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Gwion has been an opera and concert baritone soloist for many years and has sung principal roles for Welsh National Opera, Scottish Opera and many others companies He is Co-Artistic Director of the Brixworth Music Festival
Vivienne Olive is a composer and Professor of Music Theory at the Hochschule für Music in Nuremberg, Germany. She has already written a number of works for the Brixworth Festival, including the Brixworth Bell Anthem, a duet for Gwion Thomas and Chloe Willson-Thomas ("Madonna of the Evening Flowers") and a work for the John Clare Wind Quintet ("Les oiseaux fous"). She is Joint Artistic Director of the Festival.
Rev. Chloe Willson-Thomas
Chloe is a graduate of the Royal Northern College of Music and has performed as a soprano soloist all over the country. She was ordained in 2009 and is now Rector of All Saints, Brixworth. Chloe is the Festival's Artistic Adviser and Event Co-ordinator
Peter Dunkley is a formidable clarinettist and for more than 20 years was head of the award-winning Northamptonshire Music & Performing Arts Trust. . Peter conducts two local orchestras, teaches clarinet and saxophone and performs professionally as a clarinet and bass clarinettist. He is also a member of the John Clare Wind Quintet and Patron of the Brixworth Music Festival.
Graham plays flute and bassoon and is well known in Northamptonshire as a gifted teacher and leader of many local music ensembles. Twenty seven years ago he founded and still directs the Northampton Chamber Orchestra who will be performing at the Festival. Now semi-retired, Graham remains an active teacher and musical director as well as playing with the John Clare Wind Quintet. He is Artistic Adviser to the Festival.
Northamptonshire composer Stuart Cooper's compositions (some professional commissions) include pieces for a variety of chamber ensembles: string quartet, wind quintet, piano, and works for small orchestra. Stuart is also an artist. He studied Art History at Birkbeck College in London and is a member of the Fellowship of Professional and Amateur Artists. Stuart lives with his husband in Brixworth.
Previous Festival Performers
Composer and Master of the Queen's Music (Short List Judge for the 2018 Music Festival Competition for Women Composers)
A local youth band that competes in major competitions and travels all over the world to perform. Their accolades include BBC Radio 2 Youth Band of the Year; British Open Youth Champions; National Youth Champions; and European Champion Runners up.
Northampton Concert Band was formed in 1919 by a group of ex-servicemen who wished to continue their musical interests in civilian life. The band was originally called the Northampton Military Band but in 1976 changed its name to the Northampton Concert Band to reflect the increase in membership of younger musicians and the wider repertoire of music played. The Band has won awards at numerous national competitions including the top award for Wind Bands in 1993 and in 2008 a Gold Award at the National Wind Band Festival. The band is currently directed by Graham Tear.
Ensemble Marquise presents early music concerts in full 17th century Rococo costume performing on period instruments.
Northampton Chamber Orchestra
The Northampton Chamber Orchestra began over twenty years ago to fulfil a need for local amateur and semi-professional players to meet and play a wide repertoire of music classified as chamber music, from Bach to Beethoven and beyond, into the contemporary field. Today, the orchestra meets several times a year and consists mostly of local instrumental teachers and music college students slotting in rehearsals around their busy schedules. The orchestra has performed several times at the Brixworth Music Festival under their director and founder, Graham Tear.
Northampton Musical Theatre Company, perform large scale productions and several concerts each year
This group has built up an enviable reputation as one of the finest small choirs in this part of the country.
A virtuoso accordion player, Irene started learning the accordion at the age of seven and during the 1970's she successfully pioneered the accordion as a"concert" instrument. Since 1999 she has been professor of accordion at Nuremberg Academy of Music. She regularly performs as a soloist and has made numerous radio recordings and is a Judge in both district and national “Young Musician” competitions.
Flute-based chamber ensemble formed in 2003