photo : Nina Large

Whilst on a culling of paperwork exercise, I came across an entry in the 1988 minutes which made reference to a young cellist that the Artistic Director would like to engage for the 1989 Festival.

This was a particularly  parochial move as the cellist only lived about 5 miles as the crow flies from the Festival venue but local or not, the  Director assured the committee that having heard him play, he was up to the mark.

And wasn’t he! We had the privilege of hearing Beethoven and Mendelssohn played by none other than Paul Watkins who, in 2013 was to become the newly appointed member of the Emerson Quartet. He has replaced the renowned David Finckel, the first change since their formation in 1976.

I doubt we would need to vet him now!

He is one of many young musicians who have become international stars that have appeared at the festival in their youth, some of whom have returned to us in a more mature part of their careers. This is the joy of encouraging young players that have been spotted by the Artistic Director and given the opportunity to give the audience such pleasure. This still continues to this day.


Margaret Evans is a valued member of the board who keeps all the records and hosts LMF artists with 5* greetings


In Lower Machen Festival Today: Erdem Misirlioglu was a Concerto Finalist in the BBC Young Musicians Competition in 2008 and has previously given a solo recital to great acclaim at the Lower Machen Festival in the same year. This year he returns with his renowned Trio Isimsiz to perform the BEETHOVEN, SHOSTAKOVICH and SCHUBERT. Don’t miss these rising stars in the making and book your tickets now!

See the Event Page