Music performance to inspire and connect in beautiful locations across Sussex
The Shipley Arts Festival is well established as one of the leading cultural events in the South East of England. After more than 20 years, it has grown from a Saturday night concert in Shipley Church, to the highly respected leading Classical Music Festival in Sussex.
Shipley Arts Festival 2021
Thank you to all our Festival Friends, supporters sponsors and String Academy for supporting our vision through our twentieth year. Your support gave us the confidence to deliver music for the first time as we emerged from three lockdowns. The skies are shinning and our long term plan to deliver online as well as live has progressed well, albeit in a slightly more accelerated fashion than we had anticipated before the restrictions become necessary.
We are very grateful that our service to arts and community have been recognised by the Arts Council in their funding awards announced on Good Friday.
We are celebrating our twenty first year with our outstanding ensemble of musicians and communities. Our world premiere will be in Nuthurst and Paul’s Lewis’ Shipley Concerto for violin and strings in three movements: Cremona 1696, Shipley Idyll, and Chinese Adventure.
Cremona 1696: We are very grateful to all our investors for securing our Stradivarius violin at the centre of all that we do as a symbol of our excellence. This wonderful violin is the ultimate instrument through which I am able to play music to bring together our communities with our friends and colleagues.
Shipley Idyll: We started our Festival with Christina Maude and Gini de Zoete in the Selsey Arms pub, and with support from a central group including Peter Sanderson and Gordon Lindsay we have shared a journey like no other.
Chinese Adventure: We have created String Academy, Stradivarius Piano Trio and lead by our Bernardi Music Group which enjoys a forthcoming residency at Macua University and strong roots in the Great Bay region of China.
Paul’s violin Concerto reflects this journey from 2000 to 2021. We arrive with the new development of our own online streaming platform and a history which brings together some of the most diverse musicians from Roderick Williams OBE, the late Jon Lord formerly of Deep Purple, John Rutter CBE, composers Cecilia McDowall, Malcolm Singer, and last years’s commissionaire Helen Ottaway with her ‘White Storks’ which enjoyed Radio 3 broadcast from Knepp Castle’s Wilding Concert.
We bring together many communities in Sussex. We supported specific charities last year through our online performances including Blood Cancer UK, Chestnut Tree together with the wider Hospice movement, and this year we have started to deliver music to the Alzheimers Society Community with the help of John Suchet and local Horsham team.
We are looking forwards to extending our reach and focus in 2021 and thank you so much for being on our journey
Founded by Andrew Bernardi in 2000, the annual Shipley Arts Festival brings world class music to communities in and around Shipley and the Sussex county.
Through a curated programme of concerts and events, it celebrates the connection between music and nature, wellbeing and heritage. And, whilst showcasing our professional ensembles, we also champion young talent. As part of the festival, musicians from our String Academy are invited to perform alongside our professional musicians.
Established as one of the leading cultural events in Sussex, we also commission and premiere new works by some of today’s leading composers. The festival runs from April – November and performances take place in different locations each year; ranging from local community venues through to stately homes, heritage buildings, schools and churches.
We are grateful to our Shipley Festival Friends, and Sponsors and Patrons who have supported us since the beginning and without whom the success of the festival and community spirit would not have been possible.
Email Andrew to discuss sponsorhip opportunities at email@example.com. To become a friend of Shipley Arts Festival, follow the local giving link below.
Take a look at some of our brochures from previous years of the Shipley Arts Festival
Central to our work is the commissioning of new works from today’s leading composers which reflect the communities we serve.
Recent commissions include “White Storks” for string octet by Helen Ottaway inspired by the birth of wild storks at Knepp Castle Estate and a new violin concerto written by Paul Lewis.
- 2005 Three movements reorchestrated from the ‘Brotherhood Suite’ by Gordon Giltrap
- 2007 ‘Great Hills’ by Cecilia McDowall (commissioned by Eve Barret and published by Oxford University Press)
- 2007 ‘To Notice Such Things’ by Jon Lord (commissioned by Eve Barret and published by Schott Music)
- 2008 ‘Descending Blue’ by Cecilia McDowall (commissioned by Colin and Lucy West and published Gemini Press)
- 2013 ‘Stilled Voices by James Whitbourn (commissioned by John Snelling and published Chester Music)
- 2015 ‘Ada’ by James Whitbourn and premiered by Andrew Bernardi and Anna Lapwood and friends in celebration of 200 years of Ada Lovelace (commissioned by the Earl and Countess of Lytton and published by Chester Music)
- 2016 ‘Goodwood Variations’ by Roderick Williams OBE (commissioned by Maria Marchant and Andrew Bernardi)
- 2018 ‘Shipley Psalms’ by Malcolm Singer (commissioned by Revd Rupert Toovey and John Snelling)
- 2018 ‘Knepp Piano Trio’ by Roderick Williams OBE
- 2019 ‘Dragons’ by Malcolm Singer reorchestrated with Arts Council England support
- 2020 ‘White Storks by Helen Ottaway ( commissioned by Shipley Arts Festival Life Friend Jamie Martin and Alison Beckett )
- 2020 ‘Shipley Concerto for violin and strings: Cremona 1696 / Shipley Idyll /Chinese Adventure’ (commissioned by Shipley Arts Festival and published by Goodmusic)