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Carwithen Music Festival

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Doreen Carwithen

Major International Classical Music Festival here in Haddenham — concerts and recitals by world class musicians: you really don't want to miss this opportunity

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Professional Viola player, Mark Chivers who lives in Haddenham, has organised the Carwithen Music Festival to celebrate the centenary of Doreen Carwithen. The event will take place from Friday 1st until Sunday 3rd July.

Doreen is the world's first female film composer, and was born in the village in 1922 (the building is now Paul Wilkinson's Photographic studio).

The Festival will consist of six concerts, two cinema screenings, a multi media exhibition in the birthplace and the unveiling of a blue plaque on the front of the birthplace.

President of the Festival, film composer Debbie Wiseman OBE, will be in attendance for the whole weekend and will unveil the blue plaque. She will also perform her award winning score for the BBC's Wolf Hall, with the actual players on the soundtrack, alongside the Bafta award winning actor, Anton Lesser of Wolf Hall, The Crown and Game of Thrones fame, reading extracts from Hilary Mantel's novel.

Other highlights will include, Mike Moran, the composer of Barcelona for Freddie Mercury and Montserrat Caballe and producer of Freddie's last album, giving the late night Jazz concert at the Village Hall.

Mark's own String Quartet, Masquerade, who performed in Haddenham a few years ago at the Feast Festival with the West End star Alice Fearn, will open the Festival. You can also catch international soloists Fenella Humphreys (Violin) and the incredible Clare Hammond (Piano) each with their own recitals.

Mark has also commissioned a new work, to be played by Fenella Humphreys, by the film composer Christopher Gunning who wrote the Poirot theme for David Suchet (ITV). He used to live in the old school building, where Doreen Carwithen went to school in Monks Risborough.

Classic FM have already indicated that they will be branding and covering the Festival and tickets go live on September 1st.

You can buy tickets from the Festival website. Prices are £15 for individual tickets and £65 for a Festival pass to all 6 concerts. There will be ample opportunity to meet and chat to all the players and composers during the festival, whether it be by pre concert talk or after show drinks.

It should be an amazing weekend with the Haddenham Beer Festival and local farmers market (Vale Harvest) taking place that weekend as well.