Whittington’s fifth international chamber music festival running this week promises to become a lot more international on Thursday (18th May). The concert that evening broadcasts live on Whittington’s own web radio station Astro Radio and sets out to reach a new audience of over 150,000 across the world.
“With our six concerts packing out Whittington church, this is a novel way of increasing our reach”, says festival chairman Lawrence Mortimer. “We have no doubt that this stargazing station’s regular listenership will be delighted with two hours of Beethoven played by some of Europe’s best musicians”.
The idea came from Astro Radio owners Pete and Sybil Williamson who help as festival volunteers. “The quality of the music here every year needs to be heard to be believed”, says Pete. “We run Solarsphere, a rather different music festival of our own in mid-Wales, but what counts in both cases is the magic of brilliant live performance, and that’s what Astro can offer Whittington’s Beethoven in the Borders”. With an ethernet cable connecting the church to a neighbour’s broadband, the concert will broadcast the world-famous Elias Quartet – more typically heard on BBC Radio 3 – and principal players from the London Symphony Orchestra.
Artistic Director James Barralet says “This is some of the most beautiful, dramatic and profound stuff in all music. Whatever one’s taste, by just googling Astro Radio at 7.30pm on Thursday anyone can have an evening they are unlikely to forget”.
- The Elias String Quartet performing Beethoven in the woods of Chirk Castle on Sunday at the start of Whittington International Chamber Music Festival.
- Part of the 250-strong audience which sat on logs, rugs and even in the trees to listen to an hour-long Beethoven recital by Whittington Festival’s world-class artists.