On Monday, May 28, 17 students and five faculty members from Converse College’s Petrie School of Music left for England to take part in the three-week Harlaxton International Chamber Music Festival. They will return to the Converse campus June 16.
Throughout the Festival, artists/teachers and selected international guest artists will provide daily coaching for young-artist chamber groups that will perform in a variety of venues ranging from stately homes to Lincoln Cathedral, from St. Martin in the Fields (London) to Belvoir Castle (Lincolnshire). The festival concludes with a London performance and two nights in the heart of the city. Weekends allow limited time for independent travel; some students and faculty may elect to extend their stay with European travel and performance.
The Festival is supported through a collaborative partnership of Converse College, Samford University (Birmingham, Ala.) and the Conservatory of Puerto Rico.
“With the transformation of the Harlaxton experience from a Converse-only concert tour into a bona fide international festival, our students have the opportunity to stretch out and encounter students and faculty from other music programs,” said Dr. Scott Robbins interim dean of the Petrie School and associate professor of music theory and composition. “They also have the opportunity to immerse themselves into the musical culture of Europe and to see many of the great musical cities of that continent.”
The Festival takes place in Harlaxton Manor, the Elizabethan-style manor house built for Gregory Gregory in the 1830s. Situated three miles from Grantham, England, and 110 miles North of London, the manor is considered the masterpiece of architects Anthony Salvin and William Burn. The towering façade, rolling acres, ponds and gardens make Harlaxton one of the most splendid houses in England. The manor has been featured in a number of movies and documentaries, including Steven Spielberg’s “The Haunting.”