Dante Summer Festival 2012Dante Quartet

10 - 15 July 2018

Stoke Climsland, Blisland
Calstock, Launceston
Callington, St. Kew

2019 Festival Dates: 8-12 July

Festival Diary 2018

Tuesday 10 July

Wednesday 11 July

Thursday 12 July

Stoke Climsland Church, 7.30 pm

Dante Quartet
Haydn Quartet op 33 no 5 in G
Shostakovich Quartet no 6 in G
Smetana Quartet no 1 in E minor, "From my Life"

We welcome you with Haydn at his most playful in the quartet nicknamed "How d'you do?", followed by the most carefree of Shostakovich's quartets, also in the sunny key of G major, written as a 50th birthday present to himself.
Another autobiographical work, Smetana's first quartet, takes us into darker and more troubled waters, describing how the composer's early joys of courtship and dancing are overtaken by the looming threat of hearing loss.

This concert supports Children’s Hospice South West


Dante Quartet


Lavethan, just outside Blisland Village, PL30 4QG

Join us in the stunning surroundings of Lavethan, the Dantes' home during Festival week. Listen to an Open Rehearsal to discover the secret language of Shostakovich, explore the beautiful gardens then enjoy a Cream Tea and a short concert by some of Cornwall's brightest young musical talents.

Park in Blisland Village (1/4 mile) or at Lavethan in the field. Disabled parking by the house

2.00 – 3.30pm
Open Rehearsal in the Barn by the Dante Quartet

Cornish Cream Tea

4.30 – 5.30pm
Young Musicians’ Platform, including music by Mozart and Dohnányi


Barn + Bluebells


The Old Chapel, Calstock, 6.00pm

Supper with the musicians, overlooking the river Tamar (advance booking only)

The Old Chapel, Calstock 8.00pm

Dante Quartet

Quartet no 2 in A, op 68
Quartet no 8 in C minor, op 110
Quartet no 12 in D flat, op 133

Shostakovich's string quartets chart his life and are the vehicle for his most intimate utterances - expressing not only his darkest moods, but also his wickedly ironic sense of humour. He would certainly have approved of the shot of Russian Vodka which is included in the ticket price. Hounded by Stalin and the Soviet regime, Shostakovich engaged in an intricate balancing act, appearing to toe the line while encoding his protest in music.

In the second quartet (1944), two invigorating outer movements frame a mesmerising "Kaddish" or Jewish lament; the eighth quartet (1960), is inscribed as a "Requiem for the victims of fascism and war", drawing on universal human experience, while the twelfth quartet (1968) shows the composer at his most Beethoven-like, plumbing the depths of despair but rising to a triumphant conclusion.

Overlooking the river Tamar by the spectacular Calstock Viaduct, the Old Chapel provides a magical and intimate setting for chamber music. 


Friday 13 July


Saturday 14 July


Sunday 15 July

Launceston Town Hall 6.15 - 7.00pm

Dante cellist Richard Jenkinson discusses the pioneering work of one of Hungary's most loved musicians, with live excerpts from Kodaly's spectacular folk-inspired sonata for solo cello.

Young Violinist

Launceston Town Hall 7.30pm

Dante Quartet with Caradon Strings, Triggshire Strings and the East Cornwall Youth String Orchestra

Haydn Gipsy Rondo, arr. Perks;
Howells Lady Audrey’s Suite
Kodály Intermezzo for string trio
Bartók Romanian Dances,
Tchaikovsky Quartet no 1 in D

Named after one of Bartók's pieces for children, this programme offers a glorious mixture of string quartets plus a collaboration with local young musicians. Ben Comeau's reinterpretation of Bartók's popular dances incorporates original field recordings from 1909, with Bartók himself playing the piano, along with the orchestra. Tchaikovsky's exquisite treatment of a popular Russian melody in his string quartet once reduced Tolstoy to tears; while Lady Audrey's Suite blends French influence with English folksong.

After the concert: a glass of champagne for the Friends of the Dante Festival 


If you enjoy our concerts and would like to help the Dante Festival to thrive in future years, we invite you to join our Friends scheme.

Because most of our concerts are in small venues and we wish to keep ticket prices low, our box office revenue only covers half the cost of the festival. For the other half we depend on a small number of generous sponsors and our network of Friends.

Membership of the Friends costs Ł30 per individual or Ł40 per family. If you feel able to give more, or wish to sponsor one of the concerts, we would of course be delighted. We would also like to hear from you if you have any other ideas to help with fundraising.

As a Friend of the Dante Festival you will get priority booking and reserved front-of-house seating at concerts. You are also warmly invited to join us for a glass of champagne after the concert on 13th July in Launceston. click here to download a Friends' form.



Callington Church, 4. 30 - 6.00 pm

Learn some Klezmer songs and dance steps with the vibrant LKQ.
All ages and instruments welcome, (standard grade 3 upwards) or just bring your voice!

Callington Church 7.30 pm

Enjoy a journey from the Baltic to the Black Sea - and beyond - as the LKQ transports you with old and new melodies, featuring the sultry vocals of Indra Buraczewska.

The group captures the wedding spirit of Jewish Eastern Europe, and their stories bring to life musicians' lives and times, rekindling and enhancing this almost-lost musical tradition. 

This concert supports Cornwall Air Ambulance 

"superb sound with inventive arrangements, virtuosity, exciting original tunes and soulful playing"
Songlines Magazine 

Klezmer Quartet

This Festival is generously sponsored by:
Friends of the Dante Festival, Cornwall Music Education Hub, Cornwall Music Service Trust, Foster Charitable Foundation, Angela Freeman, Richard and Elizabeth Machell, Gilbert McCabe, Simon Rowe, Bernard Samuels, Jenny Salmon, James Sargent.

Cornwall Music Education Hub Cornwall Music Service Trust
Arts Council England


Blisland Institute, 11.30am - 1.00pm

Music workshop for children, led by Bronnie Gibbons with members of the Dante Quartet Ages 7-11, twenty places available, advance booking recommended (adults welcome too). Prepare to make noise: bring your voice and any instrument you like!

Enjoy lunch (and excellent beer) at the Blisland Inn, or a picnic on the green. Blisland is known as one of the UK's ten most beautiful villages.

2.00 – 3.30pm

A guided walk through an enchanting landscape along the Camel river. Meet by Blisland Church, bring sturdy shoes.

Camel Trail

from 3.30 pm at the Village Shop
(advance booking recommended)

Tea and delicious home-made cakes, plus a chance to stock up on local crafts and Cornish delicacies

St Kew Church, 6.00pm

Dante Quartet with actor David Timson, script by Clare Norburn

Quartet op 59 no 1 in F
Quartet op 59 no 2 in E minor
Quartet op 59 no 3 in C

This is the Dante Festival’s first visit to the beautiful church of St James at St Kew, which contains stunning examples of C15th medieval stained glass.

Seated at his desk, Beethoven reviews his life, focusing on the three great string quartets commissioned by his friend and patron, Count Razumovsky. ‘Amidst the ruins of my deafness is a single gift: the music I can hear in my head, played by my imaginary quartet. It’s flawless!’

A complete performance of all three works by the Dante Quartet is enhanced by the vision of Beethoven as a real human being, sharing his musical thoughts, his love letters and his gradual acceptance of hearing loss with an imaginary future audience.

Join us afterwards for a farewell drink in the gorgeous C16th St Kew Inn.

“A fantastic concert: commitment, passion and excitement balanced by technical assurance”
Seen and Heard International