2022 Festival Audience and Artist Responses

The week I spent at Whittington festival was one of the most vibrant, inspiring and creatively stimulating experiences of my musical career.  I’ve felt enormous growth from being a part of this wonderful festival – from meeting so many exceptional musicians, to listening to some of the thought-provoking and engaging concerts I’ve ever been to.

The audience connection achieved in this festival was of utmost importance, especially in trying times where the relevance and value of what we do is constantly being scrutinised.  Whittington festival demonstrated the necessity of music performance in so many ways, and I can’t recommend it highly enough as an educational and artistic experience. I, like many other young musicians, want to be part of this direction in music. 

I can’t think of a better investment than supporting this festival, and being a part of the exponential artistic value that it delivers.
Christina Schoonakker, 24, viola 

Flyer brought us in and we moored our narrowboat and walked from the canal! Website most inviting. But the quality and commitment of performers and clever programming was wonderful. We loved the Schubert programme and the way the context and background of the music was so sensitively and interestingly woven in by Sophia. Now we know about the festival we may well plan a trip around it next time. Thank you one and all. Schwanengesang was an unforgettable tour de force by Mr Padmore. Thank you.
Audience member

The warmth, excitement and joy of the contributors at all levels was wonderful and enhanced the experience even more. Really good personal support system at the venue. Thank you.
Audience member

For a young professional, there were so many things that I can take away from this festival. Firstly, it was amazing to be able to work with such inspiring and wonderful musicians. It is rare to have an opportunity to work alongside such world-class players. Everyone was really encouraging and it felt like we were all treated equally! Also, I absolutely loved the choice of programme, it was amazing to play such a range of pieces, both in terms of composers and instrumentation. There was a real sense of energy throughout the week because there was so much music to rehearse! I really enjoyed that- it was a rewarding challenge for me.
Anna Tulchinskaya, violin

Wonderful, varied, engaging programme. Lovely to see younger artists.
Audience member

All the concerts were excellent. They should have been a sell-out. Sophia Rahman is an exceptional person and you are very lucky to have her.
Audience member

Brilliantly organised. A total success
Audience member

Being a part of the Whittington festival was a life-changing experience. As a multi-practitioner, there is rarely an opportunity where one can dip into multiple forms of creative expression all at once. The ethos of this year’s festival “transcending borders” allowed me to explore singing, playing violin and viola as well as improvising, which was so uniquely special to be able to do all on one stage!

The freedom and variety of this year’s festival was so refreshing, and affirmed that music should not be segregated into genres – all genres are connected, and complement each other. Including multiple genres of music into the same performance platform is so important, and I feel that it is a vital step in sharing and connecting with wider, more diverse audiences.

I am very grateful to Sophia and all the trustees for allowing such a magical/electrifying week, and I have no doubt that with Sophia’s directorship, the festival will continue to break boundaries, and innovate the way in which we present and share music!
David Shaw, 25, multi-practitioner

Programming is superb. Love the female music director.
Audience member

Thank you so much for the masterclass. The chamber music rehearsal taught me so much about playing as an ensemble, especially without a conductor. The coaching from Mark Padmore was also incredible, and I feel as though it has improved my confidence in performing and interpreting music hugely. As well as this, the chance to meet and play with such amazing musicians throughout the day was so inspiring for me, so I can’t thank you enough for this opportunity.
Masterclass student

The jazz was a great addition.
Audience member

Playing at Whittington Festival 2022 and 2021 has been a career highlight for me. The atmosphere is unique, and the musical standard unparalleled. There is time to rehearse in depth for the concerts, with colleagues who love and care for the music. The concerts themselves are inspiring – repertoire which is a creative mixture of familiar and new, played to a warm, appreciative audience in beautiful surroundings. What’s not to love?!
Helen Keen, flute