Dvořák left his beloved Bohemia in 1892, setting sail for America to take up the position of Director of the National Conservatory of Music in New York. For such a humble and home-loving composer this truly was a voyage to a ‘New World’.

This years programme explores the impact of Dvořák’s American adventure on his compositions and the legacy his short time there left behind for emerging American composers, as well as celebrating New York as a centre of musical experimentation across many decades.

Both major chamber works that Dvořák composed in America, the String Quartet op.96 and the String Quintet op.97, are featured, sunny works in which the composer revels in his new surroundings. We delve into the works of composers entwined in Dvořák’s life; his great supporter Brahms and the composer/violinist Adolph Busch, who championed Dvořák’s violin concerto, as well as exploring the work of a later generation of composers who left Europe as a result of the Second World War.

The wild landscapes of changing colours and huge sweeping skies of North Northumberland provide a backdrop to the works of our Composer-in-Residence, John Casken, who will join us from his home in Coquetdale to introduce his internationally-acclaimed music. And violinist Donald Grant, member of the illustrious Elias Quartet, takes us back to his own childhood home in the Scottish Highlands with the festival’s first foray into folk music.

With music from Haydn to Steve Reich, and our exotically-themed Family Concert ‘Musical Magic Carpets’, we aim to offer something to satisfy all musical tastes. We look forward to welcoming you to Corbridge, one of Northumberland’s finest villages, in the heart of Hadrian’s Wall Country.