Festival highlights

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In the lovely light-filled 1834 Baptist Church some of the leading period instrument performers gathered together for an evening of masterpieces by Bach and his contemporaries. The 5th Brandenburg concerto was played by the leading harpsichordist of his generation, Steven DevineEsther Brazil (pictured above) is a real talent to watch – she recently graduated from the Royal Academy and has already worked as a soloist with Sir John Eliot Gardiner.

At Colchester’s Edwardian horseshoe theatre (also known as Liquid Nightclub) we presented the stunning young jazz pianist and Mercury nominee Gwilym Simcock. Winner of both the Perrier Award and BBC jazz award, Gwilym played pieces from his critically acclaimed Mercury nominated album “Good Days at Schloss Elmau” and more recent compositions.

We came face to face with the fire and ice of the Russian soul in the atmospheric St Martin’s Church in Colchester. Two of the great Shostakovich quartets were performed by poet of the violin Thomas Gould and his quartet. With a shot of vodka (included in the ticket price) warming your innards, the audience surrounded the performers none were more than a few metres from the players.

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