A Little History
In 1990, Richard Hosford, leader of the Gaudier Ensemble and resident of Dorset, had a vision of a Music Festival different from the standard commercial model.
He was looking for a location that gave the musicians an attractive venue in which to perform but, equally importantly, somewhere they could all be together for a week to play the music they wanted to play – at the highest artistic standards. He wanted to develop strong links with its community, provide accessible music to the people of Dorset and create a stimulating environment for local young musicians and children.
Cerne Abbas was his chosen location, partly because of the excellent acoustics of the Church but also because of the village and its community.
© Piers Rawson
Image © Jane Tearle
Thirty years on
A group of Cerne Abbas residents still organises the Festival on the Gaudier’s and village’s behalf, totally on a volunteer basis.
Musicians live in the village at the homes of local residents during the Festival.
Rehearsals are informal and are open to the public.
Ticket prices are a fraction of the full commercial cost of equivalent events of similar musical status and standard.
Master classes are periodically organised for promising local musicians.
Leading students of the Royal College of Music periodically join with the Gaudier Ensemble and play in one of the concerts.
Cancelled for this year
The venue is St Mary’s Church. Seating is reversed for the concerts and a specially constructed stage is erected at the West End.
Seats are booked in advance and are numbered and reserved.
Booking starts approximately eight weeks before the first concert.
For more information please see our Bookings Page
Keep Up To Date
Our Facebook page contains all the latest news about the festival and the musicians.
Videos from Festivals since 1991
Two short selections of clips edited together from the Cerne Abbas Music Festival Archive, digitised from the original camcorder footage