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Since its inception in 1982 DFMA has attracted interest from leading musicans. Its Artistic have included cellists Steven Isserlis and Matthew Sharp and composers David Matthews and Paul Max Edlin who is its current Artistic Director.
DFMA promotes year round education work as wel las devising a fortnigt long summer festival. Its President is the international Trumpeter Alison Basom and its Education Ambassador is John Wallace OBE recently retired as principal of Royal Scottish Academy of Music.
In 2016 Deal Festival was awarded Best Event 2016 by Kent Creative. It's Manager Willie Cooper received an Exceptional Service Award from BAFA and it was one of 150 organisations in Great Britain to receive Arts Council Catalyst Evolve.
Deal has two key elements, its Festival work and delivering critical education work in the region. Its major education work is BOLD AS which is working with schools in deprived areas with plastic p-bones and p-trumpets. This work is being led by Phil White from The Philharmonia Orchestra and is in partnership with Kent Music. This project has been nominated by the Music Education Council as a finalist for Music Teachers Award for early years/primary education.
2017 is the 35th Birthday of Deal Festival and an amazing line up of international artists are planned to help celebrate.
French trumpet player Lucienne Renuadin-Vary will replace Alison Balsom to launch festival as Alison and her husband Sam Mendes are expecting their first baby in September. She will play Haydn Trumpet Concerto with The Purcell School Chamber Orchestra, Courtney Pine and the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain complete the first weekend. Ronnie Scott's Big Band and world famous opera singer Sarah Connolly perform in the middle weekend and Sir John Tomlinson and Freddy Kempf with Wiener Kammersymphonie the final weekend.
The 17 days of the Festival are filled with amazing entertainment including tjhe Moulettes, Scott Brothers, Contemporary Dance and Music at Turner Contemporary in Margate, Hamlet at Dover Castle, Academy of Ancient Music with GSMD and Choristers of Canterbury Cathedral, a celebration of the lile of Elizabeth Carter, member of the Bluestocking Circle who lived in Deal. There wil lbe pre-concert talks,sound installation in the grounds of The Pines Calys, plus a celebration of the Festivals innovative education work.