Dame Felicity Lott

King Charles the Martyr – 24th September

James Pearson Trio

Trinity Theatre – 11th September

Tony Palmer introduces HOLST: In The Bleak Mid Winter

Trinity Theatre – 13th October

Royal Tunbridge Wells Symphony Orchestra

Assembly Hall - 4th October HOLST The Planets DVORAK Cello Concerto

“No More Champagne - Churchill and his Money” - ESU/RTWIMF Book Launch

With author David Laugh - Penshurst Church 18th September


Welcome to the Royal Tunbridge Wells International Music Festival which, this year, takes place from Friday 11th September to Friday 16th October 2015.
We are now well into our second decade as a Festival of Music and the Arts, held annually in and around Tunbridge Wells, the cultural hub of the Kent and Sussex Weald.  Our regular followers, from the towns and villages of the South-East, can look forward to an attractive combination of classical music, classic jazz, film, events for children and culminating in a jazz concert in conjunction with Frant Festival of Music 2015.

The 2015 Festival starts on 11th September with The James Pearson Trio: Tribute to the Trios - a Celebration of Jazz Piano Greats at Trinity Theatre. The Trio, who are as popular in New York’s Birdland as at London’s Ronnie Scott’s, celebrates the music of Oscar Peterson, Erroll Garner, Fats Waller, Jacques Loussier and other Jazz Greats.
The Festival then continues at Trinity Theatre on Sunday 13th September at 3pm when celebrated film and opera director Tony Palmer introduces his moving film HOLST: In the Bleak Midwinter about the composer of the most recorded piece of British music, The Planets, and its famous melody from Jupiter. The film reveals much that is not known about Holst’s life and his other music; and Palmer believes Holst’s time has come.

Friday 18th September takes us to Penshurst Church for the "No More Champagne: Churchill and His Money” ESU/RTWIMF Book Launch. Starting with a reception from 11.30 am (including a complimentary glass of WSC’s favourite champagne - with our thanks to Pol Roger) and the first part of David Lough’s talk (from 12 noon) we then cross to the Leicester Arms Hotel for lunch at 1pm and the conclusion to David’s talk, plus a Q & A session. Interlocutor James Lee. Tickets £30 from Festival Office.

Next on Saturday 19 September (7:30pm) at King Charles the Martyr we have Music by the Bach Family, with Margaret Faultless (violin), Rachel Stroud (violin) and Tom Foster (harpsichord).
On Thursday 24th September (7.30pm) the 2015 RTW International Music Festival features one of the world’s best-loved sopranos, Dame Felicity Lott, at beautiful King Charles the Martyr Church. It will be a special occasion as the ever popular "Flott” will be joined by internationally acclaimed clarinettist Michael Collins and brilliant pianist Michael McHale, his accompanist at their sell-out Wigmore Hall concerts . The programme includes music by Schubert (The Shepherd on the Rock), Weber, Verdi, Rossini, Donizetti, Offenbach, Liszt, Britten and Noel Coward. Felicity Lott has performed in all the world’s major opera houses and in concerts with all the world’s great orchestras and conductors; so it will be a rare treat to hear her with Michael Collins and Michael McHale in the intimacy of Royal Tunbridge Wells’ oldest and most charming music venue, with its lovely acoustic.

On Sunday 4th October (3pm) we have a concert by the RTW Symphony Orchestra with Leonard Elschenbroich (cello) at the Assembly Hall Theatre featuring Dukas - Fanfare for La Peri; Dvorak - Cello Concerto; Holst -The Planets. We are pleased to highlight this excellent RTWSO concert that coincides with the Festival and to include it in our Festival line-up as our first collaborative project.

And finally, on Friday 16th October (8pm) Evan Christopher and his quartet Django a la Creole appear at Frant Church as part of the Frant Festival of Music 2015. Having attended several excellent concerts of this Frant "rolling” music festival, we asked its inspirational founder, Paul Barber, if we could include one of his attractive events in our Festival line-up and shine a spot-light on this splendid neighbouring Festival. Paul agreed and, having started our RTW Music Festival with classic jazz, here is an opportunity to close in similar fashion with Frant’s Django a la Creole – and especially to hear Evan Christopher, the brilliant clarinet virtuoso from New Orleans in an evening of music dedicated to Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Django Reinhardt and more.

...and, finally, as these concerts sell-out quickly, don’t delay in purchasing your tickets!

If you have any enquiries about the programme, please contact me on and I shall be pleased to help.

Enjoy the 2015 Festival !

Michael Waggett, Festival Chairman
Michael Waggett

View or download the 2015 Final Programme.

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