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The Two Moors Festival brings back live music to the South West for its 20th Anniversary this Autumn

By September 2, 2020January 26th, 2021Member News & Updates

DARTMOOR WEEKEND: 26-27 September – St Pancras’ Church, Widecombe-in-the-Moor

EXMOOR WEEKEND: 2-4 October – St Andrew’s Church, Wiveliscombe

The region’s unique Two Moors Festival will return this Autumn, with world-class classical music concerts held in line with current government guidelines.  It will be the first time many of the internationally recognised artists involved have returned to the stage since lockdown.

The classical music events will take place with limited, socially-distanced audiences across two weekends: 26-27 September on Dartmoor and 2-4 October on Exmoor, in beautiful church venues in Widecombe and Wiveliscombe.  All concerts will be one hour in length with no interval.

The artists involved have thoughtfully created programmes that are joyful, uplifting and a balm for the soul after lockdown.  The opening concert on 26th September at St Pancras’ Church in Widecombe-in-the-Moor will see The Albion Quartet play Brahms and Beethoven’s last quartets. Brahms’s last quartet in B-flat major is filled with bucolic idylls, heart-meltingly beautiful melodies, and joyful exuberance.

Tamsin Waley-Cohen, Artistic Director of The Two Moors Festival said: “I am delighted to be unveiling our programme for the 2020 Festival, my first as Artistic Director.  I was one of the Young Musician Competition winners in the very first Festival twenty years ago and have had the pleasure of returning often since then, seeing it grow and flourish.  This year, we will of course have all relevant measures in place to make it safe and enjoyable for all, in line with government guidance. The Two Moors Festival was born out of the foot and mouth crisis and, on our 20th Anniversary, as we find ourselves weathering another crisis, we offer a festival of celebration, bringing the shared, joyful experience of live music back to the Moors, and lifting people’s spirits.”

Over the past two decades, the Two Moors Festival has evolved into one of the most distinctive classical music festivals in the world by giving audiences in rural areas the opportunity to experience exceptional classical music, nurturing young artists and performers, encouraging local communities to join in and adding significant value to the people and the economy of Exmoor and Dartmoor. 

Included in the Festival’s line up of musical talent this year are performances from the acclaimed British classical string quartet, The Albion Quartet; cellist and a BBC Young Musician Winner, Laura Van Der Heijden; brilliant and insightful rising star pianist, Elisabeth Brauss, jazz star and a BBC New Generation Artist, Misha Mullov-Abbado; and internationally renowned tenor, Nicky Spence, with the great lieder pianist, Chris Glynn.

In line with government guidelines and to ensure that social distancing can be practiced, there will be safety measures in place including staggered arrivals, distanced seating, one-way systems where possible, plus enhanced cleaning before each event.  There will be no toilet facilities or refreshments available and tickets must be bought in advance as no tickets sales are permitted on the door.

If a concert needs to be cancelled for any reason, for example if the government guidelines change, customers will be offered a full refund.

To ensure that the Festival is as accessible as possible, ticket prices for this year will be kept at a minimum.  For those who are unable to attend, some concerts and talks will be exclusively available online after the Festival ends.

Priority ticket booking opens from 24th August and general public booking from 31st August.  Friends, Associates and Benefactors of the Festival will have access to online talks in addition to the priority booking and newsletters.  Talks will be given by Jessica Duchen, the well-known music journalist, and Katy Hamilton, the respected musicologist.

For information on general ticket sales, priority booking, and event safety, please visit