Cornwall Festival News

APRIL 2021

After another different year, hopefully things will be getting back to normal again soon. It is with that in mind that plans for next year's Festival (2022) are taking shape with the hope that we will be able to run the 2022 festival.

The executive committee have decided that we need to bring the festival back next year, as long as the government allows us to, as we have had too long a break and everybody is ready to start making music again. The plan is to offer all the normal classes on the understanding that some, for example choral, may still not be possible next year and therefore the classes will simply not run in that particular discipline. It is our hope though that things will be more back to normal and that we will be able to run as many classes as possible. 

Exciting News ..

2022 Concerto Class... for CLARINET

The Cornwall Music Festival is very excited to announce that, in 2022 when the festival hopefully returns, the Concerto Class will be a very special event.

 The Concerto will be a new commission, premiered at the festival Gala concert. It will celebrate the work of three inspiring musicians and their links with the Radford Trust and the Cornwall Music Festival. A fund has been set up to raise money to commission composer Ian Stephens to write a chamber concerto for Clarinet. It will celebrate the lives and contribution to music in Cornwall of Thea King, Jane Fletcher and Jennet Campbell.


Ian Stephens has had his music performed by ensembles including the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Hallé Orchestra, Royal Northern Sinfonia, Brodsky Quartet, Fitzwilliam Quartet, Choir of King’s College Cambridge and Salisbury Cathedral Choir, and has been broadcast on BBC Radio 3. We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, his children’s entertainment for narrator and orchestra, was performed at the 2013 BBC Proms, narrated by Michael Rosen. His childhood summers were spent in St Mawes and his parents now live in Flushing.

Maisie and Evelyn Radford sailing off Amsterdam Point

with Peter Campbell

Maisie and Evelyn Radford were involved with Lady Mary Trefusis in setting up the Cornwall Music Festival. Maisie was secretary and Evelyn was, for many years, one of the official accompanists. The most celebrated achievement of the sisters during their lifetime, both in Cornwall and nationally, was their work with the Falmouth Opera Singers. The group of instrumentalists they assembled to play for the operas included woodwind players from up country. Jennet Campbell and Thea King were amongst them. The Radfords left their money in trust to support young musicians in Cornwall.

Thea King became the professor of Clarinet at The Guildhall School of Music and was awarded both an OBE and DBE. The record label, Hyperion, describe her as 'the doyenne of English Clarinettists'. She was the inspiration for, and the dedicatee of many of the finest 20th century works for clarinet by composers including Howard Blake, Gordon Jacob and Elizabeth Maconchy.

Jennet Campbell inherited the Radford’s cottage in St Anthony in Roseland, was a founding Trustee and served over 30 years as Honorary Secretary of the Radford Trust. She frequently opened her home to groups of young players to make music together in the Radford’s Studio. Aware that Cornwall’s geography made it more difficult for young musicians to work with teachers and performers from out of county, in 1984 she set up a residential weekend open to all the applicants to the Concerto class. The Radford Trust paid a leading professional player to come and run workshops and Jennet gathered local friends and teaching colleagues from the Cornwall Music Service to provide an orchestra for the Sunday afternoon so that everyone had the chance to experience playing the piece as a proper concerto.

Jane Fletcher in her role as Secretary of the Cornwall Music Festival, amongst many other responsibilities, took on the organisation of the workshop and the provision of instrumental accompaniment for the Concerto class. As Head Teacher of Gerrans Primary School Jane had become firm friends with Jennet who taught recorders then all wind and brass instruments there to whoever wanted to learn. Jane was a lovely pianist and piano teacher, and she accompanied all Jennet’s pupils in concerts and exams. The school was always represented at the festival by their band. Players who started there then joined St Anthony’s Noyse which Jennet started in 1979 and Jane took over.

Festival 2022

The ONLINE Syllabus for FESTIVAL 2022 will be available here from October 1st 2021

Cancellation of the 2020 Festival 


The cancellation of the 2020 and the 2021 Festival have been a huge disappointment to all, both  competitors and organisers.

We look forward to 2022 and hope that at least some aspects, if not all, of the Festival will be able to return.

David (Chairman)



Cornwall Music Festival

110th Anniversary Lunch

Due to the Coronavirus the 110th Lunch had to be a scaled down affair but it was nevertheless very enjoyable. Many thanks to Liz Willis for arranging it and Penrose Kitchen for the superb food.