Festival International et Académie


Musique Cordiale is a major annual international summer music festival begun in 2005 in Provence, France, where it features:

  • a Festival Orchestra consisting of invited professional players drawn from major orchestras and conservatoires across Europe
  • a pan-European Festival Choir made up of up to 50 professional and semi-professional singers who come together twice each year to rehearse and sing together under masterful conductors. They perform a capella and always also sing a major choral work with orchestra and soloists in two final concerts, the highpoint  of the festival
  • a selection of talented up-and-coming soloist singers and players, several small ensembles and solo performers of chamber music, vocal and instrumental recitals, jazz … and a little folk, world music and rock
  • an academy for talented young musicians, taught by well-known international players and singers – and an accompanist. There have been academies for string  and wind players and also for young singers. Students perform solos and  in small ensembles before each sitting next to a professional or singing solo parts in orchestral or choral concerts.
  • a series of daily, including free concerts in 9 towns and villages in the Pays de Fayence in the south of France
  • 2 –3 conductors,  a dozen soloists and about 100 musicians and singers
  • 13 or more nationalities working together to make music
  • 8 volunteers working hand-in-hand all year long, strengthened by an energetic team of volunteers during the annual festival
  • a huge voluntary team-effort all year long to organise the summer and autumn events under the auspices of a non-profit  French association  and an English charity
  • limited occasional part-time paid staff supporting the organisers and helping with publicity, logistics, administration, development & education (contact: in**@mu**************.com)

SUPPORT US: You support us by coming to our concerts or by becoming a member or Friend. An independent charity, The Musique-Cordiale Trust (click HERE for details), (English charity no: 1167732), seeks to raise vital funds from Friends, donors and other charities to help support young musical talent, including through bursaries and money to contribute towards the year-round cost of organising courses and concerts and sustaining the organisations which can make the festival happen.

French donors are invited to contribute to L’association Musique Cordiale (loi 1901), which is responsible for the Festival

The NEW GENERATION Musique-Cordiale team

… working with the founders and long-standing artistic and organising stalwarts year-round, to bring a festival to life each summer

Musique Cordiale also stages an autumn weekend in Kent, England (the first was also in 2005), again bringing together musicians, singers, conductor & volunteers and other occasional concerts elsewhere in Europe – for 3 different concerts in 3 churches in Kent.

The Musique Cordiale International Festival & Academy is a unique festival which takes place mainly in the warm ambience of the lovely Pays de Fayence in the South of France situated in hill towns between Nice and Aix-en-Provence.

2023 will be the 19th annual festival and will feature a series of daily concerts over 10 days, including major choral and orchestral works, chamber ensembles, free lunchtime concerts and late night recitals in churches, chapels, an amphitheatre and under the stars.

 L'equipe administrative 2017-2018: Hannah Stodart, Barbara Hooijmeijer & Monica Herrera-Pavia

L’equipe administrative 2017-2018: Hannah Stodart, Barbara Hooijmeijer & Monica Herrera-Pavia

Musique Cordiale started with a dream of Pippa Pawlik, the founding artistic director of the festival, to perform Bach’s B Minor Mass in the church in Seillans in 2005.

As a former professional violist, she invited her musician friends for a musical holiday – with wine included – and this developed into a festival. The choral tradition remains an integral part of Musique Cordiale and a major work for choir closes the festival each year.

The choir is made up of excellent amateur and professional singers from ensembles including The Bach Choir, the London Symphony Chorus, Groupe Vocal Arpège de Bordeaux and the Ensemble Equinox.

The Festival Orchestra is a multi-generational ensemble made up of young professionals and established musicians from orchestras including the LSO, the City of Birmingham Orchestra, the OAE, the Tonhalle Zurich and the Oslo Philharmonic.

Musique Cordiale acts as a platform for burgeoning soloists and orchestral players, offering them an opportunity to learn and perform works which they will later play on the international stage.

Each year, we invite accomplished conductors to direct the orchestra and the choir. Other distinguished musicians act as Academy teachers for young talented string players.

The idyllic surroundings of the Pays de Fayence provide a unique setting for musicians and singers to perform together in an informal, Provençal environment.

Since 2005, performances have included Mozart’s C minor Mass and Requiem, Duruflé’s Requiem, Bach’s Magnificat, Haydn’s Te Deum and Nelson Mass, Handel’s Dixit Dominus, Dvorak’s Stabat Mater, the Monteverdi Vespers, Haydn’e Creation and Seasons, Handel’s Saul and Messiah and Fauré’s Requiem. Operas staged include Purcell’s Dido & Aeneas, Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro and Cosi fan Tutte, Puccini’s La Boheme and Rossini’s Barber of Seville as well as dozens of smaller works.

Les jeunes de l’equipe et des benevoles 2018, y compris Lena Rudloff (adminstratice 2018) et Jess Lyness qui était l’administrrice du festival 2019. En 2020, elle travaillera avec Hannah Stodart comme l’équipe Muscique Cordiale 2020
some key members of the 2023 creative team: Sophie Haynes, Graham Ross, Aidan Coburn & Ruth Harrison
Some key members of the 2023 artistic team: Sophie Haynes (cello), Graham Ross (conductor & artistic director), Aidan Coburn (tenor) & Ruth Harrison (flute)

‘Bringing music to life’  Musique Cordiale is supported by many friends and volunteers who give their time or financial support to make the festival a success including members of the Conseil d’administration  (board) of the association which runs the festival.

A vital element in this has been generous support from local government including the Mayor & Municipality of Seillans, the Community of Communes of the Pays de Fayence as well as other communes and the coastal town of Saint-Raphael.

The Festival is staged by L’Association Musique Cordiale, a French organisation, whose object is to encourage cultural exchange within Europe and internationally for the promotion of the study and performance of music and song. Its elected Conseil d’Administration is responsible for its management and strategy.

The work of the association is supported by a UK non-profit body, The Musique Cordiale Trust, an English charity, which helps to pay for conductors and teachers and raises funds to provide bursaries to talented young musicians.

While the Trust promotes high-quality music and education of musicians from all over Europe, the association tries to encourage young people from the Departement du Var and the wider PACA region to participate in the festival and academy.

Jacques & Pippa 2015
L’équipe presidential: Pippa Pawlik. President & Jacques Leforestier, vice-president, L’association Musique-Cordiale

We are pleased to bring you the 19th Musique Cordiale International Festival, 3-12 August 2023, to take place again in Seillans and the Pays de Fayence.

Since 2005, the annual 10-day series of evening and lunchtime concerts (with an earlier Musical evening & launch event) has delighted locals and attracted visitors from all over Europe. to the medieval churches and modern concert venues as well as the Provencal squares and vineyards where performances occur.

There we make music together in the warmth of the hills and some of the most beautiful medieval villes percheés of the Var behind the Mediterranean. The 2023 programme is a little more compact than previously; but is the first time that we have all been able to come together in France since the start of the Covid-19 Pandemic – during which time, we still managed to hold festival and winter concerts with limited and outdoor audiences in Kent, England – but without our usual Pan-European ensemble or audiences.

The provisional programme was published early in the Spring and tickets have been available since 1 June.. As ever, the festival will include high-quality performances of classical music, instrumental performances and lovely Baroque pieces (and a little jazz) from our ensemble of musicians drawn from major orchestras and conservatoires of Europe.

Towards the end of the festival, the choir will perform a concert of a cappella delights and the festival will again culminate in 2 choral performances, with choir, orchestra and soloists.

a 19-year record of valuable achievement in Pan-European musical and cultural exchange & education
Admirable Aspirations – a Labour of Love – Modest Means

Musique-Cordiale is not just about lovely concerts and the development of young musical talent. Nor does it simply encourage entente between Britain and France. With Britain’s departure from the EU, pan-European cultural and educational initiatives like it become even more important for us all to encourage.

Both L’association Musique Cordiale and The Musique-Cordiale Trust exist to support musical exchange and education throughout the countries which are members of the larger 47-member Council of Europe while the International Festival encourages participation from musicians, singers and students from every country in this wider Europe.

Musique Cordiale has become a major annual cultural event in the Var. It plays an important role in nurturing a pan-European Entente Cordiale for musicians and audiences – both local and visiting – who also appreciate the breath-taking scenery and inviting climate and produce of the region.

Many are surprised to discover such high-quality music-making in this rural pocket of Provence – and then go on to discover the excellent gastronomic, historical and natural tourist attractions of the region.  (see The Guardian‘s 20 most beautiful villages of France, which includes Seillans, our main rehearsal point and the principal place in or near which our choir and orchestra are accommodated and fed – before and during the festival)

Please see HERE for ways to contact us.

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