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BRISTOL EARLY MUSIC FESTIVAL

image of a clavichord soundboard rose

May 7 – 9, 2021

General Information

The Festival this year is based on videos, made in advance and mostly commissioned by the Festival. They will be released over the weekend May 7–9, and will be available to view until May 14th. All Festival events are free.

Some of the videos will be followed by a live question-and-answer session with the musicians, scholars or craftsman, using Zoom. To watch the Zoom sessions, registration in advance will be required so that we can email you a link to the meeting. More details will appear here later in April.


Festival Events

Friday evening: concert by the Passacaglia Duo.

Saturday: 11am: a guided tour of Peter Barnes′s harpsichord workshop, followed by a live Question & Answer session with Peter Barnes.

Saturday 2.30pm: Emma Hornby and her students talk about their detective work on an 11th century ms, followed by a Question & Answer session.

Saturday: 7.30pm: a harpsichord recital by Nathaniel Mander, followed by a live Question & Answer session with Nathaniel.

Sunday: 2.30pm: an illustrated talk about the Border Ballads of Ettrick & Yarrow.

More detail will be added soon.


We are delighted to welcome Emma Hornby back to our Festival. She and two of her students will be giving a talk followed by a live Question & Answer session on Saturday afternoon.

Photo of Emma Hornby

Emma writes: "the 11th-century liturgical manuscript Santo Domingo de Silos, MS 6, is famous for including one of the earliest uses of paper in Western Europe. It is a complex manuscript: several scribes contributed to the musical notation, in two distinct notational styles and preserving two distinct melodic dialects, usually associated with different regions of Spain.

"In collaboration with BA and MA music students, we have embarked on a treasure hunt, trying to identify the different personalities who contributed to the melodies of this thousand-year-old manuscript, and the roles they played in its compilation."


As a Charity we welcome sponsorship and donations from individuals and organisations.

The following organisations already sponsor us:

Southwest Early Music Forum logo Society of Recorder Players logo

Registered Charity No. 1187125.

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