Sarratt tunes up for a memorable festival of music

Budapest Cafe Orchestra
Budapest Cafe Orchestra

Sarratt’s annual Festival of Music is just around the corner, and organisers are promising a varied programme of top-class performers.

The festival is held on the last two weekends of September each year, and since it began at the turn of the century it has gone from strength to strength

Featured artists this year include pianist Paul Lewis, Chris Garrick’s Budapest Cafe Orchestra, the Hilliard Ensemble and the David Pyatt Horn Trio.

Cconcerts take place in Sarratt Village Hall, which seats 200 people comfortably and has proved to be an ideal space for performers and audience alike – it has a flexible stage and professional theatre lighting.

Organisers hire a grand piano from Steinways for piano and chamber concerts in their determination to replicate the experience of the best concert halls.

The festival’s opening night on Friday, September 20 will showcase the Hilliard Ensemble, one of the world’s finest vocal chamber groups.

The group’s standing as an early music ensemble dates from a 1980s series of successful recordings for EMI but from the start it has paid equal attention to new music.

The following night is reserved for the talents of the Budapest Café Orchestra, which despite its inspiration from Eastern Europe has strong West Herts roots.

The four-piece orchestra specialises in powerful and driving folk-based music from Eastern Europe inspired by the music of European gypsies.

As usual, the festival also caters for children. There will be a special children’s presentation entitled a Magical Mystery Tour presented by early music specialist Lucie Skeaping who often broadcasts on the BBC. The events will be held at Sarratt School during the school day on Tuesday September, and will be open to all Sarratt School pupils.

You can find out more, and get details of how to book, online at