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Celebrating 2020 and planning the Shipley Arts Festival’s 21st Anniversary Celebrations

Immensely proud to be one of the only music festivals to continue and fully deliver its programme of events in 2020, The Shipley Arts Festival is moving forward again with plans for a musical feast to celebrate its 21st Anniversary in 2021.

Inspiring people through music, the festival that is directed by Andrew Bernardi and works side by side with the Bernardi Music Group’s String Academy, Stradivarius Trio and many respected music professionals, enables audiences to connect through music across Surrey, Sussex and Kent. Bringing communities, festival friends, sponsors, and musicians together as they met online and at socially distanced live concerts during 2020, the music was showcased from villages, towns and country estates across Sussex and the Horsham District, with viewers signing in from Asia and Europe too.

Always keen to share and promote the county’s beauty, heritage and musical connections, in 2020 the Shipley Arts Festival commissioned a piece by Helen Ottaway titled ‘White Storks’. Inspired by the Knepp Estate’s first successful breeding programme for white storks in the UK, the music was heard throughout the county and across the world.

Wonderfully, the String Academy’s very talented youth musicians also maintained their presence in 2020 as the only live performing youth orchestra in Sussex. Always looking to provide opportunities for gifted young musicians, the academy’s numbers continued to grow, despite the testing times. Live concerts with limited socially distanced audiences were also streamed online as part of the festival’s programme of events, and these were enhanced with state of the art animatronics, thus providing another first for online music audiences.

Moving into 2021, the festival’s programme of events is now online showing provisional dates at www.bernardimusicgroup.com; with plans for live concerts to be simultaneously streamed online and highlights to be posted via social media. And, with more technological innovations already being trialed, the Shipley Arts Festival will be once again extending its online reach even further with their 21st Anniversary celebrations.

The milestone celebrations will also be further strengthening the Bernardi Music Group’s partnership with YuYuan Arts. Performing works from Stravinsky along with other centenarian composers such as Astor Piazzolla, Malcolm Arnold and Camille Saint-Saens, the 21st Anniversary Festival will build on past successes to further integrate the passions of dance, art and music once again.

Excitingly, the Bernardi Music Group’s first world premiere for 2021 is also taking place as part of the Festival. Commissioned for 2020/21, a newly composed violin concerto has been written for Andrew Bernardi and Stradivarius by Paul Lewis in three movements: 1696 Stradivarius, Sussex Shipley Idyl, and Chinese Adventure. The Stradivarius violin is a hugely integral part of both the Festival and the Bernardi Music Group, and it has recently been included in the book of top 500 Stradivarius violins under its name of “Amici Bernardi,” in honour of its central role when bringing friendship, music and quality to the concerts and local communities.

Delighted to be working closely with their sponsors Tooveys, Nyetimber, Kreston Reeves, Wakefields, NFU Mutual and YuYaun Arts, The Shipley Arts Festival is looking forward to the 21st Anniversary celebrations. For the latest news, concerts and updates follow The Shipley Arts Festival and Bernardi Music Group on social media, sign up for the Festival Friends regular newsletter updates, or visit the website www.bernardimusicgroup.com.

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