Every year BREMF programmes around specific themes designed to stimulate
new attitudes to approaching and presenting music from the past.
In 2018 our theme Europe will explore Britain’s long and often tempestuous relationship with the rest of the Continent from medieval times onwards. Programmes will focus on important alliances, wars, trade, migrations, revolutions and dissolutions, examining the strong influences that have always flowed in from across the channel.
When Clare and Deborah met for coffee one spring day back in 2002 to talk about doing a few publicity swaps they had no ideas of starting a festival. But one thing led to another and that autumn they programmed six events - entirely calling upon the generosity of fellow musicians and a lot of volunteers. Within a year they were securing Arts Council funding and before long were asking serious questions about conventional programming. The rest is history, but they still do a lot of publicity swaps, and there are even more volunteers!
One of the great success stories of today's early music scene, far surpassing its competitors in terms of the sheer number and variety of events on offer. Classical Music, December 2010We never forget that much of the music we programme was written before the days of formal public concerts and belonged to many diverse contexts. That idea alone has inspired many of our BREMF-grown projects, and also encouraged artists to be more experimental in their thinking.
We are delighted that Dame Emma Kirkby, one of the leading figures in the early music movement, has been the Festival’s Patron since we began in 2003.
BREMF Co-Artistic Director Clare Norburn is standing down after the 2017 Festival to concentrate on new projects.