The Musique Cordiale International Festival & Academy is an annual festival of classical music, song, oratorio and opera, founded in 2005. It usually* takes place in hill towns (village perché) of the Pays de Fayence between Nice and Aix-en-Provence in the South of France in late July and during the first two weeks of August. The festival features over 18 concerts including major choral and orchestral works, chamber ensembles, free lunchtime concerts and late night recitals in churches, chapels and in the open air. (* though in 2020 and 2021, it relocated to England as Musique-Cordiale in Kent because of pandemic restrictions and closed borders. In 2021, it took the form of just a week on concerts, mostly out of doors, in Faversham and Newnham and culminating in concerts in Doddington Place Gardens. It is envisaged that future festivals may take place in both Britain and France from 2022.
|Location(s)||Seillans, Pays de Fayence, South of France.Faversham, Doddington Place Gardens, Kent|
|Years active||2005 – present|
|Founded by||Pippa Pawlik|
In a spirit of entente cordiale, the festival draws together people of all ages and from many countries and is designed to encourage intercultural friendship and understanding through a shared involvement in music-making. A collection of over 125 singers and players, ranging in age from 15 to 75, are assembled each year for a series of rehearsals and concerts. The 15th annual Musique Cordiale Festival took place from 5 - 17 August 2019. and there is a British offshoot, the Musique-Cordiale autumn weekend in Kent, also begun in 2005, which features 3 concerts in Faversham and Newnham, Kent, GB on 15, 16 & 17 November 2019. The 16th annual festival, scheduled for 1-15 August 2020, had to be cancelled and all sums reimbursed to participants because of the Covid-19 crisis. An single small concert did take place in the Pays de Fayence during that period with an officially-limited audience. The choir and musicians were not able to travel to Seillans for rehearsals or any performances. But UK-based members of the Festival Choir did stage an open-air performance of the Brahms Requiem in Doddington Place Gardens in Kent, England on 13 September 2020 after 3 days of rehearsal with 4 hands on a keyboard for accompaniment under the baton of Music Director, Graham Ross. It is not yet clear when concerts or rehearsals, with international participation, may be possible in the Pays de Fayence because of the still-developing pandemic and travel restrictions in Europe. Post-Brexit arrangements for touring musicians also need to be clarified. However it has been announced that there will be a week-long series of rehearsals and concerts in Kent, GB, many of them out of doors and/or socially-distanced, 29 July - 5 August 2021.
Artistic director Pippa Pawlik, studied the violin at the Royal College of Music in London and played professionally in London and Switzerland. With two young children, she then changed direction and worked in music promotion with record companies, international orchestras, festivals and artists from all over the world. Pippa now lives and works in Kent, having relaunched her PR business with clients in America, Germany and the UK. She also acts as a mentor, offering musicians career guidance, inspiration and brainstorming strategies.