"It is my pleasure to welcome you to Stamford International Music Festival 2024. Having grown up in the area, returning to this beautiful town every year to perform has the feeling of a homecoming. Rather poignantly, it is a sense of place and of belonging that many of the composers programmed in this year’s festival fought and risked their careers and even their lives for. At a time when borders and nationalities were ever shifting, music became their home, their heritage: a cultural well to which they clung while their physical homes were stripped from them or their identities questioned – themes as vital today as they have ever been.

The theme itself of this year’s festival – a celebration of Eastern European music, with the work of Leoš Janáček at its heart – is one I have long wanted to bring to Stamford. It began when my brother was just nine years old, performing Janáček’s astonishingly beautiful In the Mists. I remember being overwhelmed by the emotional pull of this piece, something that seemed to me deeply human, relatable, profound without pretension: all that there is to love about music.

When I encountered Janáček again years later on a summer course, playing his wonderful Intimate Letters, I was officially hooked. So this year’s programme, with Janáček’s wistful On an Overgrown Path at its core, represents a long labour of love – and, for me, a return once more to some very deep Austro-Hungarian roots.

As my career grows, I enjoy the privilege of meeting more and more brilliant musicians eager to share their love of chamber music too. There are some faces this year you will recognise, and some new too. I can’t wait for us to perform for you all, and I hope you can find something in these seven concerts to delight, challenge, enthuse and, ultimately, to move you as much as those early performances moved me. It is the least we can do to show our thanks for the extraordinary support this town continues to offer us, year after year."

- Freya Goldmark, director

Our Concerts

Thursday 16th May, Stamford Arts Centre, 7pm

  • Opening Concert of Telemann, Mozart, Seiber, Smetana

Thursday 16th May, Stamford Arts Centre, 9:30pm

  • Late Night Brahms Clarinet Quintet

Friday 17th May, Stamford Arts Centre, 1pm

  • Solos and Duos

Friday 17th May, Stamford Arts Centre, 7pm

  • Tales from the East, Dohnanyi, Haydn, Janacek

Friday 17th May, St Martins Church, 9:30pm

  • On an Overgrown Path

Saturday 18th May, St Martins Church, 11am

  • Beethoven String Quintet

Saturday 18th May, Stamford Arts Centre, 7:30pm

  • Festival Finale!