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Musicians tune up at the Budleigh Salterton Music Festival

Now in its ninth year, the Budleigh Salterton Music Festival is a highly regarded festival and continues to delight audiences since it began in 2005.
Started in 2005, the Budleigh Salterton Music Festival attracts a talented collection of musicians and singers to this lovely East Devon town each summer. The renowned professional musicians gather to make music for nine action-packed days from the second through the third weekend in July each year.

History of the Budleigh Salterton Music Festival

The Budleigh Salterton Music Festival tradition began when 25 local residents got together to form a committee to offer the first music festival in the town back in 2005. Led by Roger and Brenda Bowen, it was quite a challenge for a small town to host a nine-day event of classical music, but such was its success it has become an annual event.

The town is a popular retirement community, but many of its residents missed the cultural life they had previously enjoyed in towns and cities across the UK where they had lived and worked. The solution was to host this highly regarded music festival which now attracts both attendees and performers from all over the UK and beyond.

In the past, the festival has included folk music at nearby , garden parties, art exhibitions and a visit from students of the Imperial College Opera. It has since developed into a specialized festival of classical music including operatic stage performances written by Verdi and Puccini.

Lunchtime and evening classical music concerts

The programme includes eight evening concerts with wide appeal in classical music and singing. It also offers free daily concerts, mostly at The Temple or St Peter’s Church. These lunchtime concerts last for 45 minutes and are always packed.

In 2014 you can hear 15-year-old Kirsty Chaplin’s piano recital, Kevin Hurst on clarinet, Harpe Noire, Anna Lapwood from Magdalen College, Oxford on the organ, and Joyce Clark, also on piano.

Delightful Budleigh Salterton

If you have visited Budleigh Salterton previously you will be aware that, like many Devon coastal villages, it has narrow streets unsuitable for heavy traffic. Using the Park and Ride is a good idea for Music Festival attendees.

Budleigh Salterton is a real gem with antique shops, a dairy, tea rooms and gift shops lining the main street. It leads down to the pebbly beach and dark red cliffs which make this an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. If you want to stretch your legs before or after a concert, walk along the footpath beside the River Otter estuary for beautiful scenery and excellent birdspotting.

Budleigh Salterton Music Festival 2014 programme

Budleigh Salterton Music Festival always has a good mix of musical performances to offer wide appeal, so whether you are looking for musical ensembles, piano solos, harmonious singers, opera, woodwind or brass, there should be something to tickle your fancy in the broad musical programme.

Lined up for 2014 in the evening there is chamber music by the Pleyel Ensemble, 16-year-old on piano, award-winning from Copenhagen and the Festival Orchestra with violinist Sara Trickey. The final concert features the lively Red Priest ensemble playing a Carnival of the Seasons.

Ticket Information for the Budleigh Salterton Music Festival

If you are planning a holiday in South Devon in mid-July and appreciate classical music, book a holiday cottage in the Exmouth area and enjoy this wonderful classical feast.

Most of the performances in this music festival are ticketed admission, so you may want to consider becoming a Friend of the Festival to get priority ticket bookings, discounts and other social events including a dinner and musical soiree.

Have you attended the Budleigh Salterton Music Festival in past years? Perhaps you know of other music festivals that readers might also enjoy attending. We would appreciate it if you could add your local knowledge for others to share in the box below.

About Gillian Birch

Born in Cheshire, Gillian Birch moved to Cornwall at her earliest opportunity and never looked back. After 20 years, her ongoing discovery of popular attractions, quiet footpaths and local eateries has made her a fount of knowledge as she entertains readers with her informative articles on the hidden gems of Devon & Cornwall from a local point-of-view.

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