The first Cambridge Music Festival (CMF) under its new director, Justin Lee, was held in November 2012. Since then, world-class artists — ranging from Murray Perahia to Nigel Kennedy, and The Philip Glass Ensemble to the Borodin Quartet — have featured in orchestral, choral and chamber music concerts, alongside a programme of education and community events, and outdoor sound/light projections.
Under Lee’s directorship, Cambridge Music Festival has become annual and is built on a framework of Music, Education and Technology — three areas for which Cambridge is renowned worldwide.
Cambridge Music Festival originally grew out of a major celebration in 1991 to mark the bicentenary of Mozart’s death. Local music groups, invited artists, schools and many parts of the community came together for a series of over 70 events across four weeks, organised and directed by Gillian Perkins. Such was its success, the festival was formally constituted as a legal entity and a major festival mounted every three years until Gillian’s retirement in 2009.
Festival themes in this period have been inspired by composers and aspects of Cambridge life: Elgar & British music; Schubert & Vienna; Architecture; Singing and French music; Mozart, Maths & Music; Music & Evolution. The education and community work has attracted particular acclaim including a Royal Philharmonic Award nomination in 2006 for the ‘Orchestra in a Village’ project.