Roman River 2019 Festival Announcements

Roman River’s twentieth festival features an amazing line up of talent, bringing together pioneering, entrepreneurial spirits, both local and international, to inspire and uplift everyone. The Colchester-based charity have persuaded over 100 world-class performers to come to Colchester, rural Essex and Suffolk in July and September for dozens of unmissable events over three weekends.

The festival starts with the forty musicians of Street Orchestra Live as ensemble-in-residence at our Colchester weekend 11-14 July. Street Orchestra Live are redefining the notion of classical music and will bring fresh, informal performances to care homes, hospitals, shopping centres … everywhere you don’t expect it. The festival opens on a summer’s evening under a specially constructed marquee in Firstsite’s gardens mixing popular classics with rap, salsa and film music, and ends with our popular festival finale, this year for the first time in St Botolph’s church in Colchester, with primary school choirs and talented youngsters performing alongside the professional musicians.

The festival’s flagship annual residency at the breathtaking church in the idyllic village of Stoke by Nayland will take place from 5 to 8 September. There’s our first family-friendly orchestral concert, narrated by well-known children’s author James Campbell, featuring classical music’s most hummable tunes and the chance for all the family to take part. There’s the daring no-holds-barred music making of young violinist Jonian Ilias-Kadesha (Beethoven violin concerto) and Orlando Jopling conducting the sensational festival orchestra in Debussy, Sibelius and more.

Well-known composer and clarinettist Mark Simpson curates our chamber weekend 11 – 15 September, featuring architectural gems hidden away in the quiet, unspoilt and nature-rich Essex coast. Mark is one of the most original and creative voices in music in the UK today and has devised wide-ranging programmes, including some of his own works, with Zoe Martlew, The Elias Quartet, Leonard Elschenbroich, Rick Utley, Thomas Gould and the sensational pianist Ivana Gavrić (Fordham Church), International quality music-making, right here on your doorstep!

As well as bringing world-class professionals to our beautiful part of the world, the festival will nurture the emerging talent we have right here on our doorstep, with our spotlight and side-by-side performances. We again have our Come and Sing choir performing at the Colchester Weekend Finale, an inclusive and fun opportunity for local people to come together regardless of ability.

The festival has something for everyone. Tickets on sale now, come and join in and book online at romanrivermusic.org.uk.