Friends Concert: Saturday 16th September

Dear All, 

As summer slips subtly into autumn I’m turning my mind to this year’s AMF adventures! Hopefully many of you have marked your calendars for this year’s One Day of Music Festival on Saturday 11th November. We will be in touch with more news about this day in due course. You will also be able to check programming and buy tickets online nearer the time at
In the meantime and – in fact – in the very near future we have another concert on offer! 

Please come one come all to join us on Saturday 16th September in the Long Room at Michael Hall School, Forest Row from 3:30 p.m.  

This will be an afternoon of Bach – Back to Back Bach – performed by John Myerscough and myself. 

This is our yearly Friends Concert. At this event all Friends of the AMF who support us with their generous yearly donations will gain free entry (plus a +1). General members of the public can purchase tickets either online here or at the door. OR ring us on 07764 681777 to reserve tickets. 

As always, the concert will be followed by FREE tea, juice, prosecco, sandwiches and cake (in themselves – we think – a reason to come!). So if you get booking John and I will get looking at our parts in preparation!

With best wishes,
Reinoud Ford, Director 
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Happy New Year!

Dear Fans and Friends of the AMF, 
Let me take this opportunity to wish you all a very Happy New Year!
As we look forward to 2017 I wanted to take a moment to look back at the Ashdown Music Festival 2016. 
We had a wonderful and unique three days at the start of November with a series of musical experiences that excited and I hope inspired our audiences. Our Opening Concert offered a gentle beginning to the weekend with a programme of solo and chamber music featuring English Pianist Sam Armstrong. We upped the pace on Saturday with a lively and noisy goose-themed crafting hour that preceded our hugely popular and packed-out Family Concert featuring the entertaining and engaging Magnard Ensemble. That afternoon we travelled back in time to a Baroque world of exquisite beauty and energy safe in the hands of the exceptional Brook Street Band. Our Gala featured an effervescent and crystalline Mozart concerto by top violinist Martyn Jackson and the dynamically delivered Walton by the 12 Ensemble. I of course also took on Mr. Haydn and relished every minute: I hope you did too. 
Take a look at our Photos page to see pictures from across the weekend. 
As many of you know, I am currently thinking carefully over the next steps for the AMF: thank you to those who have completed and returned our survey. If you have not yet responded we really would value your feedback and ideas. I will be in touch in due course to let you all know how we will move forward. 
In the meantime wishing you all well and may music fill the Bleak Midwinter! 
Reinoud Ford, Director
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ONE week to the AMF Gala Concert!

Next week around this time a whole host of musicians will be itching to kick off a brilliant and breathtaking programme. Be sure to book your seat NOW for the Ashdown Music Festival’s fifth annual Gala Concert. 
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We’ve got a cracking display of colourful and explosive talent for you this Bonfire weekend. The 12 Ensemble (an un-conducted string orchestra) is the biggest ensemble we have welcomed to date: a visual and musical spectacle, they will perform Walton’s Serenade for Strings. Our two very watchable soloists Martyn Jackson and Reinoud Ford will take on Mozart and Haydn respectively, accompanied by the 12 PLUS bonus wind players brought in to deliver that big orchestral sound. We think children learning an instrument and/ or playing in an orchestra will enjoy our Gala (most of the 12 players STAND for much of the concert: very watchable!) With a SPECIAL PRICE special price for school-age children you can make this into a fantastic family outing. 
Support us in our most ambitious endeavour yet and book your seat here! You can also call: 07764 681777 for ticketsBe sure to bring your appetites because there will be cakes and cookies galore available at interval.
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See you next week! Reinoud Ford
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One week to AMF Super Saturday!

Dear Audiences and Supporters of the AMF,

Our countdown clock is ticking away: only ONE week to go until our Super Saturday.

On Saturday 5th November at 11am (Christian Community Church, Forest Row) the Magnard Wind Ensemble will host our FAMILY CONCERT. Also featuring Piano and Narrator, these talented musicians will delight families with stories, musical snippets and informative instrument demos (including Tales of Mother Goose by Ravel).

Magnard Ensemble - CMF 20 November 2015  group4_750

At 4.30pm on Saturday 5th November (Christian Community Church) the Brook Street Band – one of the country’s foremost interpreters of Baroque music – will guide us on a musical Grand Tour, taking in Handel, Bach, Telemann and Vivaldi along the way. Delicious non-alcoholic Baroque-tails available at interval.

Lend us your ears and generous support because without each of you there can be no Festival!

See you there! Reinoud Ford

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AMF Opening Concert ONE Week Today!

Our concert countdown has started! This time next week we’ll be warming up for our Opening Concert (Friday 4th November, 7.30pm, Christian Community Church, Forest Row).

A beautifully balanced programme pulled from the solo and chamber repertoires. Award-winning English pianist Sam Armstrong performs solo Schubert and will be joined by Festival Director Reinoud Ford and Violinist Oscar Perks to deliver the rousing melodies of Beethoven’s iconic Archduke Trio and Dvorak’s delicious Dumky, laced with Eastern European folk tunes.

“Remember, Remember…!” Without an audience there can be no Festival. We hope to see you there! Book online or call 07764 681777.



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The AMF Is Almost Here!

Dear Friends of the AMF, Music Lovers and Festival Supporters,

This past weekend has been a busy behind-the-scenes one for the AMF as kitchen surfaces were given over to mixing bowls and baking tins. We’ve been tweaking our bakes and cakes for our Big Bang Gala Concert on Sunday 6th November and we think you’re going to LOVE the results! Succulent spiced carrot cake, lemon-scented almond loaf and not to mention our mega choc-dipped oaty biscuits for the young (at heart)!

Our Gala is offering much more besides bakes: music to delight the senses and something unique for the area. For the first time in a LONG time Forest Row will be treated to uplifting ORCHESTRAL strains as the brilliant 12 Ensemble (an un-conducted 12 person string ensemble from London) takes to the stage, to be joined by 4 wind players for two concertos. Walton, Mozart and Haydn: I can think of no better friends to share a slice of something sweet with.

Our Festival weekend also features an intimate evening of chamber works for piano and strings (Friday 4th November) and an afternoon of “Grand Tour” Baroque music played by the award-winning Brook Street Band. Treat yourself to a Season Ticket to enjoy all three concerts! We’ve got a Family Concert for our younger ones on Saturday 5th November.

Please book now to show your support and we will bring you some magical musical times.


Reinoud Ford

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Concert this Sunday!

Our Friends Concert is taking place this Sunday (18th Sep) at 3pm.

Location: Christian Community Church, Forest Row.

This event is free for Friends of the Ashdown Music Festival and a PLUS ONE.

For anyone who is not (yet!) a Friend, a mere £5 will gain you access to an hour of music, a sliver or two of sandwich and a generous slice of cake to go with your tea/ coffee or juice!

Call 07764 681 777 for a ticket or buy at the door.

Simon Lane, piano

Reinoud Ford, cello

 Works by: Bach, Martinu, Brahms

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Final Countdown to AMF 2016 Tickets going ON SALE!

Dear AMF Audiences and Supporters,

I’m about to press the big red button!

TICKET SALES for this year’s Ashdown Music Festival officially OPEN at 00:00 on Thursday 1 September.

We have a smorgasbord of musical delicacies so please do take your pick, buy some tix and support us in our FIFTH anniversary year. From an intimate evening of solo/ chamber works on Friday 4th November to a charming Family Concert featuring the Magnard Ensemble on Saturday 5th November as well as a musical Grand Tour led by the amazing Brook Street Band (also on Saturday 5th November), there is surely something special for everyone! Our Gala Concert on Sunday 6th November is a belter beyond belief: TWO concertos and 12 unconducted string players stroking in perfect sync and harmony!

We have Individual and Season Tickets for sale. Concessions available.

Buy tickets online on our site OR by phone: 07764 681777.

I thank you in advance for your support and much look forward to seeing you there.

Reinoud Ford, Festival Director

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Amended Concert start-time and Friends Concert

Dear Friends and Fans of the AMF,

There has been an adjustment to the start-time of one of this year’s concerts:

The Brook Street Band’s performance in the Christian Community Church on Saturday 5th November will now start at 4:30pm and NOT at 4pm as stated in my previous email.


I would also like to remind you of our Friends Concert at 3pm on Sunday 18th September in the Christian Community Church. As if an action-packed hour of delicious cello and tasty piano music weren’t enough, there will be complimentary tea, coffee AND cake to be enjoyed afterwards. Tickets for current Friends of the AMF and a Plus 1 are FREE of charge! For those who are not (yet!) Friends of the Festival, £5 (mega bargain alert!) will be charged. Please reserve your tickets by emailing or calling 07764681777.


Tickets for this year’s Festival will be available to buy and reserve from Thursday 1st September.

Best wishes,


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AMF 2016

Dear Friends and Fans of the AMF,

With the Olympics in Rio upon us, the Ashdown Music Festival is beginning its own countdown to our Opening Ceremony.

It fills me with great excitement and pride that we will be celebrating our 5th year together. And what a great Festival we have in store. Some “heavyweights” in the classical world will be “going for gold” this year. Be sure to join the “race” for tickets when we open sales at the start of September.

The Festival programme is as follows:

Friday 4th November: Opening Concert

As is tradition, we open the Festival with an intimate evening of outstanding solo and chamber music. English Pianist Sam Armstrong performs Schubert and will be joined by Cellist and Festival Director Reinoud Ford and Festival Favourite Oscar Perks for iconic Beethoven and breathtaking Dvořák.

Franz Schubert: Impromptu D 935
Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano Trio in B-flat Major. Op. 97, “Archduke Trio”
Antonín Dvořák: Piano Trio No. 4 in E Minor, “Dumky Trio”

Venue: Christian Community Church, Hartfield Road, Forest Row

Time: 7.30pm

Saturday 5th November: Family Concert

A Family Concert sponsored by the CAVATINA Chamber Music Trust. Programme to include Mother Goose, five traditional children’s stories originally set to music by Maurice Ravel. Also in the line-up are lively musical games and informative instrument demos. Suitable for children ages 4 and up.

Optional themed crafting hour from 9.45am.

Venue: Christian Community Church, Hartfield Road, Forest Row

Time: 11am 

Saturday 5th November: Baroque Concert

A special afternoon featuring the award-winning Brook Street Band, one of the country’s foremost interpreters of Handel’s music. Yes that’s right, don’t let the name mislead you! The term “band” was used in the 18th C to describe groups of musicians and this Band takes its name from the street in London where George Frideric Handel lived and composed for most of his working life.

Programme to include: Handel, Vivaldi, Bach and Telemann

Venue: Christian Community Church, Hartfield Road, Forest Row

Time: 4pm

Sunday 6th November: GALA CONCERT

This year’s Gala Concert is bursting at the seams with talent and innovation: exciting concerto soloists (Violinist Martyn Jackson and Cellist and Festival Director Reinoud Ford) will be accompanied by London’s foremost un-conducted string orchestra the 12 Ensemble, whose ranks will be swelled by wind players. The 12 Ensemble also performs Walton. Join us for fireworks!

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Violin Concerto No. 5 in A Major
William Walton: Sonata for Strings
Joseph Haydn: Cello Concerto in C Major

Venue: Theatre, Michael Hall School, Priory Road, Forest Row

Time: 6pm

Sunday 18th September: FRIENDS CONCERT

This year’s Friends Concert will take place at 3pm on Sunday 18th September at the Christian Community Church in Forest Row. This charming concert will feature cello and piano sonatas and works by Bach, Barber and Mendelssohn, performed by Reinoud Ford and Festival Favourite pianist Simon Lane. The concert is totally free for existing Friends and a plus 1. Tickets for non Friends are £5. Free tea and delicious cake served after the last note sounds. Please email or call 07764681777 to reserve tickets.

Looking forward to seeing you in September and November!





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