Welcome to Budleigh festival

THIS year’s Budleigh Salterton Music Festival welcomes a new artistic director, says farewell to director Nicky Marshall, and celebrates some favourite musicians returning for the 15th festival, running from 12th to 20th July.

Jason Thornton, who for 18 years has been the music director of Bath Philharmonic, renowned for his collaborations with leading soloists including Nicola Benedetti, and guest conductor with orchestras including the Halle, joined the Budleigh team in January and will programme his first festival in 2020.

He takes over from the much-loved and hugely respected Nicky Marshall, who originally joined the Budleigh festival in the opening year, 2005, as adviser to the founder Roger Bowen, and in 2006 founded the Festival Orchestra. He became artistic director in 2012. He will continue to conduct the Festival Orchestra.

This year’s festival programme, with concerts in St Peter’s Church and the Temple Methodist Church, welcomes back musicians who have played at the festival before, including the 2014 BBC Young Musician of the Year, Martin James Bartlett, the Pleyel Ensemble, artists from the 12 Ensemble and a fourth visit by pianist Wu Qian. who will be playing as part of the Sitkovetsky Trio.

Newcomers to the Budleigh audience include the acclaimed Elias Quartet and the Sansara a capella vocal group, whose festival programme will include works by allis, Victoria, Britten, Chilcott, Sandström and Marshall.

The lunchtime concerts have a particular focus on artists from the south west, and the festival finale will be a return for Devon Opera with Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte, at 7pm at  St Peter’s Church, on Saturday 20th.

Pictured: New artistic director Jason Thornton, and pianist Wu Qian.