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Music at Leasowes BankMusic at Leasowes Bank

John Williams co-founded Music at Leasowes Bank in 1981.  A converted barn, ten miles south of Shrewsbury in the south Shropshire hills, seemed an ideal, if unusual, venue for a small scale music festival.  The views are dramatic and Music at Leasowesmagnificent.  The rocky outcrops, The Stiperstones, dominate the scenery to the west, while, to the east, the Long Mynd with its bleak heathland, ancient barrows and earthworks encloses the scene.

Since its foundation  Music at Leasowes Bank, has presented over 150 Music at Leasowes Bankconcerts covering a wide range of music with particular emphasis on contemporary work.  The Festival has commissioned 43 new works from composers including Michael Nyman, Diana Burrell, Michael Barn DanceFinnessy and Sally Beamish and on the jazz side, from Barbara Thompson, Michael Garrick, Nikki Iles, Bob Wilber and Clark Tracey, who dedicated the jazz suite Music at Leasowes commissioned him to write, to Jacquie Dankworth, courtesy of Kate Fisherthe Stiperstones

Many of these commissions have, subsequently, been performed internationally and a number, most notably Martin Butler’s wind quintet Dick PearceDown Hollow Winds’, can truly be said to have ‘entered the repertoire’.  The 2005 commission – David Matthews’ Piano Trio No 3 received a glowing review in the Birmingham Post and was selected by Classical Music as one of the outstanding premieres of the year.  In 2006 Dick Walter’s ‘Excursions for Baritone Saxophone and String Quartet was described by one critic as ‘gorgeous midsummer music’

Music at Leasowes Bank takes place each year during the last two weeks of July.

Visit the Leasowes website at http://leasowesmusicfestival.co.uk

 
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