King”.
During the week local schools took part in the Festival including a delightful evening
with the touring Garden Opera company and Broomfield House school. Tuesday’s concert
at the Barn Church “Kew the Music” showcased some exceptional young musicians including
pianist Bruno Ferrari and violinist Joo Yeon Sir.
On Friday the Musical Museum hosted pianist Lucy Parham with actors Alex Jennings
and Emily Bruni in their enchanting and moving tale of the romantic life of Chopin.
Local orchestras Kew Sinfonia and Kew Wind Orchestra concluded the week, with the
Mayor and the Kew Society supporting the final event.