Stoke Newington Early Music Festival (SNEMF) was founded by Vanessa Coode as a community event based in Stoke Newington, London, UK. It brings the finest early music performers to this historic area of London. A regular feature of Stoke Newington culture over three decades, the festival has been interrupted only once, by Covid in 2020, after which it was taken forward by its current director, Rachel Stott. Now in its 29th year, the festival is continuing its tradition of high quality traditional-style concerts, while also reaching out to groups less able to access them; for the youngest members of the population, and their parents, grandparents and carers, each festival includes an Early Music for Early Years event.
SNEMF promotes music from medieval times to the 19th century performed on period instruments. Programmes occasionally include 20th and 21st century works, either new compositions specifically written for period instruments, or modern works which relate stylistically to early music.
The main festival takes place in late June/early July, with occasional concerts at other times of year.
Since 2022, SNEMF has been running the Early Music for Early Years series. These are weekday morning concerts for babies, pre-school children, their parents, grandparents and carers. We sschedule three such events every year, in late autumn, early spring and as part of the summer festival.
SNEMF's logo, designed for us by Colin Robinson in 2023, was kindly sponsored by Anthony Pinching of Pinner Music Festival. The emblem 'S' in this logo represents the serpent, a historical musical instrument which was played in court and church settings from the end of the 16th century to the mid-19th century. Hear an example of this instrument played by a marvellous 21st century exponent (YouTube).
SNEMF has a FRIENDS scheme. FRIENDS of SNEMF are invited to house concerts in the autumn and/or spring. See more about becoming a Friend.
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