Little Missenden Festival 2021

Pat Harrison (1905-1998) Our Founder, Pat Harrison, inspired by Rohan de Saram’s remark that Little Missenden would be ‘a wonderful place for an arts festival’, responded ‘I believe we could do something.’ From the first Festival in 1960, she set a standard we still aspire to. Names like Louis MacNeice, John Tavener, Edmund Rubbra, Ted Hughes and Peter Pears appeared in early years, giving world-class performances to appreciative audiences. Since then, the village of Little Missenden has hosted an arts festival every October, until Covid prevented us last year. This year – our 61st – we’re back in business. The tenth-century church of St John the Baptist is again at the heart of the Festival. This lovely building – its unique collection of ancient wall paintings enhanced in recent years through Heritage Lottery funding – is a magical, atmospheric place where music, literature and art of the very highest quality can be enjoyed. This year’s programme signals a most welcome return to a form of normality after last year’s hiatus. A Guardian leader a few months ago summed up the importance of small-scale festivals like Little Missenden’s for our emotional wellbeing: “They are all needed. The music-making that goes on in them is fierce and profound, and the audiences who come, so politely and undemonstratively, leave with powerful feelings stirring their souls.” Read more about Pat Harrison and her legacy on the Festival website The 61st Little Missenden Festival ©Robert Piwko