The Two Moors Festival is an annual classical music festival based in Devon and Somerset, England. The festival covers the largest geographic area of any United Kingdom festival, being based in the towns and villages of Dartmoor and Exmoor. The festival was started in 2001 after the UK critical outbreak of Foot and Mouth disease closed access to large part of the English countryside. The festival was held to bring some light relief and encourage people to return to the rural areas in Devon. It has become an annual event, with a concerts being staged at venues across Dartmoor and Exmoor. HRH The Countess of Wessex became Patron in 2006.
For the first time as a Patron, HRH visited festival in 2007 when pregnant with James. 2007 festival was remembered because of dropping a piano, story that is really worth reading. Over the course of two years the Festival and its numerous supporters had raised funds in order to buy an impressive Bösendorfer grand piano, suitable for its high profile concerts.
|pic via boesendorfer.com; click on pic to read story of a piano in German|
In April 2007, G&R Removal firm delivered the piano to its new home on Exmoor. Unfortunately, whilst taking the piano out of the back of the lorry, they clipped the side of the vehicle causing the piano to fall to the ground, and roll over onto some hard steps, a total distance of 12 feet. There was irreparable damage done to the instrument. However, there was a silver lining to this tragic story. The Festival gained from incredible publicity and exposure, appearing in both University Challenge and Have I got News for You. In addition the company Bösendorfer, who made the smashed piano, and who had heard of the saga came to the Festival’s rescue. They offered an Imperial Concert Grand as a replacement. Full story here.
|pic by Webrarian flickr stream, click on pic to view full gallery|
The Countess of Wessex returned as a patron of the Two Moors Festival in 2008, HRH enjoyed a lunchtime concert by four winners in the Young Musicians’ Platform Competition at St Andrew’s Church. Article can be found here.
|Photography by Peter de Teissier via northdevonjournal|
Next visit took place in 2011. The Festival’s Patron, HRH The Countess of Wessex paid her third visit, this time going to an evening recital in Widecombe-in-the-Moor to hear Ksenija Sidorova and the Solstice Quartet.
|Picture via classicaljourneyphonic.blogspot,
click on pic to read story and view more pictures.
Latest visit, in 2013, took place on the same day when Prince George was being Christened. Almost 200 school children performed Benjamin Britten’s masterpiece opera Noye’s Fludde at Exeter Cathedral watched by HRH Countess of Wessex. Article is here.