The History of West Meon Music Festival

The first West Meon Music Festival took place in 2011, but the Quartet’s involvement in West Meon began earlier.
John & Penny Clive, owners of a fine Blüthner grand piano that was chosen by Brahms himself for John’s Grandmother in the 1890s, were holding ‘Music at Walnut” concerts in Swanmore. The Primrose (John & Susanne and violist Robin Ireland), now with their new cellist  Andrew Fuller who replaced Bernard Gregor-Smith did a concert there and the quartet fell in love with the piano and soon hatched plans to do a CD featuring Brahms’ great G minor piano quartet on the Blüthner.

The Blüthner grand piano owned by John & Penny Clive

The only thing missing was a venue, and after visiting all the churches in the area discovered the perfect acoustics in St John the Evangelist, West Meon.  
The sessions were booked in 2010 and it was decided to do a charity concert in the church the night before the sessions. 
The concert was such a success and the welcome so warm from the West Meon audience that the idea of a Music Festival in West Meon was born. 

The first festival in 2011 with Penny and John Clive seated in the front row.


2011 West Meon Music  festival started with just five events over the weekend.
2014 The addition of the beautiful little Church of Our Lady, Warnford as venue for the Saturday tea concert came, and with its intimate atmosphere and delicious cakes has remained a very popular event.
2016 Robin Ireland was replaced by Dot Vogel. 
2020 WMMF of course like everyone else suffered from the pandemic, but was one of the few festivals that year that actually took place. With a much cut-down programme featuring just the quartet, social distancing in the pews,  masks and much disinfecting we managed to give three concerts.
2021 saw the festival expand to East Meon’s beautiful All Saints church, now a wonderful addition to the weekend, plus the addition of the Thursday evening concert and Supporters’ reception. Unfortunately Andrew was recovering from surgery, so Kirsten Jenson stepped in and did a great job.
Guest artists since 2011 in order of appearance:
Tim Gibbs, Richard Saxel, Celia Waterhouse, Henri Barnes, Alam Nathoo, West Meon Theatre,  The Gadjo Club, Zhivko Georgiev, Robert Plane, Leon Bosch, The Shoonaker String Quartet, Michael Collins, The Vickers-Bovey Guitar duo, Louise Winter, Trevor Burley, Harmoniemusik, James Gilchrist, Pau Guinerey, Jonathan Stone, Kate Jones, Gabriella Jones, Jenny Sacha, Nicholas Jones, Roman Kosyakov, Laura Snowden, Maxim Calver, Kirsten Jenson, Stephen Sterling, Helen Charlston, Jonathan Martindale, Norbert Blume, Huw Daniel, Christopher Bucknall, Emanuil Ivanov, John Mills, Thomas Kelly, The Gonzaga Band, Will Duerden, Harriet Burns.

Past Programmes