Festival International et Académie


Press Release January 2011


3 – 13 August 2011

Named as one of the top ten European music festivals in 2010, Musique Cordiale is celebrating its seventh year with a programme more varied and exciting than ever.  This year the festival has a distinctly French flavour, held in Seillans, a small and exquisite French village in the hills behind the Mediterranean about an hour north west of Nice.

Stravinsky’s ‘L’Histoire du Soldat’ will be performed at the opening concert in the Place du Valat in Seillans, a lovely mediaeval village in the hills to the North West of Nice. We are delighted that Christopher Widauer will bring this remarkable version for his life size marionette to narrate this tale by the Swiss writer Ramuz in both English and French, with the ensemble conducted by Peter Davies making his debut at Musique Cordiale.

This year’s opera from Vignette Productions is Puccini’s ‘La Bohème, conducted by the young Australian Steven Moore also making his Musique Cordiale debut, and directed by the tenor Andrew Staples.  The orchestral opening concert will include a Bach double concerto, with Peter Liang and Sophie Rosa as soloists,  Mozart’s 4th Horn concerto with Timothy Brown,  Schoenberg’s ‘Nuit Transfiguré’ and Dvorak’s Serenade for Strings, conducted by Peter Davies. The choir will sing an ‘a cappella’ programme of French music, both sacred and profane.  To close the festival, conductor Tom Seligman will return to join forces with Andrew Staples singing the Evangelist and the arias in Bach’s St John Passion. Graham Ross, who has recently taken up his post as Music Director at Clare College Cambridge will return to Seillans  to play the continuo part in the St John Passion.  He will write another piece for choir and harp with Tanya Houghton as soloist.

As last year, we are inviting a few young musicians from the Nice Conservatoire and other academies of excellence to join in a concert of string music to play Vaughan Williams ‘Fantasia on a theme of Thomas Tallis’, Vivaldi concerto for 4 violins and ‘Let the Bright Seraphim’ for soprano and strings by Handel. We now have 2 professors of music bringing their students to Seillans this year, which means we are able to perform Villa Loboz ‘Bacchanalia Brasileiras No 5’ with 8 cellos and soprano! Each student plays next to a professional player,  therefore giving them a wonderful opportunity to make music at a high level with different musicians.

There will be 2 Jazz concerts this year, one in each of the festival weeks.  Appearing in Seillans for the first time will be Remi Harris and his exciting young Gypsy Jazz Trio, playing to the feel and vibe of the Hot Club sound of the 40s. His influences are Django Reinardt, Bireli Lagrene, Wes Montgmery, Charlie Parker, Clifford Brown, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Peter Green….and he will be joined by Tristan Fry, no stranger to Musique Cordiale, and the pianist Jean-Marie Reboul.  In the second week, we welcome the celebrated Freddy Roux trio.

This year the participation of singers and instrumentalists and audience from around Europe has broadened yet again.  Lovers of music from over 10 countries will be coming together in this idyllic setting in Seillans, in the south of France.


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