The Budleigh Music Festival started its life as the Budleigh Salterton Festival in 2005, Roger and Brenda Bowen being the visionaries who put such an undertaking on the annual calendar of this small seaside town.
In the first few Festivals the initial aim was to deliver a great variety of performance and activity. There were two daily concerts, folk Music at Otterton Mill, the visits of Imperial College Opera Students, talks, a river trip, two garden parties and art exhibitions over eight days. Since then the growth has become more specialised with separate Literary and Jazz Festivals, the Music Festival focusing mainly on a classical repertoire.
The Music Festival has concentrated on this classical focus since 2012. Since its inception the Festival has sought to bring musicians of international standing to Budleigh Salterton. It has also focused on encouraging young musicians, and regularly showcases ‘BBC Young Musician’ winners with an international career ahead of them. In addition, the Festival aims each year to focus on talented young musicians from the South West; these are featured at the popular free lunch time concerts where a supportive audience helps them to develop their repertoires and performance skills. The lunchtime concerts also provide a platform for a wider range of music. Recent years have featured medieval instruments, the Devon Junior Choir, organ recitals, brass band players – as well as vocal and instrumental recitals.
With the increasing support and help from within the community the Festival continues to attract large audiences from Budleigh Salterton and further afield.
Evening performers from the previous two years include:
La Nuova Musica
Martin James Bartlett
The Pleyel Ensemble
London Bridge Trio
The Heath Quartet
The Erebus Ensemble
Soloists of The 12 Ensemble
Exeter Cathedral Choir
The Marlborough Piano Quartet
Sacconi String Quartet with Hugh Watkins
The Festival Orchestra