News from The Nottingham Chamber Music Festival



An exciting series of short films will be broadcast online this September, each featuring violist and Nottingham Chamber Music Festival Director Carmen Flores playing solo from iconic Nottingham venues. 
The series – “Nottingham Stories: Separation and Serenade”– is a project in response to the July cancellation of the Nottingham Chamber Music Festival (NCMF), which has been running successfully across the city since 2018. 
Carmen Flores joined forces with award-winning Nottingham filmmaker Tim Bassford and several Nottingham venues in July to produce a series of beautifully shot films which will be streamed via the NCMF website throughout September, each one free to view.
Each movement of Bach’s Suite in C Major (transcribed for viola) was selected to complement the venue it was performed in, alongside the story of how these institutions coped with lockdown and the uncertainty in their sectors. 

The films provide a time capsule of the impact that Covid-19 had upon the arts in Nottingham in 2020. Unifying the community through music is the heart of NCMF, and the film would have not been possible without the support and collaboration of all the venues.

The series will lead to a live performance of the Bach Third Suite by Flores (provisionally scheduled for 3rd October – and pending clarification as a result of the recently announced restrictions) for a socially-distanced audience at St. Peter’s Church, St Peter’s Gate, Nottingham NG1 2NW which will be the first classical concert for live audience in Nottingham since lockdown in March.

Preview link:

Carmen Flores, soloist and Director of Nottingham Chamber Music Festival said: 
“Throughout this spring and summer of lockdown, venues across Nottingham lay empty – some still do. I imagined them as not desolate places, but spaces where the spirit of Nottingham remained in all its diverse, vibrant creativity, alive and waiting for people to return. Each venue had a unique feel to it, which I wanted to capture within the beauty of music”
 Tim Bassford, filmmaker, said:
 “Filming inside these venues was at one humbling and inspiring: the emptiness of once busy buildings had a melancholy, but one with hope. The music, the film, and the locations all mix together to make something special, a visual poetry, a tribute to our city”

FILM RELEASE DATES AND VENUES (to view on the day of release visit after 19.00)

14th Sept   Nottingham Council House
16th Sept   St. Mary’s in the Lace Market
18th Sept   Delilah Fine Foods
21st Sept   Nottingham High School
23rd Sept   Royal Concert Hall
25th Sept   Nottingham Contemporary


Biography: Carmen Flores, Director of the NCMF

Carmen Flores is dedicated to creating new pathways for experiencing and performing classical music.  From 2007 – 2019 Carmen was Principal Viola of the Royal Ballet Sinfonia, performing with the orchestra across the UK and abroad for the Birmingham Royal Ballet. Carmen has performed as soloist and Guest Principal Viola with orchestras and ensembles including English National Opera, the Canadian Opera Company, Orchestra of the Swan, the English Chamber Orchestra, Britten Sinfonia, Sinfonia VIVA, and Sarabande, and in spring 2021 she will perform as soloist with the Nottingham Symphony Orchestra. She is a founding member of the acclaimed Villiers Quartet (VQ), hailed as one of the most “adventurous” string quartets in the UK (Strad Magazine) and “Champions of British Music” (Guardian), and they have made several acclaimed recordings on the Naxos, Somm, and Lyrita record labels.
As part of the Villiers Quartet, Carmen is Artist-in-Residence at the Jacqueline du Pre Music Building at Oxford University. She is a recipient of the prestigious US Fulbright Award, and she has given performance masterclasses at the University of Nottingham, Oxford University, Dartmouth College, Birmingham Conservatoire, and Sheffield University, among others.
Carmen’s international career has seen her perform throughout the United States, Canada, Asia, and Europe and she has been featured on several BBC Radio and Television broadcasts, including BBC Radio 3’s In Tune, and The Andrew Marr Show. She has participated in Les Jardins Musicaux Festivals (Switzerland), Tanglewood (USA), Pacific Music Festival (Japan), Oundle International Festival (UK), and the Boyne Music Festival (Ireland). She is Director of the Nottingham Chamber Music Festival (NCMF), which celebrates chamber music and the arts every summer at venues across Nottingham.
Biography – Tim Bassford, Director of Turbine Creative
Tim Bassford is a local Nottingham film maker and Creative Director of Turbine Creative, a design agency based in Nottingham’s Creative Quarter working with clients such as the BBC, Adidas, Sport Relief and The Welcome Trust.
Tim’s short films have been screened in various festivals around the world. His short ‘The Launderette’ won the audience choice award at the Bafta-accredited Encounters film festival. 
Tim won first prize in ‘The Pitch’ film competition in 2011 which led to a £30,000 grant to make his short film ‘The Black Scholes Conspiracy’ – a dark re-telling of the biblical story of Samson and Delilah set in the murky underworld of global finance. This competition also led Tim to Los Angeles where he was given the opportunity to be given professional mentoring from Golden Globe nominee David Oyelowo and X-Men Producer Ralph Winters.
Tim’s professional career has seen him work in the US and Europe with various life science brands and broadcast organisations such as The Walt Disney Group and the BBC.
He is especially passionate about using creativity and design for good. Having founded FreeCreate – a charitable creative initiative – he provides opportunities for Nottingham creative professionals to volunteer their skills to support grass roots charities that could otherwise not afford these services. 
Tim continues to create films for international corporate clients and exciting local projects.
Information – Nottingham Chamber Music Festival
The Nottingham Chamber Music Festival (NCMF) loves to be part of good things happening for classical music in Nottingham. Founded in 2018 by Carmen Flores, the NCMF supports the creative energy for chamber music in Nottingham and has grown into an annual Festival of concerts held across the city every summer.
The NCMF brings many creative musicians and artists to Nottingham. Artists and ensembles have included the Villiers Quartet, Onyx Brass, Konya Kanneh-Mason, SCAW Duo, baritone Geoff Williams, the Harborough Ensemble, poet Andrew Graves, BabyGigs, cellist Matthew Sharp, Keys to the Universe, composer Elizabeth Kelly, and the Leonore Piano Trio.  The Festival presents an annual Family Concert for children and families to enjoy chamber music up close. The NCMF also hosts a Chamber Music Seminar for students and adults to receive intensive chamber music coaching from Visiting Artists.
The NCMF celebrates a community approach to chamber music and highlights the strong cultural heritage of Nottingham, presenting concerts in historical and non-traditional performance spaces across the city. Concert venues have included the Royal Concert Hall, Delilah Fine Foods, Nottingham High School, and St. Peter’s Church. The NCMF serves to ignite these spaces with music and reinforce the power of bringing community together through music.
Information on Nottingham Venues
Nottingham Royal Concert Hall
Nottingham Council House
Delilah Fine Foods
St. Mary’s in the Lace Market
Nottingham High School
Nottingham Contemporary

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