Wimbledon Music Festival


Wimbledon Music Festival wishes to achieve the financial stability to establish a major annual festival of the highest quality, building on a remarkable first season, which presented a galaxy of major international artists in 13 events spread over ten days, and which attracted great enthusiasm not only among audiences, but also with BBC Radio3 [‘In Tune’, and an OB recording of Christopher Maltman’s and Julius Drake’s ‘Die Winterreise] and major international music magazines. The Big Idea is to raise the quality of life in South West London through an annual music festival providing an inspirational programme of classical music, readings, and jazz presented in attractive venues and in a friendly, accessible atmosphere, engaging world-class artists, commissioning or presenting imaginative new works, and exploring relationships with other leading artistic figures and art forms.

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Wimbledon is well known for its tennis, but its cultural life is fragmented and uncoordinated. Like most communities there are a number of local concerts, both amateur and professional, usually attended by groups associated with the performers or the local venues. Even the few concerts by major artists are inadequately promoted, and audiences disappointing. The Wimbledon Music Festival by concentrating a number of major concerts over ten days has even in its first year created a substantial, focused, world-class event with enough promotional funding to have already begun to make an impact. We have attracted seriously enthusiastic audiences have been deluged with requests that the Festival should continue. The Festival has evidently already started to fulfill these goals: “It was an enormous privilege to have musicians of such caliber performing in venues so close to home… Around all these fabulous concerts, moreover, you created a wonderfully vibrant and friendly atmosphere, and the warmth and friendliness of the Festival made it a very special time for us We hope this is only the beginning of a great gift to SW19.” We have also heard of children practicing their instruments in a new frame of mind after having witnessed the quality and attack of great musicians at close quarters. The Festival wishes to be able to attract the cream of world artists, and to explore new ways of staging and presenting works, and explore the possibility of working on new projects perhaps in association with other high quality international festivals. The budget for this year’s festival was just over £80,000 but was brought in for just under £50,000 because of substantial support by kind volunteers. The Festival received grants from Arts Council England, Lottery Fund: Merton Borough Arts Development Fund: the Tertis Foundation. Generous donations and support from Friends of the Festival exceeded expectations, and there is an encouraging balance to take forward to the next festival. The total of all these grants and donations was £27,500