Midsummer Music

Midsummer Music is an annual chamber music festival that takes place over three days in June. It was founded in 2009 by Paul Lewis and his wife, Bjørg Lewis. Their wish was to start a festival near to where they have lived for many years. They wanted to create an event that would be a significant addition to the local music-making scene, but also through the international calibre of its artists, attract a national and international audience.

As Artistic Directors, Paul and Bjørg have always had a very clear vision for the structure of the festival. No ‘star’ recitals, no theming, no different prices for some artists rather than others. Rather, equality in approach and musicians with whom they are proud to share the stage: a team of artists, a collegial atmosphere and a bringing together of great talent.

The variety in programming is hugely attractive, and comes from the heart. The composers and works chosen are those that resonate most with them.

The church in the Chilterns in which they stage the festival has a beautiful atmosphere. The audience brush shoulders with some of the most significant figures in music today. Everyone packs into this space and hears at the closest quarters music-making that has beauty and power and that would grace any world stage.

“While the festival has always aimed for the highest musical standards, Midsummer Music remains, as it started, very much a ‘home-made’ event. The festival has no ambition to be the biggest in the country - we all feel strongly that to keep the scale manageable and the quality high is our top priority. Looking to the future, our idea is to keep the festival small and personal in scale, but wide-ranging and long lasting in the impact it has on those it reaches. We hope that this personal quality is something that characterises our festival in a special way, and leaves our audience with a sense of having experienced something memorable and meaningful.”

Paul and Bjørg Lewis - Artistic Directors


  • Jean-Efflam Bavouzet
  • Alasdair Beatson
  • Imogen Cooper
  • Mario Häring
  • Tim Horton
  • Paul Lewis
  • Michail Lifits
  • Aleksandar Madzar
  • Alexander Melnikov
  • Steven Osborne
  • Charles Owen
  • Wu Qian
  • Martin Roscoe
  • Marianna Shirinyan
  • Kathryn Stott
  • Simon Trpceski
  • Denes Varjon


  • Alina Ibragimova
  • Thoms Aldren
  • Lisa Batiashvili
  • Andrej Bielow
  • Berit Cardas
  • Veronika Eberle
  • Ilya Gringolts
  • Michael Gurevich
  • Viviane Hagner
  • Esther Hoppe
  • Alexander Janiczek
  • Natalie Klouda
  • Henning Kraggerud
  • Annabelle Meare
  • Priya Mitchell
  • Erik Schumann
  • Alexander Sitkovetsky
  • Valeriy Sokolov
  • Isabelle van Keulen
  • Øyvor Volle
  • Tamsin Waley-Cohen
  • Antje Weithaas


  • David Adams
  • Sascha Bota
  • James Boyd
  • Berit Cardas
  • Hélène Clement
  • Scott Dickinson
  • Ruth Gibson
  • Juan-Miguel Hernandez
  • Henninge Laandaas
  • Razvan Popovici
  • Lawrence Power
  • Simon Rowland-Jones
  • Jennifer Stumm
  • Amy Swain
  • Lars Anders Tomter


  • Penny Bradshaw
  • Guy Johnston
  • Bjørg Lewis
  • Christian Poltéra
  • Gemma Rosefield
  • Alasdair Tait


  • Leon Bosch
  • Ha-Young Jung
  • Rick Stotijn
  • Christoph Wimmer


  • Ben Aldren
  • Chen Halevi
  • Matthew Hunt
  • Richard Hosford
  • Tommaso Lonquich


  • Joost Bosdijk
  • Amy Harman


  • Naomi Atherton
  • Nicolas Fleury


  • Alon Sariel


  • Allan Clayton
  • Nika Gorič
  • Ruby Hughes
  • Mark Padmore
  • Ailish Tynan
  • Elizabeth Watts
  • Trio Mediaeval


  • Cellissimo@Oslo
  • Vertavo String Quartet


  • Alfred Brendel
  • Richard Stokes


  • Alfred Brendel


  • Paul Lewis
  • Bjørg Lewis


  • Madeleine Mattar


  • Sir Jeremy Dixon (Chairman)
  • Mr Christopher Aldren
  • Mrs Bjørg Lewis


Outreach Programme

An important part of Midsummer Music's output is a programme of outreach work with local primary school. The culmination of this is a children's concert in St Mary's, Old Amersham given by the festival musicians the day before the festival starts.

The goal of the concert is to present the children with works or movements of works from the festival itself. In preparation, Bjørg Lewis spends time in the run-up to the concert presenting workshops in the classroom She helps to familiarise the children with the pieces they will hear at the concert, their composers and the range of instruments used. They are also encouraged to paint to recordings of the specific works and connect to the expressive qualities that way.

The experience of hearing fantastic musicians playing works from the core chamber repertoire in a concert venue is not normally within the reach of many children. What is clearly apparent is how riveting they find it. How the concentration and energy of the musicians is so compelling. And just how exciting it all sounds when so very close-up.

Midsummer Music hopes that over the years, the children from the school will develop a special relationship with this outstanding musical event in their community.

Midsummer Music Outreach and Education
Steven Osborne
Steven Osborne