Join the “Classical Minds” guitar festival online:
9-11 April 2021

This year’s Classical Minds” weekend will have to be online – but that makes it even easier to attend!

There will be masterclasses, lectures, individual lessons and concerts to listen to – or to take active part in. The events will be on Zoom and YouTube, and there will be scope for informal ‘virtual’ socialising as well as for giving your eyes a rest from the screen.

It will be an international festival, with Texan flamenco guitarist Jeremy Garcia joining us in England. Along with Jeremy we have Daniela Rossi (Argentinian guitarist living in Cambridge), Eleanor Kelly (Liverpool), Mathew James (Cambridge) and Valérie Hartzell (American/French guitarist living in England).  Eleanor will première a piece that Valérie has written for her.

The Exhibitors’ Showcase on Sunday will feature guitar builders, a composer and a publishing company.

You can get the detailed programme here, and there are more details at the festival website https://classicalmindsfestival.org/ . The weekend is open to all ages and all levels.

Participation (£75) includes one individual lesson, and attendance at all concerts, lectures and listening in at masterclasses. Intermediate/advanced players are welcome to perform in the masterclass (£15 for one class). If you turn in your online application by the 10th of March, we will give a £5 reduction off the total tuition.

If you have any questions, contact Valérie Hartzell, the Artistic Director.

And the more general stuff about CGO:

The Cambridge Guitar Orchestra (CGO) is a group of around 15 classical guitarists, who perform regularly in and around Cambridgeshire. Occasionally, we give concerts further afield in the UK, and we have also performed in Belgium and France.

Our Musical Director is Valérie Hartzell. You can find out more about her here, and of course on her own web site (http://www.valeriehartzell.co.uk/). You can also subscribe to her YouTube channel:  www.youtube.com/valeriehartzell

The CGO was originally established in 1991 by Lorraine Eastwood and the late Chris Kilvington. In 1996 Peter Rueffer took over as our Musical Director for 20 years, before handing over to Valérie.

Here are some clips to give you an idea of the range of music we play.

First, click on these if you dare to hear (and see) us getting into seasonal mood, playing Gnome Zombies (composed by Valérie):

Funny little creatures gnomes.
Halloween at midnight, something happened. The funny little creatures were not funny anymore. They were alive & woke up hungry. Their feet foreign to them as they wobbled, stumbled and bumbled.
A door! There’s food behind that door.
They tripped and staggered and waddled until finally they got to the door.

* Knock, Knock! *
(no answer)
* Best ring the bell*

and “Weeping Angels” (also composed by Valérie):

Rustling of the autumn leaves, the quiet of the cemetery, so cold, so hungry. For 30 years not a soul has passed by through the cemetery gates and into reach. The house lays empty and sad, as are we.

Angel 1: I smell life!
Angel 2: He’s not fresh.
Angel 1: No, but others will seek him.
Angel 2: Bait.

The prey enters the house and the stalking begins; quick motion, frozen……..quick motion, frozen.

Angel 1: Where to?
Angel 2: Upstairs, I smell his fear.

Quick motion, frozen……..quick motion, frozen……….. quick motion, frozen.


Angel 1: He tasted better than I expected.
Angel 2: Yes, that was hope. He’ll never marry his younger bride.

But it is not all fun and games!  In the next clip, we are playing an arrangement of Schubert’s song “Auf dem Wasser zu singen”. The arrangement is by one of our members.

The final clip shows us playing three movements from Henry Purcell’s The Fairy Queen arranged by Peter Rueffer.

Regardless of whether you are interested in:

  • joining us,
  • hiring us for a performance or fund-raising event,
  • coming to listen to one of our performances,
  • or just curious,

we hope you find what you are looking for on the web site.  If not, do drop us an email (see details on the contact page).