Over the past 22 years Plush Festival has evolved from a concert for friends into a thriving concert series produced by the Brendel family and supported by the local community. Music Director Adrian Brendel devised the festival programme every year until 2016, when he started programming in collaborative partnerships.

Programmes are carefully devised, combining classical and romantic masterpieces with modern and contemporary works to ensure there is always something to discover as well as revisit. The stage at St. Johns is given equally to leading international musicians and emerging artists, with the aim of creating symbiosis and sparking new connections.

The festival continues to retain its family run ethos and community, with all musicians and helpers living and rehearsing together at Plush Manor. Away from formal pressures musicians can find focus on playing, without any demands except those of the music. Surrounded by dramatic hills and curious artworks, this is a uniquely inspiring place to explore ideas and form new partnerships.

The Plush Ensemble collective continues to evolve, and a number of musicians have developed working relationships following encounters at the festival. Till Fellner and Mark Padmore’s unforgettable Schubert cycles have now been heard around the world, while projects involving Thomas Gould, Kit Armstrong, Nicholas Daniel, the Szymanowski, Kuss and Elias Quartets have all flourished after taking root in Plush.

Leading pianists have always been at the festival’s forefront: we have welcomed performances from Sir Andras Schiff, Paul Lewis, Alfred Brendel, Til Fellner and Radu Lupu, among others. Over the years a number of concerts have been broadcast on BBC Radio 3’s lunchtime concert series.

During the last years, Plush has hosted co-curatorial seasons with Adrian Brendel and contemporary composers Oliver Knussen and Sir Harrison Birtwistle. Harrison is a frequent visitor and contributor, readily lending an ear as we painstakingly piece his complex and brilliant scores together.

Alongside our focus on classical music we continue to celebrate jazz, improvisation and new sounds, with past performances including unforgettable pianists John Taylor with trio Breve and Gwilym Simcock, mesmerising folk arrangements from troubadour Sam Lee & friends, multi-instrumental journeys with Stian Carstensen and tango nights with Joanna MacGregor, Adriano Adewale, and virtuoso accordionist Martynas Levickis to name a few.

Created in the spirit of the International Musicians Seminars in Prussia Cove, Cornwall, Plush aims to provide musical revitalisation for musicians and audiences alike, an ethos that has drawn our passionate community back to Plush every year.