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Surrey Hills International Music Festival (formerly Investec International Music Festival) is delighted to announce the programme for its 2023 season.


Each spring, Surrey Hills International Music Festival (SHIMF) brings world-class musicians to perform in beautiful and unique venues across the Surrey Hills.  Following 2022’s focus on Vaughan Williams and his Surrey connections, this season’s programme celebrates the wider world of international music-making, from Hollywood jazz to European chamber masterworks and contemporary British choral music.


2023 season highlights:

  • World-renowned choral ensemble Tenebrae return to the Festival to perform sacred works by J S Bach and Sir James MacMillan in the glorious Georgian splendour of Holy Trinity Church in Guildford.


  • The Julian Bliss Quintet brings Hollywood jazz to the spectacular setting of RHS Garden Wisley’s Hilltop Building, in a programme celebrating some of the greatest tunes to have been used in film from the 1930s to the present day.
  • The great Canadian-born cellist Gary Hoffman – ‘one of the music world’s best-kept secrets’* makes a welcome return to perform Mendelssohn, Nin, Brahms and Cassadó alongside SHIMF Artistic Director Wu Qian at The Menuhin Hall.


  • The award-winning Sitkovetsky Trio (of which SHIMF Artistic Director and pianist Wu Qian is a founder member) performs chamber masterpieces by Beethoven and Dvořák at The Menuhin Hall.


SHIMF’s on-going commitment to supporting young artists continues with two Lunchtime Young Artist Concerts: the first at West Horsley Place featuring the current holders of The Musicians’ Company’s New Elizabethan Award – guitar & soprano/double bass duo Gus McQuade & Eleanor Grant, and guitarist Sasha Savaloni – and the second at St James’ Church in the picture-perfect village of Shere, featuring gifted young students of The Yehudi Menuhin School.


The Sitkovetsky Trio also welcomes two Yehudi Menuhin School students to perform alongside them in Dvorak’s second Piano Quintet as part of 13 May’s Festival Finale programme.


Located in the beautiful Surrey Hills AONB, the Festival invites its audience not only to enjoy the highest calibre of music-making in some stunning concert venues, but also to enjoy the wider benefits of the local natural landscape with Pilgrims’ Guided Walks in the countryside around West Horsley Place and Shere.


Festival Chairman Julia Pearson comments: “We are delighted to present this new season under the Festival’s founding title, Surrey Hills International Music Festival, celebrating the deep connection we have always had with this beautiful and culturally vibrant area. The Surrey Hills are at the heart of our identity both as an organisation and as a musical community, and we hope that our world-class 2023 programme will draw music-lovers from far and wide to come and explore this very special place.”


Artistic Director & Festival Co-Founder Wu Qian comments: “I am thrilled we have such a varied programme for 2023, and as always, we have chosen some very special venues especially to suit the music being performed. What better place to hear Elizabethan airs and dances than West Horsley Place where Elizabeth I herself once stayed – and the stunning RHS Hilltop, at the heart of glorious RHS Garden Wisley, is the perfect location for a glamorous evening of Hollywood-infused jazz! For me personally, it’s always a joy to return to The Yehudi Menuhin School where I studied from the age of 13, as The Menuhin Hall has a wonderfully intimate atmosphere for both performers and audience alike – and there couldn’t be a more beautiful acoustic for Tenebrae’s exquisite choral singing than the airy, serene Holy Trinity Church on Guildford’s historic High Street.”


(* Ariane Todes)

For tickets and further information:

Image: The Sitkovetsky Trio © Vinci Ng