Alan Hedges died suddenly on October 8th 2022, in the middle of the Festival he so dearly loved and to which he had devoted so much time over the years. The following words were written at the time, to mark our appreciation and sense of loss.
It is with great sadness that we announce the death of our Chairman, Alan Hedges. Alan had chaired the Festival since 2010 and was deeply involved in its running for years before that. As an individual he will be much missed by us all, while his deep love and enthusiasm for music in its many forms – and which underlay much of our programming - will be hard to replace.
When Alan found himself having to take on the chairmanship unexpectedly, it was his clearsightedness and determination that enabled us not only to weather a potentially difficult few years but also to secure and solidify the Festival’s reputation since then. Alan had priorities that continue to guide us: maintaining the highest artistic standards; promoting British music, especially the unjustly neglected; giving young performers a platform in their early careers; commissioning new work from living composers; and – last but not least – funding music workshops and concerts in local schools at a time of severe cuts to central funding for such vital work.
We shall miss his wisdom and enthusiasm, based on his deep love of the arts, but will continue to follow his priorities. A flourishing Festival, based on these principles, is the legacy Alan leaves to all of us.