Huntsville Music Festival closes after 13 years in operation

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) — A northern Alabama music festival that focused on chamber music has closed after 13 years and nearly 100 performances by classical musicians from around the world.

Twickenham Fest founders Susanna Phillips, a soprano, and Matthew McDonald, a professional bassoonist, announced the closure on Monday via the festival’s Facebook page, al.com reported.

“Our goal was simple: to bring extremely talented international musicians to the remarkable, vibrant and warm community of our shared hometown, Huntsville. With full and grateful hearts, it is time for us to announce that Twickenham Fest is coming to an end,” the post read.

Organizers gave no reason to shut down the festival, which launched in 2009 with just two performances attended by around 30 people. Since then, the event had grown into a week-long event with ensembles ranging from trios to chamber symphonies. As well as featuring works by classical masters like Bach, the festival has commissioned and premiered 10 new compositions. He even staged an opera.

The statement from Phillips and McDonald, who had no experience in organizing or running a music festival, effusively thanked the Huntsville community for their support over the years.

“You have joined us with enthusiasm for this crazy ride. You raised, nurtured and supported us as we grew into active classical musicians. You cooked meals for our musicians. You babysat our children during rehearsals. You showed up to help us move pianos, stands and chairs,” the statement read.

Alabama blues legend “Microwave Dave” Gallaher was a huge fan of Twickenham Fest, posting on Facebook that he was sad to see it end.

“I’ve absorbed so much inspiration from the 12 years of concerts I’ve attended that it will be a quality of life issue for me. … I’m so grateful for the amazing music that I’ve only heard once in my life,” her post said.

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