A glorious summer celebration of classical music takes place at the historic Church of St Endelentia as part of the highly regarded St Endellion Summer Music Festival. Starting on the last Tuesday in July, the Music Festival runs for 11 days with amateur and professional musicians and soloists coming down to Cornwall from all over the country to take part.
Located near Port Isaac on the coast of North Cornwall, this exceptional church community combines beautiful music in a hallowed and special place, providing space and time for quiet contemplation through the gift of music.
The history of St Endellion Summer Music Festival
St Endellion Summer Music Festival is one of the longest running music festivals in Cornwall. It began in the 1950s and in 2014 it celebrates the 56th Summer Festival of Music.
After being appointed priest of St Endelentia, Roger Gaunt invited some of his college friends down to help him renovate the derelict rectory. With an interest in music, the friends put on a few impromptu fundraising concerts and it gradually grew to including an orchestra and chorus.
Today this noteworthy Music Festival is the highlight of the year for many semi-professional and professional musicians and soloists, and it follows the annual Easter Music Festival at St Endellion.
More about St Endellion Music Festival
Some of the performances take place at lunchtime and the quiet atmosphere of the church makes it the perfect venue for these intimate performances. From opera to string quartet and choirs to orchestras there is something to appeal to all tastes.
Tickets are required for most of the events and are available from the Endellion Festival website. Funds raised go towards improving six buildings on site which are intended to provide accommodation, catering facilities, studio and recording facilities, rehearsal space and performance areas for future St Endellion Music Festivals.
The target amount needed to complete the Endelentia project is £1.5 million. It will provide an outstanding venue for conferences, retreats and festivals to take the very special St Endellion experience one step further to reach an even wider audience in the future.
Programme for the 2014 St Endellion Summer Music Festival
To give you an idea of what to expect at this feast of music, here's what is scheduled for the Summer 2014 event.
This year's opera is Puccini's La Boheme, featuring Peter Hoare as Rodolfo and Sophie Bevan as Mimi. It will be conducted by Ryan Wigglesworth, a regular contributor to the festival and widely considered to be one of the most brilliant young musicians in Britain. He will also conduct the Bach B Minor Mass which will be performed in St Endellion and in Truro Cathedral during the festival, a worthy piece to commemorate the 100th anniversary of World War I.
The St Endellion Summer Music Festival will open with Schubert's Mass in A Flat. Other highlights include pianist Charles Owen performing Brahm's First Piano Concerto. During the event there will be a range of chamber music, a Bach cantata, a piano trio repertoire and a performance of Mendelssohn's Octet, written when he was just a teenager.
The final concert will be Benjamin Britten's Nocturne with solos by Mark Padmore, Artistic Director of the Festival. The curtain-closer will be Tchaikovsky's 5th Symphony conducted by Aidan Oliver.
The St Endellion Summer Music Festival is now internationally famous and has a chorus of 75 singers, a symphony orchestra, and some extremely talented guest artists. Most events are ticketed and sell out fast, so make sure you book your seat early.
Have you attended any of the concerts and performances at the St Endellion Music Festivals in the past? What would you say to anyone considering attending this event? If you know more about St Endelentia Church, we'd love you to add your experience of it in the comments box below.