Who We Are


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

Anthony Marwood (Violin)


Anthony Marwood

Anthony 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 and Sydney Symphony. He has worked with  conductors such as Valery Gergiev, Sir Andrew Davis, Thomas  Søndergård, David Robertson, Andrew Manze, Nicholas Carter,  Ryan Bancroft, Ilan Volkov, Martyn Brabbins, Jaime Martin and  Douglas Boyd. 

As director and soloist Anthony has close relationships with many  leading chamber orchestras, in particular Les Violons du Roy in  Canada, the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra, Scottish Chamber  Orchestra, Amsterdam Sinfonietta, Tapiola Sinfonietta, and the  Australian Chamber Orchestra. 

His solo engagements in the current season include a tour with the  Trondheim Soloists ; a return to Madrid with the Spanish National  Orchestra ; two tours of Australia including return visits to the  Adelaide Symphony (Korngold Concerto), Australian Chamber  Orchestra, Melbourne Recital Centre, and as Artistic Director and  programmer of UKARIA 24, a long weekend festival at a beautiful  concert hall in the Adelaide Hills ; performances at La Jolla  Summerfest in California ; concerts as soloist/director with Les  Violons du Roy in Canada ; and two separate concerto projects with  the Halle Orchestra.  

He recently received great acclaim for his performance of the Ligeti  Violin Concerto conducted by Thomas Adès at the Tanglewood  Festival in the USA. “None could outshine special guest Anthony  Marwood, the featured soloist. This concerto demands Olympian caliber endurance from its soloist, and Marwood surely would have  run away with the gold” Boston Globe. 

Many leading composers have written concertos for him, including  Thomas Adès (Anthony also made the first recording of the work,  for EMI) Steven Mackey, Sally Beamish and Samuel Carl Adams.  Anthony is a prolific recording artist, and has made 50 recordings  for the Hyperion label alone.

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.  His regular chamber music partners include Aleksandar Madzar and  James Crabb, and he was the violinist of the Florestan Trio for  sixteen years. 

Anthony performs every July at the Yellow Barn Festival in Vermont  and enjoys a close association with the Australian National  Academy of Music in Melbourne.  

He won the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Instrumentalist Award in  2006, was 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. Recently, alongside Lawrence Power, he was  appointed William Lawes Chair of Chamber Music at the Royal  Academy of Music in London.  

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. 

He lives in Peasmarsh and Amsterdam, and finds himself whenever  possible in South Africa.

Richard Lester (Cello)

photo of Richard Lester

Richard Lester (credit Richard Lewisohn)

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.


Board of Trustees


Simon Mortimore KC Chairman

David Brierwood

Graham Dunning KC

Vicky Dyer

Richard Jennings

Patricia Millett

Julia Sebline


Festival Management


The Festival is managed by Anna Rowe, Festival Manager and Hal Hutchison, Concerts Manager, 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


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