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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AMF 2016!

Dear Friends, Fans & Followers of the AMF

After a warm and sunny Bank Holiday weekend (during which I walked part of the stunning Jurassic Coast) it gives me great pleasure to strike up the first of our correspondences about this year’s Ashdown Music Festival. We are 6 months away and preparation has begun!

Save the Date! Confirmed dates for this year’s AMF are: Friday 4 – Sunday 6 November 2016.

I am thrilled to give you a taste of some of the musical wonders coming your way.

Friday 4th November: pianist Sam Armstrong will kick off the Festival with a Schubert Impromptu.

Saturday 5th November: the award-winning Brook Street Band, one of the country’s foremost interpreters of early music.

Sunday 6th November Gala: the 12 Ensemble – London’s un-conducted string orchestra – will perform and also accompany two concertos.

Keep an eye on our site: we will be providing more information in the summer.

Friends I haven’t forgotten you! News of your free concert in the pipeline!

Reinoud Ford

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AMF wishes you a Happy New Year

Dear AMF Fans and Friends

As we look with bright eyes to a brand new year we cannot help but reflect and ruminate over the past 12 months. I am still recalling with delight and gratitude the three days of AMF 2015. From the dramatic Opening concert to the Carroll-coloured Super Saturday that ended with a baroque bonanza and the glorious Gala bristling with breathtaking talent I hope you’ll agree this was our best year yet.

As we walk towards lighter longer days and another year of enterprise and undertaking for us all I invite you to enjoy these photos of the AMF 2015.

I feel grateful that the AMF is beginning to feel like a real community effort. Last year’s event was buoyed by support and rolled up sleeves of many local enthusiastic volunteers: many hands making lighter work and some magical behind-the-scenes moments!

As you all know there is very little down time in the running of an annual event as large as the AMF and as you can imagine I am currently happily occupied by the considerable task of shaping things for this year. It’s our fifth showing so we need and want a showstopper.

Libby Sheen eloquently encouraged those attending the Gala Concert to consider becoming a Friend of the AMF. We are always in need of financial support so that we can continue to bring world class concerts to the local area.

In a little while we will be in contact to inform you about the dates of AMF 2016 and hopefully some details of the program. Meanwhile, I wish you a Very Happy New Year and thank you for being a part of the growth and development of AMF.

Kindest regards,

Reinoud Ford

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Only two weeks to (Gala) go!

Our GLITTERING Gala Concert on Sunday 8th November at 6pm (Theatre, Michael Hall School) is fit for Guy Fawkes weekend: bursting with explosive talent and musical fireworks! Among our sparklers is world-renowned Tenor Mark Padmore performing Vaughn Williams’s On Wenlock Edge with virtuoso pianist Alasdair Beatson and string quartet.

In 1908, Ralph Vaughn Williams (1872-1958) left his native England to study in Paris with Maurice Ravel, one of the most important forces in French music at the time. The three months that he spent under Ravel’s tutelage were most influential. Vaughn Williams also had a lifelong interest in the music of Tudor England, and it was these two strains – Ravel-inspired “French polish” and an abiding Englishness – that On Wenlock Edge (written 1909) combines. This extraordinary song cycle (for tenor, piano and string quartet to poems from A.E. Housman’s collection A Shropshire Lad) is simultaneously sophisticated and down-to-earth, ingenious in its instrumental effects and straightforward in setting the texts. Come and listen to this luscious musical landscape unfold!

Gilding our Gala Concert lily will be local star cellist Laura van der Heijden, treading the boards in Antonín Dvořák’s Piano Quintet in A Major.

All well as our Gala we are staging FOUR other events (Friday 6th – Sunday 8th November). See our website for all concert listings. ALL our performers will be (b)On Fire and we cannot wait to share our musical magic with you across the Festival weekend. If you haven’t yet done so, be sure to book your tickets (online or by phone) and… see you there!




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Kids, Carroll and Connoisseurs

Come one, come ALL! In just three weeks TO THIS DAY the AMF will be attempting a phenomenal feat by staging THREE concerts in under 12 hours. Come and support our Super Saturday! We’ve got something to suit all ages and tastes. Read on below and then BUY your tickets!

Alice in Wonderland Children’s Musical Workshop
Saturday 7th November 11am
Christian Community Church
Join cello octet Cellophony and charismatic actor/narrator James Thorpe-Woods for a magical hour enveloped in Lewis Carroll’s masterful classic. Suitable for children aged 5-10. Optional crafting hour prior to the Workshop and Alice Art Competition (see website)

“… the cellos conjure the White Rabbit’s hurrying, a waltzing Alice, the Mad Hatter’s tea party and the Mock Turtle’s musings (Times)

Ashley Ramsden and Cellophony
Saturday 7th November 2.30pm
A lunchtime concert for older children and adults, let exceptional local storyteller Ashley Ramsden lead you through Alice’s Wonderland adventures in an inspired musical and spoken version of Carroll’s classic.
Cellophony will also entrance you with gems from their unique eight-cello repertoire

“Fully at home in the cello’s world, Birchall (Alice in Wonderland composer and Cellophony member) brilliantly exploits the instrument’s facets” (Times)

Connoisseur’s Concert
Saturday 7th November 7pm
Long Room, Michael Hall School
An intimate and sublime evening of early music, presented by two of the country’s genre masters. In the midst of melodious Corelli and magical Marais, feast on a Baroque-themed mini supper and ample grape



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Dear Friends and Fans of the Ashdown Music Festival,

Kick off is in FOUR weeks! On Friday 6th November the Brodowski Quartet and Cellist Ella Rundle will open this year’s AMF! Support your local festival so that we can hit the back of the net! We’re offering much more than a hat trick: FIVE concerts over THREE days!
Get your tickets now!

See our two stunning posters for this year’s event and please spread the word!

Best wishes,

Reinoud Ford



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