About the Alwyn Music Festival

About the festival 2The Alwyn Music Festival (originally known as the William Alwyn Festival) was founded in 2011 by the William Alwyn Foundation. It is an annual event taking place over a ‘long-weekend’ in early October.

With the new name the festival’s aims have stayed the same, namely to provide a platform for the music of William Alwyn and his wife, Doreen Carwithen, to support music by living British composers, as well as those contemporaneous with William Alwyn, and to continue Alwyn’s legacy as an educator through the support and encouragement of artists at the outset of their careers.

The majority of events in the festival, as one might expect, are of a musical nature (hence the more recent change of name), and these concerts are very diverse in the music they present, with a common formula being a blend of 20th century and contemporary work alongside some more familiar classics of the repertoire. The festival’s primary legacy is perhaps in the area of new music, with some 100 recently composed works by living composers heard at its concerts, including some 30 world premieres.

Alongside concerts the festival has staged social events, lectures, arts exhibitions, film screenings, and masterclasses for local students by professional musicians. The festival’s home is Blythburgh, where William Alwyn and Doreen Carwithen lived from 1961 – they are both laid to rest in the churchyard of Holy Trinity Church, the beautiful ‘Cathedral of the Marshes’ where many of our finest concerts have taken place – but events have also spread to a wide range of different communities from the Blyth valley southwards to Aldeburgh, with venues including the beautiful churches of Southwold and Orford, Snape Maltings, Jubilee Hall, St Felix School, The Red House, and Southwold’s CRAFTCO gallery and Electric Picture Palace.

We hope this website will give you a clear idea of the festival’s aims and ideals. If you would like to join our mailing list, or have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.