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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.
2018 sees an amazing line up of international artists are planned to help celebrate.
2018’s Festival strikes a new dynamic with outstanding residencies over its three weekends. Steven Kovacevich with Purcell School Orchestra form a unique and exceptional partnership of world-renowned master pianist working with the finest young talent. Together they celebrate the music of Mozart, Stravinsky and Beethoven; Ronnie Scott’s All Stars and Ronnie Scott’s Big Band recreate the music of Stan Kenton and Woody Hermann;European Union Chamber Orchestra with soloist Tasmin Little OBE bring to life music by Handel, Haydn, Britten, Faure, Grieg, Mozart and Vivaldi’s Four Seasons.
Other festival highlights include Debussy’s La Mer in new choreographed versions at Turner Contemporary, Puccini’s La Boheme in Opera Up Close’s award winning production, Academy of Ancient Music with Guildhall School of Music and Drama’s Department of Historical Performance bring to life The Magic of Mozart, including the child prodigy’s utterly remarkable first symphony, composed when the eight year old boy was in London, shortly before he passed through Kent on his way to Dover. Minima performs its live soundtrack for the 1926 Phantom of the Opera, Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure comes to Walmer Castle, multi-cultural ensembleKabantu (winners of the 2017 Royal Overseas League Competition) vivaciously combine musical styles from across the world, this year’s Dr Rosemary Dunn Lecture is given by Darren Henley, Chief Executive of Arts Council England, and there is an exhibition of the work of much-loved Graham Clarke. And all this only scratches the surface.
With well over 40 events in two weeks, from world leading artists to outdoor community activities covering Deal, Sandwich, Margate and Dover, Deal Music & Arts – Festival 2018 truly celebrates arts for all!