Plush 1 Fri 16 Jun 2017
Jazz Trio

Hayden Chisholm Saxophone
Kit Downes Piano
Petter Eldh Bass

Prodigious pianist Kit Downes joins forces with New Zealand saxophonist Hayden Chisholm and Swedish bassist Petter Eldh in a tantalising first encounter.

The trio will perform compositions inspired by and dedicated to the late great John Taylor, who gave such memorable concerts at Plush, while also drawing on this year’s festival themes to improvise with some of the different musical forms.

“A brilliant soloist who builds ideas slowly into cascades of melodic ideas…His prodigious keyboard skills avoid obvious neo-bop tendencies with highly imaginative tunes and expansive, melodic solos.”

Mike Flynn, Time Out on Kit Downes

Programme Notes
Plush 2 Sat 17 Jun 2017
Poetry Reading & Talk

David Harsent

Listen to award-winning poet David Harsent recite his poems and discuss his work with Harrison Birtwistle ahead of the evening performance, where the poems take a different life in song.

“Brilliantly cadenced, caustic, tender, these poems chart domestic observations like a heart-graph.”

Financial Times

Plush 3 Sat 17 Jun 2017
Song Recital

Mark Padmore voice
Andrew West piano
Adrian Brendel cello

‘Auf dem Strom’ for tenor, cello & piano D943

‘Songs from the Same Earth’ for tenor & piano (2013 – 25 mins)

Der Wanderer an den Mond D870
Im Freien D880
Am Fenster D878
Das Zügenglöcklein D871
Viola D786
Die Sterne D939
Des Fischers Liebesglück D933
Der Winterabend D938

“The quintessential English tenor”

The Seattle Times

Mark Padmore joins Andrew West for a special performance of Schubert’s elegiac late songs.

Programme Notes
Plush 4 Fri 14 Jul 2017
Insights I: Birtwistle Trio

Corey Cerovsek violin
Adrian Brendel cello
Tim Horton piano

Michael Berkeley discusses Harrison Birtwistle’s Piano Trio with the composer and Adrian Brendel, followed by a performance of the piece, which was specially written for Adrian Brendel, Corey Cerovsek and Till Fellner in 2010.

Programme Notes
Plush 5 Fri 14 Jul 2017
Machaut & Organum

Gothic Voices vocal ensemble
Adrian Brendel cello
John Harle saxophone quartet featuring students from Guildhall School of Music and Drama

Organum & Elaboration (30 mins)

Guillaume de Machaut
Messe de Notre Dame (1320-1370, 50 mins)*

*This programme has been changed from Motets to Messe

This is a unique event at Plush, bringing together the renowned Gothic Voices with the intriguing combination of saxophone and cello. One of the first important polyphonic composers, Guillaume de Machaut’s music has been hugely influential through centuries, and together with the bewitching 11th century Organum plainchant from Salisbury Cathedral is startling in its originality and beauty. The plainchant has been arranged by John Harle and Adrian as linking tropes between the five movements of the mass.

“Sustenance for the soul, a short-cut to bliss…”

The Times (Gothic Voices)

Programme Notes
Plush 6-11 Sat 15 Jul 2017
Festival Day Ticket

Tim Horton piano
Lawrence Power viola
Adrian Brendel cello
Corey Cerovsek violin
Tim Williams percussion

A full day ticket gives you access to all events; three concerts, an open rehearsal and film screening at a discounted price. There will be refreshments and a BBQ available in the evening, or bring a picnic to enjoy in the grounds of the house or church. You can still book for individual events without a day ticket.

Plush 6 Sat 15 Jul 2017
Lunchtime Concert

Corey Cerovsek violin
Lawrence Power viola
Adrian Brendel cello
Tim Horton piano

Beethoven ‘Eyeglasses Duo’ for viola & cello WoO 32 (9 mins)
Birtwistle ‘Precis’, ‘Sarabande: The King’s Farewell’ (7 mins)
Michael Berkeley ‘At a Solemn Wake’ (7.5 mins)
Bartók Duos for 2 violins (10 mins)
Beethoven Cello Sonata in G minor, No. 2 Op. 5  (20 mins)

“Lawrence Power plays with a tone as dark as a ‘cello and a technique as agile as a violinist’s – the ideal combination…”

Fiona Maddocks, The Observer


Programme Notes
Plush 7 Sat 15 Jul 2017
Open Rehearsal

Corey Cerovsek violin
Lawrence Power viola
Adrian Brendel cello
Tim Horton piano

Piano Quartet, Op. 47


Plush 8 Sat 15 Jul 2017
Film Screening: The Triumph of Time

A special showing of this film about Birtwistle’s music; featuring eloquent discussions, rehearsal footage and a complete performance of one of his most important orchestral works.

Plush 9 Sat 15 Jul 2017
Insights II: The Axe Manual

Tim Horton piano
Tim Williams percussion

‘The Axe Manual’ for piano & percussion (20 mins)

“The Axe Manual turns the fascination with tone-colour and texture into an absorbing musical drama.”


Michael Berkeley discusses this unique and exuberant work with Birtwistle and the musicians before a special performance. Written for pianist Emanuel Ax, the piece extends the possibilities of piano and percussion to imaginative new horizons.

Plush 10 Sat 15 Jul 2017
Evening Concert

Corey Cerovsek Violin
Lawrence Power Viola
Adrian Brendel Cello
Tim Horton Piano
Tim Williams percussion

Haydn Trio in F# minor, Hob XV:26 (Horton, Power, Brendel)

Berio ‘Naturale’ for viola & percussion (Power, Williams)

Brahms 4 Ballades, Op. 10 (Horton)
Schumann Piano Quartet, Op. 47 (Cerovsek, Power, Horton, Brendel)

Two masterpieces by Haydn and Schumann frame an atmospheric programme that includes Brahms’ poetic early piano Ballades and Luciano Berio’s stunning written improvisation for solo viola, accompanied by percussion.

Programme Notes
Plush 11 Tue 5 Sep 2017
Piano Recital

Sir András Schiff piano

J. S. Bach
Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 1, BWV 846–869

Note: There is no interval in this concert which runs for 1hr 50mins

Legendary pianist Sir András Schiff returns to Plush for a performance of Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier, a benchmark for all pianists. This visit precedes his solo Prom which takes place at the Royal Albert Hall after this concert.

Programme Notes
Plush 12 Fri 8 Sep 2017
Bach & Birtwistle

Jonathan Cohen direction, harpsichord, cello
Jonathan Morton violin
Adrian Brendel cello
Tom Dunn viola
Melinda Maxwell oboe
Adam Walker flute
Lucy Wakeford harp

J. S. Bach
‘The Musical Offering’, BWV 1079 (1hr)

Harrison Birtwistle
A selection from ‘Orpheus Elegies’ for Oboe & Harp (15 mins)

Dynamic leader and harpsichordist Jonathan Cohen of elite period ensemble Arcangelo directs this stellar group of musicians in an unmissable performance of Bach’s Musical Offering.

Bach composed his ‘Musical Offering’ as a gift for Frederick the Great, who gave him a theme to improvise with for his admiring guests at Potsdam. The resulting music is an extraordinary achievement, full of memorable themes and intricate riddles which reveal his ambivalent view of Frederick’s Enlightenment values.

Bach’s work is interwoven with short vignettes inspired by Orpheus, developing the atmosphere of ambiguous beauty in a different musical context.

Programme Notes
Plush 13 Sat 9 Sep 2017
Emerging Artists

Stephen Waarts violin
Timothy Ridout viola
Melinda Maxwell oboe
Adrian Brendel cello
Lucy Wakeford harp
Jonathan Cohen harpsichord
Adam Walker flute

Duo for violin & viola No. 1, K 423

Sonata No. 3 in 
B-flat major for Oboe, Violin & Harpsichord, ZWV 181

‘Crowd’ for Solo Harp

Sonata for Flute, Viola & Harp

Divertimento for String Trio in E Flat Major, K 563 (50 mins)

Stephen Waarts and Tim Ridout are prizewinning string players at the start of their career. They join members of the Plush Ensemble for a richly varied programme that brings the curtain down on our season with Mozart’s stunning ‘Divertimento’. This follows a baroque masterpiece by Zelenka and Debussy’s greatest sonata, which frame Harry’s final work of the summer for solo harp.

Programme Notes
Student Day Sun 10 Sep 2017
Plush Young Musicians Workshop


Melinda Maxwell oboe
J.P. Ekins piano
Adrian Brendel cello
Stephen Waarts violin
Rebecca Meitlis Feldenkrais

Talented students from around Dorset (aged 11-18) are invited to Plush Manor for a free day of masterclasses, Feldenkrais and ensemble workshops led by our visiting professional musicians. The day aims to inspire a joy of chamber music and spark new connections in an artistic and friendly environment. 


“What a wonderful opportunity for the participants to work with such talented professionals!”

Elizabeth Sweetnam, pianist & accompanist

More Information