Previous Festivals

Our concerts and events from previous years have been so well received that tickets sell fast as soon as they go on sale!  In fact, most years the concerts are almost all sold out.

But it’s not just all the fantastic feedback from our concert goers that makes it such a special event in our calendar  - numerous performers and artistes have complimented us on our lovely village hall, our organisational skills and the warm welcome they receive right from the initial phone call through to the last curtain call.

Here are just some of the concerts that we’ve all enjoyed bringing to our audiences in previous years: -

In 2017 the opening concert on Friday 22nd September was the virtuoso violinist Tasmin Little performing works by Brahms, Arvo Pärt and Beethoven with pianist n Andrey Gugnin (winner of the Sydney International piano competition 2106).

The concert on Saturday 23rd of September featured the Heath String Quartet with pianist Hannes Minnaar in works by Haydn, Schubert and Shostakovich. Oliver Heath – violin, Sara Wolstenholme- violin, Gary Pomeroy – viola, Christopher Murray – cello. The Quartet  is one of the most exciting British chamber ensembles, and is being showcased by the Emerging Talent Scheme of the Wigmore Hall.

The following Friday 29th September was O Duo, the sparkling and original percussion ensemble playing a highly entertaining programme.

The grand finale on Saturday 30th September was the Budapest Café Orchestra, led by the brilliant violinist Chris Garrick, returning by popular demand.

Sarratt’s  Friday Night is Music Night
with singers Bonaventura Bottone, Jennifer Dakin and Aoife Miskelly with Roderick
Elms and Joanna Smith (pianos). The programme included solos, duets and trios from the operas of Verdi, Mozart and Puccini and lighter numbers from Strauss, Lehar, Gershwin and Gilbert and Sullivan.

“Misbehavin” The life and times of Fats Waller
with the Keith Nichols Band - a celebration of the great master of stride piano who was also a great comic personality and prolific composer of shows and hit songs. Amongst the hits featured were Ain't Misbehavin', Keeping Out Of Mischief Now, Honeysuckle Rose and Black And Blue. Keith Nichols, a modern master of stride piano, also performed the great Waller piano solos such as Handful Of Keys, Viper's Drag and Alligator Crawl.
The Nash Ensemble
Internationally acclaimed as one of the finest chamber music groups,
the Nash has been resident ensemble at the Wigmore Hall since 2010.
The Ensemble brought a programme of contrasting wind quintet music to Sarratt
which included Neilsens’ wind quintet and works by Debussy and Malcolm Arnold.
 Joglaresa embodies the boldness and improvisatory chutzpah that goes straight to the
heart of medieval music. Comprising outstanding international performers from classical, world, folk and jazz, Joglaresa has a sound that is at once traditional and contemporary – combining intoxicating elements of Medieval, Middle Eastern and Celtic music, they created a unique sound that was both intimate and extrovert.

The Navarra String Quartet with Chris  Richards (clarinet)
The programme included Mozart Quartet in G K 80, Brahms clarinet quintet, and Beethoven's mighty string quartet Op. 131. The Navarra Quartet has received many awards since its inauguration in 2002 and is internationally recognised as one of the most exciting young quartets today.  Chris Richards has a distinguished career as soloist and orchestral player and is currently principal clarinet with the London Symphony Orchestra.

Georgina Jackson with the Pete Long Quintet “Peggy, Duke and Benny”
An evening devoted to the music of three jazz greats – Peggy Lee, Duke Ellington and Benny Goodman. We heard such classics as “Don’t get around much any more”, "Memories of You" and “Why don't you do right?” all presented with Pete’s characteristic wit and flair, with superb vocals from Georgina. A memorable night!

London Brass
A welcome return to Sarratt of the 10-piece London Brass - trumpets, trombones, French horns and tuba -  making a ravishing sound in our Hall.
The varied programme ranged from the 16th to the 20th century and included arrangements of popular classics such as Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody, as well as Billy Strayhorn's "Lush Life" and Chick Corea's "Spain".

The Locrian Ensemble “From Russia with love”
This powerful evening included works from Russian masters including Tchaikovsky (Souvenir de Florence, Nutcracker and Swan Lake Ballet) Rachmaninoff (Vocalise) and Rimsky-Korsakov (Sabre Dance). Tchaikovsky’s ballet scores are amongst his most iconic
pieces of work - instantly recognisable from the first few bars - and full of pure emotion. The acclaimed Locrian Ensemble (musicians from the score of BBC TV's Wolf Hall) returned to Sarratt with another programme marked by colour and charisma. We were delighted that this concert also included an appearance by Djordje Gajic the world renowned Serbian accordionist, who graduated from the Russian Academy of Music gaining a 'Master of Music' degree and Honorary Title, 'Solo Performer'. Djordje has won many International Competitions, amongst them Tropheo Mondiale in 1988 and the Grand Prix 1987. He has performed with Russian State Symphony Orchestra as well as many solo recitals throughout Europe, Russia, Serbia, and Bahrein. He played several works specially composed for accordion. This was a magical evening!

Children’s concert 2015
SFM again organised a musical event at Sarratt School during the Festival period with the London Myriad Ensemble - consisting of 3 windplayers who gave a day of music workshops at the school  -- they were a
great success and the children loved the day!

The Aquarelle Guitar Quartet
Recognised as one of Britain’s leading chamber music groups, the Aquarelle Guitar Quartet is a dynamic and innovative ensemble known for its extraordinary ensemble in performance, expansive repertoire and ground-breaking work in developing the guitar quartet medium. They have performed extensively across the UK and abroad to critical acclaim, and are admired for their original arrangements of music from a wide range of styles, periods and cultures.

John Lill
In 2014 we were very pleased to welcome our distinguished patron John Lill again. This was a very special year for John who celebrated his 70th birthday. The all Beethoven programme consisted of four of his most famous sonatas – the “Moonlight”, the “Pathetique”, the “Waldstein” and the “Appassionata”. It was absolutely brilliant!

The Vertavo String Quartet
The Vertavo Quartet is internationally recognised as one of the most masterful string quartets playing today. Since their formation in Norway in 1984, their dynamic and deeply thoughtful performances have captivated audiences. Their programme for Sarratt was: Mozart  “Dissonance”, Janacek selection from “On an Overgrown Path”, Smetana ” Aus meinem Leben”.

The Hilliard Ensemble
Unrivalled for its formidable reputation in the fields of both early and new music, the Hilliard Ensemble is one of the world’s finest vocal chamber groups.
For the Festival they sang their exquisite “Songbook” programme, a fascinating journey from the Italian Renaissance to the 21st Century, including a motet by Part and some extraordinary arrangements of Armenian folk songs.

The Budapest Café Orchestra
Chris Garrick – “The Hot Club of Paris via the Orient Express!”
The Budapest Café Orchestra play powerful and driving folk-based music from Eastern Europe based on the music of European gypsies; a wide-ranging programme of impassioned Hungarian Czardas, tender Russian folk melodies, rollicking dances from Romania and Moldova, bitter sweet Jewish laments.
 David Pyatt (French horn) Peter Schoeman (violin) Leon McCawley (piano)
An evening of sublime chamber music, culminating in Brahms’ achingly beautiful Horn Trio. David Pyatt was educated at Watford Grammar School and has carved out a career as one of Britain’s leading horn players.

Paul Lewis (solo piano)
A concert comprising Beethoven’s Moonlight sonata and Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition” alongside Liszt and Bach.

 The Haffner Ensemble

As one of the UK’s leading chamber ensembles, the Haffner Ensemble enjoys an enviable reputation for its skill in juxtaposing classical and contemporary music and in its delivery of outstanding musicianship. They are regularly heard on BBC Radio 3 and Classic FM and have frequently appeared at major festivals throughout Europe. At our festival, the Haffner Ensemble was a wind quintet plus piano - the pianist was Charles Owen. Their programme included the Mozart Quintet and the Poulenc Sextet.
 “100 Years of Jazz in 99 Minutes” -The Jazz Repertory Company

Interspersed with fascinating stories from the history of Jazz and by the inimitable humour of the band including Pete Long, Richard Pite and Enrico Tomasso - six jazz virtuosi created a highly entertaining journey through the decades of Jazz. From Bebop, Swing, Latin and all around the world, featuring the music of all the Jazz greats, this was for jazz fans and for the initiated alike!

Craig Ogden

Australian-born Craig Ogden is one of the most exciting and talented guitarists of his generation; he has performed with all the principal UK orchestras plus several world-wide and appears regularly as a soloist and chamber musician at major London venues. At our Festival, Craig performed a range of pieces, both traditional and contemporary, as well as chatting with the audience during a question-and-answer session! 

Children’s Events with Travelling by Tuba

As usual, the Festival included special children’s events:  “Travelling by Tuba” and the events were held at Sarratt School during the school day; it was open to all Sarratt School pupils, and they thoroughly enjoyed it! The children's comments: "Travelling by Tuba was brilliant.  The best instrument was Tuba.  It was loud.  It was cool. I like the Tuba because it has a high tone.  I like the Alpine Horn because it is big."

Emma Johnson and Friends

A former Young Musician of the Year, Emma was joined by another talented musician, cellist Guy Johnson and pianist Leon McCawley, to perform a delightful programme of Brahms, Schumann and Zemlinksy.


On the Danube with Timothy West CBE and the English Piano Trio

In a specially-commissioned piece, Timothy, one of the UK’s finest actors, along with members of the English Piano Trio, presented a highly entertaining (and fictional!) musical diary along the Danube, featuring music by such greats as Schubert, Haydn and Strauss.


Christ Church Cathedral Choir, Oxford

Hailed as “one of the finest choirs on Earth” we were delighted to welcome the world-famous 28 voice choir who performed renowned pieces, from John Taverner to William Walton. A truly unforgettable experience.


Tribute to Benny Goodman

Pete Long, well-known for his accurate and loving recreations of the Benny Goodman sound, led his quartet in a dazzling tribute to one of our jazz greats.  It was a fabulous evening for jazz fans and for everyone who enjoys great music played with verve and style.


John Suchet “Beethoven – the Last Master”

John Suchet, well-known broadcaster and author and a life-long fan of Beethoven, accompanied on the piano by Simon Mulligan, held his audience spellbound with a series of fascinating anecdotes about the composer, bringing his music to life.


Tango Volcano

Classic tangos from Piazzola and others and a chance to see the choreography of real Argentinian tango close up.  The dancers were sensational, our audience mesmerised!


“Fanfare” – Family Concert: The Royal Academy of Music Brass Ensemble

A very impressive sound indeed and perfect as a Sunday afternoon treat, James Watson and his players delivered popular classics to astound and impress.  It made you want to take up the trumpet.


Drum Blondes

As brilliant as their name, this percussion duo formed of Claire Hasted and Emily Morris tackled everything from dustbins to goats’ toenails!


John Lill

The Festival’s patron and world-renowned pianist returned for a second time in 2009 with a programme that included Haydn’s and Beethoven’s last great piano sonatas, as well as works by Chopin and Prokofiev.


Chilingrian Quartet

For nearly four decades, the Chilingrian String Quartet has thrilled critics and audiences around the world with its vibrant, virtuosic performances of classic and contemporary music.  Theirs is a sound that is both powerful and precise.


Claire Martin and her Jazz Musicians

The First Lady of British jazz, has won Best Vocalist at the British Jazz Awards on five separate occasions.


What People Say About Us

We know what a success we are, but don’t just take our word for it.  Here’s just a selection of recent feedback:  

“A very well organised evening, a high standard and great fun.”

“Fantastic, an amazing privileged experience”

“Very enjoyable”

“Please pass on our thanks to all (planners, treasurer, ushers, bar staff, washers-up, car park attendant etc) involved in this excellent festival”

“Love the idea of music in the village, keep it up”