Who We Are

Artistic Directors

Co-directed by Anthony Marwood and Richard Lester, the Peasmarsh Chamber Music Festival emerged from the acclaimed Florestan Festival, directed for fourteen years by the award-winning Florestan Trio.

Anthony Marwood, MBE (violin)

Anthony MarwoodAnthony Marwood enjoys a wide-ranging international career as soloist, director and chamber musician. Recent solo engagements include performances with the Boston Symphony, St Louis Symphony, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, New World Symphony, London Philharmonic, Spanish National Orchestra, Adelaide Symphony and Sydney Symphony. He has worked with conductors such as Valery Gergiev, Sir Andrew Davis, Thomas Søndergård, David Robertson, Gerard Korsten, Ilan Volkov, Jaime Martin, Douglas Boyd and Chloé van Soeterstède.

In summer 2021 he received great acclaim for his performance of the Ligeti Violin Concerto with Thomas Adès and the Tanglewood Music Centre Orchestra in the USA. The Boston Globe review commented “None could outshine special guest Anthony Marwood, the featured soloist in Ligeti’s Concerto for Violin and Orchestra. Ending as it does with an extended and totally exposed cadenza — Marwood used one composed by Adès — this concerto demands Olympian-caliber endurance from its soloist, and Marwood surely would have run away with the gold. Under Adès’ baton, the orchestra created a backdrop of dramatic and organic sound; the Intermezzo saw the strings’ whispering tree-sounds morph into bright rocket flares, and the long Passacaglia slowly smoldered into a blazing inferno. Against all this, Marwood’s violin dug deep through double stops and soared high with angelic resonance. The orchestra’s closing gesture had scarcely dissipated before the fellows sharing my row were on their feet, cheering at full blast. They knew excellence when they heard it.”

As director and soloist Anthony has appeared with many of the leading chamber orchestras, including the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the Amsterdam Sinfonietta, the Tapiola Sinfonietta, the Irish Chamber Orchestra, the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra, Les Violons du Roy, Orchestre de chambre de Paris and the Australian Chamber Orchestra.

As a chamber musician, he has a wide circle of regular collaborators including Steven Isserlis, Aleksandar Madžar, Inon Barnatan, Alexander Melnikov, Denes Varjon and James Crabb.

Many leading composers have written concertos for him, including Thomas Adès (Anthony also made the first recording of Concentric Paths, for EMI) Steven Mackey, Sally Beamish and Samuel Carl Adams. Anthony is a prolific recording artist, with close to forty albums on the Hyperion label alone – most recently a recording of Walton’s Violin Concerto with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and Martyn Brabbins. The disc received wide critical acclaim, including a 5-star review in The Guardian and a ‘Recommended Recording’ in The Strad Magazine, whilst the Sunday Times described him as “a thrilling, virtuosic soloist”. His latest release is Steven Mackey’s “Beautiful Passing” with David Robertson and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra on the Canary Classics label.

Anthony studied with Emanuel Hurwitz and David Takeno in London. He has collaborated with numerous actors, Indian classical dancer Mayuri Boonham, Irish singer-songwriter Sinead O’Connor, sculptress Nicole Farhi and South African guitarist Derek Gripper. He was the violinist of the Florestan Trio for sixteen years and won the Royal Philharmonic Society Instrumentalist award in 2006.

Anthony resides in Peasmarsh, Sussex and part-time in Koringberg, South Africa. He performs annually at the Yellow Barn Festival in Vermont and enjoys a close association with the Australian National Academy of Music in Melbourne. Anthony was appointed as a William Lawes Chair of Chamber Music at the Royal Academy of Music in London in 2022, awarded an MBE in the 2018 Queen’s New Year’s Honours List and was made a Fellow of the Guildhall School of Music in 2013. He uses a bow by Joseph René LaFleur and plays a 1736 Carlo Bergonzi violin, kindly bought by a syndicate of purchasers, and a 2018 violin made by Christian Bayon.

Richard Lester (cello)

Richard Lester [credit Jake Morley]Chamber-musician, solo-cellist, orchestral principal and renowned teacher, Richard Lester was a member of the award-winning Florestan Trio, a founder-member of the ensemble Domus and was a member of Hausmusik and the London Haydn Quartet. He was principal cello with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and has been principal with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe since 1989. Currently, he is a member of the Gould Piano Trio.

He has performed as concerto soloist with, among others, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Camerata Salzburg, BBC Scottish SO, Scottish Chamber Orchestra and the Ulster Orchestra, under conductors including Claudio Abbado, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Sandor Vegh, Myung Whun Chung and Sir Roger Norrington. He has also appeared as director and soloist with COE, OAE, Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Britten Sinfonia, Aurora and, in Montreal and Quebec, with Les Violons du Roy.

He has made over forty discs of chamber music, including the complete works of Mendelssohn for cello and piano, and a disc of Boccherini sonatas on period instruments.

Richard teaches at the Royal College of Music and the Guildhall School in London. He gives masterclasses worldwide, and is a frequent guest teacher in Canada at the Banff Center and at Domaine Forget.

When not performing or teaching, Richard is happiest cooking, eating and drinking, preferably on a boat.

Sam Glazer (animateur)

Sam GlazerOur education programme is led by the inspirational Sam Glazer.

Sam Glazer is a composer, cellist and creative leader living in St Leonards. His work is based around co-creating new music alongside non-professionals, in education, community and healthcare settings. He has been leading the schools programme at Peasmarsh Chamber Music Festival since 2006 and he also works locally with Create Music, Culture Shift and Hastings International Piano.

Sam was co-creator and composer of Spitalfields Music’s RPS-shortlisted Musical Rumpus, a series of operas for babies and toddlers that toured nationally and internationally between 2012 – 2017. In 2022 he set up Seaglass Arts to continue this work independently alongside community-based creative workshops. Their debut production, Catch a Sea Star, toured to Hamburg and Luxembourg (2024) with a performance in Hastings too.

Sam has been involved for nearly 20 years with Wigmore Hall’s pioneering Music for Life project, working in care homes with people with dementia, and subsequently went on to co-found Raise Your Voice Opera, Glyndebourne’s group for people with dementia and their carers living in the community.  Since 2005 he has been teaching at the Royal Academy of Music, mentoring young musicians who are studying Music in the Community, and he is lead mentor for Spitalfields Music’s Trainee Music Leader programme.

Board of Trustees

  • Simon Mortimore KC Chairman
  • David Brierwood
  • Graham Dunning KC
  • Vicky Dyer
  • Richard Jennings
  • Patricia Millett
  • Deborah Rowland
  • Julia Sebline

Festival Management

The Festival is managed by Anna Rowe, Festival Manager and Asst Festival Manager Hattie Garrard​, with considerable voluntary support from Sue Schlesinger, who manages the Festival Box Office, the Friends of Peasmarsh Church and Fiona Mortimore, the Friends Administrator.

The Festival is also particularly grateful to the Vicars, Churchwardens and members of the respective Parochial Church Councils of the Church of St Peter and St Paul in Peasmarsh and St Mary the Virgin Church in Rye, the festival’s two principal venues.

All festival management enquiries should be directed to Anna Rowe at anna@peasmarshfestival.co.uk.

Registered company no 4625088 and registered charity no 1095978
Registered address: Landgate Chambers, Rye, East Sussex TN31 7LJ