Bosham gets its very own festival as top quartet celebrates anniversary

The Badke Quartet celebrates its tenth anniversary this year with its very own mini-festival at Bosham.

BADKE @ BOSHAM runs on Saturday and Sunday, September 29 and 30 at Holy Trinity Church.

Violinist Emma Parker is delighted to be bringing the quartet to a place she still regards as home.

The Badke is widely recognised as one of Britain’s finest string quartets, and Emma can think of nowhere better to mark its first decade.

“We wanted to celebrate the anniversary in some way, and we have been talking about doing something like this for years. We are lucky enough to do lots of concerts, and we travel around Britain and Europe.

“But we just thought it would be lovely to run our own thing and put our own stamp on it and create something that is really ours. It has been a dream of ours for years and years.”

Bosham was the obvious place: “I went to the Prebendal School and then Portsmouth High School. We lived in Bosham in a thatched cottage right next door to the church from the age of ten to 13. I used to play with my brothers in the graveyard. My family is in Warblington now. We lived in Chichester, Bosham and just moved around the area.

“And Bosham was just a lovely place. The church really was our back garden. Friends of mine have got married in the church, and it really feels like part of my life. I had a chat with the vicar about this dream of a concert series there, and they were incredibly excited about the prospect.

“We are starting very small. We are not hoping to make any money or anything, just really to see how it goes. We have chosen a very popular programme. We have got the Haydn which everybody loves, and also Borodin and Ravel. It’s the real hits of the string quartet repertoire, and the fact that we are running it ourselves means that we can play whatever we want to play, the pieces we really love.

“Really, we are just wanting to see how it goes. It totally depends on how much interest there is,” says Emma, but already she is thinking ahead to future possibilities, such as inviting friends down to join them - perhaps a singer next year, perhaps an extra cellist the year after.

The series was very much a way of thanking the Badke’s fans for their support over the years, she said: “We have got such a wonderful group of Badke Quartet friends. One way we can thank them is by putting on a festival like this, and we just thought ‘Where better than Bosham!’”

The concerts are:

Saturday, September 29 at 7.30pm: Haydn Quartet in D major Op 20 No 4; Prokofiev Quartet No 2 in F major Op 92; Ravel Quartet in F major

Sunday, September 30 at 3pm: Borodin Quartet No.2 in D major; Dvorak Quartet No 12 in F major Op 96 ‘American’

Tickets can be reserved in advance by emailing info@badkequartet.co.uk and requesting the number of seats you would like. Payment will then be taken on the day of the concert in by cash or cheque only.