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Exclusive interview with Sophia Pagoni, Director of the Solent Music Fesval


21st ‐ 25th September 2016


What made you choose Lymington for your fesval?


We thought it would be fun to start our own fesval and set about looking for the perfect locaon! Our first thought was London; but, as there’s already so much going on there, we decided to look for somewhere where it would be more special. We’d heard good things about Lymington, so we drove down from London in the pouring rain for a meeng with the then District Councillor, Elizabeth Lewis, who is now our Fesval President! She introduced us to Daphne and Ivor Johnston, (now the fesval’s Honorary Patrons), and we’ve never looked back.


What does being the Fesval Director involve?


The posion is a bit like a


bridge connecng musicians, audience and sponsors and it’s important to be able to understand how to approach all of them. I’ve always loved both music and technology and it’s fun to be able to combine them in designing the fesval website and all of our promoonal material.


Do you think the Solent Music Fesval is different from other fesvals in any way?


Being a musician myself and having been to many musical events around the world, I’ve come to realise what can make or break a fesval! Ensuring that both audience members and musicians feel comfortable and appreciated is my absolute priority. We make sure that all our


21st S: Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra Strings (Programme to include Dvorak String Serenade, Mozart Eine kleine Nachtmusik, Barber Adagio 22nd S: Sam Haywood & Friends (A Russian Evening) 23rd S: Mark Padmore/Sam Haywood (Schubert Winterreise) 24th S: Family Concert with Katherine Spencer and Jo Parker 24th S: The Elias String Quartet with Sam Haywood and Chi‐chi Nwanoku (Mozart, Bartok, Chopin 1st Piano Concerto) 25th S: Schubert Octet


arsts get the same five‐star treatment, no maer how famous they happen to be.


You also can’t beat the inmacy of a smaller venue like St Thomas’ Church for chamber music. Classical music can have a reputaon of being rather stuffy and elist but you’ve only got to walk in to one of our concerts to feel the warm, relaxed atmosphere. Everyone is welcome. That’s the great thing about working with music ‐ it crosses the boundaries of age, class and race and contributes something posive to people’s lives.


Tickets available from: solentmusicfesval.com and The Solent Cellar, 40, St Thomas Street, Lymington


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